Quick tip: How to get a perfect paint finish with a few easy steps

We’re excited to welcome Theresa, home renovation and DIY expert, and the force  (with her husband Mark) behind MyFixitUpLife.com!  Theresa guest blogs for us this week, sharing how she refreshed and repurposed a piece she found at the Habitat Philadelphia ReStore.  

A perfect paint finish is easy if you follow a few simple steps, and practice patience, when spray painting furniture.

I’m kind of a perfectionist when it comes to painting.

Drips, blobs, runs, streaks, uneven color… all make me uncomfortable.

Especially when it’s easy to achieve a smooth ‘I-didn’t-know-it-came-in-that-color’ reaction from friends. Here are my essential steps to achieve that perfect paint finish.

1) If you are upcycling from your own home or from a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, clean it. Dust, dirt, and goo will never look smooth when painted.

2) Lightly sand the surface. If you aren’t sure about the material you are working with, send me or Krylontweet.

3) Wipe off all of the sanding dust with a soft cloth. If you use a paper towel or other kind of material, there could be little fuzzie particles left behind. Worse still, if you use something abrasive, there could be little knicks that you’ll notice on the finished piece. Not worth it.

4) Prime, if the spray paint can recommends it. Prime if there are inconsistencies in the current color finish. Prime if you have primer, even if the spray paint can says you don’t need it. Yes, you can skip this step. Priming is like insurance. It’s extra protection and helps make sure you have a perfect paint finish when you are done. Dust the surface in a few light coats.

5) After the primer is dry to the touch, or when the can says it is ready, lightly dust the surface in that hue you’ve been waiting to use. Don’t go crazy. The first pass or two won’t look perfect. It might not be the exact color on the Krylon lid yet. Have patience. Keep dusting. You’ll see it, and the slower you apply the color, the better chance you have at that perfect paint finish. It will be that color on the Krylon lid. I’ve never not seen it.

6) After that fun color is dry and ready (read the tiny print on the can, it usually says the recoat, and handling times), you may want to seal it with a gloss or other kind of finish. A clear coat can protect the color against those surprises in life. If this is a project that will live outside, I’d recommend coating it. Again, it’s a belt-and-suspenders. You don’t necessarily need it, but it could help.

Yes, if you haven’t already guessed, Krylon is a friend of MyFixitUpLife. I couldn’t have done what I designed for the Food Network series ‘Save My Bakery’ without their spray paint. When faced with a 48-hour project turnaround in thundersnow, dry times and perfect finishes are essential. We’ve had the pleasure to help share how-to through a few fun webisodes using Krylon products. And they have partnered with us for a series of makeovers using Habitat for Humanity ReStore items.

Mark and I never talk about a company’s products unless we truly believe in them. That’s why you don’t see random pop-up ads or one-off sponsored posts. We want you to be successful with your DIY projects and stay inspired to keep reaching for your tools.
Share your spray painting tips or questions in the comments below, or head over to Facebook or Twitter right now and talk with us. You inspire us. -T

See more of Theresa’s great creations and ideas (including other pieces she’s bought at the Habitat ReStore) at MyFixitUpLife.com!

Habitat ReStore Bench makeover - MyFixitUpLife - Perfect paint finish

A perfect paint finish is easy if you follow a few simple steps, and practice patience.

Bench Makeover - MyFixitUpLife

Lightly sand the surface.

Bench Makeover - MyFixitUpLife

Wipe off the sanding dust with a soft cloth.

Bench Makeover - MyFixitUpLife

Prime, if the spray paint can recommends it. Yes, you can skip this step, but it adds extra protections and helps make sure you have the perfect paint finish.

Bench Makeover - MyFixitUpLife

Lightly dust the surface in that hue you’ve been waiting to use. Don’t go crazy. The first pass or two won’t look perfect.

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About Habitat Philadelphia

Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia is an independently chartered affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), the largest nonprofit homebuilder worldwide. Locally, Habitat Philadelphia is on a mission to transform lives and our city by building and repairing quality homes in partnership with families in need, and uniting all Philadelphians around the cause of affordable housing. Our Vision is a city where all Philadelphians live in safe, affordable homes.
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2 Responses to Quick tip: How to get a perfect paint finish with a few easy steps

  1. Great tips! I’m going to try these out on some shelves I found over the weekend- thank you! 🙂

  2. Use this often for all my projects! Thanks for documenting!

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