1. INSPECT YOUR PIECE.
It’s no fun to get a piece perfectly painted only to realize that the drawer does not slide properly or a hinge is broken. Inspect your piece carefully, and make sure the fix you thought you could make easily is actually fixable. Sometimes you need to have another plan that might mean a different paint approach ENTIRELY.
2. CLEAN IT WELL.
Once your piece is completely repaired, a good cleaning is usually in order. The only time I don’t clean a piece is when I want to use any dust or grime to actually help me age a piece. (I can teach you all about that in one of my advanced paint techniques courses!) My cleaner of choice is Simple Green. This natural solvent cleans just about anything and smells pretty good too. For tough grime or sticky residue, I use Citrisolve.
3. GIVE IT A GOOD HAND SAND.
Those selling chalk style brands tout the benefit of their brand by proclaiming that no sanding is necessary. I don’t necessarily agree. Each piece is different and may require a different method, even when using chalk style paint. If the wood is porous or the last paint is flat, you can probably just get started. If, however, you are painting over a shiny finish of any kind, I always recommend a good sanding. Not back to the wood, let’s not get crazy here, but just enough to rough up the finish so the paint will stick. Always do a test patch and then try to scratch after the paint is dry. If it sticks you are all set to keep painting away…
BONUS TIP: PAINT YOUR PIECE UPSIDE-DOWN FIRST!
Why? Cause you need to paint from every angle. What you see in your workshop may not be what shows when your piece is on display. Start upside-down and get all the weird nooks and crannies. Then, when you flip it over and finish painting, you can be sure that you didn’t miss a spot.
Stay tuned: Next time, we’ll talk about the best uses of different types of paint!