What to Know Before Painting Furniture Without Sanding

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In some instances, it is perfectly fine to skip the sanding step when re-painting a piece of furniture, but you will want to keep these tips in mind when deciding if sanding would be appropriate or not.

Is the Surface Shiny or Slick? – If the surface is very smooth and shiny, you may want to use sandpaper as the paint or primer could peel off or easily scrap off with a fingernail.  You will want to, at the very least, go over the furniture with 220 or 320 grit sandpaper; this will give the primer, or paint, something to adhere to.

Has the Surface Been Thoroughly Cleaned? Make sure you start by cleaning the surface with some kind of degreaser before you paint or prime.  Paint and primer will not adhere to any type of oils, even those used in cleaning solutions.

Has the Surface Been Waxed? – If you are painting over something that has a wax coating over top, sand the wax off.  Paint and primer will NOT adhere to a waxed surface.

You Can Use a Liquid Sander – You can also wipe the piece down with a liquid sander (available at most hardware stores) instead of using actual sandpaper.  NOTE: read the directions on the back before buying to ensure it will work with your piece, along with the primer, or paint, you intend to use.

Use an Oil Based Primer – If you decide not to sand, you will want to use an oil based primer, or a shellac based primer, as opposed to no primer or a water based primer.  Oil and shellac primers cure faster, reducing the risk of paint peeling or being scratched off within the first 2-4 weeks.

If you read through this list, and still feel it’s fine to paint without sanding, congrats!  You’ve shaved some time off of this project.

Painting Furniture Without Brush Strokes

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Everyone is different when it comes to the look of their furniture.  Some prefer to go to a thrift shop for an urban “Hipster” look, others prefer a perfectly smooth finish with a touch of elegance, while some like a rustic look as if it were painted in the backyard; the point is everyone is different.  Yet how do you get a perfectly smooth painted finish on that dresser when it’s needing to be repainted?  Follow the tips below.  NOTE- this will require you to put in some time and effort, but you will be proud of your work!

Use a High Quality BrushIt’s simple, higher quality paint brushes don’t show paint stroke as much, where lower quality brushes do, and believe it or not- the type of paint you use can affect the type of brush you should use. If you plan on using a latex paint, you should consider using a nylon or polyester brush; for oil based paints, use a natural bristle brush.  Some great paint brush brands are Purdy & Wooster.

FloetrolFloetrol is an additive you can mix into the paint that will keep your paint from drying as fast, which will give it more time to meld together or self-level and eliminate brush strokes.  Be aware of the conditions that you’re going to be painting in.  If it is a hot day, the paint will be drying quicker, which means that the brush stroke will be harder to hide.  You may want to consider adding Floetrol.

Longer Bristles Are Better – The shorter the bristles, the more the strokes will show… It is that simple.

Try a Roller – Use a roller on the longer, flat surfaces, and a brush for the smaller details.  When using a roller, roll in one direction.  If you roll in different directions, you can end up with roller marks.

Sand – If you do end up with some brush strokes- don’t worry.  Sand down that one area, and paint again.  Be sure that you wait for the paint to dry before you go back to sand or repaint.

What’s great about this technique is that you can use this, even if you want a distressed/antiqued look for your furniture.  But most importantly, remember to have fun!

Things to watch for when refurnishing your Dresser or Nightstand

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We use dressers and nightstands every day, and if a child is using one, you can bet that it’s being used and abused.  If your dresser is looking old and worn, you may want to just refurnish it instead of going out any buying a new one; this can save you money, and it’s amazing how a coat of paint can change the entire look!  However, there are a few things you need to look for when you do want to refurnish.

Surface: If the surface of the nightstand has rough grain, or is looking bubbly- beware.  The problem with uneven surfaces is that once you sand and prime them, all of the uneven areas begin to expand- you’re then left with a blotchy surface.  The solution to this is to sand completely past the stain, and down to the actual wood.

Peeling Veneer – It could be a big problem if the veneer is peeling.  If it peels off easily, it won”t be worth your time to repair it.  Yet, if it has only began to peel in a few small areas, it is salvageable with wood glue and wood filler.

Laminate – Laminate is a plastic coating over the wood.  You can paint over it, but that is not ideal.  Painting over it will make the it look… not quite right, and very amateur.  It’s best to stay away from this entirely.

Drawers – Drawers are, of course, the most important part of the dresser or nightstand, so it only makes sense to know if you have something made with quality.  If you do have something of quality, think about whether or not it would be best to get rid of it, or to try and refurnish it. One way to know if you do have quality craftsmanship is by taking the drawer out of the dresser, and looking for Dovetails.  If you see the Dovetails like in the picture below, you know you have something of quality.

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Lastly, if the drawers are on metal drawer guides that slide, make sure they slide smoothly.  These guides are difficult to fix and with older dressers, and many of the parts needed to fix them are no longer made.  If there is not a metal guide, and the drawer is wood on wood, you can smooth the sliding a little by wiping furniture wax on the bottom of the drawers and the wood guides underneath.  This will help smooth it out quite a bit.

That’s it!  If you have a dresser or nightstand that seems to be in good standing- go ahead and slap some paint on it to give it a whole new look.  Happy Painting!

Painting Your Front Door

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A new coat of paint on your front door can breath all new life into your home, and it’s a lot easier than you may think!  Yes, you will have to put in some elbow grease, but it shouldn’t take you more than a day to complete.

Types of Paint

Because your front door is open to the elements outside, you’ll want to use an acrylic latex paint with an oil-based primer; this will cover any old paint left on the door.  However, if you have a brand new door that has never been painted, you are able to use an oil-based paint instead.

Techniques

When you begin, be sure that it is going to be a nice day (not too humid or cold) because you want the paint to dry fairly quickly… Especially if you’re using an oil-based paint.

You’ll need to take the door off of it’s hinges, and place it where you’ll be painting- make sure it is a well ventilated area (like outside).  You can place some plastic over the doorway to help keep bugs outside, and to prevent people from seeing into your house.

Once the door is ready, remove the handles, and any other hardware left on it.  Thoroughly clean the door by scrubbing the surface with a wet sponge, allow to dry, then sand the surface of the door. Patch any cracks in the door with a quick-drying wood filler, then when it dries, sand the filler to make it smooth. Use a rag to brush off the dust from sanding, and you will be ready to apply the primer.  Cover with painter’s tape any trim, windows, and anything else that you don’t want to get paint on.

Apply the primer to the all surfaces on the door and let it dry completely. Then you are ready to apply the paint. Start by using a brush to paint any raised or depressed panels on the door, or around any crevices. You can then proceed to paint the flat surfaces of the door with a roller. Once the first coat is applied, allow it to dry, and apply a second coat for a beautiful finish.

Primer Not Sticking? Don’t Worry.

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Did you paint an antique dresser, making it look new and beautiful, only to see that the primer is chipping the next day?  Don’t worry- it’s not the end of the world, and you don’t need to sand off ALL of the hard work you did, and start over; you just need to be patient.

Of course, clearing the surface of dirt, chipped paint, grime, oil, etc. will help the primer stick to the surface of the furniture (you can even sand it down with 80-100 grit sandpaper to ensure the surface is clean of debris).  But once you have a smooth, clean surface, you can apply your coat(s) of primer.

You get up the next day, eager to see your beautiful work, when you notice the paint chipping, cracking, and peeling off like a sticker; what do you do?  As stated before, you only need to be patient.  Even though it does state on the product information that it takes around 40 minutes for it to dry enough for it to be touched, it takes about seven days to fully harden. If you do find that the primer is chipping, or peeling, simply fix that little area, instead of re-doing everything.

Did you say a WEEK?  Yes, it does take a week, but don’t worry- you don’t have to wait a week before applying a second coat.  Usually the primer is ready for that next coat in about an hour, and will continue to harden even though there are globs of paint on top of it.

See- it’s simple, and nothing to panic over.