You need to Clean & Prepare Your
Furniture before you paint.
It is typically not the most fun part of the project, but it is important if you want to eliminate any headaches later in the process of painting your used furniture or cabinets. Over time, used furniture is going to acquire some dirt and some abuse.
So make sure it is ready to go before you open that jar of paint.
Some Cleaning & wiping down is the most important part of the prep process, but having some sandpaper ready to go is also handy.
How Should You Sand your Furniture
before you Paint it with Chalk Paint.
Before we get into the sanding procedures, lets first discuss that we are not going to sand this piece of furniture down to the bare bones. We just want to soften some of the abuse the piece has inherited over the years. Pro Tip: Unless you are planning on staining the piece of maybe the top, you do not have to sand it all of the way back.
Let's Discuss which types of sandpaper you should use on
your Furniture before you paint it.
Sand Paper & Sanding Blocks come by the grit. The lower the grit, the more course it is. The higher the grit, the smoother it is. Let's take a look at the different levels and when you would use them when refinishing and restoring Furniture. I will bold my go to grits for 90% of my jobs.
60 & 80 Grit (To remove a paint or stain quickly)
100 & 120 Grit (To remove a paint or stain with less abrasion)
220 & 320 Grit (To get a Smooth Finish Ready to Paint)
400 & 600 grit (To achieve a silky smooth finish on clear coats)
The 60 and 80 grit is awesome if you do not want to spend a long time stripping paint or stain, but they can damage the wood and may remove more than you would like. The 120 grit is an awesome stripper that leaves your surface free from damage. It will just take you a little more time than those lower grit levels.
The majority of the time I use 120 to smooth rough areas, fix some scratches, and possibly create some worn spots for a vintage farmhouse style. The ready to paint grit you want is 220. I will always use this grit lightly over my entire piece to achieve a smooth level that is perfect for painting and to remove any glossy or semi-glossy spots that might chip you paint off after it drys. Pro Tip: If your not into sanding but don't want your paint to chip off, just use a product called Slick Stick. You apply one thin coat over the piece and you are ready to paint in an hour. It is a dustless way to sand your furniture.
The only time I like to use the 400 or 600 grit is between each of my coats of Clear coat. I do recommend that you Clear coat your paint finish, although it is not required as most chalk paints cure after a few weeks. The brand of Chalk-Mineral paint from Dixie Belle Paint Company that we use is good after 3 Days.
Leave a comment or a question below on the sanding part and we will get back to you.
So Cleaning your Furniture before You Paint is so Important.
So I like to clean after the sanding job because as you would think, you want to get all of the dust off before you paint your furniture. Traditionally, you may use a damp rag to gently wipe your piece down or you can use a little soapy water (Dawn Dish Soap works awesome) to get old stains and years of grime off. It just depends on the piece. Pro Tip: I recommend using a lint free rag so you do not leave fibers on the furniture as that is annoying when you start painting it. Lint free rags are great for all of your furniture and cabinets painting projects. I use them for cleaning, applying gel stains, waxes, glazes, and whitewash finishes. Good rule of thumb, if you do not want lint showing up on your finish, then use lint free rags.
But How do I get tough stains, adhesives, and grime off of my Furniture?
For the toughest cleaning issues. I use a product from Dixie Belle Paint Company called White Lightning. This product comes in a powder and you dilute it with water in a spray bottle. It is a chemical, so use gloves and keep out of reach of children and animals. I am not a big chemical use person, one reason I use Chalk-mineral paint products, but some issues call for the Special forces. I use the white lightning only in the spots I need and after I have removed the problem, I then use a different rag and clean soapy water to remove any residue of the White lightning because I do not want it mixing with my paint which can cause discolorations.
How Do I Prep my Furniture before I Paint It Recap!
Look over the piece and mark any place like scratches or abuse that need some sanding or some dirt and grime that need some buffing out
Use 120 grit & 220 grit sandpaper to fix any wood or finish issues and rough up those glossy surfaces so your paint does not chip off after you paint
Wipe down the entire piece with a damp rag to ensure your paint will not come into contact with dirt, grime, dust, etc..