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Repainting painted wood!

Good morning! We have an older dining room set that is painted (or stained with a topcoat??) a color I no longer like.  The paint is in excellent shape, except for a few blemishes on the top of the table, which I already plan onl sanding.  However, is it necessary to sand the rest of the pieces with no blemishes? I am planning on repainting it black? I am just trying to avoid the labor simply because there are 4 pieces and each one has a LOT of wood detail which would be a ton of sanding.  Could I use some kind of primer to help the new paint adhere? Also, I don't know if it is a latex or oil based paint.  I feel clueless and need some direction! Thanks in advance :)

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Posted 2011-09-21T13:25:09+0000  by 3doxiesmom 3doxiesmom

Wow...thanks yet again for more valuable info!!! I was wondering about the difference in oil based vs. latex.  You answered my questions! 


And yes....the doxies are wild "fur children" and they keep us entertained at ALL times!! Here are two of the sweets :) ! 

Best Answer

Posted 2011-09-22T19:58:10+0000  by 3doxiesmom
Whatever product you decide to use, whether it's a primer and then paint or a self-priming paint, sanding will help that initial coat adhere better. It roughens the surface giving it more "tooth" aka more surface area for the primer or paint coat to adhere. Put this way, sanding and then priming will never hurt you. If you decide to primer have whichever primer tinted grey as dark as that primer allows since you're paiinting black. Gripper grey allows up to 7oz of tint added making it quite dark.
Posted 2011-09-21T15:03:30+0000  by Paul

Good morning 3doxiesmom,


My name is Christine and I work in the paint department at Home Depot.  I’m so glad you want to tackle this project! Painting furniture can really turn the whole esthetic of the room around.


Allow me to talk to you about sandpaper. The reason for the sandpaper is multi-fold. First off, it will take off any wax or polyurethane finish. This will allow for optimal adhesion of your primer and paint. It will also make your final coat super smooth. You may want to consider sanding the big, broad areas so you will have a smooth, beautiful finish. Using a 150 or 220 grit sand paper between all coats of primer and paint will give you a lovely smooth finish.  


With that being said there are a few things you can use instead of sandpaper on your pieces. Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) works well as both a cleaner and a deglosser. It comes in different forms, including a spray and a concentrate.  This needs to be rinsed off thoroughly before applying primer.


You can also use liquid sandpaper. Contrary to the name, this will not smooth out the surface like sandpaper; however, it will prep the surface nicely for priming and painting. This needs to be rubbed in with a lint free rag in the direction of the wood grain, and should not be rinsed off before applying a primer.


Now, lets’ discuss primer.  Since you have deglossed the finish off your pieces, you can use either oil or latex based primer. I would recommend using oil based primer. It dries harder than latex based primer and will give you maximum adhesion. With that being said, Glidden's Gripper Primer is latex based, and it has excellect adhesion. After you have primed, you can use either oil or latex based paint on top.


If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask!


Happy Painting!

Christine :smileyvery-happy:

Posted 2011-09-21T15:35:17+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL

Thank you both so much!!  I will go ahead and sand the large, flat pieces.  Do you think I would be ok to just clean and prime (without sanding) the intricate detailed areas?  Would it look the same as the sanded areas?  I will definitely go with the tinted primer as well.  Finally, would like you opinions on what would look best with black, since the table is such a large area - gloss / satin / ???  Thanks again - MUCH appreciated!!

Posted 2011-09-21T15:43:01+0000  by 3doxiesmom

Welcome back 3doxiesmom!


As long as there aren't any scratches on the places with the intricate details, you should be fine just priming. Again, the Glidden Gripper primer will work splendidly for you! 


Most of the time people use a semi-gloss, or gloss finish on furniture. Both are easy to wipe down if something spills. Ultimately it depends on your personal taste. Personally, I prefer semi-gloss. 


Have fun! Please post pictures on how it turns out!


Christine :smileyhappy:

Posted 2011-09-21T16:39:36+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL

Once again, thanks for your help! I just have one more question and I believe I'm ready to start tackling this project :)  For the smoothest finish on the large flat pieces (i.e. table top) would you recommend using a brush or roller? 

Posted 2011-09-22T12:01:48+0000  by 3doxiesmom

You know 3DoxiesMom, I bet those Doxies have a ton of personality and are just too cute scrambling around together!


Maybe you can share a photo!?!


I read the thread, and had I joined sooner, would have strongly recommended both oil-based primer and oil-based topcoat ... if no one in your home has a respiratory problem.


The question you are asking last, "For the smoothest finish on the large flat piece ..." is the first reason I would suggest you start and finish with oil.


Oil-based primer and especially oil-based paints tend to be self-leveling which will meet your expectation of obtaining the smoothest finish on large flat pieces.


The water-based primer mentioned earlier is very fast drying (about an hour) which means you'll likely have brush marks and have to sand it smooth ... you'll notice that one of our other product experts, Christine, spent a bit of her post covering ways to smooth the water-based product. She is so right!


She also mentions oil-based primer for a durable surface ... right again!


Finally, I would add oil-based semi-gloss paint for your topcoat. Behr recently introduced this product and it can be mixed in black.


What you'll gain is a more durable surface that will withstand the abuse that table tops commonly experience.


Best of all, according to the manufacturer you can spray, brush, or roll. No matter which applicator you choose, you can expect the slow-drying surface to self-level and leave virtually no marks at all.


So choose the paint applicator that you are most experienced using ... I prefer the white foam ultra smooth roller in a four-inch or six-inch. Keep the roller saturated throughout the application to ensure a thick, even coat.


NOTE: The trick to using oil-based products includes three steps: 1) Saturate the brush or roller, 2) Do not overwork the paint ... smooth on a thick even coat, and 3) Should you see an imperfection in the finish while painting, resist the urge to reach in and "fix" it. Because oil products self-level, it will likely fix itself over the six-hour drying time. If not, use 220-grit sandpaper to lightly buff off the imperfection and touch-up the spot.



I love the modern water-based primers for many applications, but you'll always get a smoother finish from oil. If you choose a water-based topcoat (or have already purchased water-based products), investigate Floetrol. It is an additive that slows the drying time of water-based paints to help eliminate brush and roller marks.

Posted 2011-09-22T19:25:23+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
Interior semi-gloss is a harder paint film when cured, read as more durable. But most of the time personal preference rules out.
Posted 2011-09-22T20:29:56+0000  by Paul

Paul - am going with an interior semi-gloss oil based paint.  Is this what you would suggest?

Posted 2011-09-23T12:07:13+0000  by 3doxiesmom

Thanks for sharing the photo 3DoxiesMom.


What beautiful beasts they are!!!


I love their color and especially their long, flowing coats.


You can clearly see that they are inseparable mischief makers that pretend they can do no wrong!


What fun they must be.


Here is a photo of my buddy.


slab.jpg  We drove around town in the convertible yesterday and he loved the swirling wind.


I'm pleased that we were able to answer your question and expect your project will be both beautiful and functional.


When your pieces are complete, come back and post another photo of your handy work.

Posted 2011-09-27T15:24:17+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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