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Top tips for a great paint finish!

When I first started painting furniture I really didn’t know the difference between a 80 grit and a 300 grit piece of sandpaper or a satin or flat finish for that matter! All I knew was I wanted to paint and make some pretty things for my home that wouldn’t break my budget! After painting hundreds of pieces (literally lol).

A smooth finish is important for a professional look with your painted furniture.

Here are a few of my top tips I have learned to create a smooth pretty finish with chalk mineral paints:

Clean your find well!

Cleaning will help the paint adhere well and is a very important first step.

Dixie Belle has a cleaner called White Lightning that is excellent. After cleaning, rinse off any remaining residue.

Scuff sand and fill holes

A light sanding with a sanding block or 220 (medium grit) sandpaper will give the paint some “teeth” as I like to say:)

Also, now is the time to fill any areas needed or make small repairs. It is so much easier to do this now, before you begin painting. I use bondo, wood putty or Dixie Belle Mud to fill holes.

Remove all the hardware

I put my hardware in a baggie so I can keep it all together in one place.

(This is because Ive spent a lot of time looking for misplaced hardware!)

Now comes the fun part – painting!

Choose your chalk paint colors and gather your supplies- a good brush, a mister bottle, paint.

I like to start with a damp brush when painting with chalk paint. Paint in the direction of the wood grain, stopping to mist your brush as needed to keep the paint flowing.

Using the mister bottle will really help cut back on brush strokes. If you take a break, place your brush in a baggie to prevent the paint from drying out on the brush.

I paint two coats of paint most of the time

I paint two coats of paint most of the time, with the occasional extra coat if I am painting a very dark piece of furniture white. An extra tip for painting dark wood white- use a stain blocker.

Dixie Belle has Dixie Belle Boss and that works great to block the wood tannins from seeping into your fresh paint. Other stain blockers include shellacs and white primers.

After the second coat of paint has completely dried I use a high grit (300) sandpaper to finely sand my piece for that smooth as glass, feels great to the touch finish. Brush all the sanding dust away prior to sealing.

To seal your piece you have the choice of a liquid sealer or wax.

Wax is easy to apply with a brush, and I find it is less likely to cause the wood tannins to come through on lighter pieces. The liquid sealers I use by Dixie Belle are water based, also all super easy to apply. You can use a brush or roller . The Flat will offer no sheen, Satin is a medium sheen and Gloss will give you the high sheen finish. It really is a personal preference as to which finish you like best.

After sealing, another light sanding with a higher grit sand paper , 300 or higher, will really smooth and shine your piece.

Standing back and admiring your work is the final step I hope you take! You can redo your home one piece at a time and have all the bragging rights that come from a job well done!