With the shop closed in observance of Remembrance Day, the DIY projects really kicked into high gear today! The hallway got repainted (new rugs are coming – don’t tell my husband), the wood floor got fixed and I finally finished the coffee table. For the past two days I’ve been staining and sealing the top and today the bottom got a new paint job! I wanted to share the process since the steps are pretty much the same no matter what wood you’re painting so follow along and pick up some tips for YOUR next project.
If you’re painting bare wood, a coat of primer is a must. I know that a lot of paints are now self-priming but if you want to end up with a beautiful and durable finish don’t skip the primer – it seals the wood and helps the top coat go on smoother and stick better.
For bare wood like our pine coffee table (also great on new doors and woodwork) I recommend Zinsser B I N primer. It’s a shellac based primer that blocks the tannic acid in wood knots so they don’t bleed through over time. Because it’s a great stain blocker you can also use BIN for other projects like covering smoke damage or markers/crayons on the walls.
If you plan on using BIN on your project here are a couple of tips. I’m not big into drop cloths but I decided to use one because this primer is thin. The last thing I wanted was dripping primer onto our living room rugs or wood floor. Also, don’t use a foam brush. The solvents in this primer will eat it up. I used nylon bristle brush for a smoother finish. Clean up for BIN is either denatured alcohol or ammonia…or a trash can so you a paint brush you don’t mind parting with. Speaking of solvents, this primer will have a strong smell so make sure you ventilate by tuning on a fan and opening a windows. Good news though – it dries super fast!
After two coats of primer, the coffee table was starting to look like something!
I left the primer to dry while I folded the laundry and after an hour it was ready to be top coated. For the finish paint I used Muralo Ultra Satin Waterbourne enamel. It’s just as durable as the traditional oils but the waterbased formula dries faster than enamel with no smell. Plus, it cleans up with water. I went back and forth on the colour but finally decided to skip the white and chose Benjamin Moore Gray Owl. It matches the rug perfectly and is a softer compliment to the General Finishes Mahogany gel stain than stark white would have been. Hopefully the hubby likes it! TIP: This paint dries very quickly so to avoid brush marks work quickly in the direction of the wood. I would recommend either a foam brush or a nylon bristle brush.
On small projects, I like to work out of the can. To keep the rim clean, I take a small nail and make a hole on the inside channel. That way the excess paint drips back into the can and doesn’t pool in the rim. The lid goes on tightly and the paint stays fresher longer.
After two coats and a few hours, the table was finished! Even though the paint is dry, it’s not fully cured so for the next few weeks we’ll be gentle with the finish, use coaster and place mats.
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