I am flying off to Austin, TX this morning to meet up with some of my favorite friends in Blog Land. I have “known” Shawn, Becca, Jenny Kate and Jen for a couple of years now and loved IA from the moment I “met” her and cannot wait to actually sit down and hang out with these fabulous women!
While I’m gone, I’ve arranged for some new friends to fill in for me.
If you haven’t yet met Karen at Redoux, you’re missing out.
All of the half-assed/corner-cutting projects that I post about….? Yes, well, Karen can tell you how to do it correctly. (With good posture, proper enunciation and an actual materials list too!)
She’s done amazing things like spray paint leather chairs, reupholsters chairs, updates furniture pieces and makes them gorgeous, and can even take well meaning, but misguided home improvement mistakes and make them all better.
Besides doing all that? She hosts a link party every Friday where you can show off your own projects or get inspiration from some others.
Have a piece of old furniture that you are not sure what to do with? Thought about painting it? Time to get over your “purist, never paint over wood” point of view. Here is a secret. Most wood in your home, even old stuff is not genuine hardwood. Yes, it may be wood, but chances are it has a veneer (a thin layer of wood), usually something that looks like Oak, over a lesser expensive wood.
This has been a trick of the furniture industry for many decades now. When you go to try to “refinish” these pieces, the veneer will come off in chunks, or simply wear down to reveal something not as lovely underneath. Time to give that old piece a new look. To do a “redoux” here is the primer:
This is somewhat what your pile of supplies will look like:
Make sure you have everything handy before you start. If you are an avid cook, then consider the supplies your “mise en place”. Meaning, you have everything you need in place. That way, you won’t go searching for the right item, when time is crucial.
To get a more even coverage, (and not introduce dust particles from the floor), I always like to “prop” my pieces up on old paint cans.
Before you begin to work on a new piece, it is a good idea to clean it thoroughly with TSP. This ensures a proper adhesion of primer and paint. If you skip this step, or do it after sanding, you run the risk of oils and dirt in the wood working their way out of the wood over time to damage your hard won finish.
Be sure to wear your rubber gloves in this step! Otherwise your hands will dry up and look like this:
After cleaning, lightly sand the piece with a power sander with medium grit paper (220), (or more if piece is in poor condition and you need to even out the finish). The point here is to just give the finish some “teeth”. You do not need to sand off the finish.
Take your large chip brush and “dust” off as much as you can. Go over it again in great detail with a tack cloth.
You are ready for prime time! Pour only what you think you will need into the tray. DON’T EVER pour paint back into the can after you have used it in the tray. It is contaminated with dust particles, you will only contaminate your whole can of paint if you do this.
Roll in long strokes back and forth with fuzzy roller to cover as much of piece as you can. Use good good quality brush to get in nooks and crannies. Wrap brushes and rollers in plastic bags, tight, while you wait for primer to dry. When dry to the touch, lightly sand with fine sand paper (220 grit here is fine), repeat tack cloth process. Apply second coat of primer if necessary. When dry, lightly sand again, repeat tack process.
Follow same steps with paint as you did with primer. Two or three coats of your color choice will probably be enough, depending on your color choice. Reds, Oranges and bright greens tend to take more coats. Be sure to lightly sand between each coat. (Use a higher grade Sand paper in this step for a smoother finish 300 or higher).
When you have achieved desired look, you can either slightly “distress” the edges for an antiqued look, or leave as is. Poor small amount of top coat into a paint tray. Use the “Foam” roller for this step. Roll in one direction, then overlap coming back, (like vacuuming). If necessary, use a foam brush to smooth it out. Apply two to three coats.
Note, I don’t recommend using Polyurethane, (an oil based top coat, unless your piece will be around water, like sink or bathroom). Polyurethane will over time turn your light colored pieces yellow (like a yucky tobacco stain, and can be very difficult to apply)
Let dry for 24 hours before using or moving.
Voila, you have a new “Redoux”!
Thanks Karen! You not only pointed out how to “do it right” you turned a big spotlight on all the bad habits I have developed over the years. (So, um, thanks for that too…)