Paint!! Paint!! and more Paint!!
That’s been the theme for this week in my One Room Challenge bedroom makeover.
As I mentioned last week, I’m saving some money on this remodel by reusing the end tables, book shelves and settee that were already in the bedroom.
However, to make them go with my new moody, modern bedroom, they really needed an upgrade!
So I decided gloss black paint would be just the thing.
The one problem with re-painting existing furniture is making sure that the paint sticks. I don’t want it to be peeling in a few months time…with my eclectic, deco, glam style, chipping paint is definitely NOT the look I’m going for.
I’m also probably the only person in the world who isn’t a fan of chalk paint (which they say sticks better than regular paint)…so I’m using the latex black paint (Valspar Dark Kettle Black) left over from my den makeover. One less can of paint to buy!
The trick to getting a good finish is a good start. The prep work is everything!
1 | Sand Furniture Without Getting Sawdust Everywhere
This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission if you buy the products from these links (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. But we only recommend products we would use ourselves. For more information, click here to see our disclosures.
The first step to prepping the pieces is to remove the top of the old finish by sanding it.
I have never had very good luck with liquid sanders*…the kind you rub on and then wipe off, supposedly taking the old finish with it.
This is not to say that they don’t work, it could be operator error (ie. I might not have done it right). If anyone has any tips on how to make them work, I’d love to hear them!
But in any case, I didn’t even attempt to use them for this go around.
So we went for the good old manual sanding effort instead. And by “we”, I really mean my mother…
The end tables and settee had a fair number of details that needed to be hand-sanded.
Using a fine grit sanding block with an angled end makes it easier to get into those grooves. The fine grit takes the finish off without gouging into the surface below. And it doesn’t really generate too much mess…which is always a bonus.
However, there were also some fairly large flat areas that could be sanded with an electric sander…a much faster but messier way to sand.
I use a DeWalt random orbit sander* for sanding furniture since it is easy to use without leaving gouges in the wood. Don’t press down on it as you sand and let it move in small circles as you move from one end of the furniture to the next. The furniture finish will be removed in no time!
The only problem is all of the sawdust it spews everywhere. Using it in the garage is bad enough, but trying to use it indoors is impossible!
Dust Collection Option #1
In the past, I have tried hooking up a shop vac* to the sander but it never seemed to get all of the sawdust. Eventually the dust would start to rise out of the shop vac canister. And every once in a while the hose would come off the sander at the worst possible moment…resulting in the same mountain of dust covering everything.
Dust Collection Option #2
Then last year, I took a woodworking class and learned how the professionals sand furniture WITHOUT getting dust everywhere! This method works so well you can even do it in the house!
Okay, I should say professionals that aren’t working in their shops…then they usually have a fancy dust collection system built in.
But as far as portable dust collection, I think this is the best thing since sliced bread.
So what is it you ask?
The Festool HEPA dust collector*. I will warn you now that they are pretty expensive! But if do lots of DIY projects like I do, I think they are worth every penny!
It works like a vacuum but has a very powerful suction engine and a HEPA filter. When you attach it to your sander, it really works to collect ALL of the dust! The end of the hose is rubber and fits very snugly into the dust bag tube for my sander, so it never falls out in the middle of sanding.
There are different models and sizes available, but I have the CT-26E*. It has large-sized wheels that make it very easy to move around, is compact enough to store away under my work bench, and my favorite part…has an automated power outlet. If you plug your sander into this outlet, and switch the dust collector to auto mode, the vacuum will automatically turn on when you start up the sander, and switch off when you stop.
Obviously, for this to work, you need a sander that has a dust bag or hose attachment option (most electric ones do).
And it works best for sanders that have holes in the bottom. That way it can suck up the dust directly as it is created.
The dust collector works great for sanding dry wall or cutting concrete as well as pretty much any other power tool that has a dust bag. For me, not having to clean up after doing these kinds of jobs more than makes up for the price of the vacuum!
2 | Remove Residue
After all of the furniture has been sanded, make sure any remaining grease or oil has been removed from the surface. Krud Kutter* does a great job of this.
Spray it on and let it sit for about a minute, then wipe it off. It was amazing how much extra oil and varnish came off on the rag!
Make sure it is completely dry by waiting an hour before continuing to the priming stage.
3 | Prime The Furniture
Adding a coat of primer paint helps to make sure the paint sticks and covers up any stains that might bleed through the paint.
For wood that has been finished before, I like to use Kilz latex primer*. It is water based which makes it fairly easy to clean up.
However for unfinished wood, a shellac-based primer* works best. It seals the knots in the wood and makes sure any moisture or resin in the wood does not cause issues with your paint.
When the primer has dried, give the furniture a light sanding to remove any rough bits. This will make your final paint finish smoother.
4 | Use A Paint Sprayer Without Getting Paint Everywhere
My favorite way to paint furniture is to use a paint sprayer.
To be honest, this hasn’t always been true. But I finally found a paint sprayer that works! (And I have tried a lot of them.)
The Homeright Finish Max electric paint sprayer* is my new best friend! It’s easy to use, sprays evenly and is easy to clean up.
The only problem with spray painting is that the paint goes everywhere!
Fortunately, Homeright has a solution for that, too. They make a painting tent*. You put down a drop cloth and put up the tent which takes only a few minutes.
Then move the furniture in and start spraying…the paint stays in the tent! Brilliant!
For this project, it was nice enough outside to set the tent up on the deck (although I have used it in the garage on other occasions). A few minutes later, my end tables were no longer mahogany colored and look so much better already.
The fold down screen on the front of the tent helped to keep the bugs and pollen off of my wet paint. This is pretty important around here at this time of the year…my outdoor patio tables are green on the top because of the pollen build up and I’m not going for a green tint on my painted furniture ?
With no rain in the forecast, I was able to leave the painted furniture outside to dry for 24 hours. With gloss or semi-gloss paint, I like to wait that long to make sure it is dry before putting on the next coat.
After a second coat of paint, my end tables look brand new!
5 | Hand Paint Other Furniture
Unfortunately, spray painting the settee wasn’t really an option since I didn’t want to get paint on the upholstery.
My mother did tape plastic sheeting* over the upholstery with painter’s tape* but any little gap will get paint in it when you spray, so I didn’t want to take any chances. (Yes, that’s Winston photo-bombing the picture).
Lucky for me, my mother was nice enough to hand paint it using small craft brushes to get into the crevices and holes. I like it so much better!
6 | Spray Paint Accessories Without Making A Mess
Finally, I wanted to add some accessories to my end tables to make them a little more modern. And I don’t think a DIY project is done unless a little spray paint is involved.
Doing this inside of a box helps to keep the paint from going everywhere…something like the paint tent only on a smaller scale.
Then we attached them onto the corners of the table drawers with screws to give it a little more industrial feel.
7 | The Finished Pieces
Without giving away the whole room, here’s how the chaise and side table look after the room was finished. So much better than the originals!
Well, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about painting by now…and we’re still not finished, so I need to get busy!