Painting and priming that is. 

Sanding  (in my opinion) is fun. Taking off all that old dirt and grime and finding the beautiful wood underneath. 

But priming and painting is where the real transformation comes from.

I won't be covering staining in this post, but here are some tips that I've learned for priming and painting.

In my post on sanding, I forgot to mention the use of strippers in getting your wood prepped. 

So stripping in a nutshell:

  •  Check the label carefully, and make sure that you're purchasing a stripper that's right for your job. There are strippers for paints, stains, varnishes, epoxy and other finishes, and they are not interchangeable. Some are suitable for wood surfaces, while others are designed for metal, masonry, etc. I prefer 

because it smells pretty good for a chemical. :)
  •  Thicker stripping solutions are recommended for ease of use. They tend to stick better on vertical surfaces, and make detail work easier. (Use inexpensive paintbrushes. Since the stripper is simply applied and removed you'll probably just throw the brushes away after you use them.)
  •   Take the pieces you're stripping OUTDOORS for this job. If you value your brain cells make sure you have good ventilation  Strippers smell really strong.
  •   Use a plastic putty-knife for scraping away the stripper and paint or varnish. Try to select one that won't mar the surface of wood, and use caution as you scrape.
  •              Finally, be patient. Stripping finishes can be tedious and time-consuming, particularly for intricate pieces and detail work. Being patient and methodical pays off.
And now onto priming and painting. :)


 Before you prime/paint, wipe the piece down to remove all the stripper and sand it lightly. Wipe down again after sanding. A wet rag will work fine. Sometimes, I also use a vacuum to get into the corners. It is really important to remove all dust etc because any particles you leave behind will gather primer/paint and create a bumpy surface. Doing it right, now, will save a lot of time and frustration later on. :) 

  • Always prime! Use a quality primer. I like KILTZ the best; it is a little pricier, but also SO worth it.  A good prime job will help your paint job look more professional.

  •                          Make sure you get a primer that says "sealer", this will seal the stain so it doesn't bleed through your paint. Some pieces of furniture will need two coats of primer to seal the stain.
  •                                 White primer is certainly fine under lighter colors such as yellow or cream, and lighter blues, but not under dark paint colors. Use gray primer when you will be painting with darker colors. 

  • As with choosing the stripper, always make sure you read the label on the paint so you know if it will work for your project. I prefer latex based paints because they are a little easier to thin and work with, but oil based paints are also great. I usually consult with a "paint expert" wherever I am purchasing my paint to make sure it will work for what I am wanting to do with it. 
  • I find it SO much easier to paint a horizontal surface as opposed to a vertical surface. It helps prevent runs with the paint. If you chose to paint a vertical surface start at the top and paint downward. This will also help with runs and drips. 
  • Make sure you give your paint adequate time to cure. Most paints will tell you the ideal temperatures to paint in. If you are painting in a cooler temperature than is suggested on the can, you will need to extend your drying/cure time about 48 hours. If you can't wait that long, try lightly sanding a small area to see if the paint is still gummy. If it is, you really need to wait longer. 
  • Also, make sure you paint in good lighting. It will help you see spots you might have missed or that need another coat. 
I hope this helps!

Painting can be frustrating because you will always find an area that isn't as perfect as you want it to be.
Sometimes taking a break for a couple hours or even a day can help.

Or you could get a really bad case of the giggles like I did. 

It helped take some of the "perfectionism" pressure off. :)

Now go find a gorgeous color and have fun!