Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Upcycling" Furniture

Before Chest
Before top of chest

After chest

After top of chest

This particular piece was already painted in a brown flat finish. I did not need to sand or prime this, as it was already basically “prepped” for me.  After cleaning it, I applied two coats of Benjamin Moore’s Philadelphia Cream HC-30 as the base color. Then I lightly applied Benjamin Moore’s October Mist 1495. I only put a small amount of paint on my brush for this coat so that the base color would show through the green brush strokes, giving it a “fresh, beachy look”.  I then applied Varathane to the top of the chest.  
If you prefer the distressed look:  after your second coat dries, sporadically sand the edges until the wood lightly shows through. It is important to distress only the areas that would normally see a lot of wear and tear such as around knobs or handles, corners, edges, and feet. Then apply Varathane to seal the furniture.

Basic Steps for painting furniture:
Prep: Start off by cleaning the piece with a little water on a dish cloth. Dry thoroughly with a dry cloth.  Evaluate the surface of the piece that you’d like to paint. If it’s a sleek glossy surface (like varnished or sealed wood) you’ll want to gently sand the entire piece. Lightly sand the piece to cut through the original finish. If lightly sanding is not cutting it, then use a small hand sander with 60 grit paper. You don’t want any clear finish or wax left on it or the paint will scrape right off. Wipe off the remaining dust. If working with laminate and veneer, instead of sanding it, use Gloss Off…this cleans the surface and helps grab the primer/paint. If it’s more of a dry chalky texture (like unfinished wood or flat paint) you can forgo the sandpaper and skip right to step two.
Primer: Apply a coat of primer.  If the piece is really an antique, you may be dealing with water spots and stains that will bleed through, so primer is required.  I use Kilz water based primer…the easiest is Kilz Original in the aerosol can.
Paint: Use a fresh paint brush to apply two coats of paint in your color of choice. A semi-gloss finish is usually best since it’s nice a wipe-able and durable choice.

Seal: Finally, Varathane. It’s actually a floor finish!  It is the only sealant that does not yellow over time. Not only does it not change color, it also leaves a nice low-luster sheen on the finish.  Apply 1 coat on the piece and two coats on a top that will have more wear and tear.

Here are some painted pieces that will hopefully provide you with some more inspiration!

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