In the Navy, or 10 Tips For Painting Furniture a Dark Colour

To be fair, this post should really be called In the Navy, or 10 Tips on How-Not-To Paint Furniture a Dark Colour — that is, if you want your furniture to look factory perfect.  However, if you would like to paint a piece of wooden furniture with a dark colour and are okay with it looking slightly distressed, then stick around.

THIS WOODEN DRESSER FOR LIAM’S BEDROOM WAS ORIGINALLY PAINTED WHITE (I KNOW IT KIND OF LOOKS LIGHT BLUE IN THIS PICTURE, BUT TRUST ME IT WAS WHITE).

WELL, ALMOST ALL OF IT WAS PAINTED WHITE.

FURNITURE PAINTING TIP #1: PLACE FURNITURE AT A GOOD HEIGHT FOR PAINTING (WITHOUT HAVING TO BEND OR REACH TOO MUCH).

FURNITURE PAINTING TIP #2: REMOVE ANY DRAWERS AND/OR HANDLES, IF APPLICABLE.

FURNITURE PAINTING TIP #3: BEFORE PAINTING, MAKE SURE TO GLUE DOWN ANY PIECES OF BROKEN WOOD.

FURNITURE PAINTING TIP #4: USE FINE OR VERY FINE GRAIN SANDPAPER TO ROUGHEN UP SURFACE AREA. ***IF FURNITURE IS OLD, BE WARY OF SANDING LEAD PAINT…IT IS TOXIC!!! CLICK HERE FOR A BRIEF ARTICLE ON WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR FURNITURE HAS BEEN PAINTED WITH LEAD PAINT.

FURNITURE PAINTING TIP #5: USE A DAMP CLOTH OR TACK CLOTH TO CLEAN OFF SANDPAPER DUST ETC..

FURNITURE PAINTING TIP #6: USE A GOOD QUALITY PAINT MEANT FOR FURNITURE. ***HOWEVER, I HIGHLY SUGGEST USING A TINTED PRIMER BEFORE PAINTING WITH A DARK COLOUR.  WE DIDN’T, AS THE PAINT WE USED CLAIMED TO BE SELF-PRIMING…BIG MISTAKE (I’LL EXPLAIN MORE IN A SECOND).

FURNITURE PAINTING TIP #7: MAKE LIKE MARLEY, AND STIR IT UP.

ONE OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS ABOUT PAINTING: OPENING THE PAINT CAN.  FOR OTHER THINGS I LOVE AND HATE ABOUT PAINTING, CHECK OUT PAINTING: WHAT I LOVE TO HATE.

BENJAMIN MOORE’S OLD NAVY

FURNITURE PAINTING TIP #8: FOR A BETTER FINISH, USE A SMALL ROLLER AND A BRUSH.

FURNITURE PAINTING TIP #9 : APPLY PAINT ON ONE AREA WITH ROLLER.

FURNITURE PAINTING TIP #10 : IMMEDIATELY BRUSH OVER ROLLED SECTION WITH PAINT BRUSH.

THE DRESSER AFTER THREE OR FOUR COATS…WE DID SO MANY, I ALMOST LOST TRACK. 

UNFORTUNATELY, BECAUSE WE DIDN’T USE A TINTED PRIMER, THE PAINT WAS UNEVEN AND DID NOT COVER ALL AREAS EQUALLY.  SO, THE MOST IMPORTANT FURNITURE PAINTING TIP I CAN OFFER YOU:  USE A TINTED PRIMER BEFORE PAINTING WITH A DARK COLOUR!!!

As I explained my frustration with how many coats of paint the dresser seemed to need, my mother-in-law pointed out that we should have sanded between coats.  Apparently this is supposed to help melamine paint adhere better.

I didn’t have a chance to test this theory though, as Michael and I never got around to adding another coat of paint after sanding the previously painted surface.  Why’s this???  Because we loved the slightly distressed effect the sanding had on the paint.  Hooray for happy accidents!

THE DRESSER WITH FOUR COATS OF PAINT AND THEN GENTLY SANDED = SLIGHTLY DISTRESSED LOOK = LOVE.

Here’s what Liam’s room looked like before the addition of the navy dresser…

— BEFORE —

ALL DRESSED UP, AND NO PLACE TO GO.

— AFTER A GRAND REVIVAL

CLOTHES — MEET DRESSER.  DRESSER — MEET CLOTHES.

DISTRESSED PERFECTION

A LITTLE ADDED PROTECTION.

Liam’s bedroom is really starting to take shape — yay!!!  I would love to hear if any of you have tips on how to paint furniture or walls with a dark colour???

Cheers.

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