painting antique dresser w/ black laquer paint?

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Old 12-28-07, 02:38 AM
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painting antique dresser w/ black laquer paint?

i have an antique dresser that is a nice design but not in the greatest shape. it has i think 2 coats of paint on it already (currently a tan/mauve-ish color). i don't want to spend the money to have it stripped and refinished, but i think it would look nice painted w/ black laquer paint. i know the paint job isn't going to be perfect with all these coats of other paint beneath it and with some of the wood chipping/peeling away, but i'd like to do it. the dresser has little cubby holes and carved detail around the drawers.
does anyone have advice for how i should go about this? i don't know if i should put down a primer and also what type of laquer paint to use. i read another post about thinning down laquer paint, and i'm wondering if i should do that. i don't want to get involved in spraying it. thanks!!!
 
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Old 12-28-07, 03:43 AM
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ambrosered,
IF you are going to attempt to use lacquer, it's essential that you determine what type of paint is on the item first. Lacquer applied over an oil based paint will wrinkle and lift the paint.
I'd recommend applying an oil based paint. Whether the current finish is lacquer, acrylic, urethane or oil, there will be no problem with adhering to the finish with oil based paint.
Preparing the piece for painting is essential. Chipped areas from use must be feathered (sanded smooth) using a 150 grit garnet sandpaper. Years of waxing or dusting with modern polishes or cleaners have left a residue that will cause problems with the new finish laying out smoothly.
After a thorough sanding with 180 (sand everywhere to score the finish so the new coat of paint will stick) clean the piece using mineral spirits. I'd recommend cleaning it at least twice in order to remove as much of the old waxes as possible.
In order to prepare your black oil based paint for applying, stop by an automotive paint supply store and pick up a container of "fish eye elliminator". Add this solution in the quantity recommended for the size paint container you have (i.e. 1 squirt to 1 qt. of paint). This solution will assist your finish by allowing it to layout smooth.
Thin coats are much better than thick coats when applying any finish. Apply your first coat of paint, allow to dry (generally overnight), then scuff sand the piece using 220 grit garnet sandpaper and wipe off all residue. Be careful on the edges and on moldings not to sand off the paint. Remember, you are just "scuffing" or lightly sanding the piece just to get rid of the roughness. DO NOT use steel wool! This will get stuck in the paint, in corners, on moldings, etc., and you'll never be able to remove all of it between coats!
Apply your next coat of paint and when dry repeat the scuffing and cleaning process and apply the third and final coat.
If you want to have a satin, "hand rubbed" appearance, allow the piece to dry about three weeks, sand with 1000 grit wet-dry sandpaper, and rub the piece out using 4-0 steel wool.
Sounds like a lot of work and it is if you want to do it right and have a classie job when you are done. Good luck and happy 2008!!

CD
 
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Old 12-28-07, 05:25 AM
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Big job, but if you get the prep work done right, this could be beautiful when you're done.
 
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Old 12-28-07, 05:57 AM
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wow cd, thank you for all of this info! it sure does sound like a lot of work... one more question if you don't mind: how much paint do you think i'll need for this job (the dresser is approx 4 feet high x 2.5 feet deep x 5 feet wide)?
thanks!
 
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Old 12-28-07, 01:05 PM
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A quart of paint goes a long way. That's what I'd start with. Keep in mind that the paint should be stirred every 15 minutes or so to maintain an even consistence. Depending on the brand of paint, pigment settles rather quickly and although stirring every 15 minutes may be overkill, I'd rather be safe than sorry.
CD
p.s. YES, IT IS A LOT OF WORK IF YOU WANT IT DONE RIGHT!!
 
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Old 12-29-07, 04:23 AM
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if you are unwilling to strip the piece to raw would, lacquer is completely out. It will not go over latex or oil paint and if you don't know what type of lacquer is on there now, you are asking for a failure.

Also, if you didn't know lacquer MUST be sprayed.
 
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