Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Painting Furniture with Latex Paint in 4 Easy Steps!


I post a lot of projects here, but one of the things I don't always go over in every post is the step by step application of latex paint and polycrylic clear coat. So I'll do that now!

Zinsser water based primer is a miracle! This primer is so easy to use, and cures so well. I will spend a little extra for the quality that zinsser provides.

My absolute favorite latex paint is Valspar, I love love their color selection, and their paint really holds up!

I like to use polycrylic for my clear coat because it is easy to clean up, and doesn't yellow over time.

I usually use a 1" to 2" brush made specifically for latex paint. I buy all of my supplies from Lowe's.

I pretty much only keep 120 and 220 grade sandpaper on hand. I don't find I ever really need any other grades.

So I guess I'll get on with it.

1. Prep your wooden furniture piece. Make sure it is clean, dust free, and any shiny veneer is sanded down. You don't have to sand down to the bare wood, you just want to make sure any dents or other imperfections are sanded down, and that the paint will have a rough surface to adhere to. I know sanding is an evil word, but its really not a big deal. I never spend more than 15 minutes sanding anything down anymore because I know just how much is enough. The process gets quicker the more you do it. When you're done sanding, you want to wipe it down with a lint free damp cloth. Make sure to get all the dust out of the corners and nooks and crannies.

2. Primer. I also use Zinsser Bullseye water based primer. You just take your one or two inch brush and apply it over your entire piece. Give it about three to four hours to dry, sand it very lightly with your 120 grit sandpaper, and give it another coat. Make sure its dust free before applying primer. You want your primer coat to be as smooth as possible in order to get a nice sleek finish at the end.

3. Paint! Get your paint of choice (I always buy ultra semi-gloss, incase you're wondering, but it doesn't matter because you will be putting a clear coat over it). This photo shown is Valspar's Whipped Apricot in semi gloss. Take a clean dry brush, dip in your paint, and do one thin layer over your whole project. I usually wait at least 12 hours between coats. If you don't let them dry properly, they get tacky and won't dry (kind of like when you do too many coats of fingernail polish too quickly). I would do at least three coats. Make sure to sand slightly between coats with your 220 grit sandpaper. If you are painting a surface like a tabletop or a desktop, you will want at least five, if not six. It takes some patience, but its truly worth it when you see the result! I wait a full day after the last coat of paint is applied before doing the last step.

4. Polycrylic finish! Phew, you made it to the final step! So this step might be intimidating, but its really the best part. A full day after you have painted your final coat of paint, you can start painting on the poly. Just take your clean brush, and apply a thick layer of poly on top of your dry clean paint. If you make your layers too thin the brush strokes will show. Between every coat go ahead and sand very lightly with your 220 grit sandpaper. You are going to get a really smooth and even finish my sanding between all the coats. Wait about four hours between coats. When you have applied your last coat, I would wait at least two days before moving your piece, or setting anything on top of it. Once you have given it a day or two, it will be perfectly cured and will protect your paint job against pretty much anything, which is something I need with a houseful of boys and dogs.

So, now that you are an expert, here are some projects completed with latex paint to get your creative impulses working and to motivate your own furniture revivals! 

If you head on over to my friend Dawn's website, she has featured our step by step tutorial on how to build this beautiful dog crate! I'm glad you stopped by, until next time