Paint Your Furniture! (No Matter The Surface)

A lot of people think they can transform the look of their dresser with just a layer of paint (which is typically a great idea), but be very careful! Sometimes, painting your furniture can do more harm than good because of the surface, the material, or the specific kind of paint. So, how do you know when it’s ok to paint and it’s not? Today, we’re going to use a dresser as an example to give a few helping hints for when you’re painting your home furnishings.

Starting the Process

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To begin, you’ll need to look at your dresser and ask yourself a few questions. How is the dresser structure? Do the drawers slide smoothly? Is it sturdy? How solid are the legs? We’re pretty much saying, don’t try to save a piece of furniture that isn’t worth it. (A.Clore hint: If it’s been in your family or an antique with sentimental value, we suggest not painting it unless you’re trying to completely restore it.)

Will the value increase as a restored antique?  There are some dressers that are so old (80+ years) they would really be better off restored to their original finish, but it depends on your own personal taste. Even if you don’t like the natural wood look, restoring one dresser to its original finish might allow you to sell it for enough to buy yourself a new dresser. Just something to keep in mind!

The Surface

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Consider the surface of the dresser. Is the dresser veneer, laminate or wood? For those who don’t know, veneer is a decorative covering of fine wood layered on top of a coarser wood or another material, like press board or something similar. Laminate is a layer of plastic over press board or something similar, and then there’s real wood, which is actually best for painting.

Prepare & Paint: Veneer

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To prepare veneer, start by making sure there isn’t any cracking or peeling. If there is, repair it with wood glue or another piece of veneer before painting. Clean the surface. (A.Clore hint: Wipe it down with dishwashing soap and warm water using a washcloth, but wring out the towel first. Make sure it doesn’t soak the surface, because it can cause damage to the wood underneath.) Sand it lightly, clean off the dust particles, and then apply primer. Now you’re ready to paint! Make sure you use at least two coats of whichever paint you choose to really make it last.

Prepare & Paint: Laminate

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Laminate is surprisingly easy. Many people will tell you to sand laminate before painting, but that can actually ruin the laminate. All you need to do is apply two coats of primer and then paint. Quick, fast, and easy!

Prepare & Paint: Real Wood

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If it’s real wood, just clean the surface and go to work. (A.Clore hint: we always choose Sherwin-Williams.)

So, there you have it. These are the three most common materials, so if you come across one that stumps you, just let us know! Have fun creating beautiful “new” home furnishings!

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5 Decorating Secrets from Top Designers

We’ve gathered up a few of our favorite decorating secrets from a couple designers that know exactly what to do and what not to do! There are basic mistakes that most people make with their home interiors that we’d like to help you avoid, so take a look at our little secrets. Personalize them, and apply them to your home!

Painting

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“When painting your walls, go bolder and stronger than you’re comfortable with. After it’s finished, if it’s too intense, gray the color with its complement (use a color wheel) and wash it on—you get an expensive decorator look in hours, and it’s so easy! Pour the paint in a tray; then, with a wet rag slosh, rub the new color over the old savagely. The color will then be a quieter version of itself, and you should immediately love the effect. This has worked for me 99 times out of 100.”

-Jim Howard

Lighting

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“Mood is everything, and who wants to dine in a bright room? 60 watts for the dining room. I want it bright when reading, so 75 to 100 watts for the living room. It’s nice to have options—if you don’t have dimmers, then have some variety from 40 to 100 watts, so you can change the mood for the occasion. The bathroom needs overhead as wells as side lighting. Keep the overhead to 75 watts, with 60 watts on each side. The best lighting is at eye level, not overhead, which creates shadows. And the best light is diffused light from a white or off-white lampshade.”

-Barbara Berry

Pillows

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“When making custom pillows, use a stuffer/pillow insert that is 2” larger all around, than your finished pillow size. For example, if you want a 22” square pillow, use a 24” square insert. Your pillow will be perfectly plump and never flat!”

-Lindsey Coral Harper

Wallpaper

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“Use wallpaper in unexpected places, on the ceiling in a paneled room, in closets, hallways, and small foyers. A great pattern or texture in small places can be a prodigious twist.”

-Betsy Burnham

Valances

And the last but not least, one of the decorating secrets from Me!

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Thank you for being an A.Clore Interiors Blog reader…..

Don’t forget: you can find us on Facebook – “like” us to keep up with the latest and greatest!

You can always find more design inspiration on our Pinterest and Instagram pages!

Connect with us on Google+ and LinkedIn

Visit our Website for more information on what we are about and how interior design can change your life!

Screenshot 2015-01-19 10.06.31