Thursday, May 31, 2012

Painting Wood Furniture

One of the most economical and creative things you can do is re-purpose/flip furniture for your home. Furniture is always a high expense. Since furniture can be price-y, we buy things from IKEA or take hammy downs that we don't particularly care for. I enjoy IKEA but the furniture finish easily chips and doesn't last long. And also, who wants furniture in their house they don't enjoy! If you want an inexpensive way to furnish your home, buy a sturdy old worn piece of furniture from a garage sale, clean it up, put it in your home and enjoy the character you just created! Your new piece may take a little elbow work but I guarantee if you take the time it will be worth it. This post is about my tips on painting furniture from details of my recent furniture flip!

To the right is one of 3 pieces from a bedroom set I found in my mother's garage. It is from the 50's and given to her from her older neighbors. My mother was going to pass it on to a friend, who never claimed it. I saw it, got the story and saw I had to have it. The furniture was the perfect size for our little boy who is on the way's nursery! But first, the green finish, bulky hardware and boat medallion had to go!

Phase 1: Sanding/Cleaning
It is super important to sand down anything that was once painted that you plan to paint over. You need to sand the shine off the stain or the paint so the new layer doesn't just chip off once you have painted it. Below are the two dressers from the bedroom set that we have sanded and then washed thoroughly with wood soap and water.

Phase 2: Prime
Priming is super important and one phase I know people skip. Primer does many things: it cover the former color, helps the paint to stick to the furniture and gives the paint a more finished look. I got a quart of primer from a chain store for around $12. Not a big expense when the furniture was given to us. If you did a good job sanding, the wood should suck the first layer of primer up like water. The primer dries fast, so you are able to do several coats of it in a single day. Prime the furniture like you are painting it. The finish won't look great put the piece should be fully covered.

Before we get to the last phase of painting wood furniture. I realized that I had an old night stand in my attic that someone gave me and said, "I am sure you can do something with it." I had no idea what I was doing to do with it! In the middle of flipping these dressers I finally decided to do something with this nightstand and make it apart of this bedroom set. The nightstand was dated, had water damage on the top, was missing ornaments and simply need some love. I took the hardware off, sanded, cleaned and primed it just like I did to the dressers. Here is what the nightstand looked like before:

Phase 3: Painting!
Now that the three pieces have been sanded, cleaned and primed; they are now ready for paint. With painting wood furniture it is important to use semi-gloss finish for the paint. Not satin. Not high-gloss. Semi-gloss. To prolong the life of furniture it is important that it is easily cleaned and maintained. Semi-gloss finish is easy to clean and also make the furniture piece look more finished! Satin finish can make the furniture look more dull and with high-gloss it's too slippery. My painting skills are not perfect but with some time and new hardware these pieces turned out fantastic!
The paint color I used was Sherwin-Williams, Urban Bronze. And I got the hardware from Hobby Lobby for $1.50 each!

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