Besides paint, what are the necessities when it comes to furniture painting? Here are 5 of my favorite products that I use daily besides paint.
1) Tsp Substitute: It’s less toxic and more effective then regular tsp which is trisodium phosphate. I like using the concentrate forms of tsp substitute and adding water to use when cleaning. You’ll be amazed at how much grime comes off of used furniture. Cleaning is an absolute must for prep.
2) Sander Deglosser: Klean-Strip Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser cleans & deglosses to help new paint and varnish bond to old finishes. It deglosses paint, enamels, varnish & more. Despite it’s name, I do not use it in place of sanding. I believe that if something requires sanding than it is a step you shouldn’t skimp on but I use this stuff after I clean with tsp substitute to help with paint adhesion. If you are painting on a glossy surface than use a primer first or sand. I love using this when I paint on top of old finishes. It gets off what the tsp doesn’t and makes the surface tacky for paint to adhere better. Not a stripper so if it requires stripping use something like citristrip or a trusted stripper. It also helps with transfer adhesion.
3) Cling On Brushes: I am not a gentle brush user. I beat, bang, and torture my brushes. Sometimes I forget to wash them off immediately and that means doom for most of them. The first time I used my Cling On brush, it was like having an all clad pan versus tephlon pan. No shedding, brush stroke free finish, and the ultimate durability. I’ve invested in expensive chalk paint brushes with natural bristles but the bristles end up breaking, shedding, and stiffening. Sometimes I want a rough texture so I use chip brushes that are so cheap they’re disposable. These are my go to. The endless sizes make them right for any type of job.
4) Varathane Polyurethane: It can be found in all hardware stores and is midrange on cost. It is my go to polyurethane for everyday sealing. I top coat everything. Having a toddler and two dogs can make you a bit neurotic about durability. I’ve seen the yellowing effect on some of my older pieces using clear wax or miniwax poly. Varathane has stood the test. I like applying with a foam brush or sponge for smooth application.
5) Bar Keepers Friend: It should be called furniture refinishers friend because this stuff is a boss when it comes to cleaning hardware. I have used many types of metal cleaners and this has been my go to for getting rid of years of grime and patina. Use it to clean your furniture if tsp doesn’t do the trick because this stuff is magic. No need to leave your hardware in a crockpot with vinegar overnight. Get it clean in minutes.