Paint finishes are widely used to increase the aesthetic appeal of furniture and there are many effective options/variations available in finishes including enamel, oil based, durable acrylic, gloss and semi-gloss latex melamine. Antique furniture usually requires paint finish to prevent any damage or cracks as well as to maintain and preserve the antique look. The choice of finishes that you make depends on factors like your usage of the furniture, the ease of application of the finish, final appearance and value of your furniture. Using the following recommendations and tips choose the best type of paint finishes and achieve the best results in your finishes for antique furniture.
Tip 1 - Check and Prepare Your Furniture
If the furniture has not been prepared for the application of paint finishes, the results you attain will never be satisfactory. Therefore, check the furniture before proceeding with your project and see to it that it is structurally sound. Also, before the application, make sure that the furniture is thoroughly clean and no irregularities or dirt are present on the surface. This can be done with the help of a detergent used along with sponge/scrub. Moreover, different materials (wood, metal, plastic) require different types of paint and the types of finish (glossy or textured) would depend on these differences too. The way you apply your paint (paint brushes or spray-on acrylic) will also determine the quality of the end result.
Tip 2 - Indoor or Outdoor Furniture
If your antique furniture is an indoor one made out of wood, an oil-based paint could work well for it lasts longer and absorbs effectively into the material. However, if your wooden antique furniture is placed outdoors then it could be painted with latex paint as it does not fade easily, is weather-resistant and does not allow the growth of mildew. Metal furniture allows for the usage of both latex and oil-based paints (although latex is more strongly recommended). Do see to it that oil-based paints should not be used on galvanized iron furniture. Lastly, if your antique furniture is, by any chance, made out of plastic, a gloss finish with a spray-on acrylic paint could work out beautifully and even hide away any possible scratches or marks.
Tip 3 - Choose the Appropriate Finish
Various finishes, as mentioned before, are available in the market today with varying pros and cons. Lacquer, for example, is a clear finish used for wooden furniture and is available in flat or high gloss both but dries in little time and is not damage resistant. Varnish is another clear finish which is more durable than lacquer, but dries slowly causing various problems, especially for those who are relatively inexperienced in the painting sphere. Polyurethane is yet another clear finish which is more durable than varnish and lacquer both and relatively easier to apply too however, it is difficult to strip off or repair this finish. Shellac is used primarily to restore antique furniture as it leaves a brilliant shine but this type of finish is very vulnerable to damage which limits its popularity to being used as a sealer or under coat. Lastly, Danish oil is a relatively inexpensive and durable finish, but takes quite some time to dry and often requires several coats.