Maybe it’s tucked away in the corner of the basement, or it could be that special piece you spot at a garage sale, an old wooden dresser or cabinet that makes you think: it may be ugly now, but there’s potential. But how exactly do you harness that potential? Often times a simple coat of paint can zap life back into even the dullest piece of furniture. Some new hardware, a bright new colour and soon enough, you will have something you won’t want to keep hidden.
Once you have found the perfect piece to repaint, you’ll need to prep it. If you plan to replace hardware, remove the old handles or knobs at this stage. Wash the piece to remove any dirt and grime, fill in any holes or gashes with some wood putty, and then sand everything to ensure a smooth surface. Depending on what primer you are using and the condition of your piece, you may be able to skip the sanding step, but sanding a piece beforehand does ensure a nice smooth finish. You’ll want to start with a low grit sandpaper to remove shine, and then finish with finer, high grit sandpaper. Once the sheen is removed, the paint will adhere to the wood better. Wipe the entire piece with a damp cloth to remove any dust left over from the sanding process, and then let the wood dry.
Priming a piece will not only help it to last longer, but it will ensure that the finish is smooth. You can get a spray on primer to expedite this step. If you are aiming for a distressed looking piece, you can skip the priming.
At this point, you can choose whether you would like to use spray paint or a brush. If you are going to use a brush, make sure you choose a higher quality one so you don’t end up with bristles breaking off as you paint. An angled paintbrush will allow you to get into the nooks and crevices of a piece of furniture. You will probably need to do at least two coats to make sure all areas are properly covered. There are lots of interesting techniques you can use to give a piece a certain look, whether it be antiqued, distressed or stenciled. Once painting is complete, new hardware can be attached. Any touchups that need to be made can be done at this point.
After your paint has dried for at least 24 hours, you can cover your piece with water-based sealant. This will not only protect the paint job and make sure it lasts for a long time, but it will control the sheen of your piece. Finishes may be anything from flat to eggshell to satin to semi gloss. Once the sealant is dried, the piece is ready to be moved into your home and become the beautiful new focal point of a room.
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