Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Sanding Blunder

Yesterday I was reminded (in a not so pleasant way) what the most important step to a quality paint job is… the prep.  And in my opinion, the most important "prep-step" is sanding.  Not the primer, not the filling, but the sanding.
I was reminded because I didn't prep correctly, then paid the price later with peeling paint.  Arg.
Last week I was out with the flu - all week - and with my schedule pretty packed, it put me behind.  And what do you do when you're behind?  You hurry!  
I hurried a bit too much and didn't properly sand the edges of a few drawers before I primed.  I realized this when I came back through to sand the primer and paint started peeling off!  
Lucky for me, it only happened on small parts of the drawers that I didn't rough up well enough and not the hole thing!

Here's a close up.
The drawers look fine now and the first coat of paint is on, but the goof up put me behind a couple hours. 
This leads me back to the whole 'sanding is the most important step' thing.

When I started painting furniture around my house six years ago, there were no DIY blogs. - and who wanted to use the internet with that whole dial up connection thing, anyway?  Because of this, I had no idea what kind of paint to use, when to sand, when not to sand and I didn't use primer.  I thought primer was for dark walls.
I painted with latex wall paint, no clear coat and didn't prime anything.  The one thing that saved me was being an
Because of this, the black paint I used to paint Colby's bunk bed six years ago - without primer and without a clear coat - is still holding strong.
It's good to be an over-sander.  Because I'm an over-sander, up until yesterday, I've never dealt with peeling paint before!

(Sanding is what helps surfaces grip the paint.  It is extra-essential when painting a glossier piece of furniture - or laminate.  Paint doesn't stick to glossy surfaces well!)

Moral of the story:  occasionally, it's good to be reminded what not to do.  

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  1. Been there than that..I just went through the same thing a few weeks ago...But on mine, the entire piece was peeling, so I had to completelly strip it again and sand really well..Lesson learned!!

  2. Done that before! I really wish sanding wasn't so important because I hate doing it!

  3. Wow!! i am very impressed with your lovely post.. I am so glad to left comment on this..This has been a so interesting read, would love to read more here….

  4. Hello! I love reading your blog! I have painted a few pieces of furniture for our house and my question is what kind of clear coat do you use on white paint. I used a poly that has turned yellow. I guess I'm going to have to go back and sand and try something else. :-(

    1. Oil doesn't require a top coat, nor does lacquer, so I don't currently use one, but when I painted with latex I used BM's Staysclear water based poly - it's the best. Oil poly dries harder so it's great to use on darker pieces where the yellowing wouldn't be noticeable.

      Good luck on the redo!

    2. Thank you!

  5. I've so done this before - it's the pits.

  6. Thanks for the reminder to sand, sand, sand! If you don't mind me asking...what primer did you use? I recently used Zinsser Cover Stain (oil base) which does not require sanding and is used for glossy furniture. I have to admit, I did lightly sand. The end result was terrific. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. I used Mohawk's waterborne lacquer primer - you can find it on their website. I don't feel like the adhesion is better than Zinsser, but I like the way it sprays. And really, I end up using something like Zinsser if I have problems with tannin bleed. The waterborne doesn't block it.