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  • Writer's pictureSaved By Design

Prepping your furniture to paint

Have you considered repainting a piece of furniture, but the thought of prepping is exhausting just thinking about the process?

Don't fret! While it is a little tedious, it's easy to do! With a little elbow grease and by following the advice below, you'll be set.

Disclaimer: prep can vary based on the products you are using. The advice below is based on using General Finishes Milk Paint. Stay tuned for additional blogs about prepping for different finishes.

Now on to the most asked question, that inspired this post:

"Do you need to prep an existing finish before applying General Finishes Milk Paint?"

The answer is yes. Even though many companies claim that no prep is needed, we take a different view. You can test other finishes you have applied simply by trying to scrape the paint lightly with a fingernail. A paint that comes off with this test is basically a paint that has.....failed.  If it flakes, then you need more prep, unless your objective is the chippy look. If your objective is for the finish to last, we always recommend the following two best practices every time.

FIRST: clean your project with a Scotch Brite pad (or any comparable pad) and a 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol and water. Do not use mineral spirits with a water based product! If you have build up, you can use a decreasing agent first and then clean with the alcohol/water mix.

SECOND: sand with 150 or 180 grit sand block. We recommend the Softback Sanding Sponges. They are not messy and last forever. Sanding is CRITICAL to the success of every finishing project as it further cleans the surface and opens up the grain to improve the adhesion of the new paint or finish. The glossier the original finish is, the more important is to sand to open up the surface! You can also use a orbital sander, but be cautious of the power setting and the pressure applied to the surface. You don't want to accidentally eat through a veneer that under your existing finish!

Back to the milk paint...It adheres so well that we do not recommend that you use General Finishes Milk Paint for the chippy look unless you apply a wax first and then finish your project with a top coat. It is selfbsealing, but in high traffic areas we recommend General Finishes High Performance topcoat for most household applications. Our Milk Paint is not really a milk paint, but a high tech acrylic finish. It is interior and exterior rated.

If you have any other questions, shoot us a message and we'll try to answer them here on the blog. All products recommended are available through our Etsy store.

We look forward to helping you through your refinishing journey!

Resources credited to General Finishes

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