Make your project shine with a perfect finish.

1) Select materials and supplies. After you decide on the type of paint you will use (interior or exterior; latex or oil-based), choose a primer that works with it. Use wide brushes for larger areas and smaller brushes on edges and details. Cover your work surface with a drop cloth, newspaper, or old tablecloth.
TIP: Use paintbrushes with natural bristles for oil-based finishes and synthetic bristles for water-based finishes.

2) Prepare. Use a finishing cloth to clean the sanded surface of your project. To make cleaning your paintbrush easier after painting, pre-condition it with a cleanser that is recommended for your primer and paint (water for latex paints and mineral spirits for oil-based paints). Squeeze the liquid from the brush.

3) Prime. Stir the primer, and dip your brush halfway up the bristles. Dipping the brush halfway allows you to paint without constantly reloading. Apply one coat of primer, and allow to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Sand the primed areas with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface.
TIP: Always paint in a well-ventilated area.

4) Paint. Use a clean, pre-conditioned brush for the first coat of paint. Be sure to apply smooth brush lines in long, even strokes. Avoid dabbing the brush on the project surface. Allow the first coat to dry, and then apply a second coat. Add subsequent coats if needed at attain full coverage.
TIP: Paintbrushes can last longer than paint rollers if they are cleaned and stored properly.

Antique Finish Give a new project instant character.
Create the appearance of a well – loved piece of furniture with a few simple steps. Apply a light color over a dark color, and then sand to reveal the layers and raw wood.

Your recent woodworking project looks and feels like a new piece of furniture – but you may prefer an aged – wood appearance, instead. Several techniques can mimic the finish of antique furniture.
HOW-TO TIPS:
• Prep the wood for painting by cleaning and/or sanding all surfaces.
• Apply your first coat of paint once you create a good bonding base. This color will be seen the least with you are finished. Let dry thoroughly.
• Mimic a layered look by applying coats of one or two other colors. After reaching your desired number of layers, use coarse-grit sandpaper to scrape away paint on any portion of the piece that might be exposed to natural wear. You can continue this process using a finer grip paper.
• Create an antique finish by applying a crackle glaze to the paint layers. This will make crakes and fissures in the paint surface. For another look, apply a wiping glaze or a thinner coat of dark latex paint over the entire piece, and immediately wipe with a rag. The darker pigment will look like grime collected in the crevices and corners of the furniture.
• Add battle scars to the surface. Several well-placed hammer blows, a rap or two with a length of chain, and a few pokes with a screwdriver or an awl will do the job nicely.

This article was first published in the Fall 2010 issue of Woodworkers distributed by Lowe’s.

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