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Painting wooden furniture surfaces is a dying art today, as so many of today's furniture comes in a pre-finished colour or covered with a laminate finish. The piece of furniture below was given to us or being thrown out and I thought that a bit of colour and care was all that was needed to restore the craftsmanship a previous generation had taken time and skill to produce. Tools & Safety.

1. Fine to medium grit sanding blocks

2. Orbital sander for large areas

3. Dust Mask

4. Eye protection

5. Overalls

6. Paint brush

7. Small mohair roller and tray

8. Rubbing Alcohol

9. Tack cloths

1. Preparation is key

Sanding is the first step to removing years of stains from tobacco, varnish, oil and other contamination. A good finish can only be achieved if the paint has something to 'grab hold of' known as mechanical adhesion and sanding creates small diverts so the paint can hold. We used different grades of sandpaper, starting with a course 100 grit for taking off the layers of varnish and finishing with a finer 200 grit, this will ensure that the painted finish is smooth. I always use orbital sanders for a job of this size with dust extraction as well as a 3m respirator as the dust could contain harmful particles. Always sand in a well ventilated area.

2. Cleaning

Clean down all areas with a tack cloth and some rubbing alcohol to ensure no small particles remain on the surface. For small areas of oily staining, rub down with fine sandpaper being careful not to damage the original surface.

3. Priming.

I use Zinsser Bin Primer a shellac based primer that gives great adhesion to previously painted surfaces and hides stains well. Also this primer drys extremely quickly allowing sanding and multiple re-coats. Sand between coats with a fine grit sanding pad making sure that the surface is smooth. We used 2 coats of primer to give a good base.

4. Finish coats

I used 2 finish coats of water based satin finish with an off white tint from Johnstones paints. Water based or Acrylic paints are low VOC so good for the environment and quick to dry.

You can use any top coat you want, this one I had already

All done and should last a longtime with some TLC.


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