How to Paint Furniture the Correct Way

I have been painting my own furniture for years now.  And though I am all for just painting a piece without any prep work, I have come to learn that that strategy is immediately gratifying but will not withstand the test of time or wear. 

I picked up some new pieces of furniture that I wanted to be able to handle heavy wear.  So I researched all over the internet the best way to do that.  I used three separate sources that worked for what I wanted my finished product to be as well as what was available to me at the hardware store.  I used a combination of three reliable sources:

Altar'd Furniture Painting Ebook {A wonderful Ebook on painting furniture in general.  Highly recommend it.}

Here are the before pieces.  Both were found at Goodwill for about $30-40 each.  I found them the same day and at least five other women came by to look at them as I waited for my mom to come buy with her van to help me load.  Five minutes later to the Goodwill and they may have not been mine.  It was a lucky day. 

 The top and bottom of the hutch:

First I sanded with this little guy from Harbor Freight using 80 grit sandpaper.  You only have to sand it enough where you get the shine off.

Then I primed using Zinsser Cover Stain.  I rolled on the paint for the smooth edges and used the spray can kind for inside smaller crevices.  Using a combination of both really saved some time and sanity.  If you were working outside or in a garage, just the spray can would probably be great.  But I am a crazy lady and cannot lift heavy furniture down a back porch.  And even though I left fans running and windows open, when it is nearly 100 degrees outside, there is no winning.  I am too impatient to have to wait for my husband to get home from work to help me move things.  So I stopped breathing for a couple of days.

See how I rolled...the parts uncovered were sprayed with the can.  And I even laid out some old sheets to protect the carpet.  Painting revelations people.

I also found this awesome mirror during my Goodwill trip.  That's why we needed two cars.  My poor neighbor saw my mom and I trying to bring this all in the house and offered to help out.  I am sure my neighbors think I am crazy.  Cute house.  But crazy.

Once primed, I sanded until all flat surfaces were smooth to the touch.

I then painted all the pieces in Behr Ultra Pure White paint with primer.  I now buy all my paint with primer...and no longer at Walmart.  I will take any extra help I can get from my paint.

After two coats of paint I finished everything off with Deft Clear Wood Finish.  It is important to finish off white painted furniture with something that will not yellow.  There were a few places where it was a bit goopy and it did turn yellow.  So make sure to use thin coats.

And ten million years later {that's about how long it seemed}...but really it was about a week later...I had these beauties:

The inside of the hutch was painted with Valspar Distant Valley.  It is less minty in person.

And that is how you paint furniture the correct way.  I spent many hours trying to figure out what was best for getting my furniture to withstand the long haul and it was well worth it.  There is a definite difference in how much more quality these pieces appear compared to previous furniture that I simply painted.  From now on I will do things correctly.  Pinky promise.

And I sold my old hutch on Craigslist for $100.  I originally bought it for $20 and selling it paid for my two new pieces.  Win win.  I was a little sad to see it go but I have decided to go with a more neutral theme and plus I like the bones of this new hutch so much more.  Full dining room updates soon!