Painting Furniture 101: Tools

Thanks for all your wonderful comments on the end table I painted for my daughter J's room.
In all honesty I was really stepping outside my comfort zone by painting it a colour other than black, red or white! We had fun choosing a paint colour and glad we went with our gut!

But many of you asked how I painted it...

Jen said...

I agree with all the comments above: great colour, great makeover! It's really lovely. And you got such a nice finish on it! It looks professionally sprayed. And it's great that your daughter loves it. Smart girl.

Rosa @ said...

Turquoise and purple... my favourite!! Good job! Do you own a paint sprayer? Is that your secret?

 Since you asked, I'll share what I use to paint my wonderful thrift store and Craigslist finds. 
First, I determine whether I'll use spray paint or roll paint on. I do not own a paint sprayer, wish I did though! When I spray paint I use spray paint purchased at my local hardware store. I prefer to use Rustoleum brands of spray paint. 

I do find their paint colour and sheen varieties limited, therefore I only use it on furniture and items that don't have a lot of surface area or have curvy and wavy surface areas, such as a lamp, chair or frame and  when I want to use a basic colour such a white or black.
I will get into more detail about the different spray paints in an upcoming post.

For large pieces of furniture with large surface areas I roll on paint. In order to get a smooth finish, you need to use the right tools. 
Here are the basic tools I use:

1 and 2: I sand most pieces before I start to paint, especially if they are going to get a lot of wear, such as a desk. This ensures a smooth surface and adhesion of the paint. If the piece has dings or the finish is chipped I whip out my lovely sander {1}I stole borrowed from my dad to smooth and prep the surface. Less damaged items I scuff the surface with my {2} trusty sanding block. 

3: For a nice smooth finish I use foam rollers, I have 2 sizes based on the size of the surface area I wish to paint. 
4. I use a paint brush for cutting into edges or  into places the roller doesn't cover. The key is to buy a really good quality brush. Don't cheap out on your tools, they make a huge difference in the final look.

5. I use a foam brush when I am painting with oil based paints, I just throw it out when I am done, eliminating clean-up. I also use a foam brush when I paint with verathane.

Let me emphasize the importance of not buying cheap paintbrushes and rollers, invest in good quality, with care they will last you a long time.

 They are the key to achieving a smooth and gorgeous paint finish and to eliminate any heartache along the way!

 Here is my "behind the scenes" photo. Our furry friend, Henry was curious and decided to "help."

Isn't he so cute?

Come back tomorrow when I share how I put those tools to use - my painting techniques and tips!
XO Barbara


  1. Genius idea to use foam for oil based paints! It's such a pain to clean!

  2. I love those little foam brushes- used them recently for my chinoise hutch and they worked great. I can attest to the importance of good brushes- my closet doors have had about 5 coats trying to get a smooth look because of the wrong brush. Definitely worth the investment.

  3. This is so helpful right now because I am going to be painting a dresser soon for my son's room! Thanks Barbara!

  4. Great tip Barbara and I have to say that Henry is a DOLL!! What a cutie :)
    Nancy xi

  5. Good to know....i like that color! :)))

  6. oh henry is adorable...we spent the morning at the pet store today (our first time in a long time) and they actually had chocolate lab puppies there...we are missing luca very badly and almost took one home...Gavin cried when we left the store without it!! :(
    your daughter's side table is gorge!

  7. i love that colour you did a great job barbara. the finish looks amazing!

  8. Another great post. I really need to invest in a sander. And some better brushes too!


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