The easiest and most cost effective way to update or refresh a solid wood kitchen or piece of furniture is to give it a makeover with a fresh coat of paint. Providing the wood is in good shape structurally, with a little time and effort you can create a completely fresh new look and save yourself the expense of purchasing new items. Check out our top tips to help you get the best results when painting wooden furniture.
Forget About Shortcuts
Painting is one of those jobs that cannot be rushed if you want to achieve a result you are going to be proud of, so forget about taking shortcuts!
Good preparation is essential when undertaking this type of DIY project, as cutting corners will only lead to an inferior finish. The same approach applies to the tools and products you purchase for the job; purchasing good quality brushes and paints will help you to achieve the quality finish you are looking for. Cut corners here and you will be cursing when you are picking bristles out of wet paint, or adding multiple coats of paint in an attempt to get it to cover!
Remove All Hardware
Do you remember what I said about shortcuts? Taking any hardware off the doors and drawers is essential and whilst it may seem a bit of a faff initially, it will save you lots of time when prepping and painting and besides, you may even decide to change your knobs or pulls for something a bit different.
Repairing Damage & Imperfections
The great thing about solid wood is that damaged areas and imperfections can always be repaired with filler. Go over any areas that need it with a fast drying wood filler, then sand the area with fine sandpaper until the surface is flat and smooth. Deeper dents or holes should be built up gradually in several layers to allow the product to dry and avoid shrinkage. Countersink any finishing nails or screws that are visible so that you can fill and paint over them.
Cracks and seams should be filled too, taking care to smooth over them to avoid ridges. Make sure that any filler you apply is suitable for sanding.
Sanding down all of your surfaces is an important step that gives your surfaces a good key, making sure that the new paint will adhere properly. The amount of sanding you will need to do will depend on the previous finish, but essentially, you are looking to achieve a smooth, even surface that is free of any flaking, rough bits or gouges.
Using Primer & Undercoat
It is essential to use a primer when you are painting bare wood as it will soak into the wood and help the subsequent coats of paint to adhere. Cover any knots in the wood with a knotting solution to prevent the knots from bleeding through your paint finish.
Undercoating is a sensible step if you are changing the colour of your cabinets or furniture to a much darker or much lighter tone, as it will stop the base colour grinning through and helps you to achieve a good cover with fewer top coats.
Apply your paint in thin, even coats and allow them to dry fully in between. Look on the tin for guidance as to the drying time, but factor in the weather too as it may affect the way your paint behaves. Excess humidity for example can drastically extend your drying times.
Having taken my advice and bought yourself a great quality brush that keeps its bristles to itself, don’t forget to clean it thoroughly in between coats and at the end of your project. It can be tempting to leave it in a jar and go off for a well-earned rest but the chances are that you will forget about it until it is too late!
A quality brush will last for years providing you look after it.
If you are nervous about painting an entire piece, why not add an accent colour instead? The island in this GRK kitchen has been painted with pinstripes, adding a splash of colour and complimenting the other pieces in the room. There are lots of ways to add colour and interest to a piece with paint. Experiment with some masking tape and a good dose of imagination!
Step Back & Admire The Results
It is amazing what you can achieve with a bit of hard work and a new coat of paint and having taken care to do the job properly, your project will stay looking fresh until the next time you feel like recreating your look. Some of your projects will undoubtedly turn out better than others, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of things, even if you are a complete novice with a paintbrush.
Updating old pieces and giving your interiors a makeover can be incredibly rewarding and with practice, you are sure to improve your technique and have a lot of fun in the process.