Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to...

...paint a dresser. I think that I covered it all here! Call me with questions.


  1. Sandpaper - 320 grit for first round of sanding & 220 grit for "antiquing" (depending on on the size of waht you are sanding, get a LOT - not just 2 sheets like I thought. If you have an automoatic sander make sure you sand with the grain of the wood.
  2. Sandpaper block.
  3. Wood filler (if changing out hardware or fixing up a really old piece of furniture).
  4. Putty knie to apply wood filler (or anything else with a flat edge).
  5. Lint-free rags (to clean after sanding and get rid of all dust).
  6. Foam paint rollers (3-5 of these).
  7. Foam sponge paintbrushes.
  8. Plastic wrap (use Saran Wrap in between coats of painting) wrap around your foam roller/brush so that they don't dry out between coats.
  9. Small paint trays - 3-4 (or get 1-2 and line with aluminum foil and throw away between).
  10. Primer - Point 1) I've heard that there is a "no sanding" primer by Kilz that can be used. Point 2) I used "water-based" primer by Kilz only because the Home Depot guy said it should be used for furniture BUT later read that you can use oil-based for furniture but because of its fumes, you don't want to use it for painting walls. WHO KNOWS? Please provide insight if you have it. My question: can you use water based primer and oil based paint? Inexperience asking here... Okay, I actually just ran across an answer to my own question and here is the answer: If you are worried about wear and tear on your furniture, it may be tempting to use oil-based exterior paint instead of water-based latex paint. However, oil-based paints are typically meant for outdoor use and tend to have an odor. Oil-based paints also take a much longer time to dry than do latesx paints and are harder to clean up. So when you are choosing paint, do yourself a favor and go with latex. Point 3) If you want the wood grain to show through, I've read "do NOT use primer."
  11. Painter's tape
  12. Paint - eggshell or semi-gloss latex
  13. Polyurethane - I used water-based, semi-gloss

Here's the pattern I followed:

  1. Remove hardware, insert wood filler. Let dry according to directions.
  2. Sand all surfaces (320 grit). Don't get A.D.D. about this [per Judith Alberson], just rough up the surfaces well.
  3. Cleam with a damp LINT FREE cloth to get rid of all the dust (use dustbuster if need be).
  4. Apply thin coat of primer.
  5. Sand and clean with damp cloths.
  6. *Optional - prime again, but probably not needed.
  7. Color time!
  8. Apply paint - THINLY!!!
  9. Let dry for at least 2 hours.
  10. Sand and clean.
  11. Apply 2nd coat of paint.
  12. Sand and clean.
  13. I applied a 3rd coat of paint mostly because I noticed that during my sanding my paint was getting scraped off and turning a weird shade of green...I'm questioning if I was sanding too hard?! Did I really need to sand? You need to get rid of drop marks but really...I'm not sure if I was just sanding too much or if it was because I was using green paint.
  14. Sanded and cleaned after 3rd coat. (just paint as many coats until you have the coverage you want)
  15. Poly time! Stir the poly, don't shake the can.
  16. Apply a thin layer with foam roller.
  17. Sand and clean (I think? Again, I used the 320 grit and "thought" I was sanding lightly but the green started to scratch if the poly is on light enough...whatever, skip the sanding and just wait until it dries. Again, just beware of the drip marks!
  18. All in all I did 2 coats of poly.
  19. Antiquing - after a couple of hours use your 22o grit sandpaper and rough up the edges. It's scary to somewhat destroy something that you've spent so much time on but, be gently, go slowly and you'll get the hang of it! Start with the edges - any place that you would think would be worn naturally after years and years of ownership.
  20. Then wait for it to completely dry...and wait...a full 24 hours before loading it up with books, clothes, etc. Before making it "functional."
  21. Put on the hardware!!! Old or new and behold your transformation!!!

My inspiration again - and a great website for resources is Life in the Fun Lane blog. Go to her FAQ link for her details and for exquisite examples of truly turning trash to treasure click on Our DIY Archives. Hope this helps you in your remake endeavors!!!!

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