Whether you found a great deal at a yard sale or thrift store or you are just tired of the same old bedroom furniture, it can be quite simple to paint your furniture a new lease on life. There are several inexpensive painting techniques that even a novice can use. The type of finish you choose for a wood project will determine the amount of preparation you must do; metal should be stripped fully. Your painted finish will adhere better to a properly prepared surfac --lightly sand or thoroughly strip depending on your choice of finish.
Oil-based enamel paint is thick and opaque. This paint is extremely durable, resists chips and cracks, and maintains vibrant color for many years. Enamel comes in many colors and is highly glossy. Some stores can color match enamel, giving you virtually endless choices. It covers old finishes extremely well and requires only minimal preparation. Lightly sand the surface of your project and enamel can be sprayed, rolled or brushed on. Because it is thick and slow drying, it is generally self leveling. Brush and roller marks usually disappear as enamel dries. Enamel takes a week or more to dry and you must wait until it fully cures to begin using your furniture. Oil based paints require mineral spirits or other chemicals to clean painting tools.
Water based latex paint is a good choice if you prefer a less glossy finish, or easier cleanup. Latex paint is available in several gloss levels: full gloss, semi-gloss, satin, eggshell and flat and most paint stores can color match latex paints. Because it is water based, clean up is easily done by rinsing painting tools in soap and water. Providing nearly the same opacity of enamel, acrylic can require little preparation other than light sanding. It dries quickly, so it is more prone to brush marks than enamel. Latex paint is a good choice if your furniture is not moved often or subjected to heavy use. It is a bit more likely to suffer from chips, cracks and fading in the sun.
Acrylic and Milk Paint
Specialty paints such as acrylic or milk paint contain a higher concentration of pigment and can be watered down to create a stain like effect. This type of finish is often used when a more rustic finish is desired. Milk paint is available in a limited number of earth-based colors. Many colors of acrylic paint are sold, but usually in small containers. Mixing milk and acrylic paint colors is simple, but color matching is only available by trial and error of mixing of available colors. Both are water based, fast drying and easy to clean up. However, the more translucent the paint, the more preparation must be done. If you wish to use acrylic based or milk paint as a stain, you must fully strip the old finish from your bedroom furniture. Both techniques are extremely fast drying and best applied with a sponge or rag. Specialty finishes can be coated with a protective clear coat for added durability.
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