A finished paint job is only as good as the prep that was put into it. That’s right! Don’t fall into the trap of “no prep” needed folks! Yes, this may ruffle some feathers, but those who promote just-wipe-the-cobwebs-off and start slinging paint probably don’t complete custom work for clients on the daily. Just sayin’…
Properly prepping a piece prior to paint will ensure adhesion, giving you a solid base for your next coat and your desired finish, ensuring your piece will be beautiful for years to come.
Here’s my 7 Step Prep Method:
Remove Hardware. Remove all the hardware, placing all the screws back into the hardware itself. I suggest putting all the hardware in a marked Ziploc bag to avoid getting screws mixed up with other pieces you might be working on.
Vacuum. Take out all the drawers, open doors, etc. and give the piece a total sweeping. This will ensure no dust bunnies make their way into your wet paint. Dust bunnies in paint = sanding and repainting (it’s a total bummer!).
Wipe Down w/ All Purpose Cleaner. Give the piece a good wipe down using an all-purpose cleaner and blue shop towels.
Wipe Down w/ Liquid Sander Deglosser (optional for shiny surfaces). If your piece has a super shiny surface, consider using a liquid sander deglosser to remove the shiny surface. This is an additional step that will help adhesion on super slick surfaces.
Sand/Scuff. Using a 120-grit sanding sponge, scuff your piece all over. This will give some “tooth” for the primer/paint to adhere to.
Wipe Down w/ TSP. After scuffing, wipe down your piece with TSP to removing dust and the old finish that you sanded up with the scuffing.
Wipe Down w/ Water (or water/vinegar mix). TSP is known to leave behind residue that could interfere with adhesion, so always make sure to give your piece a final wipe down with water or a water/vinegar mix to remove any remaining residue.
There you go! 7 steps to ensure proper adhesion for your paint! Yes, it’s time consuming, but trust me, it takes less time to do proper prep the first time than to have to strip off a poor paint job and properly prep and paint over again! Trust me, I know from firsthand experience!!