Thursday, April 4, 2013

Our Top 20 DIY Furniture Refinishing and Crafting Tips

We get asked now and again about hosting a class, giving advice on how to refinish furniture and how to do certain techniques.  It always freaks me out a little to give advice because I am a learn as you go type of gal as are most all of the rest of our group.  On that same note between all of us we do have years of trail and error experience and have actually learned a thing or two about what works and what we like to pretend like it never happened.  
So I asked everyone if they would share a favorite reclaiming or crafty tip and I got some good stuff!  Hopefully this will be helpful next time you decide to tackle a project....
  1. Don't be intimidated by a piece of furniture because you think you have to sand it down to the wood, you don't.  As long as it is not peeling you can spray it with KILZ oil based spray primer.  Give it 2 light coats, lightly sand it for a smooth finish and then you're ready for paint. ~Kortnie
  2. Wash down items well before you start to paint.  If it is a custom piece ask the customer to clean it before they bring it to you.  Trust me red kool-aid will come through primer and any type of paint! ~Dawn
  3. Buy the paint testers.  They are cheap and a great way to try a new color without buying a whole gallon.  Sherwin Williams has a quart for around $8. ~Audrey
  4. Vintage windows with panels are such a rare find.  Don't ever pass on any because of broken glass.  It's and easy fix!  Lay the window down flat and use an acrylic caulk to put a new window in.  Let it dry over night. ~Jeff
  5. Buying new hardware is expensive!  Give the old hardware a new look with spray paint used for metal.  Rustoleum for metal works great.  Spray with primer, Rustoleum and 2 coats of sealer. ~Jodi
  6. Don't be afraid of color.  Cream is not your only option! Use colors that will match your home and style.  it's your house, your furniture you are the one who has to love it no one else. ~Tristan
  7. Never throw away old pieces of wood.  They can be used to build some amazing things. So if your crafty keep a pile on hand!  ~Erica 
  8. If you are planning on building a piece of furniture from scratch, draw it up on Google-Sketch-Up (a free download) before you begin. You will be able to get a clear picture of your build before you start. ~Alese
  9. In your search for furniture be friendly.  Some of the older folks that I have bought from love to share their stories about their items.  You not only get an awesome piece of furniture but a new friend in the process. ~Jamie
  10. Before you get started on a piece do a test spot to see how the paint reacts.  You never know what has been on the furniture before and you don't want to paint the whole thing and then realize it reacts. ~Mandy
  11. You don't always have to follow the painting rules.  Dare to experiment. Some of my favorite finishes have come from breaking the so-called rules. Don't be afraid to try new things, it's just paint you can paint over it if you don't like it. ~Sausha
  12. Look closely at the furniture pieces you will be buying.  You don't want to get home and realize you have to rebuild the whole piece. ~Amy
  13. Chalk paint makes an amazing primer if you want to finish with a look different than chalk paint. ~Shannon 
  14. To add a rustic burn through look to wood after you have sanded right before staining take a hand held propane torch to the edges, corners and any other area you want added color intensity that makes your wood grain jump out in a great way.~Darren
  15. Rubbing alcohol can easily remove paint from your stencils.  Just soak them for a bit and it comes right off. ~Shannon 
  16. Invest in a good quality paint like Benjamin Moore.  It dries beautifully and is made for furniture and cabinets. It will not chip or peel and does not even need a poly finish. ~Kristin
  17. Use an old table to set your furniture on while you work on it.  it saves your back from bending over.  Really nice for a long job like glazing. ~Jodi
  18. You can literally paint anything!  Especially if you love chalk paint like I do.  Look at everything with potential of what it can be with a little color. ~Shannon 
  19. When you see something you like on the side of the road or at someone's house stop, have a chat and ask if they would be willing to part with it.  I find out the story behind a vintage piece if at all possible.  There are great stories behind vintage items! ~Christine 
  20. Everything you have in your house, wether furniture or decor, you should absolutely love.  if you don't love it get rid of it.  it's where you live it should be filled  with things that make you happy. ~Erica 
I hope this helps you in your refinishing adventures!  

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