Painting: An Introduction

rainbow box finished exteriors blue half moon chest finished drawers orange-wine table top detail blue-white bench inner side yellow side table detail

I’m talking about the final paint job here. Repairs are done. Stripping and sanding is done. Primer is on and had a few days to cure. You know exactly what you want to do.

You can fiddle with the preparatory work. But when it comes to painting, you need to get it right. Flat surfaces must be smooth. Edges and detailing must be precise.

You don’t need to be a born artist to do this. It’s a skill that can be learned. But it takes practice and it takes patience.

Perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give is… TAKE YOUR TIME.  Don’t try to do the whole thing at once. Take breaks. Work on sections. Leave it overnight. Or two nights.

Next. Don’t get caught doing physical gymnastics to get at all the angles while your piece sits in one position on the floor.

finished left side interior  using the work surface  work surface bins with plywood

 Put it at eye level. Raise it so that you can paint while sitting on a stool. It’s a heck of a lot easier on your back and legs.

 Position overhead lighting so that shadows are minimized. Tip and turn your piece as you work.

 Move your stool around the piece as you paint. If this isn’t feasible, turn the piece so that each side is facing you as you work.

 Paint the top surface LAST. Turn your piece upside down first to paint the legs so that you when you turn it upright you can lightly sand any debris off the top.

 Work systematically. Side 1. Side 2. Back. Front. Inside. Legs. Top. Or whatever order works for you.

 Don’t try to handle a section that is wet, or even tacky. YOU WILL REGRET THIS. One smudge or fingermark will remind you of your mistake. Cuz now you have to repaint that area.

These are the general points. Next post… the specifics!


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