Thursday, January 28, 2010

How To Paint Furniture

You are probably here because you have seen many bloggers painted furniture projects and want to get your feet wet, so to speak. No matter the piece, whether it be a chair, a dresser, or any other wooden piece, the steps are pretty much the same. For example, take this curio cabinet that we painted (which used to be a whitish wood tone):
We wanted to take this outdated curio and bring it up to date. Sprucing it up with a fresh coat of black paint took them from thrift store (picked up at Goodwill Boutique) to outstanding display, in just a few hours.
How can you do this to? Simple:
 1- What type of surface are you working with on the piece that you’d like to paint? If it is stained and you are going to paint, you only need to buff down slightly with100 grit sandpaper. Unless it has layers and layers of paint that you want to remove, we sand enough to rough the surface to give the paint something to 'stick' to.  If it is unfinished wood or flat paint, you can skip the sandpaper, however we always choose to slightly sand for a better finish. After the sanding, be sure to wipe down the piece removing dust.
 2-Using oil-based primer will ensure that the paint sticks to the surface and nothing unforeseen comes through and ruins your new finish. We choose spray because a brush tends to leave brush marks. Spray the entire piece with a light hand. Your spray should be light strokes as to not have runs. Your coat of primer doesn’t have to be perfectly even (it  usually sprays in an uneven look). As long as you have covered the entire piece is well, with no glops and runs,  you should be ready for the next step once it dries..
 3- Using a high quality spray paint, apply thin, even coats of paint (semi-gloss makes a nice wipe-able and durable surface). Always be sure to wait until the first coat of paint is thoroughly dry before applying a second coat. This thin application is the key to avoiding glops and runs for a smooth finish. 
 5- I know it's hard once you see the beautiful piece, but you must wait a full 48 hours or more to place objects in or on your newly painted piece to avoid dents in your finish. 
Sounds easy, right? So don't be scared and jump in. Remember thin, even coats and to take your time. It's definitely a quick project with huge rewards. 
Oh, and an added note based on experience, do not leave your project in the sun to dry. The paint will bubble form the sun and heat. Good luck!

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