It seems as soon as the temperature starts to rise, my need to redecorate and paint kicks into over drive. I don’t like to rush out to buy all new furniture. I simply reuse, refinish or repurpose the furniture that I already have. And, why not make it a family affair? So, this month we are focusing our Down Home DIY project on repainting furniture…Family Style.
So, let’s head on outside and give an old piece new life. What you’ll need: a piece of wood furniture, sandpaper (I prefer an electric sander), primer, paint color of choice, paint brushes, mini paint roller with a high density foam roller, clear polyurethane, rag and a drop cloth. I also recommend a mask and protective eye wear, especially for the little ones. Constant supervision and safety are a must. So, find a shady spot and let the games begin.
- First, sand the piece of furniture by going with the grain of the wood. It is not necessary to remove the entire finish; however, the surface should feel fairly soft and even to the touch. The object is to create “tooth” on the surface to allow the primer to effectively “bite” onto the surface and adhere properly. My four year old loves to sand with the electric sander. Just use your best judgment as to the skill sets of your child. Safety first!
- Once sanding is complete, thoroughly clean the surface with damp rag or dust cloth to remove all of the dirt and dust. Let dry.
- Grab your primer (mix it well before opening) and a paint brush. I use the brush to get in all the nooks, crannies and corners. Then I use the roller brush for all the flat surfaces. Use long, smooth strokes. Paint over any drips or bubbles right away. Let dry.
- Next apply your first coat of paint using the same technique and steps as the primer. Follow up with a second coat of paint if necessary. If you are feeling brave and adventurous you can do additional faux techniques to age the look of the piece either by sanding the edges or using an antique glaze.
- Once the paint is completely dry, we want to protect your new masterpiece. I use clear polyurethane. I often do up to 3 coats. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as to the proper dry time. You may need to sand in between coats for the optimal finish.
Safety Notes: Make sure to test for lead paint before you begin. Do not let your kids help remove any lead paint. A big No No! And I suggest using a Low or No VOC paint, especially if the little ones are helping. I typically use latex or acrylic, not oil based paints. And, I don’t recommend that kid’s help with the final sealing stage either. It is pretty potent so it is best to avoid it. Just tell them to run a few laps to see who finishes first.
Sanity Notes: I tend to be a perfectionist so if my kids are helping paint; I often let them do the backside of the piece where no one can see it. They don’t know the difference and they still get a wonderful sense of accomplishment. So, everyone is happy. You may want to start small, with a wood stool or bookshelf. Once you master it, move on to a larger piece with more substance. Paint will be your new best friend.
This is a photo of the finished piece at my occasional sale. It is silver with a gold, bronze and antique glaze. Very Hollywood Glam!
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