Sunday, March 27, 2011

gold and orange table.

In my world, every color goes together. I used to think it was a problem that I couldn't pick just one or two to make a color scheme that made any sense in a traditional decorator-y kind of way, but now I embrace the fact that I love just about all of them, and I find myself running away with it.

For example, when we were at the hardware store picking up the gray and white paint for my guest room mirror, Ethan picked up a chip of a bright, BRIGHT persimmon orange. I had no idea what to do with it, but I knew I needed that orange in my life.

Then I remembered this:

I had been using this little Norden Ikea table as a dressing table for a while, but I decided it would fit better in the dining nook of our kitchen than the larger table we previously had there. Perfect orange painting opportunity!

Here's what I made:

An orange table. but wait, notice the gold feet!
gratuitous close-up of the golden feet:

The process of painting wood furniture is not really that fun in and of itself, but it's satisfying when you're finished. Here is how I do it, step by step:

mouse sander/ block sander/ sandpaper. 80 grit to rough up wood, 150-200 grit between coats of paint or varnish.
Kilz oil based primer
cheap paint brush (primer is a pain in the butt to clean up, and it will make a mess in your sink. just get a throw-away one.)
re-usable paint brush if using acrylic paint.
small sponge roller
mineral spirits (to clean up anything oil-based)
Paint in color of your choice, eggshell or gloss finish
Spray paint. I've had good luck with Rustoleum.
wipe-on poly
lintless rags, such as rags-in-a-box
old cardboard box or tarp.

1. Sand the surface of the wood lightly if it's already smooth or varnished, to make it easier for the primer to grab onto it. if it's rough, sand the wood until it's smooth.

2. use a tack cloth or a slightly damp rag in a box to wipe off sawdust.

3. prime the furniture. Use several coats of oil-based primer. I use a mini-roller for flat surfaces and a brush for nooks and crannies. There should be a pretty even white surface once finished.

4. wait a day for the primer to completely dry. More if it's cold or humid. Then sand down lightly with 150 or 200 grit sandpaper. this is to get rid of brush marks. Wipe dust off with a paper towel dampened with mineral spirits.

5. paint the piece. If using spray paint, use long, wide strokes of spray, and wear a mask. it is less likely to have awkward spots on the piece if you go slightly off the piece before turning directions with the sprayer.
- if using paint in a can, you can basically use the same technique as with primer; sponge roller for large flat surfaces, brush for nooks and crannies.

6. if there are large texture variations after painting (happens especially on a hot day) then you may need to sand again, lightly. wipe down table with cloth dampened in water (for acrylic paint) or mineral spirits (for oil-based paint/ most spray paints)

7. for a glossier/ more durable finish, use poly. I like minwax wipe-on poly because it's idiot-proof. just use a lint-free disposable towel (rag in a box or something similar) and wipe it on. However, this may make pure white paint look slightly yellow.

8. let it dry, thoroughly.

For cleaning up, anything oil based can be cleaned with mineral spirits, acrylic (water-based) can be cleaned with soap and water. If oil based primer gets in your hair, it is going to stay there. if something is stinky (oil based paints, spray paint, poly) it is probably flammable. for safety, fill an old pickle jar with water and throw any rags soaked in flammable things (poly, mineral spirits) into it.

As an aside, most of the painted furniture I've put on this blog does not look anywhere near perfect, because I am impatient. once I get bored of sanding, the piece is officially declared smooth enough. If I'm bored of painting, I can ignore a slight color variation somewhere.

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