A question that I get asked quite often by customers coming into the shop to buy paint is “do I really have to sand and prime the items that I want to paint? I just want to save both time and effort! And I reply yes, we can simply apply the new paint directly on the old one, but what will be the result?
What we really should do is follow the whole process to achieve the best result we can, thus avoiding ruining the furniture and its value.
Many hasty and superficial paint jobs have brought disastrous results with peeling paint, imperfect finishes and in some cases even ruining the furniture making it necessary to be repainted by a professional.
So today, I’m sharing with you, my knowledge gained over the years on how to paint your furniture in the best possible way for a perfect result!
1. Start by sanding.
You will often find online tutorials claiming that you do not need to sand the furniture to be painted and there are also many makes of paint on the market (such as chalk paints) that promise no sanding. But from what I have learned over the years, sanding is essential! Be sure to start any new project by sanding the surfaces with 120 to 150-grit sandpaper. You can use an electric sander with variable speeds. However, be careful not to scratch the surface, you just want to "roughen" them in order to help the new paint adhere to the surface.
2. Remove any residue.
Once sanded, make sure the surfaces are thoroughly cleaned with a damp cloth to remove any residue and dust.
3. Then prime.
If your furniture is laminate or lacquer or has super glossy surfaces and you want to paint it with chalk paint, prime the item first or you can paint a light coat of chalk paint to create a base instead of the primer. If you want to paint with a water-based enamel paint no priming is required. Prime using a roller and use a brush to get to hard to reach places. Allow the primer to dry according to the instructions on the tin. (My personal opinion is to prime everything with a diluted primer).
4. Now paint!
Now it's time to paint! If the furniture you are going to paint has large surfaces such as a table, cupboard, bookcase, etc., then you can use a roller to apply 3-4 coats of paint and a brush for areas where the roller cannot reach. Allow each coat of paint to dry completely before applying the next coat. Be careful! If you apply a coat of paint on top of the previous coat which has not completely dried, you will lift it off! If the item you want to paint is smaller such as a table, a chair, a stool, etc. then you can use a brush following the same procedure as with the roller. When the item is completely dry you should remove any traces of fluff and dust with a damp cloth before applying the varnish in the next step.
5. Protect it!
Now you can protect your furniture with transparent wax or varnish.
You can read my latest article here How to protect your painted furniture! Varnish vs wax.
In the next article we will talk about the different waxes and varnishes and how to use them.
I wish you happy painting!