I painted my first piece of furniture.
I still own it. It’s currently in the entryway near my front door.
The items on the top of the dresser are strategically placed.
So you and I don’t see this.
AHHHHHH!!!! I should be embarrassed.
Today’s post is about what NOT to do when painting a piece of furniture with latex paint.
I’m not trying to be a “Negative Nelly,” but maybe some of you want to know what to avoid, or maybe you are a visual person and you want to actually SEE the consequences of not prepping a piece properly.
Mind you, things have changed in the paint industry since 2002. Chalk paint and milk paint have grown in popularity. Both of these paint finishes are known for not having to prep a surface before painting it. And in these times of too much to do and no time to do it all, who doesn’t love being more efficient?
If you choose to paint with latex paint—you know the stuff you buy at The Home Depot or Lowe’s and use on walls at home—then take note so you don’t make the same mistakes that I have.
DON’T SKIP out on simply cleaning the piece of furniture. Use a little warm water and soap to remove dust and clean the piece.
DON’T AVOID sanding.
Did I say, I should be embarrassed? 😉
Part of what you see is chipping and part of what you see is that I painted over an original paint job that was already chipping. They are sure sign of a poorly prepped painted piece of furniture; I like to call them islands. Take the time to sand your piece to a smooth finish. Use a sheet of sandpaper, or a sanding block or better yet a palm sander. But just do it! Get a smooth surface before moving onto the next stop.
It may involve a little elbow grease, but you won’t regret it. You won’t have islands…
DON’T USE cheap brushes. We all want a bargain, but in this instance you get what you pay for and you’ll find that the bristles will release from the brush and end up in your paint. Purdy brushes are great and if you are still penny pinching the Ace Hardware angle brush is a good economical choice
DON’T ACCEPT brush strokes, unless you want them.
Some people like the look of the brush strokes on their pieces, but if you are looking for a smooth finish use a small foam roller, like this one.
You can use the brush to apply the paint, especially in grooves, corner or crevices, but then go over the brush marks with the roller. It will level the paint and give the piece a really smooth finish.
DON’T SKIP out on primer. Occasionally you can skip this step depending on the brand of paint and if the primer is built into the paint, but it really depends on the surface and if you’re just starting out I suggest using primer to be safe.
Most painters have their favorite, and mine is KILZ Latex Primer. Primer is what helps the latex paint stick to the piece of furniture. This should alleviate the chipping problem.
DON’T TRY to freehand it all. There is something to be said for nice clean painted lines. Protect areas of the piece that you don’t want painted by using painter’s tape. FrogTape is one of our favorites.
DON’T SKIP the finishing process! Whether it’s wax, polyurethane, polycrylic or any other finish, be sure and protect your hard work. I failed to do this as well. On all of our pieces we paint with latex paint we apply 1-3 coats of polycrylic. The more a surface is used, like a table top, the more it needs to be protected.
I still love this little dresser, but I think I have to face reality and prepare myself for a second makeover. This time, done right.
Remember, these are tips for painting furniture with LATEX paint. Chalk and milk paint are completely different ball games!
Do you have any questions or tips to share? Please comment below, we’d love to hear it!
Happy Salvaging! -Kathy