Sunday, 22 April 2012

The long and short of painting furniture.

This weekend has been a busy one what with ferrying children to parties, supermarket visits and yesterday, squeezing in a bit of baking for friends who were coming round for supper. I managed to meet up with a friend for a run amidst the dashing around for a bit of piece and quiet, believe it or not!

Yesterday, between taking to and collecting from, a party I also managed to shoe horn in a spot of furniture painting. As my husband commented to friends later on that evening..."If it stays still too long in this house, it gets painted!"

The object to succumb to my brush on this occasion was our kitchen table, a farmhouse table inherited from the previous owners of the property. All I did was paint the base to give it a little lift. I'm happy with the result. It feels like a new table. My excitement completely overshadowed the fact that I had painted the table within hours of our guests arriving for dinner!

Catching up later over supper, the subject of furniture painting arose. My husband delighted in the opportunity of being able to tell our friends how the paint on the table was not yet dry! (It was dry.....albeit it had that slightly tacky, not quite dry feel to it!) They laughed nervously before, with slight panic on their faces, moving their legs from under the table. Phew. No paint on trousers embarrassment!

We discussed painting techniques and I confessed to not always being as thorough as I should when it comes to preparation. (I have alluded to this in previous posts.) It depends on the object in question. If it is merely a decorative item, that serves no other function and therefore comes under no attack from trikes, bikes and any other abuse, then I often dispense with effort, wave sandpaper at it and paint two coats of top coat. If it is a large piece or something that I know will be bashed, moved, generally 'used and abused' then I do take a little more care. In this case I do knot, sand, prime and top coat.

The official line on painting furniture is to apply knotting solution where necessary, sand with a fine sandpaper, prime with water based primer and then add a suitable wood paint such as eggshell. (The 'long'.)

My summer project is going to be the dresser in the kitchen. For this I will almost certainly be turning to Annie Sloan paints. I have championed chalk paint before as it requires absolutely no preparation (The 'short'.) and comes in 24 delicious colours for furniture, floors and walls.

The other great thing about this paint is it is environmentally friendly being very low on VOC's. It can be used on all surfaces, inside and out and Annie's website shows you how you can mix colours together to create new shades.

Another effective way of using paint on furniture is to paint in one colour and then apply a second coat in an alternative colour and then gently sand back once dry so that the first colour slightly shows through over all or parts.

I may not be able to wait until the summer....

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