Friday, July 11, 2014

An Amateur's view of painting furniture: Part 3: Choosing paint.

Hopefully by now you are feeling like your dream of painting a piece of furniture is possible and attainable. Trust me, it is. If you put your mind to it and don't allow yourself to feel overwhelmed, you certainly can do this. Use those two posts to give you encouragement. You can do this... certainly, if I can do it, you can.

I've given you the how to and the encouragement.... Now which paint do you choose??? Chalk Paint or Latex??? I would add spray paint to this list, but I didn't have luck with my spray paint venture a few years ago. It chipped easily and was a mess. Could have been the piece I used and the fact that I didn't sand it at all but it didn't turn out well.

Pros and Cons of Latex:
1. Cheap
2. Tons of colors from which to choose
3. Different finish types (flat, gloss, semi-gloss, etc.)
4. So easily available.
5. Usually a sample size will over your piece (so 2.50 for paint for a piece works).
6. Can get at any hardware store or Walmart.

1. Not sure I'm fond the finish- next time I will use a satin finish...
2. Tons of colors from which to choose.
3. Cannot attest to durability yet. I just did a piece with it this week.
4. need to sand after the layer of primer with very fine sand paper (220).

Pros and Cons of Chalk Paint:
1. Great coverage- one coat usually is enough.
2. Great colors from which to choose - limited but great.
3. Can do multiple pieces with one quart
4. Velvety finish

1. Pricey- but I just saw online that it is available in 4 oz size now instead of just quarts in some areas. That may be enough for a smaller piece.
2. Limited colors
3. Only sold in boutiques.

A note about Chalk Paint...

When you go to the boutique to purchase chalk paint (my favorite paint by the way), they will ask if you want the clear wax. Let me tell you, the wax is a pain in the butt. It requires application in a certain way then you have to buff it out after it dries... do it again and yet a third time...

On the first dresser, I did this and I noticed that the blue started to turn green when I buffed so I stopped buffing...
On the piano, I chose to use polycrylic instead of the clear wax. Life was much easier and I liked the product just as much.

So, I say skip the expensive wax and get the polycrylic that will cover several pieces in 1 quart easily.

My personal preference between the paints is definitely chalk paint. It can easily be used indoors and if not waxed or finished with polycrylic can be a chalkboard. I just like the application and finish of it better than latex.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Amateur's view of painting furniture #2

So you read my post yesterday did you? Interested in what to do to paint furniture for the first time??? Let me help you out...

1. I have not worked with laminate or veneer so I cannot give pointers on anything there as far as painting goes, but have heard Annie Sloan Chalk Paint will go right over it with not problem. I actually have a bookcase that fits this description and may try to paint it with ASCP just to see how it works...

2. I'm not a professional..

3. I learn as I go and so something I write here may not work for you.. feel free to shoot me an email to ask questions. I may refer you to Lowe's in Stow for their help as they have helped me in the past. I actually had them say to me... "You're back?"

4. I cannot help with spray painting furniture. It actually scares me because of runs and drips and bubbles, but I've read many posts that swear by it.

What do you need:
1. a piece of furniture- obviously.
2. paint
3. a sander and sand paper (rough, fine and very fine) if you have rough patches on your pieces and to just rough it up a little for better paint adhesion.
4. primer- possibly (depending on the piece and type of paint you use). Remember for stained items you are painting over, I recommend CoverStain...
Bulls Eye 1-Gallon Interior Oil Primer

5. paint brush- I prefer the purple handle short brush by Blue Hawk and Wooster. I believe Purdy has one, but I only found the oil based brush at my Lowe's that is by them similar to the latex short brush.
Blue Hawk Angle Sash Synthetic Paint Brush (Common: 2-in; Actual: 2.1-in)

6. foam brush for finishing layer
7. finishing protector (polyurethane, polycrylic, clear wax for ASCP - see post 3 tomorrow about this).
8. Cheesecloth
9. drop cloth or sheet
10. Stain and staining cloths if you are staining
11. soap and water and a cloth.

Step 1: Wash the piece and let it dry. Seriously, don't forget this step. It needs a good scrub down to get rid of debris and dust. If you skip this step, you get dust in the brush which affects the paint color and you don't want that. I made the mistake once... never again.

Step 2: Sand. You can use a hand sander (my favorite is my little mouse type sander) or just sand by hand. If you are having to fix divots and such in the piece. Also, if it has a shiny finish you want to use at least a 120 grit sand paper to quickly and easily scuff up the piece for paint adhesion.

Step 3: wipe down with cheesecloth (a damp cloth works, but then you're waiting for it to dry again).

Step 4: If you are working with a piece that it stained and going to simply paint it, use Coverstain primer and paint that on. You can use a roller, but I learned that sometimes that doesn't work out very well for me, so I stick to hand painting.

Step 5: Paint.

Step 6:  Finish with whatever top coat you want. Follow the instructions. Be sure NOT to shake the can. You get bubbles and issues if you do... not good.

Step 7: After drying, put in any hardware and such. Please allow good drying time for this.

For help deciding on a paint see tomorrow's post.  This is between latex and chalk.... I cannot help with paint color... that's on you!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

An amateur's view of painting furniture.

It all started when I saw a dresser on a curb.. sitting there... lonely..... deserted..... looking pathetic. I stopped. I'd seen dressers people had refinished and I wanted a buffet or something for in the dining room. It was 2 houses down, had good bones and I decided I needed it.... well, wanted it. I figured I could give this furniture venture a try and see if I can actually refinish or makeover a piece of furniture. That was last August.

What I didn't know about that piece of furniture was that it was going to lead me into a hobby I both love and hate. I love how everything looks. I love picking out paint colors. I love seeing a transformation and being the creator of that transformation. I love sanding paint off to find what lies underneath. I love looking at hardware and painting by hand. Yes, I have painted all of my furniture by hand. I hate how long it can take and that can take time away from my little boy... however, it is an escape for me. Believe it or not.

By the way, that dresser turned out absolutely lovely. So much so that a friend asked me to paint her piano despite the fact that I had only refinished one piece, she trusted me with her daddy's piano. I must admit to being totally intimidated.

I was correct in being intimidated with the piano. There were some stains and rough patches. It needed some serious TLC... It taught me so much. I am so thankful for the opportunity. More to follow on what I learned from each piece below.



Closer up of the damaged area

Another midrange view.

The last piece of furniture I did, my third piece, was in need of serious TLC but again had good bones... Oh and did I mention that it was at the same house from which the first dresser came from?? Again, sitting lonely and pathetic on the curb for over 24 hours (I was out of town when it was put there)... clearly it was meant for me to refinish....


The rotted back... the only thing aside from a drawer that I thought was wrong...

Front view... Forgot to get a back view... maybe I will today...

This dresser taught me much more than I had ever thought of before. Because of the rotted out bottom, broken tracks for the bottom drawer and rotted out back, I learned to use a jigsaw and circular saw. I now feel unstoppable!

FYI the total cost for this dresser including paint and such was $12. Doesn't include the amount of time spent working on it (at least 4 hours a day for 3 days- includes drying time on paint and primer and poly).

Lessons I've learned... piece by piece:
Dresser 1:
1. I love doing this work.
2. It's hard work.
3. It can take a long time and a lot of prep work.
4. The outcome is so worth it.
5. Chalk paint is so easy to use.... the wax not so much.
6. I love staining things.
7. Polyurethane is a pain, but such a lasting finish.

1. Sometimes even with chalk paint you have to prime a piece.
2. Cover stain primer (oil based) is a pain in the rear to work with, but does a fantastic job. When I started the piano, I didn't use any primer because truly you don't need to with chalk paint - so they tell you... and I didn't for dresser 1 but that was a darker color. I'll explain more in a post tomorrow.
3. It was fun to tear apart the piano and clean it all out- goodbye spider webs.
4. Working in a garage is not my favorite things, but it does suffice. I prefer open air but I can't move a piano by myself!
5. Chalk paint is wonderful, but can be temperamental... maybe I should try latex for the first time on my next project.
6. Polycrylic is my favorite. Shorter dry time and just as easy an application as polyurethane without the yellowing effect.

Dresser 2:
1. Don't be afraid to tackle a harder project. It teaches you so many new things that help you gain confidence.
2. Primer is your friend.
3. Sometimes crackle paint is your worst enemy... It gummed up the sander... peeled off in smaller pieces (when there was a large piece, I was stoked).
4. Using latex for the first time... it went on easy but not as thick as chalk paint (which I still prefer but not at the price they sell it).
5. I still love polycrylic.
6. Hobby Lobby has lovely drawer pulls at a price, but Habitat Restore has some good ones to use as is or paint for a fraction of the cost.

So, you have your eyes set on a piece of furniture you want to refinish... Go for it.

 For the least labor intensive work, I can't tell you what to do. I know I have used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and said it's easiest but the piano taught me that isn't always the case. They say you can just paint over whatever with chalk paint. My experience was I couldn't really with the piano due to the stain. There is a disclaimer made by the ASCP company that some stains put on furniture during a certain time period can lead to bleed through. Let me tell you that is totally the truth and when that happens, you must get out the cover stain primer. It must be Cover Stain. I tried a different primer first and it didn't work. Imagine repainting something 4 times.... Yep, that's what I learned with the piano. Use cover stain. It's a pain... it stinks... it's gives a lovely finished product because it gets the job done.

I will say I love the look of furniture covered with Annie's Chalk Paint, a nice velvety finish... It was easy to use with the first dresser where I covered over black paint with no problems. Covering over something with stain was a bit more challenging. Latex was nice and easy. Easy clean up (chalk paint is easy clean up as well) and cheap... cheap.. cheap.... I'm not sure on the durability of it as I just did this project. I know the dresser with chalk paint is still going strong... as in not easily chipped off or anything.  I pray the latex paint does well after a year as well.

Overall, when you set out to paint furniture, you may love it or hate it. If you're one of the people I've spoken with about painting furniture, you may swear at me and curse me and hate my guts when going through the process... depending on how you go about it. (Are you sanding??? staining??? Polycrylic? Polyurethane?? chalk paint? Primer?? Latex paint??? Spray paint???) It's all so overwhelming!

Tomorrow I will set out to give pointers on painting furniture when you're just getting started... from an amateur's point of view... because that's what I am....