Sunday, January 27, 2013

How to Spray Paint Furniture: Tips!

Hey everyone! I know that there are a lot of questions out there on how to paint. I Googled plenty of "how to's" when I was beginning my painting journey. After painting furniture and other little things for almost 4 years now, I've learned a couple of tips that I think are worth sharing. Granted I am not a professional...but I hope these can come in handy as you start the painting process!

1. Wood Filler – Lots of times, furniture re-do’s means old, used furniture. If you find there are nicks or even holes you need filled, use wood filler. I just squeeze some the area I need filled and use my finger to push it into the cracks and other areas. You can also use a putty knife to smooth surfaces. Sanding with a light grit (220 is good) will also make the area even and smooth. Follow the directions for dry time. Most filler takes about ½ an hour to dry. Be sure to use a damp rag to wipe down all dust, dirt, etc.

Use your finger to push the filler into deep holes. This make take several attempts to get it in there and then sanded down smooth. 

2. Sand your furniture – Depending on the condition of your furniture piece, use an electric sander with 100 – 150 grit sandpaper to get the initial protective clear coat or paint layer removed. Spray paint needs something to stick to, so you want to make sure the surface is free of shine. Make sure to wipe/vacuum the furniture down before painting to remove dust.

3. Painters Tape – You want to cover anything you don’t want painted (or take the furniture apart. I keep screws bunched together either in baggies or with painters tape and label where they go). I keep a stack of old newspapers around to use to cover large sections I don’t want painted and I use painters tape to cover small areas (like hinges) or to make a pattern on the surface. Use a spackle blade to push down the edges of your painters tape so no bleeding occurs.

4. Protect your surfaces - Spray paint will get everywhere so make sure you cover your floors, walls and anything you don’t want to get spray paint dust on. You also want an enclosed area (like a garage) so the paint doesn't blow away before it hits the furniture. Also use a mask if the fumes bother you.
*Only spray in 50 – 85 degree weather.

1.  Primer – If you want the paint to have a more uniform, clean look, primer is necessary. White primer for lighter colors, gray or black primer for darker colors. You want to have an even coat, so use as many cans as necessary to achieve this look. Primer dries very fast, so you don’t have to wait very long in between coats.

2. Spray Paint - Always shake the can for at least a minute before spray painting. Use short, even bursts to coat your furniture. Be sure to stand at least 8 – 12 inches away from the surface, to avoid drips. Always spray at least 2 coats, 3 is ideal. Buying this cheap spray gun that goes on top of the nozzle will also save your hand some cramps. It's a little investment for an easy way to keep the spray paint going. 

3   3. Sand between coats – Use your low grade sandpaper (200 – 220 grit) to sand between each coat (wait for paint to dry). Use a light motion so as not to rub off paint. What you are doing is sanding down light air bubbles or rough spots, making the piece as smooth as possible so you have a blemish-free surface. I like to run my hand over the surface after sanding just to make sure it's smooth. Be sure to lightly wipe down the surface with a clean cloth after each sanding.

4  4. Protective Coat – Many different protective materials come in spray form. Depending on what you are using your furniture for depends on the coat you want to buy. If it is a decorative piece, then a simple clear coat will suffice. If it is something that will get a lot of use (like a stool or bench), you want to buy a clear lacquer or clear enamel spray. Always spray the clear coat on right after your final coat of color is dry. If you wait a day or so and then apply the clear coat, bubbling and cracking can occur.

The steps for distressing vary slightly from the steps listed above. The only major change would be 2 things:
1. Avoid Primer. Distressing is a way to make furniture look "shabby chic" and primer is not needed. 
2. Distressing Element. This means using stain, glaze, or other dark medium to make your piece look old, as well as a light grit sandpaper to sand away paint for rough spots or "distressed" areas. 

Here are some examples: 

*Always try to sand areas that would naturally wear over time. This means corners, edges, etc. 

*Sanding the surface of painted areas also covers small mistakes, even helping the finish seem more "distressed." 

*Painting with 2 different colors to reveal a color after sanding is also another way to help with the distressed look. For this piece, I used a cream color under a duck egg blue, sanding the blue down to let the cream color show through. 

I hope these tips have helped you in some small way. I'd love to see any and all of your furniture makeovers and re-do's at my weekly link party (Everything but the Kitchen Sink), starting Thursday nights and going through the weekends! Have a great Monday everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Terrific directions! The only thing missing is when you are coming to Blackfoot to actually show me how! I have three adirondack chairs that are my winter project...and they still look like they did at the end of summer! Better plan a trip!


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