My in box has been filled with request on a “how to” refinish furniture!!! I better get on it already and just share it here for all to enjoy!!!
So let’s get started!!!
My rule of thumb when it comes to deciding if something is worth refinishing…
- it has to be a solid piece to begin with!
- made of real wood
- not a veneer!
- take a before picture because you will hardly believe what it looked like once you are done!
(I have heard of using a product called Liquid sand, or a special primer for veneer on veneer pieces to make it paintable! Ask your paint expert at Home depot what to use. Check it out and read the directions to see if you want to go that route! I haven’t used it though so if you do use it let me know how it goes!!)
The most asked question I get is “Do you have to completely sand off a finish first before you paint?”
and the answer is NO!!!!! Thank goodness right!!! As long as you use an OIL BASED primer you don’t have to sand!!! I recommend KILZ brand from Home Depot.
I buy it in a gallon size because I do so many projects and will use it all. I have also bought a KILZ spray can of oil based primer for a quick job. The spray can works great too.
I will say this…light sanding will be needed if you have areas on your project that may have splintering, or large peeling or chipped paint. Just sand the are to make it more uniform and smooth.
The only time you will need to sand off a finish completely before refinishing is if you are planing on staining a piece as opposed to painting. I’ll talk more about staining at the end of this post!
Because you will be using oil based primer just prepare to toss the paint brush you will be using. Oil based paint is a BEAST to wash so I recommend using gloves too if you are a messy painter.
Prime your piece once and let it dry completely before moving onto the next step!
I always do two coats for furniture. ALWAYS allow each coat to fully dry before you paint the next coat.
They do sell poly in a spray can but I avoid it becasue I want a very even finish that only a paint brush can achieve.
I use Raulph Lauren Glaze in “Tabacco.” This technique requires you to paint a thick coat on and then quickly wipe it off with a rag and leaving behind the glaze to get the aged look you want. It takes a little getting used to but it’s by far my fav!!
I have also used a crackle finish effect. If you want to try to do a crackle the only thing you have to remember is that you have to use a FLAT finish in your base coat paint! It will not crackle correctly if it’s a egg shell, semi, high gloss or satin finish.
READ all the instructions on faux finishing products! Ask your local expert for tips and just have fun!
- You can find “Oops Paint” or “Mistints” paint at a discount for $1-$5 a gallon. Ask your paint departments where they keep it!It’s not always out in front! I have found some great colors and have saved a ton of money!!!
- Check your loacl Dollar Store and see what painting tools they sell. I was spending full price on brushed for almost a year before I discovered that the dollar store sold a three pack of brushes!!
- Prime multiple pieces at the same time!Priming is my least favorite step but the most important!!! I just like to get as many things primed at once if I can.
- If you are planning on painting anything RED you MUST tint your primer gray! Home Depot will do this for you by adding black paint. Gray primer is the only way to get a true to color sample result. If you buy a gallon of primer and only have one project to paint red, just buy a plastic container in the paint section, pour a good amount to cover your project into the container and they will add black to that. That way you don’t have to tint the entire gallon.
- I can’t stress enough how important it is to allow proper time for drying in between each coat!!!!!
- You can sand in between each step…primer, two coats of colored paint and poly if you want a very smooth feel in the end. I rarely do this because I like how it looks adn feels enough when I don’t and I am all about saving the effort if I don’t care! If you do sand use a very fine grit and wipe it down well before painting again.
- Allow more time then you would think for the piece to dry before you bring it in the house. I have made the mistake of thinking it was dry before it was and got paint on my carpet!!! NOt fun!!! I wait over night before I move it in.
Be sure to check out This POST with all my before and afters when it comes to refinishing!
I use MINWAX stain and seal.
There are two ways you can apply stain.
- dipping a cloth in the stain and rubbing it on or
- using a brush and applying it thick and then wiping it off with a rag.
Apply your stain, going with the grain of the wood, ’till it is the desires color! I usually do two coats. When it comes to staining you do not have to wait for it to dry before you add your second coat of stain.
Be sure to apply two coats of Poly even though it says it’s a “Stain and Seal!” Poly will protect it the best!
Follow the poly steps I listed above!!!
I hope this helps!!!! I’d love to see your projects!!!!! Email me before and afters and I’d be happy to feature you on my blog! Email me with any questions!!!!
Happy refinishing folks!!!!