One scroll through Pinterest will prove DIY furniture painting projects are still going strong.

And while the hardest part of your project may be deciding on a colour (seriously, how many shades of chalk paint are there?), hand-painting furniture isn’t always a simple process.

Before you pick up your paintbrush, make sure you get your upcycling projects right with these tips.

 

Prep

Woman sanding a chair, preparing for paint

We know prepping your furniture may not be the most exciting step, but it is the most important one if you want a smooth, even finish. Failing to prep your furniture could result in peeling and chipping, and all your hard work (and money – paint supplies ain’t cheap, y’know) will have been wasted.

Avoid disappointment and prepare your furniture for painting with these steps.

Clean

From dust to dirt, oil to grease, furniture accumulates a lot of stuff that can compromise your coat of paint.

Take the time to clean your furniture with a damp cloth. If that doesn’t do the trick, invest in some oil soap or tricleanium from your local hardware store.

Don’t forget to remove handles, knobs, and other hardware before cleaning and painting.

Sand

In most cases, a light sanding is all you need to remove any old lacquer or paint, or give super shiny, slick surfaces a bit of texture for your paint to grip.

Once you’ve sanded your piece of furniture, be sure to clean it again to remove any dust.

You should consider wearing safety goggles and a respirator mask to protect yourself from dust during sanding.

Prime

Not to prime is a crime, and a little bit of primer goes a long way. While some paints specifically advertise to have a built-in primer, there are some surfaces that will always need a little extra help getting that paint on properly.

For example, laminate and glass surfaces may require a coat of special grip wax to give the paint something to stick to.

While a light sanding will be enough prep for most timber pieces, slick surfaces like laminate and glass require a primer to give the paint something to grip.

 

Paint

Painting a drawer

Once your furniture is prepped, you’re ready to paint! Well, almost ready.

Choose the Right Brush

  • Natural brushes – Natural-bristle brushes work best with clay, chalk, and milk-based paints, such as the ever-popular Annie Sloan chalk paints. Synthetic brushes can cause these type of paints to appear streaky and uneven, while natural brushes are designed to hold and distribute natural paints for a better coverage and finish.
  • Synthetic brushes – Synthetic-bristle brushes, such as polyester or nylon, work best with acrylic paints, like Fusion Mineral Paint. Natural brushes can leave these paints looking streaky and showing excessive brushstrokes, while synthetic brushes leave a much smoother finish.

If you’re not sure what type of brush you should use with your paint, a little online research should tell you what you need to know.

Follow Instructions Carefully

For a flawless finish, you’ll generally need to apply a couple of coats. How long you can wait between coats is entirely dependent on the type of paint you buy.

Be sure to read instructions on the pot, or jump onto the brand’s website for more info. If you’re lucky, you’ll find an FAQs page with some handy answers, or even a painting tutorial video to follow.

Some paints will require more coats than others, and some paints will require a top coat to protect the finish. Read up on the paint you’re using before slapping it on willy-nilly.

Consider Your Safety

Always paint in a well-ventilated area. Open up some windows and don a respirator mask to avoid sucking in toxic paint fumes.

 

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