So. I've made several mistakes lately when it comes to refinishing furniture. First, I followed what I thought was good advice because it was on the Young House Love website. It's a good site with good information, so I though that their info about painting wood furniture was correct. Let me just say that … it wasn't.
I sanded and painted two tables and the finish is, well, just OK. It's pretty thick and still, to this day, a little gummy and I followed their advice exactly. Fast forward to the day I painted a fabulous window seat/bookcase that my Dad built for me. I followed the same advice again and it turned out HORRIBLY. I cried it was so bad.
I found out later, after reading The Frugal Girl, that your best friend is Rustoleum Painter's Touch Primer. And it is. I love this stuff immensely!
Look at that fabulous woodgrain showing through! It adheres so incredibly well! I used it (and The Furgal Girl's instructions) when I refinished this:
And all is well … that play kitchen has Rustoleum Painter's Touch Primer and Rustoleum Painter's Touch semi-gloss paint. And it's fabulous! Oh, if only I had known. Oh, and I didn't put polyurethane on it!
Fast forward again to today. I just completed building this media base cabinet with my Dad.
It is incredible! That picture above is in the process before the final trim was applied. I ♥ it so much! We spent a lot of time on it and it means a lot to me, having built it with my Dad. So when it came time to paint it I wanted to make sure I did it right. Do you think I followed advice #1 or advice #2? That's right … I went with #2. I learned from my mistakes and there was no way I was gonna mess this up. Or so I thought!
I primed it (it was going so well) and painted it (again, going so well) and then yesterday I began to put water-bassed polyurethane (as recommended) on it. I figured since it would be in the living room it should have that extra protection. Plus I do like how it changes the look of this particular paint just a bit. So I waited the 3-4 hours between coats and then proceeded to do the next step that the can says - sand lightly with 220 grit sandpaper between coats. HA!!!!
Let's just say at least I was smart enough to test it out on an inconspicuous place first. OH THE HORROR! That step is so that the second coat of poly will adhere to the first coat. Apparently, that step is for when you are staining and not when you are painting. You see, it made the poly very grey and very dull. Eek!
I fixed it as best as I could. I then decided that was it. No more poly. Time for the poly to cure for 72 hours so I can finally finish this project. Later while reading some articles I came to find out that the true purpose of polyurethane is get into the grain of the wood and seal it. But applying it over paint is really kind of pointless as it doesn't really seal the paint. If you have prepared (sanded well) and primed (using Painter's Touch!) correctly, then your paint should adhere just fine and you shouldn't have any problems.
Mistake made … lesson learned. In the future it's all Rustoleum Painter's Touch for me! I wish they made it in 5-gallon buckets!
p.s. here's a sneak peak at the cabinet:
The paint is actually much darker, I was just playing around with photoshop :) Well, I'm off for another day of projects. Enjoy yours!