Advice requested on best paint for old furniture


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Old 01-31-06, 12:43 PM
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Question Advice requested on best paint for old furniture

I have a dark old dresser that's not of much value that I stripped and refinished years ago. Now I'd like to experiment with this piece and repaint it with color. I could also use advice on the best type of paint to use, and the basic procedure.

I have lots of Liquitex acrylic paint on hand, and I've been reading a little about enamel. I haven't exactly determined what I want to do in terms of design, but I'm thinking of a variety of color, not all one color.

And as far as preparation, I believe I just have to lightly sand and wipe down with a tack cloth. Then perhaps a primer of some sort?

I'd really appreciate guidance on this experiment! Thanks ....
 
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Old 01-31-06, 06:22 PM
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Oil base enamel dries to the hardest finish - comes in 3 basic sheens -satin, semi-gloss and gloss. The wood should be primed preferably with enamel undercoater.

Latex is the most user friendly but latex enamels usually don't dry real hard and flat paint will get dirty easy. If you want to use multiple latex colors you could apply a coat or two of poly over the finish paint. Oil base poly is more durable but will give the paint underneath a yellow or amber tint. Latex poly while not as durable will not change the color of what it is applied over.
 
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Old 02-01-06, 06:09 AM
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Thanks, that's very helpful. I'm guessing that oil-based enamel paint needs good ventilation? I was planning to do this indoors - we live in an apartment and don't have access to a garage or basement-type work area.
 
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Old 02-01-06, 06:56 AM
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Yes oil base can be pretty potent. A good alternative would be a waterborne enamel. It brushes a little different but dries to a hard finish. I believe it has a little stronger odor than latex but nothing near like oil. Dries fast too.

I can higly recomend SWPs proclassic waterborne. Benjamin Moore also has waterborne that is supposed to be real good. Expect to pay more for waterborne than you would oil base enamel.
 
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Old 02-01-06, 07:11 AM
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Thanks, I'll check both of those out. (I didn't know what SWP was, so I googled it and got the Socialists Workers Party! - needed to add 'paint' to my search query )

You mention that it handles differently, any suggestions on that score?
 
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Old 02-01-06, 07:25 AM
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SWP = sherwin williams paint

Waterborne brushes a little different than either latex or oil. Don't overbrush it. You can thin it slightly with water if needed. I've never had any problems with it but I probably had 25+ years of exprience before it came out.
 
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Old 02-01-06, 07:42 AM
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Well you have about 25+ years more experience than I do!

My intent would be to get a smooth "brushstroke-free" finish so I was thinking of using those "new" pads that are out. What are your thoughts on those? When I use brushes, somehow I get lots of paint all the way up into the ferrule.

I'll certainly start on the less visible parts so I can get some sort of a system going before attempting the top surface and drawer faces.
 
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Old 02-01-06, 09:50 AM
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I don't think I have ever used a pad for anything other than staining.

When using a brush it is a good idea to every so often wipe the brush on the edge of the bucket raking off the excess paint build up. Some who have trouble with brushing like to use those little rollers, they will leave a little orange peel [texture] but is sometimes more sightly than brush marks.

I am currently repainting 1/2 of my house. All the woodwork on this end [other end stain] was painted with SWP waterborne approx 9 years ago when waterborne first came out. There are no noticable brush marks but I have been painting my whole life.

Don't forget to sand between coats of paint - helps to make a slicker finish
 

Last edited by marksr; 02-01-06 at 09:58 AM. Reason: add info
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Old 02-02-06, 10:23 AM
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Thanks again Mark, great advice and I had forgotten about the rollers, but think I'll stick to the brush and learn how to use it.

When you sand between coats, is it just a light buff to take the slickness off the surface?

What grade of sandpaper would you recommend for that stage of the job?
 
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Old 02-02-06, 04:31 PM
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For the intial sanding use 120 grit, between coats use 180 or 220 grit. Between coats you mainly just want to knock down any brush marks, even if you don't see them sand anyway and you should have a fine looking piece when you are done.
 
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Old 02-03-06, 09:20 AM
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Many thanks for your guidance, and I appreciate the time you've taken to help. I feel much better prepared to undertake this now.
 
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Old 02-05-06, 08:16 AM
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I would definately use an oilbased primer underneath, or that stain might want to bleed back through. Zinnser makes an odorless one. Mark is dead on about that waterborne stuff, not the easiest stuff to brush, but dries extremely hard. Good luck.
 
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Old 02-05-06, 10:05 AM
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If I were to use an oil-based primer, don't I have to use oil-based paint over it?
 
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Old 02-05-06, 10:38 AM
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no, primers are generally universal as what can be on top(few exceptions). If that weren't the case, how would you ever convert oil to latex
 
 

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