I love love love painting furniture. I’ve only been doing it myself since Savannah was born and I did it with furniture that I’ve collected over the years that were essentially throw aways (one woman’s trash, is another woman’s treasure as they say!) so I wasn’t too worried about ruining anything, really. I used paint I had left over from painting our bedrooms and bathroom cabinets, and I didn’t do any priming or sanding down of each piece – I basically just had an idea of what I wanted and I wanted to get it done as soon as possible – so I did! I learned quite a bit about what I *shouldn’t* do with these DIY projects ( mainly faster isn’t always better) so this time around I really want to do the best I can possibly do, even if it takes me a long time! The things I’m going to focus on are: paint (coloring and type), technique (type of paint brush and that type of thing), priming (sanding down or primer paint) , accents ( knob changes maybe?) and lastly – placement in our house! While I don’t want to paint the hutch a color based on the colors in a specific room, I want this piece to be a statement piece in our home, so I very much want the room that it goes in to kind of revolve around it – you know? Anyways, this blog post is going to illustrate all of the research I have collected so far – which isn’t a whole lot! I am SO excited about this piece though – its so gorgeous on its own so I know paint is only going to highlight all of the beautiful details! I very much want this piece to last and stick with our family for years to come, so here’s to trying! This blog post is going to talk about Paint and priming, because those are the 2 things I really want to figure out how and what to do first! I’m going to be doing regular research on the internet, and then come back at a later time with information I’ve gathered from bloggers who DIY their own furniture and see what they recommend! I think its important to do both types of research, that way I understand what the process looks like and I can see for myself what the bloggers are talking about and what I think will work best for my specific piece.
First things first! I want to talk PAINT!
Paint if probably the most important decision I’m going to make for this hutch. Because its so large, its really going to stand out in our home – which is exactly what I want! Since having my own home, I have really gotten excited about going bold rather than playing it safe. I have been on instagram for quite a while now and what originally stole my attention were the amazing bloggers playing outside the box with colors, furniture, décor, and DIY projects! I don’t want to play it safe *at all* with this piece so I want to go BOLD! Here are a couple of colors and color palate that I found on Pinterest that I’m thinking about:
Now, color is important – but I also realized that the type of paint I use is also really important! This article from The Spruce was so helpful in deciding what kind of paint because there are a lot of types to take into consideration! There are oil, latex, and acrylic paints and also extra specialty paints like chalk paint and milk paint. Each one has its advantages for specific furniture and some probably aren’t the best options for others. I have zero clue what the paints I have used on the majority of my furniture consist of, but I know they took multiple coats, left a sticky, bulky coat, and scraped off pretty easily! I want to avoid that at all costs with this beaut. I have used leftover chalk paint from my mom (such a beautiful color of blue!) but I’m not sure how much I liked it – maybe I applied it on wrong or didn’t put the correct finish on it, but I felt like it was all about to scrap off whenever I touched it! This hutch is going to be USED so I do not want that to happen!
Latex paint is the most commonly used paint because there are a million different colors you can use, and its readily available at any hardware store! But while the color options are tempting, its also known for drying fast but takes a long time to cure (aka harden) and keeps this softish feeling (which is exactly what my other furniture still feels like!) So its not really ideal for furniture that will be heavily used and cleaned. So this one may be out!
Chalk Paint is suuuper popular right now because it works super well for furniture and you can also use a technique to create a vintage type feel to the piece. Like I said earlier, I have used this before in a really beautiful blue color that my mom gave me! While I do like it a lot better than latex paint, I will say it wasn’t as easy to use. It dries incredibly fast – which is awesome if you want to get it done quickly – but if you are like me and like to do touch ups on your work, you will see the brush strokes pretty clearly on the dried spots. If you are able to paint it all in one round, it does create a really nice smooth finish! But keep In mind that it is also subject to scratching and marking – which I can attest to with my little shelf piece I did! Lastly, while it is more popular now with more vendors creating their own chalk paint creating more colors, the options are still pretty limited and it can be super pricey! So, since this hutch is pretty dang large – this is probably not the best option for it since I I’ll more than likely need to do touch ups, and while I want to put time and effort into it, I don’t want to spend a fortune on paint! But we will see!
Acrylic Paint is closely related to latex paint with its easy application, and versatile type of paint for furniture. Drying times are short so I can apply multiple coats in a shorter amount of time, but it does take a long time to cure (or harden) once the project is complete. The big negative for me is that it usually comes in smaller containers, so bigger pieces of furniture will most likely take a pretty decent amount of paint and that means mooore moola. Not my favorite thought! It is also advised that you prime the piece first too – which is something I haven’t done before. I’m not going to rule this one out yet!
Oil Paint is the last one I’m going to mention, and while its super tempting and kind of what I’m looking for, I think this one may be a no. It’s a really durable type of paint for furniture, but its not only more expensive than the other types of paints, it has high levels of VOC’s or volatile organic compounds (yikes😰) so it requires a dub dang ventilation during the painting process, and after. Some states have actually banned oil based paints altogether so i actually may need to check if Nebraska is one of them! I plan on using the garage so that’s kind of perfect – but I don’t want to do anything to risk Savannah’s well being. The paint is extremely resilient though and wont chip or scratch easily. It also can be applied over most surfaces and adheres well. The drying time is roughly around 24 hours per coat, but the curing time is quicker than water based paints. So while it is better for heavily used pieces that need a durable finish, the amount of fumes that are emitted can be super dangerous and overall not worth the effort! AH! We will see!
While I’m leaning towards acrylic paint,, I don’t want to dismiss good ol latex paint, oil paint or chalk paint!
Now that I understand what each paint looks like and how they are used, I’m starting to think that oil paint had been previously used on this hutch! It has a super glossy, resistant coating on it and it doesn’t look like there has been any chipping. Oil paints are commonly used for professional jobs so it makes sense – but it will make my job of priming it a little more difficult! Looking through THIS article on the spruce, I think this is what ill need to do.
- I’ll need to degloss the surface first so I can apply the paint! If I am right and this is oil paint on here, it looks like latex paint and other oil based paints may be my only options (according to this article) which kind of stinks! But that’s ok – I’ll figure something out. Anyways! I will need to degloss the surface by manually scuffing down the surface with sandpaper so the new primer and paint can adhere to the surface properly. They recommend I use fine 180-grit to 220-grit sandpaper and medium 100- grit to 150-grit sandpaper. I have no idea what either of those things mean, but ill figure it out once I get to Home Depot! I’m supposed to start with the fine-grit sandpaper first and then move to the medium if the fine grit isn’t working well. Sounds easy enough!
- Remove Any Chips! I’m pretty sure this article is aimed at painting the walls rather than furniture now that I’m reading it 😂 but that’s ok – this is a good start anyways! So, you just sort of pry off any loose paint and I’m thinking buff it out? I’ll do some more research on this part but from the looks of this hutch, there are no noticeable chips!
- Deep clean the surface! Cleaning the surface (something I’ve only half hazardly done on occasion) is important for priming! If its not super dirty, you can just use a tack cloth (or I’m assuming any kind of cloth really…) to give it a quick wipe over!
- Priming next is super important – especially if this is oil paint on this hutch. Putting the primer on the surface will help prevent peeling of the latex paint over the oil paint.
- Paint away! Let the first coat dry for at least 2 hours before doing the second, but do a second coat for sure!
Like I said, this article is aimed at wall painting rather than furniture and while I cant imagine it would be a huge different between the 2, there definitely could be! I am going to do a little more digging to find out! Maybe this time around I’ll browse through some blogs and see what I find there!
Next week I plan on doing a blog post covering techniques (meaning what type of brush is advised, how to actually use it, etc) and accents! I so would love to put some special knobs on here but I don’t have clue what kind I want! Color definitely needs to be chose first and then hopefully the rest will follow!
If you have an advice of past exerience on any of this, I would looove to hear what you have to say in the comments!