To keep things simple, always remember these steps: Prep, Paint, Distress and Protect. Do these 4 things, in order, every time and you are sure to achieve a high-quality finish that will last for years.
Our paint requires very little preparation. Always start with a clean piece. Simply wipe down your piece with soap and water or use a TSP cleaner for grit, grime, and other tough to clean surfaces. While most pieces will only require a quick cleaning before painting, some painters still like to rough up the original finish a bit using a fine grit sandpaper (220). This is completely fine and is simply a matter of preference.
For full coverage and a smooth surface…
Apply paint evenly and all over, working the brush in the direction of the wood grain
Apply in thin coats. Especially your first coat. This will help the paint adhere better and make for a longer lasting finish. To get an idea of how thin the first coat should be…you will still see part of the original finish coming through the first coat. The first coat may also appear to be blotchy in areas; this is normal. Do not ‘over correct’ the first coat. Simply wait for it to dry and get ready to apply a second, heavier coat, if desired.
Always allow the paint to dry completely in-between coats. In dry, warm weather, this could be as quick as 20-30 minutes. In cooler weather, it could take longer. Be patient and make sure each coat is all the way dry before you move on to the next coat.
A second coat may be applied in the same manner as the first, but in a heavier coat if desired. Keep your brush wet with paint for the best coverage.
A third (touch up) coat may be needed, depending on the brush you are using, how detailed you were in your previous coats and what kind of look you want in the end. While most projects will only need two coats, the touch up coat may be needed for our brighter yellow and green colors in our palette.
Once you have achieved the coverage you desire, you are ready to distress your newly painted piece!
There are many ways to distress a piece of furniture. The two most common ways are…
Use a sanding block or sand paper sheets to rub off the paint.
For a rougher distressing that will show each layer of finish, often times down to the bare wood, use more rough sandpaper such as a 60 or 80 grit. For a subtler distressing, use a smoother sandpaper grit such as a 150 or 220.
Use a damp lint free cloth to wipe away the paint.
This method of distressing does not produce dust like the sandpaper may. It is also best to use this method after the coats of paint are completely dry and within the first two hours of the paint drying.
Simply dab a lint free cloth in water and rub the paint on the corner, edges and anywhere else it would naturally wear. This technique is also great to use if you are looking for an extreme ‘chippy’ look.
Once you have achieved the level of distressing you desire, it’s time to protect your piece.
The question comes up often of “Do I have to protect my piece” …. the somewhat short answer is; If you want your finish and work to last, yes, protect your piece.
If you want less maintenance and a more carefree finish, then protecting is the way to do this. It is true that you do not HAVE to protect most chalky finish paints (including V&R By K Furniture Paint) …but if you choose not to, the matte finish will naturally want to collect dust and paint, by itself, is not scratch resistant. This means that your finish is vulnerable to everyday use.
There are two ways to protect your finish…
All Natural Wax
Our waxes are made with no chemicals, no solvents, and no drying agents. They are formulated to almost ‘soak in’ to the matte finish of our Furniture Paint and can be buffed into the painted finish right after application. If you want a more ‘antique’ look, try our all natural brown or black waxes.
All our waxes should be thoroughly buffed into the painted surface. Due to the nature of being all natural, it will take 3-4 weeks to fully cure and you should never have excess wax or wax that is ‘collected’ in areas on your piece.
Our waxes protect best on low traffic surfaces such as nightstands, home décor, bedroom sets, etc… However, they are not scratch resistant so make sure you are only using it on pieces that you would consider low traffic.
Protective Finish Satin Clear Coat
Our Protective Finish Satin Clear Coat is durable enough to use on floors. It is scratch resistance and easy to use. Protective Finish is the way to go for high use surfaces such as tables and kitchen cabinets. If you are teetering back and forth between wax protection and clear coat protection, the clear coat protection is the safest route to go due to its durability.
When choosing how to protect your finish, keep in mind that you should choose wax OR Protective finish, not both. If wax is already applied, the Protective Finish may have a hard time adhering to and properly curing on the sleek wax surface.
And there you have it! Furniture painting at its best.
Here’s to a long-lasting finish and fun time painting!