Here is the Wills Casa rendition of how to paint furniture. Nick showed you the nook update with our now black (and super awesome) $25 craigslist table. I wanted to show the whole process of the transformation as a guide to anyone thinking about tackling a furniture update via paint.
Next Paint Prep (or TSP)
Elmer’s Wood Filler
Klean-Strip Liquid Sander
Ryobi Corner Cat Sander with 80 grit sandpaper (optional)
Zinsser Brown Label Primer
Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Satin (I used Black Suede)
Minwax Wipe On Poly in Satin
Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane in Satin
Foam Roller with high density rollers
Lint-free towels (or old tshirts as long as they are white)
1. Clean your piece of furniture.
It’s important to get your furniture as clean as possible. I wanted to make sure to get all the left over grease and grime off. (2 year old + food + table = deep cleaning required always) I cleaned it with Next Paint Prep from Lowes. It’s low VOC and low odor, so I opted for this instead of traditional TSP. Also it was a few bucks cheaper.
2. Fill in holes with wood filler.
Find all those dents, scrapes, and holes. Fill them with some wood filler using a putty knife. I used Elmer’s Wood Filler. Sand the filler down with 220 grit sandpaper. Wait 24 hours before applying any liquid sander or primer.
You have 2 options liquid sander or hand sanding with 80 grit paper. The condition of your furniture will be the biggest factor in determining which option will work for you. If you have a piece that is in poor shape with lots of bruises, then you will want to hand sand to smooth out the wood. The Ryobi is $30 at Home Depot.
I did both. I used the liquid sander on the legs and table edges. (This is also the easiest method when dealing with curves and small areas. I liquid sanded the chairs because the pattern was too intricate to use a sander.) Use a lint-free cloth and wipe the liquid sander on your furniture. (Yes it’s that easy.) It’s dry in about 10 minutes and ready for the next step. I hand sanded the table top. I probably didn’t need too, but there were some bubbles in the veneer that I wanted to sand down. I just sanded the shine off. There is no need to sand to bare wood.
You will need to dust your furniture off before you apply primer. I used tack cloth followed by a damp lint-free cloth. Make sure to wipe down the legs too since dust knows no boundaries.
If the furniture isn’t smooth before you paint it, it will not be smooth after you paint it. No matter how many coats you put on.
I used Zinsser Brown Label Primer. I applied it with a foam brush on the legs and around the table. I used a high density foam roller for the table top. Apply a light coat. Remember that it isn’t going to look pretty. It will appear blotchy, but you aren’t painting your furniture white with it. You are simply preparing it for your color. (I put the table up on paint can, so I could paint all the way down the legs without touching the drop cloth.)
I get brownie points for applying 2 coats to the table top since it will get the most wear. Even with 2 coats, you can see it’s blotchy. Good thing about primer is it’s ready to recoat within an hour. I gave it more time than that because I basically only have 2 times to paint a day – naptime and bedtime.
5. Paint + Floetrol
I already spoke of the wonders of Floetrol when I painted the chairs. I mixed my Behr Premium Plus Ultra Black Suede with Floetrol in a plastic tub according to the directions. I applied the paint the same as the primer. Foam brush for the legs and around the table and high density roller for the table top. I was painting black on a surface I just primed with white, so I knew it would take some coats. Be patient and apply light coats. Give yourself at least 4-6 hours between coats. Before each coat check for drips (I’ll address this later) and clean the surface since garages are full of dust.
I stored my brushes in ziplock baggies. I put foil down in the pan, so I could just toss it between coats. It saved me from buying multiple pans or cleaning it out each time. That plastic tub is my paint + floetrol mixture. You can find them at Home Depot.
It took me 3 coats to get the table covered evenly. When you roll, start at the edge of your surface and roll to the other edge. It’s not like painting a wall where you make V’s. You want a consistent look without brush marks or streaks. It is the same with the foam brush. Start and the top and pull the brush down. If the paint is starting to dry, you will have brush marks if you roll over it again to get a missed spot. Wait and get it on your next coat or touchups.
I applied Minwax Wipe-On Poly in Satin to the legs and around the table. Rule #1 use latex gloves when applying it or you will have sticky hands
forever. It’s quick you just pour some on a towel and wipe (exactly like liquid sander). I find that it works great when dealing with curves. I used Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane in Satin for the table top. I applied it with a foam brush. The wipe on was too streaky for the smooth table top surface.
Wait about 4 hours between poly coats. I put 3 coats on the legs and table top. Let it cure for at least 24 hours before you use it. I waited a week (remember antique rug + broken vacuum). I probably would have given it 48 hours just to be on the safe side.
Extra Credit, Dealing with Drama:
When you find a paint drip, use 220 grit sandpaper and sand against the drip. It’s dripping down, so sand up. Sometimes you get lucky and it peels right off when you sand. Sometimes it doesn’t, but don’t sand back and forth. You will wind up taking off more paint than you want.
Here’s a close up of the table because it’s just so pretty all jazzed up in black.
As with any DIY project, I am a firm believer in researching different ways people tackle their projects. Here are some resources I found the most helpful Centsational Girl, Young House Love, and Alter’d Designs (she has more information in her ebook about glazing, distressing, etc).
The nook is coming together. I know the chairs still don’t have seat…I’ll get to that this week.