Spring is here
Give your furniture a face-lift
S trange as it may sound, March is National Furniture Refinishing Month . . . and who among us doesn’t have a battered old piece of wood at home that could use a little TLC? Here are some tips for refinishing wood furniture from valsparpaint.com:
In this Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 photo, Natalie Cox, owner of "Natty by Design," and mother of four, works on a piece of furniture in the garage of her home in Gilbert, Ariz. Cox started Natty By Design in January 2011 in the garage of her home to supplement her husband's salary while he worked on his MBA at Arizona State University. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)
This undated photo courtesy of Fresh Home magazine/freshhomeideas.com shows a gilded chair. Gilding, the craft of applying thin layers of gold or silver leaf to a surface, is a great way to update an old chair or other piece of wood furniture. (AP Photo/Fresh Home magazine/freshhomeideas.com)
Step 1 – Assess the Condition
If you will be removing paint that was applied prior to 1970, it probably contains lead. If you scrape, sand or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. Lead is toxic. Find out how to remove lead-based paint safely by contacting the national lead information hotline at 800-424-lead, or log on to epa.gov/lead.
Step 2 – Select Your Product
If you choose to paint your furniture, we recommend a gloss or low sheen latex porch and floor paint (for added durability good for furniture that gets a lot of use); a high quality satin or semi-gloss latex paint; or a premium enamel spray paint in a gloss or satin finish.
If you will be staining, choose a water-based or oil-based stain with a semi-solid opacity for richer color and coverage. You may also want to cover it with an oil-based polyurethane coating.
Step 3 – Prepare Your Workspace
Find a well ventilated area – such as a garage or basement with windows and lay your drop cloth on the floor. If you are using spray paint, you may also want to hang a drop cloth on the wall to catch stray mist.
Step 4 – Prepare Your Furniture
Lightly go over the wood surface with 80-100 grit sandpaper to create a surface ready for adhesion. Go back over it again with a 220 grit paper to get the grain to pop
Next, run a tack cloth (or cheesecloth with sticky residue) over the surface to remove every last bit of sawdust. Doing so will help create a professional-quality finish.
Need to remove old paint? Make sure you heed the lead warning for removing old paint.
If you have a sound painted surface, you will only need to sand the edges smooth before you repaint it. For uneven and/or peeling surfaces use a putty knife to remove any loose paint chips, then lightly sand them with fine-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining paint.
A mild bleach or TSP (or substitute) will help get rid of any musty smell on your furniture.
Step 5 – Ready to coat
Once you have selected a paint and color, take a polyester nylon brush (for latex paint) or a natural bristle brush (for oil-based paint) and apply it in long strokes. Cover your furniture with two coats of paint and wait 24 hours (for porch and floor paint) or 4 hours for premium latex paint.
To remove excess paint, scrape the tool thoroughly or wipe it across cardboard or newspaper.
If you used latex paint, remove the excess paint in a bucket or container while the paint is still wet. It is much more difficult to remove dried paint with soap and water. If necessary, use a brush comb to remove it. Wash off the remaining paint under running water.
Oil-based paints should be removed in a bucket or container with mineral spirits (petroleum distillate), rinsed in tap water and then washed with soapy water. Rinse the brush until the water runs clear.
Danger: Rags, steel wool, sanding dust or waste soaked with oil-based products may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately after each use, place rags, steel wool, sanding dust or waste in a sealed, water-filled metal container.