DIY projects can be a lot of fun, especially when they allow you to turn something store-bought or a flea market purchase into a personalized piece. While craft sites like Pinterest may have tons of projects that appeal to your inner DIYer, when it comes down to it, making yarn chandeliers or learning how to create cakes inspired by the solar system likely take more time than you want to spend. Fortunately, you can still scratch that itch and get a product you’ll use — and love– out of your crafting impulse by giving your furniture new life with paint. Even if you’re not the craftiest person in the world, following just a few prep steps and a few tips while you’re in the painting process can have even a first-time job look like it was done by a pro. Here’s how:
Steps To Follow For
Get the right brushes
For a novice painter, it may seem as though all brushes are created equal, but that’s far from the case, particularly when it comes to painting furniture. Getting a few brushes in a range of sizes can help you cover large areas quickly while allowing you enough dexterity to work around smaller, more detailed sections of the furniture, like hardware, screws, or decorative details that require a more precise hand.
Choose the perfect paint for your project
The kind of paint you’ll need to complete your project all depends on what you’re painting. While unfinished wood is usually best covered with latex paint, it can often take more than a few coats of the stuff for furniture that already has paint on it. If you’re looking to expedite the process or enjoy a shabby-chic look, chalk paint is an easy way to cover your furniture in a single coat and without the harsh fumes or drying times of other types of paint. If your furniture has metal components, or you just want it to look like it does, try spray paint — you can find it in a variety of finishes that mimic gold, silver, and brass.
Lay down drop cloths
Whether you’re painting in a garage or a luxury condo, drop cloths are an absolute necessity when painting furniture. Even if you think you have the steadiest hand and the cleanest method of painting known to man, there’s bound to be a few paint droplets that go astray, and you’ll definitely kick yourself if they land on a rug or the floor.
One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to painting furniture is forgetting to clean it, particularly with antique pieces that may have a little bit more wear and tear on them than your average store-bought stuff. Cleaning your furniture with a gentle, oil-free cleaning product can help get grime and grease off of it, making your paint job last longer and appear more even.
Sand your piece with low-grit sandpaper
Ensuring proper adhesion is essential for furniture, especially anything with a high-gloss varnish or paint already on it. Using a fine-grit sandpaper before you start priming or painting can make all the difference in terms of keeping your paint job looking fresh years down the line.
Tape, tape, tape
Even the steadiest hand can slip from time to time, so before you even think of picking up that paintbrush, it’s essential that you tape off any sections of your furniture that you don’t want paint getting onto. When you’re done painting, make sure to wait at least 24 hours before you remove the tape or you could peel up your paint along with it.
Make sure to prime
If you want your paint job to last, primer is a great idea. While almost any kind of paint will stick to unfinished wood, if you’re painting furniture that’s made of anything else, priming it first will ensure proper adhesion, reduce the risk of bubbling, and keep the paint on your furniture for years to come.
Double coat (even if you don’t think you need it)
Even if your newly-painted piece looks pretty good after a single coat of paint, give it another one, just in case. An hour or so after the first coat dries, go back over it once again with a second coat — not only will this help you fill in any areas where the paint may be thin, it will also help minimize the appearance of nicks if someone or something happens to bump into your new piece.
Touch up wear and tear as it happens
Instead of taking an “I’ll fix it later” approach, commit to taking care of your newly painted furniture by doing touch-ups as needed. If you wait until your piece is more shabby than chic to do so, you may have to start the entire process from the beginning again.
Transforming the look of your home doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor; all it takes is a little paint, a little time, and a little artistic vision to create custom furniture that makes your place look like a million bucks.
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