It makes a big impact on a space when you update a piece of furniture. I’m still surprised by how beautiful and new my painted entryway bench looks.
When I started, this bench was wobbly, scratched and the finish was worn off in places.
I know it doesn’t look bad in the picture, but if I had taken a close up you would understand why I painted it!
It’s kind of appropriate that this bench has a clock over it. I purchased it right before my oldest son started Kindergarten. He’s now almost done with his freshman year of high school. If this bench could talk, it would have some stories to tell! Anyhow, it’s super sentimental to me and I’m so glad that I was able to make it pretty again.
TIPS BEFORE YOU START
Lately, I’ve been painting furniture right on my dining room table. I don’t recommend this if you have a really expensive table, but you might want to elevate your furniture piece. It just makes the process easier. I place a drop cloth over my table and then put scrap wood under the legs.
The other thing to consider is working in a well lit space. It’s much easier to find drips and smooth out brush strokes if you have good lighting. If you must work in a darker area, consider getting a work light.
Before I start to paint, I remove all of the hardware. I place the screws in a pine board (soft wood) and then place the board in a cardboard box for spray painting. See image below.
Next, I remove the furniture plugs and paint them separately. You don’t have to do this, but it does help minimize drips.
Another added bonus is you can tighten up all the screws that hold your piece together.
I take a board and place painters tape, tacky side up, on it and then secure it by taping the ends down. Then I can put my plugs on the sticky tape to paint them.
PREP BEFORE YOU PAINT
This bench is real wood and I was painting it with a dark color. I used 220 grit sandpaper and lightly sanded the surface and vacuumed it well. Then I cleaned it with Krud Kutter Pre-paint cleaner. You can visit Fusion Mineral Paint for information on how to prep different types of surfaces. They have a nice info-graph to guide you.
I was impressed with the coverage on my first coat of paint. Here is a picture.
You can see that it covered really well, but there were some bare spots and places that needed to be covered with a second coat. I painted the inside of the bench, too. Overall, I did two coats of paint inside and outside and three coats on the seats for added durability. I had about a 1/2 inch of paint left in the container.
I’ve used chalk paint and latex in the past to paint furniture, so I have a slight learning curve with Fusion Mineral Paint. It goes on really light.
TIPS FOR A SMOOTH FINISH
Some tips that I picked up are…
- Use a good brush. I’ve always used Purdy brushes and that’s what I used to paint this bench. Fusion offers synthetic brushes for beginners to minimize brush strokes. They also offer a natural bristle brush that holds more paint and gives a more “old world painted look”. They recommend using a larger brush for a big project and a smaller brush for small projects.
- Add enough paint to your brush. This is always a challenge for me. I have a tendency to use less paint to avoid drips, but I did get a nicer finish when I loaded my brush well.
- Don’t start and stop your strokes. This will leave marks when your paint drys. I quickly painted the surface with a well loaded brush and then went back over it in long even strokes to avoid brush marks.
- Don’t go back for touch ups until the paint has completely dried. Once the paint sets up, it will roll if you go back into it with your brush. Just go back and fix it after it dries. Here is a close up of my bench.
TOP COAT – IF NECESSARY
I’m going to add a cushion to my bench, so I’m not going to add an additional protective finish to it.
Fusion has a built in top coat. Can I just say that I love this! One of the things that frustrates me is finishing a piece of furniture and then spending an extra day putting on a wax or poly. This could be a game changer for me. I’ll have to wait and see how it holds up.
If you have painted an item that has heavy wear and tear, like a bench, chair, stool or dining table, you’ll want to add a top coat for added protection. But, the paint does not need to be sealed.
SPRAY PAINT HARDWARE
Often the hardware needs to be updated along with the furniture. My favorite spray paint for this is Rustoleum’s All Surface Paint and Primer in one. My favorite color is Oil Rubbed Bronze. For this project I used Black.
Here is another picture of how I spray paint hardware.
Unfortunately, spray paint cannot be used indoors. The fumes are just too strong. I always take the box outside to spray paint. In the winter, I will take it in our garage, spray it, and then bring it back in to dry. This minimizes the smell indoors, but still allows the paint to dry. I spray one side, let it dry, flip the hardware over and spray the other side. Make sure to clean the hardware before you paint it. I usually wipe mine down with mineral spirits, too.
LET THE PAINT CURE
The paint will dry to touch in about an hour. However, the paint will remain fragile until it is completely cured. The cure time for this paint is 21 days until it is completely hardened and fully durable. That means you need to be gentle with it for about three weeks. Because my project is a bench that will receive heavy use, I’m setting it aside for three weeks to allow the paint to harden before we use it.
Here’s a couple images for pinning…
I ordered a cushion for the bench and I might update the pictures when it comes in. I’m so glad that this project is finished and we can enjoy our Painted Entryway Bench once again!
What about you? Are you thinking about painting a piece of furniture? Let me know in the comments.