How To Paint Your Wooden Furniture

Are you looking to make that old wood furniture look new or maybe give it a brand new look? One way to accomplish this is with paint. But, how much work is involved? Is there preparatory work needed or should you just “slap” on a fresh coat? I will attempt to answer these questions and guide you step-by-step to turning your old and faded furniture into a brand new looking piece.

There usually is preparatory work involved before painting old furniture. You will need to sand, prime, and paint. Some prefer to strip the old paint first. The reason is that the paint will scrape right off if you still have any clear finish or wax on the piece. Also, applying a second coat of paint, will give your piece a better-looking and longer-lasting finish.

First you will need to prepare a well ventilated work area. Make sure there is nothing nearby that could produce sparks or flames. If you plan on stripping the paint you will need to find a good paint stripper at your hardware store. Follow the directions on the can and make sure to take proper safety precautions such as wearing long clothing that covers your arms, legs, and feet. You should also wear goggles or safety glasses.

Next remove any hardware attached to the furniture and place the furniture on newspaper or a drop cloth. If you decide on sanding instead of stripping go ahead and make passes with the sandpaper and continue until the furniture is smooth. You may need to do this two or three times, beginning with relatively rough sandpaper and gradually moving on to finer grits.

Wipe down after sanding with a tack cloth, brush, or vacuum. Next you will begin to prime the piece. Make sure the primer you buy also says “sealer”. This will ensure that any stain the wasn’t completely removed when stripping or sanding will not bleed through your paint. Apply the primer and wait until it is dry to the touch. This will normally take 1 to 2 hours. Apply a second coat if the primer looks thin or spotty. Once dry you can sand any rough areas.

Now you will begin with an indoor latex or a water-based paint. Be sure to brush it on going in the direction of the wood grain, with even strokes. Allow the first coat to dry before applying the second. Be sure to allow the second coat to dry overnight.

Lastly, here are some tips for cleanup:

Wash your brushes immediately after each use. Rinse the bristles under high pressured water until the water runs clear. If you are using latex paint you will want to use brushes that have synthetic bristles as natural bristles work better for oil based paints.

Is Ready-To-Assemble Furniture Cheap? Hardly!

Build-it-yourself furniture has come a long way through the years. Once thought to be “cheap” furniture, a few manufacturers nowadays make quality, long lasting furniture that you must assemble yourself.

Thirty years ago, assembling a desk or hutch was a real challenge. The instructions were difficult to read (some desk models would print an exploded view picture of the desk and expect you to build it from that!), holes weren’t drilled, or were drilled in the wrong places, and many pieces simply didn’t fit together as intended.

Sometimes everything fit together great, but the manufacturer forgot to include the hardware!

Technological advances in the past twenty years have improved things greatly. Seldom are pieces or hardware missing from the boxes. Holes are drilled where they should be. And most importantly, the quality of the wood has improved dramatically.

Most of the credit for the improvement goes to three manufactures: Sauder, Bush, and O’Sullivan. These companies have set the bar when it comes to furniture quality and are responsible for such innovations as the cam lock system – cam bolts and locks are connected with a quarter twist of a screwdriver. There is no worry that you will “strip out” a cam fastener.

Sturdiness plays an important part in good furniture. Next time you’re out shopping at a big box or office store, try to find a box that contains a desk made by Sauder. The first thing you’ll notice? That box is HEAVY!

And if by chance, as you are assembling your furniture, you notice a piece is damaged or there is hardware missing (this is rare – usually you are given more hardware than you need in case you drop and lose a bolt or screw, etc.), you can call the manufacturer’s Customer Service line and order the part you need and it will be shipped to your home within a few days.

Even though Sauder, Bush, and O’Sullivan make quality, ready-to-build furniture, be aware that there are several other brands that are sold by big box retailers, usually at a less expensive price, that can still be labeled as being cheaply made.

In these boxes you’ll find incorrect instructions, parts that aren’t drilled correctly and defective hardware. But if you stick to furniture manufactured by the Big Three – Sauder, Bush, and O’Sullivan, you’ll be sure to get quality, long lasting furniture that’s easy to put together.