Thursday, March 13, 2014

10 tips for a better paint job

Hey guys today you get a sneak peak at my dining room. I have been waiting to show anything in this area, because it has been such a disaster. It still is in the works but getting closer. We still need to paint the walls and ceiling, trim out the window and door, and redo the base molding. I have been putting off all of this because I plan to tackle that once we start on the kitchen, which the dining room is attached to. The kitchen cabinets will be painted either white or a grey white.

So this brings me to my paint finish suggestions. I found this sad little desk for cheap and decided it would go in the dining room. I'm sorry I didn't get a true before picture. I had already started on sanding and everything when I decided I should maybe post about how I paint furniture.

The feet were in worse shape than the paint. 

The paint was chipping and uneven. It had drips and was just plain sloppy.. So I fixed almost all of that. 

Here is the after shots! yeah my fav part. ( I hate painting furniture, but I love the outcome) 

I feel like I should also mention.. be considerate of what you paint.. not all furniture should be painted. I hate seeing a beautiful antique that some one has slapped some chalk paint on :(

remember that photo a little bit up of the nasty feet here let me remind you! 



After a lot of scrubbing with vinegar and a fine steel wool they look so much better! 

This piece had a lot of prep work needed. I sanded a ton. I had to fill and glue a few places and sand some more.  

So here are my 10 suggestions to getting a great finish on your painted furniture.

1. Pick what kind of paint and color your using. 

I usually paint with a homemade "chalk paint" I don't have an exact recipe. I normally buy a quart can from Lowes and fill it a little over 1/4 way with plaster of paris. Then add in water and stir really well. I don't like mine super thick. I get it to about the consistency of thick paint. Then I add in my paint. I normally use a flat finish. I add a little bit at a time and stir and stir and stir some more. 

If you are wanting to use a regular paint then you need a really good primer! Zinsser 123 is the one I prefer. 

2. Get good brushes and rollers. 

Go ahead and spend the money on  good brushes. I prefer Purdy brand. I mostly use a 2 inch. It seems to be the most versatile.

I use cabinet foam rollers for a smooth finish. (this desk was done with almost all roller very little brushing except for the legs.) 

3. Probably the most important and annoying step, PREPARATION 

If you want a good finish you have to put in the hard work. That means sanding, filling any holes, chips ect. 

This piece took me for ever to sand down. Now I'm not saying you have to get to bare wood, but it needs to be even.. this desk had major drips and runs.. so it took forever to get it all even. 

It also had lost of places where the veneer had chipped off this required filling and more sanding. 


4. Decide where you want to start first

Do you want to start with the small areas that need brushing or the larger areas where you can use a roller?

I started with a brush first with this one. The majority was going to be rolled on so I decided to knock the legs out first. Another good tip, paint the legs first. That way you can flip the pice on its top before it painted.. 

5. Wet your brush before you start

I always wet my brush before I start painting and wring it out will in a towel. I find this makes cleaning the brushes out easier. 

Don't let the paint dry in your brush. I know its annoying to clean up in the middle of a project but if you are needing to switch brushes or rollers wash them out well with soap. Your brushes will last a long time. 

For rollers you can roll them up tight in a plastic bag this well help them keep from drying out. 

6. Don't over load your brush or roller

It's better to do several thin layers than one thick messy one.  Your first coat should be very thin and you should still see most of the color underneath.. Add on from there.. 

7. Check your edges and corners. 

I alway roll my paint on and while still wet, I take my roller and just very gently roll over the edges to suck up any build up. Your edges will be the first place to get thick and have drips... keep an eye out for those.. if you do get drips.. you need to wait probably at least a day or more and then sand them out.. don't keep adding paint.. it will just make a bigger mess. So it's best to avoid and really watch for drips and runs. 

On edges, it's best to sweep the brush from the middle out off the edge. Don't come back the other direction or you will get paint drips on the edge. 

8. Allow ample time for it to dry 

Make sure you give it plenty of time to dry before putting your drawers or door back in or on you piece. 

9. Smooth finish with sanding.

I didn't  have to do it with this piece but on some where I have to use a brush. I get a finishing sand paper and sand between coats and after finish.. just very lightly. 

10. Apply your finish

Whether it be wax (what I used on this) or a polycrylic ect.. make sure you have something on it to protect you paint. 

Hope this was some help to anyone venturing into painting your furniture. Let me know what you think.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!