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Fresh Coat of Paint Gives New Life to Yard Sale Finds

by:Boom Home     2020-07-03
With the arrival of summer comes the opportunity to pick up a great piece of furniture at a rock bottom price through a neighborhood yard sale. Turning that piece into one you can call your own can be as easy as applying a few coats of paint to create a fresh, prized addition to your home or office. When shopping the sales, evaluate the piece for its 'bones' not for its surface appearance. You'll want to seek out wooden furniture that has a sturdy feel. Be sure all drawer and doors open and close properly and hold together. For pieces with inlaid cloth or thatching, check for its rips and tears that would require replacement. If you find anything substantial, make sure you or someone you know is able to repair it before you spend your money. Superficial dings such as scratches and stains are no cause for concerns, as the prepping and painting process will address those. Just a note, too, that some stores sell unfinished furniture, so that might be a source for the correct piece for your space. And, of course, you may already have furniture that could be repainted to make it fit into a different decor or location. Before you begin, you'll want to determine which type of paint you want to use: latex or oil, satin or gloss. And, in what color. Generally speaking, those are personal preferences, but if the furniture already has a paint or stain, you'll need to understand how that will affect your decisions. Remember, too, that paints used before 1978 may contain lead, which can be dangerous if disturbed. To ease the process, set up your work area in a well-ventilated space. Put down a large drop cloth that allows room for the item and for you to move around it. Protect yourself with gloves, safety goggles and dust masks. You'll also want to have both wet and dry clothes readily at hand in case you need to clean up anything quickly. To begin, if you can, remove the hardware from the item if you don't want to paint it. Some like that effect. Others replace the hardware with something new while others give it its own new finish. For most furniture, you will begin by gently sanding the surface using a 100-grit or finer sandpaper. This allows you to create a smooth foundation by removing most scratches and stains before applying the primer. However, if you're dealing with peeling paint or uneven surfaces because of poor previous paint jobs, you may decide to remove the paint or varnish before you start. In that situation, you'll apply a chemical remover, then scrap away the finish. Once removed, you'll prepare the surface by sanding it first with a course sandpaper, then finish with a finer one. After sanding the piece, you'll want to use a damp cloth to wipe it down. Allow it to dry, then you'll be ready to brush on the primer. If you haven't stripped the finish away, this is when you'll need to know what type is already on the piece. If the finish was an oil-based paint, you'll become extremely frustrated if you try to use a latex paint over it. That combination usually results in lack of adherence. If you're painting a previously painted surface and you'd don't know that it was finished with latex paint, it's best to start with an oil-based primer regardless of whether you're using an oil or latex paint for the finish coat. If you know that it was finished with latex, it's fine to use latex primer. You'll notice it doesn't have the strong odors that oil-based primers have. By applying primer, you block most stains from bleeding through to the new paint. In addition, if you're painting in a lighter color - changing from dark green to bright green, for example - you'll find the primer is vital to getting the color you want. Allow the primer to dry completely. If you had a heavily stained area, you may need to apply a second coat of primer to ensure it is sealed properly. Because furniture generally takes a beating, you'll want to apply at least two coats of paint over the primer. Indeed it's better to apply multiple light coats of paint rather than one heavy coat, as each coat creates another layer of protection. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next; otherwise you could end up with visible brush strokes or roller marks. For a final protective barrier, you might want to apply a clear coat of polyurethane. Again if you apply multiple layers, you'll want to allow each to dry before applying the next. After you have completely your masterpiece, wait at least two days - preferably five - before you start using the piece. You'll want all the coats of primer, paint and clear coat to be cured completely before you start putting items onto it. Otherwise you could end up with dents or dings that will undermine your hard work.
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