Ask Me Anything Answers – Part 1

Wow, finally i am back and here to start answering these questions!  These last few weeks around here have been craziness.  I did another plank wall in my entry way, painted my main areas of my house, painted Zailees room, painted my cabinets, acid stained a bunch of concrete, and started a room in the basement (that was not even on the agenda!)!  All while making some big decisions about my shop – more on that and all those projects soon.  Phewww – im tired!

I got so many great questions from the Ask Me Anything post!  I really, really need to do a painting series so i can get everything in one space since those are my most asked questions.  I have contemplated the whole “ebook” thing – but im not sure yet…

With all the questions, i am going to have to break it into a few posts, so if i dont get to your question here, check back soon.


I want to paint my cabinets – whats the best way to go about this so they wont chip?

Like i said, i just finished painting my cabinets and it definetely needs a full post to cover all the steps – so watch for that coming very soon!

How is your basement coming along? Weren’t you updating/finishing it?

Honestly we havent done much on it this summer in the main areas of the basement.  But we did decide to turn what was going to be a home theatre room into an arcade/game room so we started that a couple weeks ago (this was supposed to be the very last room done in the house and somehow it get bumped up on the priority list?!)  This pic is just from my phone – but better pics coming soon!  We will also be starting the bathroom in a few weeks – i am so excited for that room!

I can tell that refinishing furniture is a passion for you. I was just wondering if it has turned out to be a lucrative business as well? My MIL reupholsters furniture and has for several years and made a modest living (extra income) at it. I would love to have her teach me the trade before she retires (in about a year). I just wonder if you think the furniture refinishing and upholstering business is a good one to get into. What are the pros and cons?

Dont kill me, but im going to do a separate post on this as well!  I get this question ALL the time and never really know how to answer it – its a hard one.  But i will dedicate a post to this question very soon.

What’s your favorite primer to use on laminate pieces? Love your stuff!

I love, love, love Sherwin Williams Adhesion Primer – once that stuff has dried, its really hard to scrape off laminate.

How do you like your Graco Fine Finish Sprayer? Would you recommend it? Also, Do you spray your pieces with Urethane before you add glaze, so that the glaze won’t adhere to the paint?

I love my Graco paint gun that i posted about here.  But, ive noticed the guns do wear out and just arent the same after replacing parts.  My gun actually just died and am waiting on a new one.  This will be my 3rd gun in a year and a half (they wear out after about 6 months in my case), so i decided to go with another brand (apparently some guns are interchangeable with my turbine unit, so i dont have to purchase a whole new system, just a new gun)  I should do a review of some sorts in the future after using the new brand… But, i use my gun all day long, 5 days a week – with that much use, any gun may just wear out after a certain amount of use.

Spray paint & wood projects…how do I go about this? Sand or not to sand, prime or not to prime, HELP!!!! All the way down to the drying process and sealers! Thanks!!!

Generally, i most always sand all my furniture before priming to get a smooth painting surface.  Sanding also helps remove old paint, brush marks, dirt, etc.  Sanding will also prepare your surface for paint by giving it a little “tooth” – something that the paint can stick to.

And generally i most always prime my pieces as well.  It just gives the furniture a nice even coat.  Primer is also what helps your paint stick.  On some pieces you may be totally fine to skip the primer, but in some cases if you dont prime, your paint may just peel off.

After priming, light sand the furniture before paint.  To paint, either use a good quality paint brush, foam brush, small foam roller or a paint sprayer.  To reduce brush marks, add a little water to the paint to thin it down a little.

Normally i clear coat all my furniture in a water based poly to protect the finish.  This is an extra step that you may not always need to do – i will go over this more in a future post.

Do you spray or use a brush on your furniture for painting? If you use a brush what kind do you use so it doesn’t leave the brush marks behind? when should you prime a piece of furniture?

I spray everything with a graco 7.0 paint sprayer that i posted about here.

If you use a brush, invest in a good quality one or use a foam brush to reduce brush marks.  Also thinning the paint a little, will help the brush marks.  And the most important step, is to not go over and over the spot you are painting.  Paint it on, smooth it out and leave it alone.  If you keep working with the paint, it will start to dry, gum up a little and it will look messy.  Keep the brush nice and wet with paint at all times.  Also keep your paint line wet – start in one spot and work your way up or down, going over dry spots will give you lots of brush strokes.

I normally always prime a piece of furniture unless it has already been painted and the painted surface is dull.  Sometimes if the wood on the furniture is dull and im painting it a dark color, i will skip the primer as well.  If you have any shine on your furniture, you will want to prime 1st so that you can make sure the paint will stick.

I absolutely love your stuff! I have a couple questions: your chalk board mirrors that you redo, do you replace the mirror with wood or do you paint the mirror itself? I love painting stuff myself but I’m afraid of oil based paints and finishes because of the clean up and it’s so hard to get out of my spray gun, What are your tricks? Last one, I need to redo my kitchen table and I’m hesitant on what finish to use and would you spray it or hand brush it? Thanks so much for always sharing your amazing work and talent!

Ahhh – thanks!!

On the chalkboard mirrors, since i now ship items, i throw away the mirror and replace them with thin pieces of fiberboard – its a nice smooth surface that is easy to paint on.  If i am just going to use the chalkboard in my own house or it will be picked up locally, i just paint the chalkboard paint right over the mirror.  Prime 1st then paint the chalkboard.

Oil based paint clean up sucks!  I try not and use it through my gun but have to every once in a while.  You just have to make sure and keep lacquer thinner on hand for clean up.

As for your kitchen table, i would recommend staining the top since thats a more durable finish than paint.  But if you want it all painted, i would spray it – you will get a better finish for the large surface.

Wood filler….thoughts, love it (favorite kind?), hate it (what do you use instead?) Thanks!!

Normally i dont use a “wood” filler unless i have to patch something that will be stained, and in that case i like to use FIX – it seems to take stain the best.  If i am filling in old hardware holes or doing repair, i love using BONDO.  Home Depot carries the actual BONDO brand in the quarts, Lowes only carries it by the gallon.  I find that if i buy a gallon, even though i use it most everyday, it ends up drying out towards the end and i have to throw a lot of it away.  So, if i just go to Lowes i will buy the 3M brand, which i like, just not as much as BONDO brand.  But this stuff is WAY better than trying to fill old holes with wood filler or some type of patching putty.  It dries super hard and you can sand the finish really smooth.  Ive found that using some type of putty, you have to build up the layers to get the holes covered and it takes a lot more time.


OK – thats all the questions that i can get to tonight, its gonna take me forever to get through all the awesome questions – just be patient with me!  -im just going to answer them in the order that they were asked so i dont loose track-