I love experimenting with new furniture painting techniques and have perfected quit a few over the years. I’m constantly testing out new furniture painting techniques on pieces that I pick up at flea markets and estate sales. Once I perfect a particular technique I offer new options to my clients, who bring me their own furniture to be painted and refinished.
Plan on painting some of your own furniture? Here are a few tips:
Preparation is key!! It is very important to properly prep your furniture if you want your paint job to last. If it’s not cleaned and sanded well the paint may be rejected which will cause it to crack and peel. 1. Before painting clean your furniture thoroughly with Trisodium Phosphate, TSP for short. TSP can be found at your local hardware store in the painting section. This product will remove dirt, grim, grease, and other things that might prevent your paint from sticking. 2. The next step will be to sand the piece incredibly well using 220 grit sandpaper. Always sand with the grain of the wood, going against it will cause scratches. Using heavier grit sandpaper will also cause scratches that will be seen through your paint job. 3. After sanding give the piece a nice wipe down with a clean rag. A rag soaked in TSP might be necessary once again if the piece was real dirty or required a ton of sanding. 4. Now the piece is ready for primer. If stains show through sand with 320 grit sandpaper and paint again. Continue doing this until the piece has good coverage. Make sure you allow the proper dry time in between coats. 5. Now the piece is ready for paint. For a super smooth, perfect paint job I use a spray gun. If you are painting by hand make sure you invest in a good quality paint brush.
Frequently asked questions:People are constantly emailing me asking me about what type of paint I use, or what types of varnish I recommend. I’ll try to answer some of the most commonly asked questions below.
What color paint do you use to create the shabby chic look? I love Swiss Coffee. Lowe’s brand of paint, Valspar, makes a beautiful Swiss Coffee. It’s a nice soft white.
What finish do you recommend? My two favorites are satin and semi-gloss. I wouldn’t recommend using a flat paint on any furniture. It shows every little hand print and scratches easily. If you are painting a dining table or another surface that will get heavy traffic and possibly an occasional spill I would recommend a gloss. A gloss or high gloss finish will wipe up easily and is very durable.
Do you use a varnish or polyurethane? I don’t like either. Although they all say they don’t yellow I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t. Clear coat finishes will alter the color of your paint over time. If you choose a high quality paint that has a sheen there really is no need for a clear coat. Paint will dry hard and durable when given the proper time to cure. If you insist on using a protective finish try a furniture paste wax instead, sure you’ll have to reapply every once in a while, but it wont change the color of your paint and it will protect it just the same.
The paint is still tacky and/or scratches easily what’s the deal? Be patient. Paint takes at least a week, sometimes several weeks, to fully cure. Many times people paint a piece of furniture, then bring it into their home the next day and begin using it, which is sure to damage the paint job. Let it sit for a little while. Just because it feels dry to the touch doesn’t mean it’s truly dry.
What type of spray gun do you use? How do you like it? I started off using a Graco True Coat and I loved working with it. However, because I do such high volume the gun didn’t last long before the motor went bad. I now use a Husky HVLP gun that I connect to a large air compressor. It creates a really beautiful finish. I have written a detailed post about both of these guns. Click Here to find out more.
Tutorials…….. As I mentioned previously I use many different furniture painting techniques. Most of the techniques I use are intended to give the furniture a rustic, shabby, or antique finish. Many of the techniques involve beating up the furniture, sanding the heck out of the paint to distress it, and staining the furniture after it’s painted to give it an aged look. I’ve created many videos that demonstrate the techniques that I use and continue to add new ones, so check back regularly.
In the following videos I give tips on how to paint and distress furniture:
In the following video I explain how to use wax to create distressing that truly makes the furniture look old.
In this video I demonstrate how to achieve a high gloss, super smooth finish using a lacquer paint.
The next video explains how to age a painted piece of furniture using a dark stain.
The following video lists products and suggestions for painting mahogany, a very difficult wood that tends to bleed like crazy.
Good luck on your projects!! If there is a particular project you would like to see featured in one of my videos I’m open to suggestions. Please feel free to email me with your questions too. I’ll try to answer more of them on this page as time goes on. I plan to update this page frequently with new information and content, your emails help me do that.
RELATED ARTICLES: (click on the titles below)
Tips on painting furniture with a spray gun
The spray gun that I use
Choosing the right paint brush
How to paint furniture; all the steps you need to take
To prime or not to prime?
Water based paint vs. oil based paint
LOCATION:173 E City Place Dr.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Tues. through Sat. 10 to 3
Furniture drop off and pick up by appointment:
Tues. through Fri. 10 to 6 and Sat. 10 to 3
Alchemy fine living is an antiques & home furnishings business located in Santa Ana, Ca. Alchemy can be defined as an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting power or process; transforming something common into something special.
ABOUT MEAlchemy fine living is my antiques & home furnishings business. I'm Deana, the author of this blog. My mom Connie & I followed our dreams & opened our store in 2008. It's a collection of all the things she & I truly love. We combine antiques with new treasures, as well as, a selection of handcrafted items created by the two of us. We also offer custom sewing, re-upholstery, & furniture painting services.