Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How to Paint Furniture & A Reveal.

I finished the little project I was telling you about! We had little cabinet in the dining room that had beautiful lines but the color and painted floral pattern were far from my taste. On the weekend, I got to priming the piece and giving it a couple of coats of Martha Stewart's Plumage paint. Using this color was a bit out of my comfort zone but I must say, I'm really loving it!


I've painted a lot of pieces over the years so here are my painting tips based solely on what I have learned. This project didn't turn out as well as others so I will also share where I think I may have gone wrong. If you aren't interested in painting furniture, fair enough, scroll down to the bottom of the post to see the finished product!

1. A light sanding of the piece. It was a bit glossy and I wanted to get rid of the sheen so that the paint would adhere properly. I like sanding sponges in a medium grain. 
2. I washed it with TSP and rinsed it well with a damp cloth. Let dry.
3. A good coat of tinted latex primer. It may not have been necessary to use tinted with this color but I had it on hand. It doesn't have to be perfect even in tone. Just make sure it isn't too thick and that it's evenly coated. Let dry overnight or at least the drying time listed on your can.

I had the primer out so I figured I might as well do a couple of other pieces I've 
been meaning to do, as well. More on those another day!

4. A good brush and a small foam roller are my tools of choice. I did two thin coats, allowing drying time between each. Brush in all the nooks and crannies, then roll all the flat surfaces blending the brush strokes. Thin coats are key. Three thin coats always wins over two thick goopy ones!


5. Let paint dry completely then apply a couple thin coats of water based Varathane or Minwax Polycrylic with a sponge brush. This will give the piece a protective finish in a satin, semi-gloss or gloss sheen. This give you that extra protection for those well used pieces and makes it oh-so shiny and pretty! If you are looking for a more matte look I would try a wax.

6. Let it dry at least 48 hours before placing anything on the piece. I think this is almost the hardest part or maybe I'm just incredibly impatient!

So what went wrong with my piece? Well, I really wanted a high gloss finish on the cabinet and went ahead and used high-gloss latex paint. When using high-gloss paint, your brush strokes and "orange peel" effect often caused by foam rollers, become more apparent. I was trying to skip step 5 yet achieve the same effect and failed. If I were to to it again, I would use my typical eggshell paint then use a high-gloss poly at the end. Live and learn!

Also, this was the first time I used a latex primer. Although it's messy and smelly, oil base is my primer of choice. Especially if you are painting a wood piece, you really want to seal out those stains and knots. 

Here is the finished piece, imperfections and all.


Such pretty legs.


All styled up.



Have a ever mentioned how much I love my brass birds?

The paint color with soon be changing and I have plans for what will hang over the piece. The white mirror will be moved to the front entry. I love making changes! So fun :)

Sharing this post over at Serenity Now and Miss Mustard Seed.

64 comments:

  1. Jane, that looks crazy-good. I love the shape, the new color makes it is such a fun piece.

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  2. I love it! Good work! And I love the brass birds too- a lot!

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  3. It's amazing how I didn't even notice the shape of the legs on this piece until it was re-painted! I suppose the design kind of distracted from the loveliness.

    Great piece and glad you showed it!

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  4. Oh I love this color! Soooo pretty!

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  5. What an amazing color! I love how you decorate. You pictures look like they came out of a magazine!

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  6. i love plummage and love it on that piece. the styling is fabulous!

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  7. Great makeover and I love your styling. It looks straight out of a magazine! I really liked the primer colour, too, is that weird? I saw a bunch of lovely can of mis-tinted grey at the paint store. Hmmmmm.

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  8. It turned out absolutely fantastic...that color is just so fantastically good! And you are so right, that piece has really great lines and curves (c:

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  9. Don't you just love it when you push your comfort zone limits and you end up loving it?! Great tips and beautiful work, Jane.

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  10. Really pretty piece- Love the styling, too!

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  11. Wow! this turned out beautifully.
    Thanks for the painting tips, as well. Sounds right about using glossy clear coat over eggshell rather than a high gloss paint.
    Have you used a wax? Do you know anything about it? I've seen reference to using it over paint but when I searched for details, I tend to only find woodworking sites that refer to it's use over raw wood or stain. So, I don't know what type of wax to ask for to use over paint for a low sheen finish.
    Also, I love that cute little flower tealight holder. Where did you get that?

    And again, nice job!

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  12. I love how it turned out. the color is beautiful!

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  13. Love the colour!! Can't wait to see the other painted pieces :)

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  14. love it, jane! the color is awesome and so perfect on that shape!

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  15. LOVE the color. It turned out beautifully! Nice work.

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  16. I was so excited to check out your blog this morning hoping you'd post a picture of your final product. It's an incredible piece and color. I'll have to pick some up at home depot next time. What sheen did you get? and are you happy with the sheen?

    Love the birds, where did you find those amazing things!?

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  17. I was so excited to check out your blog this morning hoping you'd post a picture of your final product. It's an incredible piece and color. I'll have to pick some up at home depot next time. What sheen did you get? and are you happy with the sheen?

    Love the birds, where did you find those amazing things!?

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  18. That looks great! I cannot believe how amazing it looks all styled up. :)

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  19. I love your brass birds too. Your piece looks wonderful. I've been thinking about painting our piano (gasp!) in MS plumage. It's nice to see it on a piece of furniture!

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  20. I think it turned out beautiful! Thank you so much for the tips! That will come in handy as I also plan to paint some furniture here! :) Great job! I love seeing it all styled- so pretty!

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  21. Jane, it looks amazing! Lovin' your book selections too ;)

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  22. I'm with you on the primer - much prefer an oil based primer. Thanks for sharing this post - it's always so helpful to hear this kind of feedback. I think your piece looks great regardless, and I love how you've styled it!

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  23. Oh my goodness Jane! My mom had a set of brass birds just like those when I was growing up! Too bad brass was "out" back then. She got rid of them and now I'd love to get em' back ;)
    Your cabinet turned out beautifully. Love the colour and the way you re-purposed the existing cabinet door hardware. Beautiful DIY!

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  24. Love it and the teal colour is beautiful! Your brass birds are adorable and I have that ceramic floral piece only in silver. I love that you mixed the silver lamp and the brass birds. I'm totally into metal mixing.

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  25. IT looks fantastic Jane - thank you for putting a name to that roller disease (orange peel!). I haven't used poly that much on my pieces but really do need to start so they're protected better.

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  26. amazing what a lick of paint can do, its totally revamped it love the colour!

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  27. When I use semi-gloss paint I only use a brush and then lightly sand between coats (it helps get rid of the ridges from the brush). Going with the flat then poly is a good way to go especially if there is a lot of detail in the piece. I just worry about any yellowing from the poly, have you ever had this problem?

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  28. I think it looks fantastic and I love your styling!

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  29. Gorgeous! Love your color choice, and you did a great job with the finish. :) Would love to feature this one, but I don't see a link back in your post.

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  30. It's beautiful! Love that color and you did a wonderful job painting it. It's styled perfectly too!

    I'm totally late on this but . . . I can't believe what happened to your light. I saw the title and said out loud "oh no!"

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  31. Hi Jane,

    Great piece and the color is perfect. I realized that too about paint sheens, the paint doesn't matter it's the poly that does! Although I still got some high gloss for pieces recently, and I haven't tried waxing anything but I hear it's durable.

    Great photos too :-)

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  32. What a beautiful piece. I love the color that you chose. :) Megan

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  33. I love that color!! Great job : ) Sarah

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  34. Absolutely gorgeous! I think you styled it perfectly... and I love your brass birds, too! I just noticed that you are from PEI... Soo jealous! I love it there!

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  35. Turned out great. That is a beautiful color!

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  36. Beautiful shape and color!! Love the way you styled it too.

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  37. Wow, this looks great, I love how you styled the table with brass birds. What is the name of the paint colour?

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  38. Hi,
    Nice post! This post demonstrate how furniture will be for log period. This can only be happen when furniture is painted after a decided time period.
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  39. I have been a little hesitant on trying to paint furnitures.....You mentioned "TSP" in instruction #2...what is "TSP"? The design on the cabinet didnt peek through right b/c of the primer and what is the brand/name of the turquoise paint? You used semi-gloss right?

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  41. What % of retail price do wholesalers usually get? I want to sell my product to a chain of paint stores.?

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  43. The only word I wanted to tell you what you do, I suppose I can say is just perfect. This should be a piece of furniture to create from scratch.

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  44. The post is rivaling the perfect method of painting furniture. Useful post

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  47. Great transformation! The colour is lovely. Do share more of your beautiful projects.

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