11/28/2009

Painting Old Furniture- How-To




Hope everyone had a fabulous holiday!I did...back to business though! I received a question from Erika about a piece on my Etsy site. It's very similar to other questions I have received, and I decided that I would just post about it! Here's her question...

"Hi, first off, you're pieces are GOR-GEOUS!!! And so inspiring! I was the lucky recipient of several pieces of my great grandmothers old furniture, I lost my home to Hurricane Katrina five years ago so things like this are so important to us! Alot of these pieces need help! I have almost this exact same dresser and have been searching online for ways to paint it a funky color or redo it along with many of the other pieces. I hope you don't mind my asking, it's just that your pieces are so beautifully finished and I'm afraid mine will look like a bad arts and crafts project if I'm not totally sure I'm doing it right so if you don't mind I just wondered if you would tell me on a piece like this should I sand it first? Is that a rule of thumb for all old furniture? Should I use a certain primer or just be sure it is an oil based paint? Does it need a clear finish coat of some sort? I wanted to do this dresser in all silver and was hoping I could use a non sanding primer just because I am pregnant and am trying to skip some of the elbow grease work;) I'm sure you are very busy so I apologize if my questions are bothersome, I'm relatively new to Etsy and I've looked on alot of the forums but none of their things have come close to resembling such finished beauty as yours, so if you are too busy or don't give out this type of info just ignore the question and I do apologize! If you don't mind, I'd love to have any wisdom you'd be willing to share! Thanks again, you are a true artist!"

So, here we go...a quick little how-to on refinishing your own piece of furniture...

1. ALWAYS sand the piece you are wanting to re-finish. Especially if it is super glossy. You are going to need a good surface for your paint to adhere to. I'm not saying you have to completely strip it...just, give it a good roughing up. Then wipe it off WELL. Tack cloths are great for this.

2. Primer is your friend. Oil-based specifically (I like KILZ, but it's up to you.) It helps to block stains (old furniture will inevitably have these,) and provide a great surface for the paint to adhere to. I would definitely be sure and use a mask of some sort (they sell them at Home Depot and Lowe's) if you are pregnant, and do this outside or in the garage if possible. The fumes are strong and harmful. Keep them out of the house.

3. Usually I use a combination of foam brushes, and those smaller white furniture rollers. They typically produce the smoothest finish. You can also use a paint conditioner...it tends to help keep the paint wet as you are applying it, which also helps with a smoother finished result.

4. I use at least 2 coats of polyurethane on my pieces. It protects the piece, and gives it a finished luster.

So, there's the answers...hope this helps Erika! Really, it is not a difficult thing to do. Just a little time consuming, and detail-oriented! Thanks again!

7 comments:

Debra said...

Thank you your work is always so beautiful I'm just blown away every time I look at something that you've redone. Thank you for the great and very helpful tips.

Anonymous said...

Hey... nice job with this blog. I would like to know where I can buy a dresser knob just like this one in the picture. Do you know?
thanks!

Carol

Nichole @ Parlour said...

Carol-

Well, those pulls are vintage and actually came with the dresser. But, I know that Etsy has vintage pulls for sale, and some are very similar. Just make sure you measure the holes on your furniture, so that you get the right size of pull! Hope that helps. Thanks!

Nichole

Erin said...

I just found your blog through pinterest! The piece above looks great as does the rest of your site.

A question though, do you ever have issues with painted surfaces sticking together. Drawers are my nemesis, they always stick. Doesn't help that the old dressers I choose to work with usually stick to start with, but somtimes they stick worse after I'm done with them. Any suggestions?

Nichole @ Parlour said...

Erin-

Yes, I have had that problem. Usually it's when a piece needs to be sanded prior to painting to account for the extra thickness of the paint when finished. Also, you can try to rub soap (bar) to help lubricate the surfaces after the fact t help with the sticking. Hope that helps a little. Thanks so much!!!

Nichole

Erin said...

I think I'd heard about the soap idea before but had forgotten all about it. I'm gonna give it a try!

Anonymous said...

OK, that might be a dumb question, but I've got to ask. How did you acquire that super-flat silver finish in the dresser? I want to paint a dresser for my living room and want it silver, but am a bit afraid of the result showing brush or roll marks. Any suggestion?

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