There Is No Such Thing As No Prep

"Oh this paint doesn't require any prep! Just dust off your piece of furniture and start painting!"

I cringe whenever I hear that. I shudder when I see a paint brand brag that there is no prep required for their paint. I groan when I have to fix another persons piece because they just slapped the paint on and went on there merry way. I've stripped paint off with cobwebs and dust under the paint. I've scraped paint off with my nails.

Repeat after me. There is no such thing as no prep paint.

Paint came off just from painters tape that was on for 20 minutes

I was asked to refinish this gorgeous cabinet recently. At first I figured I could just prime over the blue and sand the top smooth but then I realized it wasn't going to be that easy.

Even though this cabinet had been painted many years ago the paint easily scraped off with my nails. I knew that whatever I did it wouldn't stick to the cabinet and eventually it would fail.

Over the next several days Jeremy and I scraped, brushed, and sanded the blue off if the cabinet. Once it was off we sanded the bare wood and cleaned several times. Lots of work especially on this very detailed piece but it had to be done.

All of the blue paint cleaned off

One thing I always tell people is to make sure the shine is off of the piece. If you see shiny areas keep sanding. A gloss finish is designed to not let anything stick to it; the best description I can give is you want the pores to be open for the paint to bond to. I usually wipe the piece down to remove any dirt and grime then I sand to remove the clear coat. Once sanded I clean again with hot water and denatured alcohol. You can also use hot water and vinegar or Krud Kutter. Once clean I check for any shiny spots and repeat.

This piece is what they call a bleeder. It is made from an exotic wood and we knew we would have to use a stain blocking primer. We used Bin Shellac primer to seal the pink and yellow bleed through from coming through the paint. Make sure your work area is ventilated because this primer does put off a strong alcohol smell. I knew that all of those details would take forever to paint by hand so we sprayed the paint and primer. We used Fusion Limestone because it has a built in top coat which would make things a little easier for us. Once painted I used black wax to highlight all of those details.

You can scrape and scratch this cabinet and the paint is not coming off. It will last for many years and when she decides it is time to change the color again we just need to wipe with mineral spirits to remove any wax, clean, lightly sand, and clean again. Your product is only as good as your prep so take the time to properly prep your pieces and be proud of the work you have done.

Kimberly Gilleland

Red Tulip Designs LLC


El Reno, OK 73036, USA

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