Home Sweet Home: The Power of Paint

greencabOne of the most rewarding and cost-effective household projects is reviving an old piece of furniture with a fresh coat of paint.

By Cathy Osoria

Use an existing piece of furniture that is around your home or head to a local thrift shop and search for a piece to refurbish.

The newly painted piece will be a one of a kind and can be a perfect “pop” of color. With so many colors to choose from, one should be able to coordinate with an existing color scheme. When choosing the piece to paint, consider that some furniture can be used in many different rooms and with multiple purposes.

An example of this is a wood buffet. A buffet can be a storage dresser in a bedroom, an entry piece with a lamp, a sideboard in a kitchen, a television stand, and maybe used as a baby changing table if the legs are shortened. Choosing a color can be the most creative part of the process. Brighter colors and colors that contrast sharply with the walls and other furnishings will draw attention to a piece and make it the focus of the room, while lighter colors will help a piece blend in.

Preparing the piece to paint is important in order for the paint to adhere and last longer.  First, remove any necessary hardware from the furniture. Patch any holes, chips or seams in the wood with wood fill.  Sand the surface of the furniture with fine grit sandpaper or liquid sander deglosser. Wipe sanding dust with a clean cloth. Prime the piece using a brush or spray paint.

Not all pieces need primer. If you want a distressed look, then primer may not be necessary. After the piece is primed, lightly sand again, then start painting using the chosen color. Scrubable latex paint is a good choice because clean up can be with soap and water; dry time is faster than oil based paint, and there is no or low odor.

pinkcabinetAmy Howard is a paint that is found in specialty stores (Ooh’s and Aah’s in Webster), and it comes in fantastic colors and requires no primer and not much preparation. This paint can also be used to paint fabric. To paint fabric, the paint is diluted in half and brushed onto fabric then lightly sanded with fine grit paper. The results are amazing and worth trying before money is spent to reupholster the piece.

Multiple colors of paint may be used to create interest on a piece or to accent trim or doors. The outside of a hutch can be one color and the inside an accent color.  A pattern can be painted or new hardware added  to  make the furniture more appealing. A dresser can be spruced up with bright chalk board paint (chalk paint now comes in many colors, not just black). When the dresser is completed, then take chalk and write on the drawer fronts what’s located in that drawer. Kids love this idea which also encourages organization.
A traditional carved brown wood coffee table can be painted a bright color like royal blue. The unexpected color is a fun contrast to its otherwise traditional lines. Paint is inexpensive — the worst that could happen is sanding may be needed if drips occur. Or you can repaint the piece entirely if the color isn’t satisfactory. Don’t be afraid to just jump into a paint project. The product can be a unique piece with a little time and effort and not much money.

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