Projects I Couldnt Bear To Paint
So before you go, Ill share with you some projects that were too much of a good wood that I couldnt bear to paint them.
The more I learn about wood, the more benefit I see in restoring the wood to its natural beauty.
Here are a few recent projects I completed where I decided to restore them instead of painting them.
I was > thisclose< to painting this vintage drafting table I had gotten from the thrift store, but decided against it after I saw the gorgeous grain popping through.
Now, I can appreciate the grain and it looks great in my garage!
When To Paint Wood Furniture
If it’s a piece without much value on the secondhand market or one where the existing finish is in poor condition, a paint job may actually increase value. “It all depends on the piece and the finish of the existing brown,” says Ashley Hanley. “If it’s in bad shape, a new paint job will bring it back to life,” says Camila Pavone.
If you’re not worried about maintaining value, many designers sayyou guessed itto go with personal preference. “It’s not a crime at all if it means saving something from the dumpster,” says Jenny Brown. “The quality of antiques and some vintage pieces is usually far superior to what you would get for the same price today.”
“If you want to hold onto something that has been passed down in your family and the only way to do so is to paint it to work with your decor, by all means do so,” says Verga.
Travis London argues in defense of painting if it’s a true upgrade: “Painting antiques gives them new life and makes them personal to their new home. Antiques are meant to last and be shared for generations, why not bring new life to it?‘ As Christine Pokorney of Clem Schaub Architects puts it: “If it means the love will continue for that piece, then go for it!”
A Protect The Work Area
Floor protection to keep the paint on the furniture not on the floor.
A roll of lining paper works well, or a sheet of One Tuff if you like your floor protection tuff and fluff free. Cotton dust sheets or newspaper, nooooooooooo that is making life hard for yourself.
Masking tapeThere are plenty of painting demos on Youtube where a few pieces of masking tape in the right place would have raised the standard from sloppy DIY to thoughtful professional.
Masking tape is generally graded by how long it can be left on a surface before it creates any damage on removal. 7 14 day tapes is plenty good enough for most situations if painting furniture over a weekend.
3M Scotch Blue 2090 is reliable and easy to get hold of. Dolphin is also a reliable blue tape used by Traditional Painters and about half the price of the 3M range. A trip to a Motor Factor will also throw up some good and cheap masking tape, if you are in the market. Tesa have a very good range of tapes for all occasions.
Dont pay more than £3-£4 for a roll of tape.
Shop for tapes on-line for reasonable prices.
Dont use old tape on delicate surfaces.
If masking tape doesnt come off the roll easily, it is probably damaged and definitely should not be used on delicate surfaces.
If you use masking tape on floors, it is good to get in the habit of trying not to walk on it, as that seems increase the bond to the floor.
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Most Common Problems & Issues
At the time, I had no idea these are VERY common problems when painting wood white.
Its years later and Ive painted I dont know how many white pieces and tried I dont know how many products. Now I have a fail-proof technique down pat which I hope will help you too.
If youre looking to update your furniture in a perfect white finish, I promise these tips will save you time, money and a ton of frustration!
I started with this vintage china cabinet I found at the ReStore which are notorious for bleedthrough. Even so, I absolutely love working on these. Painting the inside can be a little extra work but the style of these cabinets is always a pleasure to work on.
Check out the updated version! Perfect white with shapely bare wood legs. Im loving it.
THIS POST IS SPONSORED/CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I USE. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
Good Technique Is All In The Spin
When I started painting, I had no idea what I was doing. After hours of watching me roll the thinnest layer of paint possible onto the furniture, pressing as hard as I could, Matt decided to put me out of my misery with some pointers. Here are 6 keys to a professional-looking paint finish:
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The Fox Paint Brush Developed And Used By Traditional Painters
Traditional Painter and our Trade Corner associates know a bit about brushes.
MyPaintBrush commissioned a traditional paint brush for modern paints. Martin Guest our trusty kitchen and furniture painter in the W Midlands worked with a local brush-maker to develop what are now known as the Fox brushes. In a year, the group produced and tested a revolutionary paint brush range that ticks many many boxes.
The bristles are super fine. The shape has been formed using literally new technology. Other brush makers can achieve the same shape, but with chemicals, which cause bristles to wear out prematurely. The Fox bristles are very robust and also seem to hold a fantastic amount of paint, but still cut a sharp straight line.
Although they are fine and soft, the bristles hold their shape and work in water-based, oil based and heavy shellac based paint. That is phenomenal. Full story on the Fox paint brush here.
As a range, they are genuinely a superlative all-round brush for anyone into painting suitable for highest quality kitchen painting, furniture painting, super fast emulsioning, and they keep on working well in oil based eggshell, gloss in chalk paint they are a 9/10.
Can you tell, we are proud of the Fox! And being made in the UK, they are very reasonable prices too, especially in bundles.
Best brush for chalk paint
Annie Sloan sells nice round chalk paint brushes and waxing brushes.
How To Paint Ikea Laminate Furniture
Painting laminate pieces is the trickiest surface to get right, so well start by talking about that one.
Tired of reading? Watch my video instead
You can also watch me paint and transform this boring Kallax unit:
You hear a lot of horror stories about how it all went wrong and the paint started peeling off after 2 days.
I assure you, your paint is not going to peel off if you follow these steps!
Because of the vast number of laminated IKEA products, its also probably the most common scenario youll encounter if you want to paint IKEA furniture.
This method doesnt require sanding your piece before priming and painting. Some people swear by sanding every single layer in order to get a perfectly pristine and smooth finish. By all means, do this if you want to, it certainly wont ruin any of your work! Decide if its worth the effort and go for it if you feel like its necessary
- Shellac-base primer I recommend this one from Zinsser
- Sanding paper
Check out the videos above if you missed them, they demonstrate a couple of my IKEA painting projects!! And below is an example of laminate furniture that I painted one summer for my mum. Its actually not an IKEA piece, it was just an old laminate dresser that my mum wanted to chuck out. Instead, I transformed it into a TV console for her, because she needed one.
Sorry about the messy photo, lol!
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Apply A Coat Of Finish
The last step after staining or painting your wooden furniture piece is to apply a finish coat. There are different finish products to choose from. Your choice will depend on several factors including:
- The wood furniture look you desire
- The durability you need
- The type of wood your furniture is made from
- How the item will be used and how frequently
- Your own skill level
Because certain finishes are meant to be sprayed on, they require additional spray tools to get the job done. For beginners and hobbyists, its recommended to use finishes you can wipe or brush on.
Here are some of the many types of brush- and wipe-on finishes to choose from:
Once youve selected the best finish product for your specific furniture piece, you can add a coat of paste wax to enhance its luster and further protect it from scratches.
Best Paint Sheen And Brand Furniture Paint
This is a much asked question with no silver bullet answer. One paint that does it all on furniture doesnt exist.
Dealing with variables is the number one issue when painting anything. There are endless paint choices. It is part of the furniture painters skill to specify the right paint for the job.
But to keep it simple.
Go for an eggshell finish
Eggshell is mid sheen, and generally a durable finish. Traditionally it is self undercoating. So if you have bare timber, you only need a solid primer plus a few coats of eggshell, and you are good to go.
You can go round and round with this brand is better than that brand, and who would pay £x for that posh paint when the trade equivalent is less 40%.
Which brand of eggshell paint is toughest? Just assume for arguments sake that most trade eggshell paints are of decent durability, and a handful of premium eggshell paint brands are a bit more durable than most.
In other words, every brand of eggshell you can think of is likely going to be suitable for your furniture. If you apply them right, you will get a good end result.
What sheen is eggshell?
Think 20 45% shine
trade brand eggshell paints tend to be closer to 30-40% sheen
posh / designer eggshell paints tend to be flatter and closer to 20-25% sheen.
Matt furniture paint is about 10%. That level of sheen provides the lowest durability for one pack furniture paints.
Chalk paint finish is the sheen of the wax you apply over it.
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Choosing How To Restore Wooden Furniture
Refinishing wooden furniture isnt the first and only option when it comes to bringing a piece back to life. Instead of refinishing the piece completely, you may decide to simply rejuvenate or repair it. Here are three main categories of furniture restoration projects:
With these options in mind, you may still be wondering if refinishing your wooden piece is the right way to go. If youre uncertain, then you should be aware of the different signs that indicate its time to refinish your wood furniture.
This Mid Century Modern Dresser Makeover
I also couldnt bear to paint this mid century modern dresser that I picked up for $29 at the thrift store!
The wood was just too gorgeous!
You can read in this Mid Century Modern Makeover post how I attempted to strip and refinish its natural wood but ran into a few problems.
You can see all my videos on my YouTube channel, too.
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From One Of Many Readers Who Has Taken The Time To Read Through Our Info
Thanks so much for recommending Langlows Patina. What a lovely finish. After using so many different products and being totally unsatisfied with the results, I wont use anything else from now on.
I also bought an orbital sander as a result of reading the info on your site.
Am now researching eggshell finishes on painted furniture am certain you will have something sensible to say !! More feedback from readers
Did you know, the information here is read on average 8000 12000 times a month. It is regularly updated to ensure it remains the most relevant information online on this topic.
Watch The Video When Should You Not Paint Wood Furniture
If youre a DIYer that paints furniture for any length of time, Im certain someone has opened their mouth and gasped: OMG, you paint wood?! Why would you do that?riiiight after you proudly showed them how awesome your piece looks after you spend 6 hours painting it.
Not the best feeling in the world.
In fact, you feel rather crappy after that kind of criticism.
I meanwe all know that solid wood is the almighty indication of quality furniture, and to slather on a superficial coat of paint??gasp!how dare thee.
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What Kind Of Paint Brushes Work Best
The type of brushes that you use, depending on the type of paint youre going to use:
- For oil-based paints, use natural bristle brushes. Those made with hogs hair or ox hair.
- For acrylic/water-based paints, use synthetic brushes. Those are made from nylon or a nylon-polyester blend.
- You could also use a foam roller for flat surfaces. Just watch for tiny bubbles in your finish.
Hands down, my favorite brushes for all types of painting are Purdy brushes. They just seem to hold onto their bristles best and clean up really well after use .
When Not To Repaint Wood
“It depends on the quality of the piece and of the painting,” says Sophie Williamson. Practically speaking, this may be most significant if you’re thinking you might offload the piece down the line. “If it’s a high-quality antique you want to resell later, painting diminishes the value,” notes Modern Antiquarian founder Margaret Schwartz. Miriam Silver Verga of Mimi & Hill echoes this sentiment: “When you paint an antique, you are deciding that its value is to you alone, because painting something vintage changes its long term price.”
“Do not refinish a fine antique,” says designer Gray Walker. House of Drennan agrees: “If it’s a true antique in great shape, it’s a crime!”
In addition to quality, you may also want to consider the materials usedare they rare or difficult to refinish? “I cringe when I see exotic woods like mahogany painted or bleached,” says historian Hampton DeVille. Rachel Cannon agrees: “If its a thrifted item that is constructed of a common wood like oak or pine, with rudimentary joinery, youre probably safe to paint it,” she says. “However, if its made of exotic woods like cherry, mahogany, or satinwood, probably not.”
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How To Paint Ikea Metal Furniture
To be honest, if I am going to spray paint a metal piece that isnt overly elaborate, I dont bother disassembling it.
However, I have learned from experience that metal DOES require a primer and ideally a topcoat. Otherwise, the spray paint will just scratch off, even with the tiniest bump!
If your piece has any rust, or flaking or loose paint, you *will* need to sand it.
If youre into decals, this is the place to buy them. Their website is a little confusing, as they also sell wallpaper and the menu is a little crazy. If you want to see all the decals they sell specifically for IKEA furniture, then just go here directly.
This company carries a pretty decent selection of cabinet fronts for IKEA kitchen, bathroom and media storage units. Also a small selection of decorative hardware .
I hope this article gave you the confidence to tackle your next IKEA furniture painting project!
Id love to hear what you get up to, and Im always available to answer any questions! Do not hesitate to drop me a comment below!
Now get painting, buddy!
Furniture Paint Vs Wall Paint
Paint for some reason has this catch all mentality. How is it that we as humans have 15 different types of moisturizers, but paint is only allowed to have one formula? NO!! Regular latex paint is not designed for hard surfaces that get a lot of usage like a kitchen table.
If youve ever painted something and had the finish turn out tacky like its never cured, or had it peel off in sheets chances are GREAT that you went to the paint counter and told them the sheen and color but nothing was mentioned about the product type or project right?! Do you know how I know this?! Because Ive done ita few times! DANG IT!!!
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