Friday, December 7, 2012

Q & A
Day One
A few days ago on Facebook I asked you guys to field me with questions. Anything you wanted to know about me, keeping a shop, or painting. I was curious what you all would want to know. I am picking a few of them to answer this week.

Today is about what products I use.

Before I answer these questions I want to say that these answers are solely my opinion. Some people might not agree with me and that is ok! I formed my opinion based off experimenting, painting hundreds of pieces of furniture with all different types of paint, researching and talking to other painters. 

Question:  For someone starting out, what are your must have tools? Paints? etc

Answer: I think for a beginner you definitely need a good brush. Do NOT use a cheap brush unless you intend to throw it away after using. A cheap brush will leave brush fibers in your paint and brush strokes. I use Purdy brushes with a short handle. Purdy brushes cover great, are affordable and last a long time. The short handle helps me control the paint as it goes on the furniture. I use a small artist brush to get into the detail parts of a piece, or on small projects like picture frames. I always use a brush, for now I don't use a sprayer. I just like painting and spraying takes a bit of the fun out of it for me.

I clean my brushes with warm water after using a latex or chalk paint, and I run my hand through the brush as I wash to get all the paint out of the fibers. Simple. Probably not the best way to take care of a brush but good enough for me. My brushes last a long time for me. I only have maybe 5 brushes that I have kept over the years.

If you are starting out, I would paint with this formula. This is for non-painted wood, I do not strip pieces. I used to and found it to be such a pain, so I choose not to buy painted pieces that I am going to strip and then repaint. With one exception. If I like the color it is already painted and I want to work with it and see the undercoat after I have painted and distressed then I will paint right over the original color and skip the priming step. 

*If you are starting out heavy stain or shiny surface on your piece you might want to use a deglosser or liquid sand paper. I almost never use this. But a piece that has been heavily shellacked might require this step.

One random tip-start with your piece upside down, prime and paint.  Then flip it over to do the top. 

*Prime {I always use Kilz Spray Primer}. I don't like paint on primer, not sure why, I just don't think it is as fast or works as well and I have another brush to clean after, yuck. Keep it stored in a warm location. Shake well before using {and use outside or a place with good ventilation} and I run the nozzle under hot water before spraying. I decided to do this once when the paint was splattering out and I found if I ran it under hot water before it stopped this from happening. I use a fine grit sanding block after the primer dries to eliminate any splatter or drips. You want  a good smooth surface. Also lightly sanding will give the paint something to grab onto. If you see any stain bleeding through, prime again.

*Paint. I use every type of paint but for a beginner I suggest using Benjamin Moore in Aura, get a quart. A gallon is around $65 and a quart for $30 goes a long way. The quality of this paint is amazing and often I find it take me only one coat of this paint to get full coverage. Plus the color selection is beautiful. I will go into other paints I use in more detail another day.

*Using your fine grit sanding block buff the paint after it completely dries. You don't have to wait until if totally cures, but not tacky to the touch. Do not take any paint off when buffing the paint. I find by doing this my wax {next step} will really get into the paint and make it durable. If you notice that you have any bumps or drips at this step use a lower grit paper, sand them out and repaint. Drips and glumps are the biggest mistake for a beginner. It means you are painting too fast and with too much paint on your brush.

If you are layering paints, add your second color now. Let dry completely.

*This is where I distress. I use a medium grit sand paper only on the edges of the piece.

As of now you are thinking, ah this is a lot of work! Yes, it is but you will have a beautiful piece in the end.
Ok next step.
*Wax. I prefer to use instead of any poly. I just know how to use it well and find it gives a durable finish {if painting outdoor furniture over paint you will want to probably not use wax, it can melt in the sun}. I like Annie Sloan wax and Minwax. I prefer Annie Sloan but it is spendy and it can be hard to find in some areas. If you using a latex paint, Minwax is just fine. I apply the wax {just a little} to the tip of my wax brush and cover the entire piece with a fine coat of the wax. I go back with a lint free rag or sock and take off any excess wax. Let dry. Go back and put another layer of wax on if you think you might have put enough on the first coat or if it is a piece that is going to get heavy use {table top}. After it is dry, buff with the rag or sock {I use a t-shirt sometimes} until the wax is shiny.

And you are done!

The whole process takes hours but you will have a wonderfully painted piece in the end and I bet you end up loving it. 
Or you will say, that is too much work I am never painting again.

I love it though.

My next post will be on how I choose my pieces {where, when, what, how}.