Mylands Wood & Metal paints are a fantastic way to bring new life into a tired peice of furniture. Emma Weeks from The Treasure Trove shares her top 5 tips for painting furniture.
Furniture painted in Maugham White No.2 by The Treasure Trove.
Step 1 Preparation – Grab yourself a dust sheet and set yourself up where you’re going to paint – somewhere with good light is best, so you can see what you’re doing! Depending on the size of the piece of furniture you are painting, you can either place some old pieces of wood under each foot to keep the item off the floor, or a flat surface or workbench is great for smaller items and ensures you’re painting at a sensible height.
Remove any handles and hard-wear at this stage – I often paint over handles, depending on the look I’m going for, but the choice is yours.
The steps below will work for bare wood, or for items which are already painted, but ensure you use the correct primer/undercoat for pre-existing paint - a multi-surface primer should work well.
Step 2 Sanding - you should prepare your piece, ready for painting by lightly sanding the surface with a medium grit sandpaper (120 grit is a good place to start). This will ensure your paint has a rough surface to stick to.
Once you’ve sanded the surfaces you would like to paint, brush off any excess dust and give your furniture a wipe over with a damp cloth and leave to dry.
Step 3 Primer/Undercoat – If you’re painting pine wood, I suggest using Mylands Stain Block Primer over any wood knots prior to primer/undercoat, to ensure they don’t fall out later on.
If you’re item is small enough, turn it upside-down and paint the legs first, turning back over for the top – this ensures you don’t miss any bits!
Applying a primer/undercoat will ensure there is no bleed-through from any contaminants that may be present in the wood i.e. polish/wood stain etc. I use Mylands Wood Primer & Undercoat which blocks any stains and provides an excellent surface for your paint. One coat should be sufficient, but if in doubt, apply 2 coats. Follow the instructions and allow to dry before applying your chosen paint.
Step 4 Choosing Your Paint – this is the exciting bit! Firstly, decide what sort of finish you’d like for your furniture. A flat matt finish is perfect for a Shabby Chic look, but I usually apply a soft clear wax to further protect the paint and make the surface water repellent. If you choose a hard wearing Eggshell paint with a slight sheen, this will be easier to keep clean and shouldn’t show up too many marks. If you’ve decided on a gloss finish, be aware of longer drying times between each coat, compared to matt and eggshell paints.
Don’t be afraid to use colour! I know there are many colours to choose from, but think about where your item is going, the history of the piece and the look you’re trying to achieve. The beauty of painting furniture is that it can fit in with many interiors from period homes, to modern and contemporary – the choice is yours! Remember, white or light coloured paint will take more coats to achieve a solid finish, compared to darker coloured paints, which cover quicker. Choose from Mylands colours and finishes here or try these colours to bring new life into old furniture:
Step 5 Applying your Paint – choose a suitable paintbrush for the job in hand – a larger brush will take less time, but it may be easier to handle a smaller brush. Ensure you choose a good quality brush for a fine finish, or if you’re going for a shabby chic look, a large oval chalk paint type brush will work well.
To prevent brush marks, don’t overload your brush with paint – it’s better to apply thin coats and allow to dry before re-coating. Top Tip: If you have a large flat surface, work logically and in small areas at a time. Once you’ve applied your paint to an area, let your brush run lightly over the entire area in one direction and off the edge. Repeat this over the entire surface by slightly overlapping your brush marks – this will ensure a smooth finish once dry.
Once your first coat of paint is dry, use a fine sandpaper to lightly buff the surface and ensure there are no brush marks – a sanding block is useful as it has an even surface for large flat areas. Brush off any excess dust and wipe over with a damp cloth, allow to dry and apply your second coat of paint. Allow this coat of paint to dry and repeat the painting steps again until you are happy with the coverage.
And there you have it! You should have created a hard-wearing, beautiful looking piece of furniture which you can cherish for years to come!
Chest of Draws painted in Eaton Square No. 232