There is NO excuse for ugly furniture. With warmer weather just around the corner, it is time to start looking at your furniture with a critical eye and making a list of pieces that CAN be changed with just a little bit of work!
We all have it...those "cheapo" pieces of furniture that are, at the very least, offensive! Maybe they were given to you, maybe you bought them at a "discount" store...maybe you bought it at the thrift store to fill space in a room.
Pressed board construction, laminate tops, dated finishes, pieces you put together with a little allen wrench thingy that came with the worthless little "screws" that promptly strip out and leave the piece wobbly and worthless!
It's ugly and cheap, but seriously who has the money to buy "real wood" furniture when you are struggling from pay check to pay check and having to buy shoes for a kid whose feet seem to grow a size every month.
I get it...I've been there. Fortunately I have learned to shop resale and auctions for "quality" pieces...and even if they need a little TLC, I have the tools, knowledge and time. But not everyone has that...or the money to buy and refinish high quality pieces.
That is why I advocate the KSTP treatment. Let me explain....
First, before you even get to the KSTP treatment, ALWAYS give the piece a good cleaning. On the nastiest, I use ammonia water but some can just be wiped down with a little water and mild detergent. Whatever you need to do to get the gunk off the piece! If it is "stuck" on just scrape it off with a razor! No matter if you scratch the finish...you are going to paint it!
Second, make any and all repairs that need to be made...and if you don't know how to repair it properly, google it!
Okay, now the KSTP treatment....
K- Kilz (my favorite primer but any QUALITY PRIMER will do! That is why this is the KSTP treatment and not the PSTP treatment!)
For smaller pieces I use a spray can only because it is easy and gives me a nice smooth finish. On larger pieces I use a brush and 4" foam roller! TIP! Always shake the can longer than the directions recommend. Kilz will spray on with a "grainy texture" if you don't shake the can well! No biggy since you are going to sand anyway, but just makes it a little easier! Also, pay attention to the temperature recommendations...it matters!
Many paints SAY they are a "primer and paint in one." Sorry, I am old school....I ALWAYS prime and I personally recommend it. If you want a superior finish that will hold up to use and abuse, prime!
S-Sand. A 220 grit paper will usually smooth out the piece after it is primed. I wrap a piece around a sanding sponge block!
If you have "ornate" legs or detailing, use 000-0000 steel wool.
USE YOUR HANDS, not your eyes. Feel the piece.
Trust me, if it isn't smooth, it WILL show after you paint it! Sand it until it is smooth to the touch! If you cleaned the piece well, scraped off all the gunk, this step really should only take a few minutes.
T- Tack cloth. A MUST after you sand but before you paint (or apply any finish). Blow or brush off as much as you can, then use a tack cloth!
You can purchase it at your favorite home improvement store...usually in packages of 2 and relatively inexpensive (around $2)! You can wipe a piece down all day with a clean cloth, but you WILL leave "stuff" on the piece if you don't tack cloth it. Tack cloth will remove EVERYTHING. If you still feel "stuff," hit it with the sand paper again and then tack cloth again!
P-Paint. This is where people usually freak out. My favorite for wood or laminate furniture is oil-based but it can be a tricky paint to work with for a novice and difficult to clean up. Fortunately latex paints have come a long way and are much more durable these days! QUALITY spray paint is probably your best bet for smaller pieces. I say quality because you can buy spray paint a tad cheaper at discount stores, but I am not a huge fan of cheap paint for ANY project! I usually buy Valspar or Rust-oleum from Lowe's.
On smaller pieces of furniture the difference will only be a few dollars but will be worth it in the long run.
Each of the brands come in LOTS of great colors...just find the color you love! I have found very little difference between the two brands...the Valspar tends to dry a tad quicker....but both are quality paints! ALWAYS shake the cans well and follow the directions on the can!!!
I have followed every tip in the book to get rid of the occasional "striping" on large, flat surfaces...like dresser tops or table tops. It doesn't seem to matter how I spray, what the temperature is or how hard the wind is blowing...sometimes I get stripes.
My solution has been to purchase the little "sample pots" of paint custom mixed to match the spray paint I am using and roll it on the large flat surfaces with a 4" foam roller!
Penetrol and Floetrol are a MUST any time you roll or brush on paint...oil or latex!
Use it. It will eliminate the brush and roller marks and give you a MUCH smoother finish!
These are just a VERY few projects using the KSTP treatment (I have done hundreds!)....world of difference for a little bit of work! I am working on a piece right now that is in the S stage...primed and sanded but now I need to figure out what color I want to paint it...soon!
Even light fixtures and paddle fans can be spray painted!!! On metal pieces and furniture hardware, I use metal primer primarily for the "rust retardant" factor!
One last important TIP when using ANY technique to paint anything....ALWAYS give the piece time to cure before you put it to work!
I was always skeptical of those "two day" makeovers they did on tv where they would paint something and then "stage" the pieces with all kinds of stuff within hours of putting a final coat on. (Kind of like getting your nails painted at the salon...even though you dry them for 10 minutes, you are still going to ding them if you dig in your purse for your keys! Unless you get gel polish...awesome stuff!) Trust me, that is the fasted way to ruin a finish! Don't do it...be patient and give the paint time to harden (cure) before you set a lamp on it or try to hang the fixture (trust me...I have had to repaint many pieces because of impatience!)
One dated, nasty, cheapo piece of furniture can ruin an entire room. Toss it or paint it! YOU CAN DO IT!
*I have not been compensated for pimping these products! These are the products I use and work for me!!!*