Improve a less-than-stellar piece with paint, patience, and my tricks. I had the oops moments; now you can learn from them.
There's no shortage of tutorials about painting furniture online. And I've used a lot of them to paint dressers, console tables, chairs, mirrors, and more. But I have found problems/issues with a lot of the tutorials—paint chips, finishes aren't smooth, and paint peels. I have had to redo several furnishings, so I decided to compile all the mistakes I've made to help you give your furnishings a makeover that will last.
Here's how to paint a piece of furniture—without making a major mistake:
1. Sand it. There are lots of tutorials out there that claim you don't need to sand. There are also lots of primers and paints promising no sanding necessary. From what I have learned, sanding is a must. Sand all surfaces with 150-grit sandpaper. (I use this orbital sander with variable speeds.) Be careful not to gouge the surface. You're just looking to rough it up a little so the primer has something to adhere to; you're not trying to strip the surface. Use 80-grit if you are sanding a furnishing with an existing varnish.
2. Remove residue. Wipe down the surface with a tack cloth to remove any residue. Do not use a paper towel. Don't speculate on whether something is a lint-free cloth. Just use the tack cloth.