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Prepping like a Pro for Mineral Painting-5 Easy Steps!

I get a lot of questions with regards to prepping furniture prior to painting with Mineral Paint. In this blog post, I'm going to share with you 5 easy steps to ensure that your piece is properly prepared to guarantee that your painted piece lasts. Considering the time and effort you invest into painting furniture, you want to ensure that your piece is prepared properly to avoid having to do it all over again!

Essential items needed for prepping furniture.

  • Sugar soap and warm water
  • Lint free rags, toothbrush and foam scrubbing pad
  • Fine grade 220 grit sandpaper
  • Shellac Primer (if applicable)
  • Wood filler (if applicable)
  • Beeswax Puck

Step 1- Ensure your piece is clean

First things first, no matter what your project is, it must be clean and free of dirt, grease and grime. Who knows how many layers of Mr Sheen that has accumulated over the years of its life! This step is easy; simply buy yourself some sugar soap and mix into a bowl of water. Depending on the size of your piece, simply dilute your sugar soap according to instructions depending on how much solution you intend to use. Use an old lint free rag or foam scrubbing pad to thoroughly clean your piece. Use a toothbrush to scrub any difficult to reach areas such as corners, trims or carved areas. If your piece has previously been sealed with a wax you need to remove it by wiping down the piece with Mineral Turps. 

Step 2- Sand your piece

If you have a particular piece that is shiny or glossy, I highly recommend that you scuff sand your piece with 220 grit sandpaper to provide your surface with "tooth" that the paint can grip and hold onto. You will see the surface dulls down as you open the pores of the timber, this is completely normal and means you are doing a fantastic job at sanding! If you avoid this step, I highly guarantee your paint will not adhere and you will be regretting it. Once your piece is sanded, simply remove excess dust by wiping down with warm water. The water not only removes the dust, but also the residual film the sugar soap creates, which if left, can create problems with adhesion in itself. 

Step 3- Fill any holes and blemishes

If your piece has holes, gauges or imperfections, simply fill these holes using a wood filler, such a Spakfilla. Apply it evenly with the spatula provided, allow to try then sand smooth. 

Step 4- When to prime

If you are painting over a synthetic manufactured surfaces such as laminate, melamine, metal or glass, it is crucial that you apply a grip primer prior to painting. Pieces that contain "hard to get areas" such as ornate carved details, where sanding may be difficult, it is a good idea to prime these surfaces as well. I recommend using Bird's Special Bond. This is simply applied by brush over the surface. Use a good quality synthetic bristle brush and apply a very thin coat all over the areas as necessary. This makes difficult areas less difficult to paint. 

Teak, Mahogany or Cherry wood as well as pine knots are known to bleed tannins which can be problematic. Examples of tannin bleed are yellow spot discolouration and pink discolouration. Here’s an example below:

For these pieces I highly recommend using a product called Zinsser BIN Shellac Primer. This product is a preventative blocker inhibiting these tannins bleeding through years later. This product is white tinted. It comes in aerosol form as well as a tin. If you plan to distress your piece to reveal the natural timber, you can mix your own shellac using shellac flakes mixed with methylated spirits according to instructions giving a clear mix. Here is what I use:

 

  

Step 5- Apply a beeswax resist 

If you have applied the clear shellac and you wish to distress your piece later on, I suggest applying a resist. What does this mean you say? Simply grab your beeswax puck and rub over sections you wish to distress later on. Trust me! This makes life easier when you distress later on, plus it prevents you rubbing too hard penetrating through your primed shellac layer. Here are the wax pucks I use and have available to purchase.

Following this step by step guide, you are now ready to paint your heart out with Mineral Paint! See it isn't that hard after all right? The hardest part now is choosing your favourite colour 💕

Happy Painting!

Meg x