Sunday, October 7, 2018

How to paint furniture - 10 Tips for getting starting

10 Tips for getting started painting furniture - Lilyfield Life

I thought I'd do a little brain dump on some tips for improving your furniture painting or to give you some confidence to pick up the paintbrush for the very first time. I often speak to people who don't know where to start - jump in and practice, practice, practice. Remember to have some fun. It's very rewarding.

10 Tips for getting started painting furniture - Lilyfield Life

1. Get familiar with the basics: before you start painting make sure you read this blog post I wrote years ago about how to paint vintage furniture. Chalk paint has changed some of the need for all the steps but this guide is a good start and you won't go wrong with it. 

2. Decide what look you are wanting. What is your piece suited to? Is it plain or more ornate? Do you want modern and smooth or is the piece old and ornate and can it do with a more rustic or French look? Different paints will work better for different looks: high gloss paints for a more modern look, chalk paint or matte paint for more old-world, vintage or a shabby chic look. Have a read of this blog post where I discuss different paints I use.

3. Start on smaller pieces and realise that practice makes perfect. You will improve with every piece you paint. If you are really nervous grab some photo frames or sample boards. Old kitchen cabinet boards are also fantastic to practice on.

4. Prep your furniture: I know it's all the rage to do no prep but you will get a way better finish with a little prep. Clean your furniture and gently sand. You only need to sand enough to take the glossy sheen off the furniture. You do not need to sand back to raw timber. If it has previous paint (or varnish) that is peeling, sand until smooth and bare.

5. Use a primer in these circumstances: over oak, mahogany, old pine or Balinese furniture. I also use a good primer with painting with white paint as it will assist with coverage and cut down on the coats of more expensive paint you have to use. If you haven't used a primer and you have bleeding (where tannins seep through and turn your paint red, pink or brown) you can always spot prime and then continue painting. I use Zinsser BIN SHellac in the red tin.

6. Don't overload your brush and don't over work your paint. Lay the paint down and don't go back and forth. You aren't buttering bread.

7. Sand between coats - not always necessary but wow it makes a difference to the smoothness of your work. It takes no time at all, just a very light sand with 220g or higher sandpaper.

8. Don't panic after the first coat - pieces will often look way worse before they get better. Let your paint dry and then paint another coat. 

9. Realise you may need more than two coats of paint particularly with whites, yellow, red or black. 

10. Having problems? Consult my handy guide to "Solving paint problems"

10 Tips for getting started painting furniture - Lilyfield Life

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