Painting Tips

My first paint project was the dresser turned entertainment center shown in the last post.  The second was the coffee table also shown in the last post.  I recently painted a dresser for my son’s room and I learned several things about getting a smooth finish.  Sorry I don’t have a pic at the moment.   I read all over DIY blogs about Benjamin Moore so I went with them and I was definitely impressed.  The lady shared some tips with me that I tried and they definitely worked.  I used the best of Valspar from Lowes the last time and the conditions were definitely different but I really liked how this paint went on.  Valspar seemed ‘sticky’ to me.  Benjamin Moore seemed more smooth.  So…Here are some tips:


1.  A guy at Lowes showed me Bin Primer Ultimate-Shellac Base.  This equals NO SANDING!  I cleaned the dresser really good and put it on with a good paint brush.  I think I paid around $12.00 for my brush.  I put one coat on–it dries VERY quickly but I didn’t have to worry about brush strokes with this.  ***You will need DENATURED ALCHOL if you go this route to clean your brush of the primer.  It worked great and worked really good to really clean off the other paint after rinsing it in water.  I am HOOKED with this product.

2.  Then I learned about sanding between coats.  So after my first coat of primer, I did a quick sand then put another coat of primer on.

3.  All sandpaper is NOT the same….the higher the number, the finer the finish you get.  I had 100 on hand and I wish I used a higher number because I noticed some scratch marks.

4.  After putting on a second coat,I sanded again (Quick sand just to smooth out) I added the paint and her is what I learned about the paint…..


1.  This is what the lady at BM said:  it is best to paint in a cool temperature.  I painted my other dresser with it fairly warm.  She said the coolness gives the paint more time to fill in and settle brush marks.  I painted in the mid to upper 60’s.

2.  Don’t paint in the garage…..what???  She said that all the little tiny particles will be attracted to the paint and it won’t give you a smooth look.  I have NEVER painted inside (I have never painted walls either–that won’t last much longer)  but I have to say, it didn’t stink.  The second step to this process is to have the AC/Heater OFF.  She said if it comes on while the paint is still wet, all the tiny particles will be attracted to the paint.  (This is true, I forgot to turn the heat off while I was doing the second coat)

3.  Sand between coats, us a higher grade of sand paper.  This is a QUICK sand and it makes all the difference in the world!  When you are done, wipe it of good with a towel or paper towels.  I used 100 so I would go a little higher than that, the package ma say:  for smooth surface or something like that.  I bought some at Harbor Freight and it said something like that.

4.  I learned this off of Thrifty Décor Chick:  put your paint brush in a Zip Lock in between coats, it will keep the brush great and you don’t have to wash your brush out every time.

So,  after trying all of this I am very pleased with the result.  It took several weeks to let the paint ‘cure’ but the brush strokes are barely there, the dresser looks smooth and I am more confident with painting.  I am excited to attempt a new project knowing I can get good results.

This all may seem like a lot, especially if you haven’t painted anything, but this only being the third piece of furniture I have attempted, it went very fast.  I even got another small dresser primed for painting in the near future.


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