Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back in Action with a Tutorial

I apologize to my 3 blog readers that I've been slacking at blogging and haven't had a post in what, over a week? More? Eek. Anyway, I've been busy finishing my first furniture painting project - our bedroom nightstands!
You'll recall I started this project on October 31 when I did my sanding and priming outside.
Since I never posted about priming, here's what I used:
Soon after that, we had to move the project to dropcloths in the basement because it got too cold out for the paint to dry.
The nightstands are veneer so they took a lot of primer, paint and poly....hence a lot of work. So in this post I'm going give you the long-winded MadewithLoveandOats furniture painting tutorial. I've been reading a lot of blogs and searching Pinterest for furniture painting tips for a while, and they always make it look so easy. Just prime and paint and BAM - beautiful Pottery Barn knock off! WOW!

NOPE. LIES. Here's my furniture painting tutorial for you in real time (well, as much real time as I can get over the internet) and clearly I know what I'm talking about because I've done this one whole time and all.

1.      Buy all this stuff, plus your paint. You will need:
·         Electric sander (optional)
·         Sanding pads for your sander or sanding blocks
·         Mask (if you’re sanding inside)
·         Primer
·         Cheap primer brush
·         Floetrol (optional)

·         Paint
·         Good quality paintbrushes
·         Polyurethane
·         Wood filler if you’re changing the size of the hardware
·         New hardware (if needed)
·         Lots of other miscellaneous things I probably forgot

2.      Sand every inch of your furniture (the parts that are going to show). If you use an electric sander, you'll feel like you have Parkinson's for the rest of the day. Depending on your furniture size, this could take 30 minutes – 3+ hours. Yaaaayyyy....
3.      Clean off the furniture. I first use a wet rag/towel/papertowel....whatever's on hand. Then wipe down with a clean dry cloth.
4.      PRIME. If you use a spray can of primer and you stink royally at spraying things like yours truly, you'll need a couple coats, and yes, you have to wait in between each one for it to dry. Therefore, I recommend just sucking it up and using a paintbrush so it can be done in one coat. Wait AT LEAST an hour before doing any more steps. At this point I play it safe let it dry overnight.

5.      Next day...sand again. At this point I just use a fine sanding block and go over all the areas until it's smooth.
6.      Wipe down with wet, then dry cloths.
7.      Add Floetrol to your paint…this makes it smoother and less streaky and helps it go farther. Mix your life away because it takes a while to work its way into the paint.
8.      PAINT your first coat WOOT WOOT. Use an exceptional paintbrush for this...I used Purdy thanks to Centsational Girl's painting tips. (By the way if you're in the market for a real tutorial, she's your girl)
9.      Wait for the paint to dry...to be safe I leave it for a day. Don’t forget to clean this expensive and amazing paintbrush in between each coat. I cleaned mine thoroughly with water and then put it in a ziploc and taped it up. Thanks to Fine Homebuilding for this tip. Here’s a shout out to tips that actually work. I stored mine in the fridge until the next day. Don’t ask me if that was necessary, I just did it and it worked.
10.  Sand again with your fine, "between coats" sanding block. Wipe down with wet then dry cloths.
11.  Paint another coat.
12.  Wait for it to dry. Again, another day.
13.  Sand with a sanding block. Wipe down with wet then dry cloths.
14.  Paint another coat if needed. By the way, I used Valspar's Antique White in a flat finish because it was on the clearance rack. Gotta love a good bargain.
15.  Wait some more. Try hard to be patient.
16.  Sand again, wipe again. You having fun yet?
17.  If she looks fully beautified from your paint, you're ready for POLY!
 18.  POLY. (Ok, first, here's what not to do - do not use a foam brush to paint it on and do not brush the same spots over and over. Trust me, you'll get streaks and have to sand the whole coat off) My recommendation is definitely spray poly. As opposed to spray prime, you don't have to hit every inch because you're going to do this a few times. Start the sprayer off to the side of your furniture first and then just make light sweeping motions over it. Just do a light coat…this drys quick.
19.  Sand with an Extra-fine sanding block (this is for use before your final coat). Wipe with wet, then dry.
20.  Spray poly again...you can do this every hour without sanding in between. Mine took 3 coats.
21.  Wait 24 HOURS after the last coat! What.....Goddddd.
22.  Attach hardware. Try to get the right hardware to match your holes if you didn't fill them in with wood filler, like me. Who bought the wrong hardware. Totally tricked by Lowes...I blame them.
Ok so real time, this is 22+ steps. It takes at least 5 working days if you only need 2 coats of paint and work on it every day. If you have a job, or kids, or a life, it will take you longer. Plus, mine took 3 coats of paint and 3 coats of poly. And of course add in all my mishaps that needed fixing plus the amount of other projects / holidays / fun stuff I was doing in between working on these. So there you have my amazing real-time, this-takes-a-lot-longer-than-the-internet-makes-it-look tutorial.

But here's our finished product....drumroll please....
Oh yeah....pretty excited to finally have nightstands. Even though it took 2+ months, it was worth it :)

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