IN CASE YOU MISSED IT | prepping a piece of furniture to paint

prepping furnitureI intended to get a post up last night and then this morning, but time escaped me.  The mix of work, family, and church stuff has kept me busy.  I still have a few more posts to write about my trip, including our quick stay in Florence.  But today I’m going to share a dresser I have been working on…

I bought this pretty dresser off craigslist just a few weeks ago.  From the listing photo, I thought it was an empire dresser, but it’s actually a reproduction of an empire dresser.  It’s smaller in scale and it’s machine-made.  It’s still an older piece (probably 1940’s-50’s) and it’s a nice piece.  It had been refinished at some point and whoever did it did a beautiful job.  The finish is smooth and unmarred, so I sort of hate to paint it.  The whole reason I bought it was to paint it, so it’s getting painted.

Don’t worry, I’ll treat it well.

I think this is a piece that will look good either way, though.  Great as is and great painted.

Painting it will bring out some of the details a little more, which I like.

While I was working on this dresser, I took the opportunity to make a video sharing how I prep a piece of furniture to paint.  I went over sanding (and the reasons for it, tools used), removing the hardware, and removing contact paper from the inside of drawers…

How I Prep a Piece of Furniture to Paint

In the video, I use THIS orbital sander and 120 grit sanding discs.  

I didn’t mention it in the video, but another reason I like to sand prior to painting is so there isn’t a glossy finish showing under any distressing or chipping that may happen.  I want any exposed wood to be matte or flat, so it will look more authentic.  A shiny poly finish peeking underneath distressing is a dead giveaway that the piece was recently redone.  The whole point of distressing is to make the paint finish appear as if it has worn over time and the details really matter.  Taking 15 minutes or so to prep a piece creates a good foundation for a beautiful end result.  

After seeing the some of that pretty wood exposed after sanding, I was tempted to continue removing the finish and just rub it with Hemp Oil…

…but, I have other plans for it.

On another note, I mentioned in yesterday’s post that we got some snow Sunday.  While I was working on this piece yesterday, it cold and breezy and the snow hadn’t yet melted in the shade.  Leaves were scurrying across the pavement with every gust of wind and it was so cold that my hands were turning pink and my nose started running.  All of that to say that I’m missing my big studio in PA.

However, there is something authentic about working on furniture the way most people do…on my driveway, in my garage, in the house, and just finding a way to make it all work.

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3 thoughts on “IN CASE YOU MISSED IT | prepping a piece of furniture to paint

  1. Jane

    Real nice piece of furniture there! I sand outside, paint inside in front of bay window. It works!


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