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Painting unfinished furniture

Filed Under: home decor, weekend projects, painting

two toned jelly cabinetMuch to my husband's disappointment (and, dare I say, annoyance), I love to buy unfinished furniture. Yes, OK, he has a point that the pieces sit in the basement far too long, waiting to be painted, but I love the look when they are finally done.

The reasons for choosing unfinished furniture are many. It is much easier to finish a piece that is clean wood than it is to refurbish an already-finished piece. You get to customize your piece, so it has more personality than something right out of a furniture showroom. And saying you did it yourself is priceless.

The piece shown in the picture is a jelly cabinet I bought to use as a linen cabinet, since we have no linen closet in our upstairs hallway. It was so easy to do. You'll need:

You are just a few simple steps away from a finished cabinet.

  1. Remove the door and handle; you'll need to paint these separately.
  2. Apply two coats of Kilz water-based primer to your furniture piece. You could do a single coat of the oil-based Kilz instead (it really works much better), but I just hate working with the stuff so much that I'm willing to do two coats of the water-based version.
  3. Paint the main color -- in my case, sage green -- on the sections you'd like. Wait 2-3 hours, then add a second coat of this color.
  4. Next, paint the accent color -- I used black -- and again, wait 2-3 hours before applying the second coat.
  5. Paint the knob either color. I wanted it to blend, so I chose black, but if you'd like yours to stand out, choose the main color.

The reason you should wait to do the accent color is: if you are a messy painter like me and get some on the wrong part, you want the main color to be dry, so you can simply wipe up your goof. Unless you want that blended look....


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