- Cleaning: Krud Kutter, White Lightning, TSP
- Priming: BIN Synthetic Shellac Sealer White, Dixie Belle White Boss
- Painting: Buttercream, Fluff, Drop Cloth, Cotton
- Sealing: Clear Coat Satin, Best Dang Wax, Zinsser Bulls Eye spray shellac
- Tools: Dixie Belle Synthetic Brushes, Wooster Brush, Purdy Brush Misting Bottle, 220 grit sandpaper or sponges
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Cleaning and Priming
Before picking up a paint brush, the first step is a thorough cleaning of your furniture to remove dirt and wax build up…or in some cases stickers, gum and dried food! In cases of the later, a razor blade works wonders. Just be careful to use the blade flush to the surface in order to prevent gouging your wood. Options for cleaning include a TSP product or TSP based product like White Lightning, which must be rinsed off prior to painting, or a de-glossing cleaner such as Krud Kutter.
Bleed through is one of the biggest challenges when using white or light colored paint. While it’s often expected with red-toned mahogany and cherry, even pine and oak can cause yellowing. News to me when I was a newbie painter…and of course I learned the hard way! When painting with white, I prefer to use a white primer so I can see the level of bleed through after each coat. Two of my favorites are BIN Synthetic Shellac in white which dries quickly and Dixie Belle White Boss. I love the smooth finish of Boss but it does require the second coat to dry 24 hours — which fine if you are doing a piece for your own home but not if you are working to finish a custom piece in a time crunch! If you start painting and still see bleed thru, go back to your primer. Additional coats of paint will not solve the problem!
Painting and Sealing
Another challenge when painting white furniture is brush strokes. The first few pieces I painted for my home were white…falsely believing white would be easier! I worked my way through chip brushes, Wooster and Purdy brushes and finally found Dixie Belle brushes. A good brush makes all the difference! I’ve been using my Dixie Belle Mini for over a year with still great results. But if you’re not ready to make that investment, both Wooster and Purdy offer good synthetic alternatives.
Now it’s time to pick your paint! I tried a lot of paint brands on the road to becoming a Content Creator for Dixie Belle. Read your paint label carefully to see if you are getting a true chalk mineral paint or a latex that has been marketed as having a “chalk finish.” Dixie Belle paint has no VOC’s, is self leveling and I can use a misting bottle to reactivate my paint for a longer open time. They offer 4 whites:
- Cotton – the purest white
- Drop Cloth – white with a linen undertone
- Fluff – white with a slight gray undertone
- Buttercream – white with a slight yellow undertone
Between coats, I give a light sanding with either a sanding sponge or sandpaper in 220 grit. Make sure your paint is thoroughly dry and use a light touch. Should you opt for a distressed look, a lower grit makes the process easier.
My preference for sealing white paint is Dixie Belle’s Best Dang Wax . I use the clear as my primary sealer and may add white, black, grunge gray or brown to create an antiqued look or emphasize details. Theoretically your primer should prevent any bleed through when sealing with a poly acrylic …but, just saying, it’s happened to me more than once! When this happens, not all is lost! You can try spraying Zinsser Bulls Eye shellac over the problem areas, repaint and seal again.