spraying / painting bedroom furniture

16 May 2011

Painting the furniture in Lauren’s room was our trial run for the kitchen cabinets. I would suggest always doing a practice project before hitting a big one that you really don’t want to mess up.
We had purchased this paint sprayer to stain our deck and fence this summer and the reviews were good for people using it with paint, so we decided to give it a go with the primer. I think you can find it in many stores as well.

This is THE oil based primer to use for the most durable results and it is actually quite thin, so it was perfect for the sprayer.

To give you an idea of how dingy white everything was, here it is before against the test sprays. (we used the back of a beadboard panel that we’ll use in the kitchen for practice sprays). Everything needed a fresh coat of white.
march 2011 017 1
First, wipe everything down using an all purpose cleaner/de-greaser. I like Fantastic or Mrs. Meyers. The paint guy recommended not using TSP, because it can affect the adhesion of some primers, and sure enough I read on the back of the Zinsser can that it says not to use TSP, so we skipped it.
march 2011 028 1
Follow the directions on the sprayer for setting it up and thinning the paint, etc. Thanks to Kate’s fabulous tips, we added penetrol to the primer to thin it down a bit in the sprayer.
You’ll want to do some test sprays on a board, because if your primer isn’t thinned out enough,march 2011 019 1
it will start doing this:march 2011 033 1    Better to try on the board first. Once it was thinned correctly, the sprayer was a dream for the furniture, especially the legs of chairs, back and top of the bookcases, etc. We primed everything we could think of for her bedroom all in one shot because we didn’t want to be cleaning out oil based primer more than once.march 2011 036 1 march 2011 041 1
After spray priming, there will be a very, very fine grit that you can remove by simply going over the surfaces with a fine grit (220) sanding block.
march 2011 010 And then you’ll be ready to paint. We DID NOT use the sprayer for the paint. I had heard great things about Benjamin Moore’s Impervo paint and I loved the finish of it, but it was really thick and I was worried that if we thinned it too much, the durability of the paint would be messed up. So, again we added penetrol to the paint and we rolled it on with a foam roller and paint brush. It went really quickly with primer already being on there, but it took forever to dry, so I knew that the paint would not be an option for the kitchen with 7 people running around here. So glad we did a trial run…
If I was in the painting furniture business, or had a lot of pieces to do, I would probably invest in an airless paint sprayer, but this one definitely cut down a lot on the priming time.
Kitchen, here we come!
signatureI have no affiliation with any of these brands, sprayers, paint, companies, etc. Just our experience in using them.


  1. melissa*320 sycamore1/8/14, 1:31 PM

    I only wanted to clean once, so I got everything I could think of that I
    wanted to prime out there and went to town until it was finished. Follow the
    directions to clean~run some water/mineral sprits through it and then I
    soaked the parts in some mineral spirits for a few hours and then used a
    steel wire brush to clean them really well. It wasn't bad, but it does take
    some time.

  2. melissa*320 sycamore1/8/14, 1:31 PM

    We actually are using the sprayer for the primer on the cabinet doors, but
    we're using a roller & brush for the primer on the bases and a roller and
    brush for the paint as well. We're going with dove white from ben moore.
    I'll have some blog posts coming up on the whole process!

  3. melissa*320 sycamore1/8/14, 1:31 PM

    Hi Mary~see 2 comments above.

  4. Your posts always seem perfectly timed.  I have been seriously considering a paint sprayer.  Thanks for the post, definitely helps.

  5. kristen dailey1/16/14, 11:00 PM

     I have to comment!! I begged for this for Christmas this year - sad what we ask for these days isn't it! FINALLY- this weekend I pulled out this very sprayer and went to town! 
    I have a lot of furniture to prime and did not want to sand everything prior to so I wanted to use my fav Gripper. It was WAY too think for the sprayer and we had the same little mess you did above! 
    I wish you posted this before this weekend! Haha! 
    I was using latex, so Floetrol was my saving grace after I huffed and puffed my way into our local paint store and they saved the day! 
    Good luck with your kitchen, that is exactly what I wanted the sprayer for! 

  6. I'll definitely be bookmarking this post - thank you.  I've seen many tutorials on painting, but never  this many details on priming.  Very helpful!  We have a sprayer and Floetrol, but I'm not sure why I didn't think  to mix it with primer as well.  Your daughter's bedroom turned out so cute... I've enjoyed seeing the details about each piece.

  7. I love white!

    Thank you for the tip on Fantastic.  I'm not quite ready to redo the kitchen cabinets, but they do need a good rubdown with some degreaser and I'll be trying the Fantastic.

    Can't wait to see what comes next.



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