How to Achieve a Durable Paint Finish

Hi all,

I have been rockin' and rollin' here at 3rd Thistle! The learning journey is never complete for me but there are some very valuable lessons that I have been learned as I continue to work with all types of paints - acrylic, enamel, alkyd, etc. I thought they may benefit you as well. Here is the process I use for painting furniture, kitchen cabinets, or any other project you have and getting a long-lasting, durable finish every time.

I have walked away from using chalk paint for the most part. I know many people still love the idea of no-sanding. I am glad for them, but I personally have found I don't care for how it goes on and the overall process in general. I like crisp clean lines. Now I should note that I do paint all my projects using a HVLP spray gun but the results for creating a durable piece is in the process not necessarily the form of how the paint is applied.

Hope you find this information useful and will give you the courage to tackle a piece of furniture that will live for a LONG time in your home.

My Process/Steps:

1. Wipe down the piece with warm water and a good dose of TSP concentrate. I use the liquid form but it does also come in a powder. Both are easy to use. The TSP will aid to removing years of grit and grime that has been marked on the piece. Make sure your rag is rung out really well. You don't want any water to actually sit on the wood. Just a good scrub to remove all the years of build up.

2. Sand using 100 grit. You are trying to create a bond between the primer and the surface of the piece. You do NOT have to sand it all the way down to the bare wood. What you DO need to do however, is make sure all the of the top coat, "the shine", is knocked down. Top coats are too slick for the primer to really grip to. Repeat using 150 grit. For very sensitive spots (like edges or detail) or if using an orbital sander (here's the one I use currently), I will even start with something as high as 220 grit.

3. Vacuum off and follow up with wiping down with micro-fiber cloth.

4. Using a lint free rag, blue rags from HD, or micro-fiber wipe the ready piece with denatured alcohol to once again remove any remaining residues, oils or grim that may still remain. This stuff is so evaporate that it will not seep into any exposed wood grains so it is safe to use at this point (whereas TSP would not be a good idea).

5. Follow-up by using tack cloth to remove and final dust from sanding. Can make your hands a little tacky as well so I always wear gloves when doing this.

Your piece is now ready to paint!!! (Sort of)

6. Priming is a key player to making sure your paint will adhere well to the surface. There are 2 that I really like Kilz and Zinnser B-I-N primer. These are both great options. See the Paint List link below for more information regarding these 2 and what benefits there are to using each!

7. Sand slightly between coats with 220 or 320 grit. I usually do 2 to 3 coats of primer before I proceed to paint.

YOU HAVE DONE IT!!!! Your piece will now be ready for painting! Speaking of, if you would like my go-to Paint List for paint types and how they are best used click here to subscribe and receive it free to your inbox!

Thanks for checking this out,


3rd Thistle

#paintedfurniture #paint #stain #durable #paintedwood #howtopaint #priming #sanding #TSP #whitecredenza #process #furniture #kitchen #cabinets #technique #painttechnique #paintprocess #restyle #restore #refurbish #transform

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