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You ask, paint answers

You guys ask some great questions! I hope I give some good answers! ūüėČ I did get a few questions about staining, which I have done, but don’t do ¬†a lot of; so I have tried to answer those as best as I can.
The Procrastinator Crafter¬†¬†asked “How do you prime your furniture?
¬†I have an old piece of furniture- like lots of coats of paint. Should I strip everything then get started or should I just sand, prime and jump right in?”

Well. It depends. First, because as my husband will atest; I am a paranoid chemical/health freak. If a piece is painted and I am unsure about the age or¬†the¬†paint, I will do ¬†a Lead test kit on them. I pick them up at Home Depot and it’s normally under $6 for 2 tests. Why check for lead paint? Sanding lead paint for 30 seconds will contaminate an entire household and I have little kids. If it has lead paint,I would have it professionally stripped.

If it checks okay,then it depends on the finish I am going for. If I want ¬†a really clean fresh look, I’ll sand it to a really flat finish and prime/paint over it. Generally though, unless the paint is in bad shape, just jump in! The¬†piece¬†can be given a light scratch coat (sanding) on top to give it a little tooth just so the primer will stick, and then go right over the top. Some times if you are doing a distressed look, it’s nice to have those under layers show¬†through.

If you strip it, I do recommend using a really less toxic,green one, outside in a well ventilated area. Those chemicals can be nasty. And I am a paranoid sander too.. my neighbors get the full view of me in goggles, gloves and a mask. Pretty sexy.
Karyn asked ¬†“I’m redoing my kitchen table and chairs. It’s white and pine currently. I want to stain the top and chair seats a darker stain. And then do a cream color with brown glaze on the legs and backs. Any suggestions? Mostly I need to know about the finish. Varnish, wax, polyurethane? Gloss, satin? I have no idea. I want it to last with all the beating up it’s going to get in the kitchen.”
An oil base stain/finish is going to last longer, but takes longer to dry¬†and¬†STINKS. This¬†is¬†an outside perfect day, no wind project. Then do a few coats of non-yellowing polyurethane over the top. Oil base is the way to go for real durability in a satin or semigloss finish (I’m not ¬†a high gloss kind of ¬†a ¬†girl).¬†I would do the legs first , tape them off, the do the top. It’ll be easier to touch up the legs than fix accidental paint on a newly stained top. Make sure when you do the top if there is a leaf that you have that in when you do the staining so it all matches. ¬†

For the legs, I would use a satin cream color in latex or oil base, and top it with either General Finishes poly acrylic, or Minwax poly acrylic Satin¬†finish for the appropriate finish. I have to admit though, I do some staining, but not a ton, so I wouldn’t be an expert in that field.
Mrs. Tee asked (Gasp!… just kidding) ¬†“...would you ever paint over an oak bed? It’s not a pretty color of oak at all. I was thinking of painting it darker, but wondered if it would work or not.”

My answer is.. I SO WOOD! ¬†My mom and I have this discussion all of the time. Her view is it’s a sin to paint over good wood. My argument is if you hate the color, it’s not good wood. Would you wear a dress if the cut was great but the color made you look 20 years older? Believe me, this is an on going ¬†“At home discussion”. Yes Mother, again,it is time to paint that dark paneling.

Di asked¬†“ I have a coffee table I “rescued” and would love to refinish it. I believe the top is veneer, however. What I would like to do is stain it darker but still have the wood pattern show through. How do I do that?”
¬†I’ve never stained veneer so I am not sure. Have any of the other reader’s out there ever stained veneer? I guess it would it depends on if it’s real veneer or fake (plastic) veneer. ¬†This might be a good question for ¬†a local wood worker. Let me chat with my dudes’ at my local Woodcraft and I’ll get back to you.¬†
Southern Inspiration asked ¬†“…¬†I have a question about Etsy……is it just for handmade products and about how much time do you spend on it?”

I’ve seen hand-made products, vintage products, home decor and crafting supplies. I know a lot of the home decor is home made. The best thing to do is to look up what you are interested in selling and surf around Etsy a bit, see if there is anything like that there, otherwise look ¬†at Ebay. ¬† I find I spend about 20 minutes taking and editing photos, 15 minutes loading up 5 -8 items and about 10 minutes in the post office per sale. The real time for me comes with making things. For my art time, I try to do a mix of things that are quick and I charge less and things that take me longer, so there’s a nice price range in the shop.Not including art time I spend about 2 hours a week. Not bad for ¬†a part-time gig. If you are thinking about doing it I say why not? it’s ¬†20 cents and 3% to sell an item from your living room. If you are interested in sellingotehr stuff ¬†not¬†through¬†Etsy; Paypal has an option on their upgraded account where you can embed ¬†a Paypal button anywhere, so you could pretty much sell off of your blog if you wanted to.
Sun-kissed savages asked ¬†“How long does each piece take you??”¬†
 It depends on the piece. 

The small blue table took me about 45 minutes start to finish, but I paint pretty fast (and really sloppy).. 

I have larger pieces like this armoire that have taken almost 13 hours.

Thank you guys for your fabulous questions! I hope I’ve helped you! I also have to give ¬†a shout out to one of my favorite¬†commenters, Teresa. Teresa, I have no way of responding back to you when you leave a comment, but I wanted to tell you you always leave the nicest ones and they are so appreciated!
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