When to Paint Furniture & When Not to

A lot of people think that they can renew their dresser, or a different piece of furniture, with a layer of paint, which is actually only true some times. Painting your furniture can be the perfect way to change it up and make it look brand new, but sometimes paint can do more harm than good. So, how do you know when it’s ok to paint and when it’s not? That’s what you have us for! Today, we’re going to give a few little tips to help you make sure you’re doing the right thing when painting.

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To begin, you’ll need to look at your dresser and ask yourself a few questions. How is the dresser structurally? Do the drawers slide smoothly?  What about the structure of the dresser? Is it solid?  Is there creaking or parts of the dresser frame that are coming apart?  How stable are the legs?  If there are problems concerning your drawers, can they be fixed?  Sometimes with the wood on wood drawer guides, you can get them to slide a little smoother by just applying furniture wax to the guides. We would say a dresser that has structural problems, unless it has a high value as an antique, isn’t worth saving.

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There are some dressers that are so old (80+ years) that really would be better off restored to their original finish.  A lot of the dressers are painted in styles that may look a lot better painted than restored to their original finish, but it depends on your own personal taste.  However, even if you don’t like the natural wood look, if restoring one dresser to its original finish will allow you to sell it for enough to buy yourself a new dresser, then it might be worth doing that instead.

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Is the dresser veneer, laminate or wood?  What is the surface of the dresser made of?  Is it a wood veneer? This is where there is a thin layer of wood layered on top of a cheaper type of wood, like press board or something similar.  Laminate is an actual layer of plastic over something like press board.  If it’s real wood, that’s better.  Veneer is fine, unless there is massive peeling and cracking of the veneer over the whole piece.  If the piece is solid wood and you would rather see it painted, then definitely paint it.

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So there you have it! If you want to paint a piece of furniture where value as an antique is not a factor, then as long as the furniture is structurally sound and has either real wood or a wood veneer that is still intact, then go for it!

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20 Quick Tips to Know Before You Paint

For all of our do-it-yourself readers, this one is for you! Many people enjoy painting their own interiors instead of having someone else do it, so we’re here to make sure you do it the right way! Even though hiring a professional painter is the best idea, we know how costly that can be when your budget is low, so it’s ok to do it on your own! As long as you have the right steps and the right materials, you’ll have a professional paint job in no time.

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1. Choose a paint color. Okay, this might be the most difficult step of them all. How much paint will you need? Look on the back of the can or ask the guy at the paint store. This amount can also vary with the color, type of paint and current wall-color.

2. Purchase your materials which should include, paint, brushes, painters tape, drop clothes, newspaper, etc.

3. Have a snack.

4. Put on some nice music!

5. Cover the furniture and cover the floor. Home depot sells drop cloths.

6. Prepare the walls for paint. The easiest way is to dust the walls with a duster that comes on a long stick.

7. Clean the walls. The paint is going to adhere so much better to a clean wall. Make a solution of 1 cup vinegar to two gallons of warm water in a big bucket. Get some old absorbent towel rags and dunk clean ones into the solution and ring out. Then, put one over your sponge mop and work from top to bottom. When the rag begins to look a bit dirty, take it off and use a fresh one. If the water begins to look dirty, make a fresh batch. You can also use a solution of detergent and water, but if you do, you’ll have to rinse. Let that dry thoroughly.

8. Fix small holes and imperfections with a good spackle. Let it dry and sand.

9. Use a primer. Primer prepares the walls to accept the paint and provides a good surface, as well. However, Benjamin Moore makes a fantastic low VOC paint that has the primer in it already and it covers beautifully.

10. Sand lightly. We know… it’s a pain, but well-worth it!

11. Dust walls again and follow with a damp cloth, just to make sure you’ve removed all of the dust.

12. Use painter’s blue tape to mask off areas not being painted.

13. Choose a dry day. Water-based latex paints will dry so much faster on a day with low humidity.

14. Start with the ceiling (unless it doesn’t need painting)

15. Use “cut-in” techniques. There are zillions of tutorials on youtube, so try googling different techniques. (Hint: For the ceiling and walls, you will want to use a roller.)

16. We suggest waiting several hours after painting the ceiling. Then, if there is no crown molding and/or the ceiling is a different color than the walls, tape the ceiling line. Then, paint the walls!

17. Finally, paint the trim with your two-inch brush.

18. Depending on the type of paint, you may only need one coat or as many as five if it’s a dark color for instance.

19. Clean your brushes and other materials. Don’t let them stay gunked in paint!

20. Take a shower, put on some clean clothes, and take yourself out to dinner. You deserve it!

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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!

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