Great Body, But That Fake Wood
I am usually opposed to painting wood but I have nothing against painting fake wood! There are tons of beautiful vintage finds that are covered in a layer of laminate or veneer. It is pretty common for there to be real wood veneer which can be sanded, extremely carefully, and re-stained. However, with laminate a great option for a face lift is paint. I had this bedroom dresser that I picked up from a garage sale a few years back.
The top had gotten pretty banged up due to falling brick pieces. It is probably the only downside to exposed brick, if you have lived with exposed brick you know what I am talking about. Brick not properly sealed and maintained with “shed.” This dresser has a lovely body but really needed to be freshened up, so I started looking at paint colors.
I settled on this beautiful light blue. Essex Blue, is a calming soft color that would look fantastic in any bedroom. I started with prep. Prepping a piece is the most labor intensive part of the process but probably the most crucial. I removed the hardware and began with filling all the gouges. With the hardware removed I spray painted it with a few coats of bronze to sprouce it up.
I used plastic wood putty from DAP and honestly I was not a fan. I doubt I will use it again in the future. I chose this product from the shelf because of its proposed durability and paintability. Due to how banged up the edges where on the top, I wanted a putty that could fill them and stand up to life usage. However, the consistency was not user friendly. It was very dry and hard to maneuver. The application with a plastic spatula didn’t work well. I found it easier to use my fingers, balling up the product and spreading it into the crevices.
You can see in the photo, how it just kind of crumbled together. I will pick a different product for future projects but I was able to make it work. After the wood filler hardened, it was time to sand down the entire piece with 120 grit sandpaper. Once the dresser is sanded it is important to clean off all the excess dust before painting in order to get a smooth finish, free from debris. I used a slightly damp tack cloth to wipe down the dresser.
Now onto the fun part. I love the finishing process! All the hard work put into prep really pays off once the paint goes on. Behr paint and primer is a good pick when painting furniture; its thicker consistency allows for minimal drip potential. When painting furniture, I opt for a high end roller instead of a brush to minimize marks in the paint. I really can’t stress enough how important it is to use high end rollers. The worst is to see fallen fuzz from the roller on your freshly painted project.
I rolled on three coats of paint to make sure to capture the complete density of the color. I bought flat paint since I knew I was going to seal the piece with polyurethane. Once it was painted, I feel in love with the matte finish and decided to seal with matte polyurethane. My eyes just get lost in matte finishes, soaking in my gaze. I surprisingly had success rolling the matte polyurethane with a roller. Usually I wouldn’t suggest it with polyurethane since it adds air during coating and leaves behind air bubbles. I think the thicker consistency of the matte finish allowed for it to be rolled without this issue. To my great relief, since rolling is much less time consuming than using a brush. I coated the entire piece with three coats of polyurethane.
It is really important to seal painted furniture, since it sees more wear and tear than walls. These drawers are going to be opened and closed repeatedly, I want to make sure that the finish holds up! Proper prep work and sealing are the most important aspects in liveability.
I won’t judge for painting over laminate furniture. It is a practical solution to revamp beautiful bones. However, please if the piece is solid wood DON’T. Take the time to read through some of my other projects to get some useful tips in saving solid wood furniture. There is nothing more beautiful than wood grain! So help me out. Restore those solid wood finds, they are rare these days. But in the meantime, keep on painting that fake wood.