How do you get a smooth paint finish on furniture?

wishiwasinozApril 8, 2010

I bought several pieces of furniture I plan to paint a creamy color (such as heirloom white). My brother originally told me I could use his high-end commercial paint sprayer.

I spoke with someone at SW today & he said I need a different kind of paint sprayer to achieve that effect (HVLP sprayer). I don't want to drop that kind of cash on a new sprayer & haven't found a place to rent one. I am just wondering if there is another way to get a silky-smooth finish on this furniture.

I know the sprayer will be quickest route to go & have the best finish, but I cannot spend $500-1K on a new paint sprayer. I don't want to use regular canned spray paint because some of the furniture will be in my little girl's room & we'll eat off the dining room table.

Oh, dear THS gods, what have I gotten myself into? How do I resolve this. I must paint these pieces, so doing something else is not an option for me.

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I know next-to-nothing about sprayers, but here are some furniture painting tips from one of my favorite blogs....


Here is a link that might be useful: FAQ Life in the Fun Lane

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 5:18PM
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Follow the same instructions for cabinet painting. You can use brushes (high quality brushes--Purdy at a minimum) and a high quality self-leveling paint. Lightly sand between coats and you're golden.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 5:29PM
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I can't help with painting advice, but have you tried posting this on the painting forum? Maybe they can offer some help.
Beautiful furniture by the way!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 8:26PM
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Thank you all!!! I think I'm set. I LOVE the air compressor info. from In the Fun Lane. What a beautiful blog! Thank you again & I'll be sure to post pics when they are all complete (quite possibly in 2013!).

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 9:00PM
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We used a paint sprayer attached to an air compressor on similar furniture pieces:

Most of my info came from Life in the Fun lane, I posted questions on the paint forum, but got very few responses.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 10:01PM
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If you have an air compressor, buy an automotive paint sprayer. You can get them from an auto paint store for around $50. I can't remember the size tip we got (maybe a 17), but if you tell the workers there what you are doing they can find the one you need. I have a gravity-fed one. Love it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 10:23PM
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You can get the right finish by using the right paint for the project, sanding between layers, and most importantly, using high, very very high quality brushes for the type of finish desired (paint, varnish, etc all use different brushes).

But all of that aside...who cares. I just want your entire project to fail so you will give up and sell the cabinet in the second picture to's DEVINE!!!!!! LOL ummm and good luck (except on that piece LOL) Is it stored in an unlocked garage?????

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 1:27AM
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I've done a few pieces (a buffet turned bookcase, banquette, dresser and nightstand) and I'm about to do a new table (yeah .. new but purchased at an outlet store ... don't like the color) all with high quality paint (either Fine Paints of Europe Eco Satin or Ben Moore Aura) and an awesome brush (Omega, available from FPE) and I've been thrilled with the results. Nary a brushstroke in sight. It may be a different story when I attempt the table which will require very LONG brushstrokes, but I really think it's all in the paint. As long as you use a good paint with great self-leveling characteristics you'll have a nice finish.

As an alternative to spending a lot of money on tools you may not use again, have you looked into having it professional sprayed? I have no idea how much that costs, but it might be better than investing a lot into very specific tools.

That table is going to be gorgeous, by the way.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 8:19AM
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I'm doing the chairs in the set in this style & hopefully in the fabric below, if I can just pull the trigger. I want it to go on sale.

igloochic -- I live in a far, remote island village in Alaska only accessible by sea plane. Good luck finding me! :-)

The piece is from a discontinued line from Lexington called Betsy Cameron's Children. That particular piece is Casey's Cupboard 111-309. I found it at a consignment store last week & had to have it. Depending on how they wash up, I will probably change out the curtains. Isn't it gorgeous & won't it be so sweet in my little girl's room?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 8:42AM
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My smoothest paint finishes have always come from a commercial sprayer that DH uses at work. I can't help but touch everything that he paints for me - it's like glass.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 9:03AM
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I've never used it, but the Wagner 2400 HVLP sprayer gets good reviews and is around $100.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 12:28PM
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Here's another blog, with a how to paint furniture post-she didn't use a paint sprayer or do any sanding, just different products from the paint store. I think her buffet table came out looking like she sprayed it and she says it's held up fine.

Here is a link that might be useful: Just a girl blog

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 4:00PM
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That's funny roobear, I was about to post the steps from JAG's blog. I love the way her furniture turned out. I read her blog daily.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 10:59PM
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