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Repainting wood furniture

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  • Oct 12th, 2018 8:54 am
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2005
2071 posts
560 upvotes

Repainting wood furniture

Hello fellow RFDers,

My wife and I currently have a bedroom set that were are not too fond of. We are thinking about repainting it, but are not sure if we have the right tools. It's solid wood with a smooth Mahogany brown finish. The tools I have at my disposal:

1. Porter Cable 7424 XP random orbital polisher/sander
2. Black and Decker Palm Sander
3. Paint gun

Would either of the two tools suffice in removing the existing finish before repainting? I assume I would need to buy sandpaper or a scraper to remove the curved areas of the wood work. Also, would I be able to do the primer and painting with my paint gun or should I stick to a brush and/or roller?

Thanks!
11 replies
Sr. Member
Jun 11, 2010
682 posts
354 upvotes
ottawa
I would use the orbit sander with 60 grit to start and going up to 120 for a more textured finish or 200 for a smoother finish. Then either paint (I usually use rollers) or stain (I usually use terry cloth). Then I'd finish with a clear coat like varathane (water based) with whatever shine you prefer, matte/satin/gloss. This top layer will help prevent chipping/flaking of the paint. If you're going with a stain use a pre-stain conditioner as well as it's most likely pine and won't stain super evenly without it.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 9, 2003
1223 posts
105 upvotes
Grimsby
If the structure is sound I usually use paint/varnish stripper then wash thoroughly then lightly sand or steel wool. If there are lower and higher parts use a finer steel wool in those areas. Then finish as barqers suggests above. Never used mechanical sanders on furniture, just a personal preference. Certainly never used a spray gun, they seem to cause more work cleaning up than they are worth.

I always use foam rollers from Can. Tire, a little more expensive but you are trying to create something nice.
Jr. Member
Aug 25, 2006
167 posts
131 upvotes
Toronto
I refinished some old teak pieces that turned out great. First step was using chemical paint stripper. Buy from any hardare store. You brush on a thick layer all over your project and wait like 15 minutes and it will bubble up all of the existing finish. Just scrape off.... soo easy. This gets you 80% of the way. Wipe down thoroughly and let piece dry completely. Step two is light sand all over with fine grit sandpaper in the 200 grit range for large flat surfaces. Hand sand smaller areas with sanding sponges. Vacuum thoroughly and apply new finish as desired.

You can also dry a deglosser (ie liquid sandpaper) instead of a paint stripper if you plan to just apply paint as new finish (instead of stain for example). No sanding here. Just wipe down with cloth soaked in deglosser and let sit for few minutes and then wipe off. May need to redo a few times before surface is paint ready.

For refinishing sprayer is by far best and will get you a factory smooth finish but you need to well ventilated space and everything needs to be tarped up to manage overspray. I redid all my kitchen cabinet doors in white with a sprayer and they turned out factory smooth perfect. The frames and end panels I rolled and/or foam brushed and while they look decent they don't look nearly as uniform or smooth as the sprayed bits.
Sr. Member
Apr 8, 2010
572 posts
240 upvotes
toronto
best not to use the porter cable. it's more of a buffer than a sander and it'll cause a great deal of dust.

other said, i'd use some good chemicals and strip it down then get the palm sander and lightly sand
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2005
2071 posts
560 upvotes
dbracer wrote:
Oct 10th, 2018 2:17 pm
I refinished some old teak pieces that turned out great. First step was using chemical paint stripper. Buy from any hardare store. You brush on a thick layer all over your project and wait like 15 minutes and it will bubble up all of the existing finish. Just scrape off.... soo easy. This gets you 80% of the way. Wipe down thoroughly and let piece dry completely. Step two is light sand all over with fine grit sandpaper in the 200 grit range for large flat surfaces. Hand sand smaller areas with sanding sponges. Vacuum thoroughly and apply new finish as desired.

You can also dry a deglosser (ie liquid sandpaper) instead of a paint stripper if you plan to just apply paint as new finish (instead of stain for example). No sanding here. Just wipe down with cloth soaked in deglosser and let sit for few minutes and then wipe off. May need to redo a few times before surface is paint ready.

For refinishing sprayer is by far best and will get you a factory smooth finish but you need to well ventilated space and everything needs to be tarped up to manage overspray. I redid all my kitchen cabinet doors in white with a sprayer and they turned out factory smooth perfect. The frames and end panels I rolled and/or foam brushed and while they look decent they don't look nearly as uniform or smooth as the sprayed bits.
We're going to end up painting it instead of staining. I should be good to go with a de-glosser then?
Jr. Member
Oct 14, 2007
166 posts
31 upvotes
Mississauga
unshavenyak wrote:
Oct 10th, 2018 11:37 am
Hello fellow RFDers,

My wife and I currently have a bedroom set that were are not too fond of. We are thinking about repainting it, but are not sure if we have the right tools. It's solid wood with a smooth Mahogany brown finish. The tools I have at my disposal:

1. Porter Cable 7424 XP random orbital polisher/sander
2. Black and Decker Palm Sander
3. Paint gun

Would either of the two tools suffice in removing the existing finish before repainting? I assume I would need to buy sandpaper or a scraper to remove the curved areas of the wood work. Also, would I be able to do the primer and painting with my paint gun or should I stick to a brush and/or roller?

Thanks!
I have quite a bit of experience in this area. Have you heard of Chalk Paint? not chalkboard paint. It is a type of paint you can use that makes the process very easy. No need to sand off the surface. This type of paint can be expensive and you may need to stick with the colour choices that the brand offers. I have done quite a bit of experimenting and figured out a better way. I have personally painted 30 pieces for retail display purposes. It is a little detailed so pm me for more info.

And no, I am not trying to sell you anything - just offer experience.
Sr. Member
Jun 11, 2010
682 posts
354 upvotes
ottawa
shepkraft wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 6:46 pm
I have quite a bit of experience in this area. Have you heard of Chalk Paint? not chalkboard paint. It is a type of paint you can use that makes the process very easy. No need to sand off the surface. This type of paint can be expensive and you may need to stick with the colour choices that the brand offers. I have done quite a bit of experimenting and figured out a better way. I have personally painted 30 pieces for retail display purposes. It is a little detailed so pm me for more info.

And no, I am not trying to sell you anything - just offer experience.
You can also mix your own chalk paint using whatever coloured paint you want and some plaster of paris, just fyi :)
Jr. Member
Oct 14, 2007
166 posts
31 upvotes
Mississauga
barqers wrote:
Oct 11th, 2018 9:39 pm
You can also mix your own chalk paint using whatever coloured paint you want and some plaster of paris, just fyi :)
Plaster of Paris leaves an awful texture - I don't recommend using this. It you use paint that has primer in it, the paint may become either sludgy or rock hard in no time if mixed with plaster of paris.
Sr. Member
Jun 11, 2010
682 posts
354 upvotes
ottawa
shepkraft wrote:
Oct 12th, 2018 2:36 am
Plaster of Paris leaves an awful texture - I don't recommend using this. It you use paint that has primer in it, the paint may become either sludgy or rock hard in no time if mixed with plaster of paris.
Correct, mix in small batches and mix well. The rough texture is likely from using too much plaster and not mixing enough.
Newbie
Mar 22, 2017
33 posts
27 upvotes
If you're painting it, then it's pretty easy. If it's filthy, then you should clean with TSP then rinse it. Normally though, just lightly sand the furniture, no need to completely strip it, just give it some fine texture so the primer can stick. Then once you've cleaned the dust off, spray an oil-based high-hiding primer like Cover Stain (or just brush and roll it if you prefer). Once the primer's dry (should have pretty good coverage), sand it with a fine grit like 180-200 to give it a smoother texture. Once that's done, spray or paint with a hard enamel paint that can stand up to getting dinged here and there, like Advance, ProClassic, etc, and do two coats. Leave it for at least a few days to cure (these tougher paints tend to cure slowly, don't want to ding them before they've had a chance to start to set), then you're good to go.

This way you avoid having to actually strip the whole thing. If you plan on staining it of course, you have to strip completely, but you aren't. Still fair bit of work, but you could theoretically get all the painting done in a full day and evening of work and waiting if you wanted to.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2005
2071 posts
560 upvotes
grumble wrote:
Oct 12th, 2018 7:48 am
If you're painting it, then it's pretty easy. If it's filthy, then you should clean with TSP then rinse it. Normally though, just lightly sand the furniture, no need to completely strip it, just give it some fine texture so the primer can stick. Then once you've cleaned the dust off, spray an oil-based high-hiding primer like Cover Stain (or just brush and roll it if you prefer). Once the primer's dry (should have pretty good coverage), sand it with a fine grit like 180-200 to give it a smoother texture. Once that's done, spray or paint with a hard enamel paint that can stand up to getting dinged here and there, like Advance, ProClassic, etc, and do two coats. Leave it for at least a few days to cure (these tougher paints tend to cure slowly, don't want to ding them before they've had a chance to start to set), then you're good to go.

This way you avoid having to actually strip the whole thing. If you plan on staining it of course, you have to strip completely, but you aren't. Still fair bit of work, but you could theoretically get all the painting done in a full day and evening of work and waiting if you wanted to.
Thanks! I will start with the night stands and go from there.

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