Today starts our short series on furniture rehab. Once a week, I’ll post detailed instructions on a furniture rehab project.
Let me start with this disclaimer…What I do isn’t furniture restoration or even refinishing. People who do that type of work would look at what I do and run screaming from the room. The pieces I work on are usually somebody’s unloved trash or thrift store bargains. I use paint, fabric and some elbow grease to create something new and pretty to love.
Our project for Furniture Rehab 101 is a youth chair for my kitchen. My sister has one of these for her kids and I’ve been
trying to swipe it admiring it for a long time. It looks like a regular chair but the seat is higher so you don’t need to use a booster seat. When I found one at my favorite flea market store, I squealed and snapped it up so fast that other mom’s hid their kids from the crazy woman.
So let’s get started. Here’s what we’re working on today.
The first thing I do is look to see if any parts of it need to be sanded. I’m just looking for obvious bumps, drips or nicks that will bug me once the piece has been painted. I usually don’t do much, if any, sanding. If I wasn’t taking pictures of each step for you, I probably wouldn’t have sanded this chair at all. But I did find a couple of drips in the finish that I could get rid of with sandpaper.
Next step is to get it clean. Here is where I usually spend about 15 minutes looking around the garage for my tack cloth. A tack cloth is a slightly sticky rag that you can use to get all the dust and dirt off of something that you’re going to paint. They’re sold in the paint department.
After I spend 15 minutes looking for mine, I gave up and used a wet rag to get the dust and grime off the chair.
Now starts the fun part. I primed this chair because it’s going to get a lot of wear and tear from my little boys. If I’m doing a piece that won’t take a beating, I often don’t even prime. But here’s the primer I used today.
Since I was painting the chair black, I used a grey primer. But white or black primer would have worked fine too. It just would have taken more coats of the paint with the white.
Here is my garage workspace. I put one piece of plywood on the floor and one up against the wall to catch the overspray. It used to drive my hubby nuts because the plywood doesn’t really catch all the overspray so there is a part of our garage floor that has a tinge to it. Right now it’s pink from the pink bench project. He has now resigned himself to the fact that I can’t help myself and has just asked that I not get any paint on his tractor. HA! A pink tractor. Now that would be a good post!
I started with the chair upside-down to get the legs primed well.
Then turned it right side up to get the rest.
The trick to spray painting without too many drips is to keep the can moving and to use light coats. It’s better to use multiple light coats than one heavy coat. I wait about 5 minutes between the coats of primer.
Then I let it sit for about an hour before using the paint.
DRIP TIP – If you get a drip in the primer or the paint that really bugs you, you can fix it. Let the paint or primer dry for at least an hour. Then use a fine grit sand paper to get rid of the drip. Clean the dust of the entire piece again and continue painting.
Same process with the paint. Two quick coats waiting about 5 minutes in between.
I let it dry for a few hours in the garage. By that point it was dry enough to handle and I let it finish drying overnight in the basement. The air conditioning helps it dry faster.
Here’s the finished chair.
The entire project took less than an hour not including drying time. I swear it took me longer to write this post than it did to paint the chair.
If you want to read another tutorial about painting furniture, stop by and see Rhoda at Southern Hospitality. Her post on painting her kitchen chairs is great. She uses a neat technique to get a beautifully distressed finish. Rhoda is such a sweet lady with a beautiful blog and wonderful taste.