Thursday, July 23, 2015

Painting Furniture with Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne Alkyd Paint [Review]

Hi friends!
A few months ago I decided to try out a new paint, Benjamin Moore's Advance. For a while now I have been using General Finishes paints and topcoats, but since I began spraying furniture with an HVLP spray gun at the beginning of 2015 it's proven to be incredibly hard to achieve an even finish when spraying on a topcoat. The conclusion I have come to is the air that comes out of the gun causes the topcoat that was just sprayed on in the previous stroke to immediately start drying. Pretty much there wouldn't be enough of a "wet edge" for the topcoat to run together into a smooth, even finish which results in streaks on the long surfaces (like the tops and some sides of pieces). I've tried spraying thicker and thinner coats of the topcoat to try and combat this problem, but I have not found anything that works to prevent it from happening. In the end I would smooth out the finish with steel wool and then apply the last coat of poly/topcoat with a high quality paint brush or foam brush. *As a side note, this problem is more prominent when using high sheens like gloss or satin topcoats.*

Painting Furniture with Benjamin Moore Advance high gloss Waterborne Alkyd Paint Review- pros and cons WD-8

This led me to find something different. I was searching for a paint that came in different sheens that would not require a top coat (and not stay tacky). Enter Benjamin Moore Advance. BM Advance is a Waterborne Alkyd Paint which acts and looks like a traditional oil-based paint in a waterborne formula that easily cleans up with just soap and water. I've read of people rolling, brushing and spraying this paint on and having great results with little texture (brush strokes, roll marks, etc.) I've used this paint 3 times now (I'm currently painting a third piece with it) and have only used the high gloss finish. I'm hoping to try the satin finish or semi-gloss as well, I just need to get more pieces prepped and ready for paint. You can see the modern credenza with geometric drawers I painted with Advance here.

Here's my opinion on this paint, the good things about it, and the things I don't care for. I will say, there's no perfect paint out there. Different paints do different things and act differently. It all depends on the look you are going for and what you need the paint to do for you (like be durable on high traffic surfaces, or just cover an old finish).

broyhill premier credenza with geometric drawers WD-11

I want to start off with talking a bit about price. I find this paint to be similarly priced to other paints that I use (like General Finishes). BM Advance Waterborne Alkyd Paint will run you about $25 a quart plus tax and $50 a gallon plus tax. Obviously a gallon is more cost effective and it makes sense for me to buy common colors that I will use often (like white) in larger quantities. For colors that I'm trying for the first time or ones that are brighter and not used as often, I just purchase a quart.

Dry and Re-coat Time
One thing to note about this paint is the dry time and re-coat time. It's long, and people freak out about it. If you need a project done fast this may not be the paint to use on that project. The paint takes approximately 4 to 6 hours to dry and 16 hours before re-coating. Temperature and humidity can play a role in those times and can increase the dry and re-coat times. To be safe I wait at least 24 hours between coats and sometimes even wait 2-3 days if I can. I also use my dish heater (you won't want to use a heater that blows air as this will cause any debris in the air to end up in your painted finish) and turn it on about 10 minutes after I finish spraying. My spray booth holds the heat well and I will move it about every 30 minutes or so to another area in the spray booth. Just be sure not to turn the temperature too high and do not put it too close to the piece.

The great thing about the extended open time for Advance is it means that paint has a longer period of time to level which results in a finish with fewer brush, roller or spray marks. The negative to an extended dry time is more time for dust, fuzz and other debris to land in the finish. A clean space that will not be disturbed for a few hours is ideal. For me a fully controlled environment for spraying is not possible, but I do my best to keep my spray booth vacuumed, I lay down a wet or damp drop cloth to catch some of the overspray and other particles in the air, and once I finish spraying I leave the booth with as little disturbance to the plastic sheeting and try not enter again until the paint is dry.

Drips and Runs
Another thing I've struggled with is applying the paint a little too thick on pieces with detail and molding, and then having it drip. This is partly due to the longer dry time, but also my fault for going over an area too many times. Now that it has happened (and I've never had a drip when spraying any paint before using Advance) I changed how I painted doors and drawers with molding. Just be aware if you paint a piece with insets and molding, they can be tricky. If you get a drip with this paint you have to let the area cure for a few days (it needs to be dry and not tacky) and then use a high grit sandpaper (400 or higher) and lightly sand the area to smooth it out. Once you have done that go over it with 000 synthetic steel wool.

Sanding Between Coats
You must dull the surface between coats. I've been painting with the high gloss finish, and it's glossy. If you do not dull the surface by using a high grit sandpaper or synthetic steel wool between coats you will not get good adhesion and the paint can repel the next layer that is applied. Even when working with other paints it is a good idea to smooth out the finish between coats to ensure a durable and smooth final finish. I don't normally do this between every coat with other paints, but it is necessary with Advance.

Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne Alkyd Paint Review- use synthetic steel wool between coats to smooth out the finish without sanding through the paint WD

I've actually found that even high grit sandpaper, like 400 grit, will leave scratches in the paint (which will show through if you are using high gloss) so I solely stick to using #000 synthetic steel wool. The photo above shows the side of a piece that I had used synthetic steel wool on the dull the finish and smooth it out. In my experience real steel wood sheds and it can be hard and a pain to remove all of the particles from the piece. Plus, if you miss any particles there is a possibility they can rust and come through the freshly painted finish. None of the hardware stores in 30 miles of me carry synthetic steel wool (that I have found) so I order it off of Amazon. The Norton #000 2 pack is my favorite but I also buy and use the Task 'Fine' grit. Do not buy the the 3M brand. I tried it and it did nothing, don't waste your money. The best thing about dulling the surface between coats with synthetic steel wool is it doesn't remove much, if any at all, of the paint. When I used sandpaper and a sanding block it made a mess and would rub the paint off the edges of doors and drawers so I would be back down to the primer. Synthetic steel wool won't do that! I only ever use sandpaper on with the paint if I get a drip. Any fine particles get removed and smoothed out with the synthetic steel wool.

Clean Up
One thing I've loved is that Advance comes in multiple sheens/finishes. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post I have only used the high gloss finish so far, but the paint is also available in satin and semi-gloss. For a non-oil-based paint the high gloss Advance has a really nice shine. When I spray it on it gets pretty glossy... and I don't have to use an oil-based product which would mean terrible clean up and lots of fumes. It's a great alternative to an oil-based product. Even though this paint acts like an oil-based paint, it is low VOC (no strong chemical smells) and it cleans up with soap and water. Score!

Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne Alkyd Paint Review- pros and cons WD-5

Cure Time and Durability
One drawback to this paint being a waterborne alkyd is the cure time. The can reads 60 days for the most durable, fully cured finish. That's a long time! I don't know anyone who wants to do a project, like paint a piece of furniture, and then have to wait 2 months for it to cure and regularly using it. While it may take 30 -60 days for the paint to fully cure I have let a piece sit for 2 weeks before putting everything back together and staging (staging = wear around here). I've moved books around on it, set glass vases on the paint, heavy metal lamps, picture frames and other items without any marks, scratches or indentations. I even left items on overnight for 24-36 hours and still had no problems with only 2 weeks of curing. That's still a while to wait, but like I said before, this paint isn't for every project. I also assume (and have had people confirm, like my friends from the CEH) that a lower sheen like satin will cure faster. Semi-gloss and high gloss are more likely to stay tacky longer until they fully cure.

In full disclosure I want to say that I have yet to paint a piece and use it for an extended period of time, so I cannot speak to the long term durability of this paint. I do plan to paint a piece to use and test out and will do an update in a few months on how the finish has held up and if any dents, scratches or anything else occurs.


Painting Furniture with BM Advance paint review - instagram

So there's my little run-down of how this paint works and some of the advantages and drawbacks to a waterborne alkyd paint. If this scared you away or you want a product that does not require as much time I love using General Finishes milk paint, which is actually an acrylic paint, not a true milk paint. Their paint comes in one sheen (it's a low sheen finish) and is best when sealed with their High performance topcoat which comes in Flat, Satin, Semi-Gloss and Gloss. I have been using GF paints and high performance topcoats for a couple of years now and they provide beautiful and durable finishes. If you are wanting that lacquer-like, high gloss finish I recommend giving the BM Advance a try.

If you have more questions about this paint leave a comment or shoot me an email: theweathereddoor[at] Have you tried BM Advance yet? I think we'd all love to hear your tips and experiences with this paint.

Stick around for a new piece coming soon! It's another piece painted in high gloss Advance... and I'll warn you now, it's a pretty bold color :)


Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne Alkyd Paint Review- pros and cons WD-8

Monday, June 22, 2015

Trestle Table in Persian Blue

antique trestle library table in persian blue WD-2

Sometimes you don't get things right the first time. Like this library table. I painted it a while back in a dark teal-green color and while it wasn't horrible, I think it was just too dark for the piece. I lived with it for a while before deciding it needed to be lightened up a bit.

This time around I went with General Finishes 'Persian Blue' which I have used before on a writing desk and some nightstands. The color feels really beach-y and cottage-like to me with it's blue, green and grey tones all mixed together.

Since I have previously prepped and painted the piece there wasn't much prep work to do. I did lightly sand the finish so hat the paint would stick, but everything was already smooth. I painted on 2 coats of the Persian Blue paint with a brush and let it cure for a few days. To protect the finish I added a matte topcoat. Just a simple little makeover :)

antique trestle library table in persian blue WD-6

antique trestle library table in persian blue WD-3

antique trestle library table in persian blue WD-5

antique trestle library table in persian blue WD-1

Friday, June 19, 2015

Before and After | 3 Drawer Hepplewhite Dresser Makeover

Black 3 drawer milk paint dresser with green and brass knobs WD-11

Are you ready for a new makeover? I know I am! This little 3 drawer Hepplewhite dresser was given to me by my neighbors at the end of last summer. They were moving out of the country and not taking it with them, and I happily obliged.

cream hepplewhite 3 drawer dresser before WD-1

Because it already had a few layers of paint I put it off. Finally a few months ago I began the stripping process. Before I continue I'm just going to say that no, I wasn't just going to paint over the old finish. Even with "no prep" chalk paint or anything else, it needed to be removed in order to get a new smooth finish.

3 drawer Hepplewhite Dresser WD-1

3 drawer Hepplewhite Dresser WD-2

3 drawer Hepplewhite Dresser WD-3

I stripped the piece 3 times to get off the 3 different colors that had been painted on over the years. It was definitely a process which is why this one took so long :) ***I have video tutorial and detailed blog post on stripping painted and stained furniture here.***  Once I repeated that process 3 times and let the piece dry out I sanded everything down with 150 grit sandpaper. This piece is made of mahogany (except the top, which was replaced at some point with plywood) and I knew bleed through would be a problem so I primed it with 2 coats of a Shellac. Once dry I sanded it and cleaned it off with a damp cloth before painting.

3 drawer Hepplewhite Dresser WD-4

Based on the condition and style of the piece I decided to use milk paint. I picked black as since this piece will be used as a nightstand/storage piece in my bedroom. Black it neutral and will work best for my space. I mixed up OFMP in 'Pitch Black' and painted on 2 coats. This color covers really well! I also added the bonding agent so there would be no chipping or resisting on the piece. After the paint dried for 24 hours I sealed it with General Finishes high performance topcoat (HPTC) in flat. Once the HPTC dried I used a high grit sanding sponge to smooth out the finish and then added some of GF's Satin Wax to even out the whole finish even more. I knew I wanted to add new hardware and I had 6 brass and green knobs from Anthropologie which work great on the dresser.

Black 3 drawer milk paint dresser with green and brass knobs WD-9

Black 3 drawer milk paint dresser with green and brass knobs WD-8

Black 3 drawer milk paint dresser with green and brass knobs WD-4

Black 3 drawer milk paint dresser with green and brass knobs WD-3

Black 3 drawer milk paint dresser with green and brass knobs WD-6

Black 3 drawer milk paint dresser with green and brass knobs WD-5

Black 3 drawer milk paint dresser with green and brass knobs WD-1

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Upcoming Projects and What to Expect this Summer

I'm very excited to say that my college classes are out for the summer and I finally have some time on my hands to get some projects finished! I will still be working part time and hopefully take some time to explore, but my goal is to be completing a few furniture pieces each month as well as writing relevant and helpful content with tutorials, DIY projects and some videos, too. Stay up to date with me on Instagram where I post most often as I progress through projects.

Since the beginning of 2015 I have been working more with modern and mid century pieces. I pretty much swore off antique piece since they come with so any problems (musty smells, chipped veneer, sticky drawers, etc) that I either don't know how to fix or take so much time to fix. I also love mid century furniture, which you've seen around here since the beginning, and that style is what many customers in my area are looking for. It doesn't mean there won't be antique style pieces mixed in (I still have a few in my inventory that will be posted in the next few weeks), they will just be more spaced out in between posts.

That being said, my goal is to find quality, unique pieces and put my own twist on them. I want this blog to be a place where people can find information and inspiration. Information on resources, how to paint and refinish pieces, as well as tutorials, and inspiration for fresh ways to customize your pieces and home.

To end this post I'm sharing the "before" photos of the pieces I currently have in my inventory, and what you can look forward to :)

This project is currently being sprayed a bright color in my spray booth, it's a Willett buffet/dresser.

Willett credenza-buffet before WD-1

These oversized MCM nightstands have been in my inventory for a while. Still a lot of prep work to do, but they will look great with shined up hardware and new paint.

Mid Century Dresser Nightstands WD-1

Over 2 1/2 years ago I found a sawhorse leg campaign desk on CL (browsing Oregon craigslist) and had my dad pick it up on his way back from a work trip. The great thing it comes apart and is easily stored, which is where it has been since I purchased it. Now that I have the tools and experience to spray furniture I feel confident in painting this piece and giving it the smoothest possible finish.

black campaign desk before 2 WD

This is seller's photo from when I purchased this dresser, but it's an awesome mid century credenza and I also have the 2 nightstands that came with it.


Another set of nightstands (these are smaller in size) which match the 9 drawer asymmetrical mid century dresser above.


I redid this 3 drawer Drexel Campaign dresser (I currently use it as a nightstand) last year in glossy black. Now I have another 3 drawer campaign pieces (it's a Dixie campaigner), and while aren't exactly the same, they are the same size and almost identical so I want to paint them to match and sell these as a set. A sprayed finish would also be smoother than the the black that I had to brush on last year.

glossy black campaign chest before WD-1

More nightstands! These are little cube campaign style nightstands. Not sure what I'm going to do with these two :)

Small Campaign Cube nightstands before WD-1

This last one is a large Lane campaign dresser. I've been sitting on it (being used by my brother) for about 2 years. I know I will eventually paint it, but I hope to keep it for my own place so it's one of those pieces that is always last on the list.

Lane Campaign Dresser before 1 WD

I've now noticed I seem to be hoarding campaign pieces! That campaign desk and Lane dresser probably won't be going anywhere soon :)

If you have suggestions on color or finishes for each piece, let me know! I'm always open to ideas, although I do know what I want to do with a few already. Also, if you are interested in any of these furniture pieces send me an email at theweathereddoor[at]gmail[dot]com (you can also find my contact info in the "About" section of my blog).

Have a great weekend and I hope all you Seattleites enjoy this great weather!


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Staging a Mid Century Credenza [Video]

Earlier this week I posted the before and after of the Fresh & Modern High Gloss Credenza with Geometric Drawers. I'm so thankful for all of the positive responses and comments I have been getting from people on that piece. Be sure to go check out the reveal if you haven't already!

Staging a Mid Century Modern Credenza (Video)  from The Weathered Door

Pieces like this are always great because they can be used as dressers, media consoles and changing tables (or more!), and the white and walnut look is just so classy. Since it's neutral in color it can be staged and decorated with different types of decor. I started off with a blank white canvas and a tall blue map of New York to add some height. While staging I wanted a natural modern look so I used lots of greens and plants to bring in some color. The plants also help to add texture and the varying heights are great to balance out the other items. The long concrete planter fills in the center of the console without blocking the map art.  I had to use in the blue glass head I recently purchased at Ross for $8.99 to add something funky, and then I added an adjustable chrome arm lamp on the left to balance out the vase of greens on the right, but also because I love the shape it brings in.

While staging the the piece I filmed a little video to you show you how it all came together. Just for fun :) It's sped up and condensed into a 30 second video. Sources for all staging items below.

Source List (left to right):

chrome adjustable arm lamp - garage sale $7, originally from IKEA - similar here
small variegated plant - IKEA $1 ("planter" is a DIY)
blue glass head - Ross $8.99
new york map art - Ross $26.99
concrete planter - Ross $12.99
white blank canvas - Goodwill $5.99
bubble glass vase - TJMaxx - $4.99
*greens in concrete planter and vase are from our yard/indoor house plants

Have a great day, friends!

Linking up with:

Friday, May 15, 2015

How I Started Spraying Furniture: Which tools worked, and which didn't

At the beginning of this year I finally made the switch to spraying furniture. I have been considering it for a long time and last summer (2014) I purchased an inexpensive HVLP spray gun with hopes that it would motivate me to try spraying furniture and I also needed it to more easily (and professionally) paint a bamboo dresser I had.

How I started Spraying Furntiture- Which tools worked, and which didn't | from The Weathered Door-1

In this post I'm sharing all of the tools and products I have tried and letting you know what I have found works best and that I have continued to use. Some of the HVLP guns I mention didn't work for me, but I want to include them so that it might help you find the best tools to start spraying furniture too! A more complete post detailing the specs on my compressor, what settings I use on my spray gun/compressor and my spray booth set up will be shared at a later time.

Building a Spray Booth - Setup

How I started Spraying Furniture - DIY pcp pipe spray booth WD-1

The ball finally started rolling when I convinced my parents to let me build a PVC pipe and plastic paint sheet spray booth in the garage. That was really the only option because we have a 3 car garage and didn't want paint getting everywhere. Plus, the Seattle weather is never great for spraying outside (and you are subjecting the piece to getting bugs and debris in the finish). The spray booth is huge. Well it looks huge from the outside, but once you get a dresser in there and all the drawer it's a lot more cramped than you might imagine. I built the frame out of 1" pvc pipes and then used plastic paint sheeting and just taped it on using blue tape and duct tape. This is nothing fancy or professional here, friends :) I may eventually build a more sturdy and secure booth, but I wanted to try out spraying furniture first to see if it was something I would continue with (and it is!).  I just leave one end un-taped and open and close the plastic sheeting to get in and out of the booth and there's excess of the plastic sheeting to the corners overlap a lot. I use sometimes use binder clips to keep it closed when painting. To protect the floor I used large pieces of cardboard. I honestly use cardboard almost anywhere I paint and do projects (in the garage, house, or on the back patio) and we just pick up the cardboard at Costco... because everything at Costco is bigger. After and sometimes during each project I vacuum out the booth to get the overspray dust off of everything.

I chose not to glue the PVC frame together so if I want to take it down when I won't be doing a project for a while or move it outside during the summer.

Choosing a Spray Gun

How I started Spraying Furniture - HVLP spray guns WD-3

I've heard a lot of people who start using the Critter Sprayer. You may have heard of that tool as well. It's inexpensive and you can purchase it off of Amazon for about $40. Some of things that sounded good about it are it doesn't require a large air compressor (you save on size and on space) and you just use mason jars to attach to the gun to hold the paint or sealer you are spraying.

Well after doing a bit of research I realized that there are numerous options for HVLP spray guns in a similar price range. Some are a higher priced than the Critter (think $60), but in my mind it made more sense to invest in an HVLP gun rather than buying the Critter. I was very weary about how I would like spraying and if it would be hard to learn and figure out. So after reading a few posts and seeing a few pins on Pinterest I went to Harbor Freight and purchased an inexpensive ($15 on sale) HVLP gravity fed spray gun. I do want to point out that I would normally never buy tools from Harbor Freight, but I took a chance on this one. It's not something I would buy again, but worth it since it helped ease me into spraying furniture. Really, prices and cheap and so is the quality (though this gun was pretty well made, it didn't work super well for me). But for $15 I just wanted to try it and the reviews I had seen were positive. Fast forward to 2015 when I finally decided to start working on the AOM bamboo dresser that had been sitting for close to a year. The people who really gave me more confidence about trying spraying were those people who I followed on Facebook and Instagram. Many of the people I follow all finish pieces with an air compressor and HVLP gun and not only do they get a smoother finish than brushing, it looked like it saved time (I'll go into the time aspect and pros and cons of spraying later in another post).

tThe Harbor Freight HVLP gun had a 1.4 tip when I needed a 2.0 or 2.2 tip and needle are needed for thicker paints like acrylic or latex. I did successfully paint this piece with the HF gun. I sprayed on 3 coats of General Finishes 'Snow White' and 2 coats of GF's high performance topcoat. It just took many passes with the gun since barely any paint would come out of the gun. I finally gave up on the gun since it didn't produce the best finish and would often spatter and not spray enough paint.

Next I moved onto trying 2 Kobalt HVLP guns (one siphon fed, the other gravity fed) which came in a kit I purchased. I could never get the siphon fed gun to even work. I think the 8 gallon compressor I was using was not powerful enough to siphon the paint and spray it out, or it could have been user error. The other gravity fed gun that came in the kit was just too small and also only had a 1.2mm tip and needle. Ultimately, I ended up returning the Kobalt spray gun kit to Lowes since the siphon fed gun would not work and the other one wasn't suited for working with the acrylic paint I use.

Finally, I made the switch to a Husky HVLP gravity fed spray gun that came with a smaller (1.4mm) and larger (2.2mm) tip and needle. I have not used the 1.4mm tip, only the 2.2mm tip (since I had already tried the 1.4mm tip on the HF and Kobalt guns with little success). It made a huge difference in how the paint sprayed and the volume of paint it sprayed. I still add a small amount of water to thin any paint I run through the gun, but in my experience the Husky gun is far superior when it comes to the sprayed finish. (I did switch to a larger compressor when I switched guns which also helped with the success I've had recently with spraying). If you are going to by a gun, get a Husky. I bought the Husky HVLP Composite HVLP spray gun from Home Depot for $70. It's lightweight and has been working well for me. I just sprayed the most gorgeous high gloss finish on this credenza using it. Christina of Phoenix Restoration and Julia of Restored + Restyled also use a Husky HVLP gun, which is why I chose to buy one.

How I started Spraying Furniture HVLP spray guns WD-2

Also, be sure to purchase a filter for your gun to stop any water or debris from ruining your gun or getting into your paint finish. I purchased a Tekton oil/water separator off of Amazon and attached it to the end of my gun. It's definitely worth the $10. You can also find other filters at your local hardware store.

Choosing an Air Compressor

How I started Spraying Furniture - Craftsman 25 gallon air Compressor WD-1

After doing some reading about air compressors and HVLP paint guns I went to Lowes and purchased a Kobalt 8-gallon air compressor which ran me about $160. While I was there I needed to pick up a hose as well and saw a Kobalt spray gun kit with a siphon fed HVLP gun, a smaller gravity fed HVLP gun, hose and a few other little tools for $60. I purchased the kit to try out the 2 guns (I was still convinced the HF gun I bought was going to be crap) and a hose alone was $15-$20 so I wasn't risking much (these are the same Kobalt guns I mentioned in the section above).

How I started Spraying Furniture - Craftsman 25 gallon air Compressor WD-2

Well, the 8-gallon Kobalt compressor worked (after a few days of troubleshooting some problems). I used it for a while, but it was constantly having to turn on in order to maintain a full tank and the right psi, and it had low cfm's. *If you want to read more and understand cfm's check out this link which Sucheta shared with me. It helped me understand more about compressors and cfm's!* The main thing to take from the article is cfm = power, and psi = storage.

I hadn't planned on changing compressors, but I saw a 25 gallon Craftsman compressor pop up on my local buy-sell-trade Facebook group for $175 and I had to check it out. After consulting with some fellow furniture-painting friends (Sucheta of The Resplendent Crow was SO helpful, check out her blog for gorgeous gloss pieces!) I learned that a larger compressor and high cfm's meant more pressure that would help with spraying the paints I use. I got the compressor for $140 after negotiating a better deal (plus the guy gave me a better price when he learned I was a college student running a business to support my education). It even came with a 50ft heavy duty hose and some attachments! So I returned my Kobalt compressor I had to Lowes since it wasn't proving powerful enough along with the spray gun kit, and now I use my 25 gallon Craftsman Oil-less compressor with my Husky HVLP spray gun. If you are buying a compressor, buy a used one. You will save so much money. A new 25 gallon compressor with similar horsepower and cfm's would have run me about $500 or more.


Well, that's how this whole spraying adventure started. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I will have a more complete post on the tools I do use, settings, spray booth set up, etc. You can definitely expect more tips and tutorials as I continually learn more about spraying. You can always email or leave a comment with any questions you have. I will answer the question and/or include them in the future post on spraying furniture with an HVLP spray gun.

Have a great weekend, friends!


Linking up with:

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fresh and Modern High Gloss Credenza with Geometric Drawers

Hi friends!

I'm really excited about this piece I get to share with you today. I feel like I have come full circle with this Broyhill Premier credenza from the Modern Classic line. I did the same piece (except the 72" version, not this 66" version) in high school. It was one of five pieces I did for my senior project which is what started this blog... 3 years ago! You can check out the first one I did here, but don't laugh ;) Here is how this current piece was looking, very brown.

broyhill premier credenza progress WD-2

I'm happy to say this piece was is far better condition that the first credenza I did. No broken off front leg and terrible stains on the top, just a few light stains, one deep scratch (through the veneer) and a scratched up left side. This piece came off of craigslist and had been in the previous owners storage unit for a while. When I went to pick it up I saw that it was stored standing on it's left side in order to fit in the storage locker. The lady then proceeded to pull it out, sliding the whole side against he concrete floors and totally scratching it up. We stood it up on it's legs, I assessed the damage and then offered a lower price than the price we had already agreed on. You better believe I wasn't paying full price after that.

broyhill premier credenza progress WD-3

I considered all options for this piece. A full refinishing, a bold color all over, and a two tone look. The piece is modern, but it doesn't have that mid century look, so it needed some paint to modernize it a bit. The frame/case was all continuous (no top that had an overhang to act as a place to stop the paint like with this credenza) so the top, sides, and dividing pieces between the drawers were all getting painted.

Refreshing the Wood with Gel Stain
Before getting around to the priming and painting I started with the staining. I did consider stripping all of the drawers and the base, but the old finish was in great shape and it just needed some darkening to make the wood look richer. My experience with Broyhill pieces from the 70's is the old finish (poly, or whatever sealer was used) is usually worn off. In order to be able to stain I still wanted to sand any of the remaining topcoat off so the stain could soak into the wood. I did my wet sand, dry sand, gel stain technique. Read about how to use gel stain over an existing finish without stripping here. I first started with a coat of Rustoleum's Ultimate Stain in 'Dark Walnut' and let it dry for 24 hours. It wasn't as dark as I had hoped so I then applied one coat of General Finishes gel stain in 'Java'. After 24 hours of letting the gel stain dry I sealed the drawers by brushing on General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in satin. I did this on all 9 drawers, the 2 cabinet doors (front and backs) and the base/legs.

Prepping the Frame for Paint
Once the stained areas were sealed and dry I taped off the base, removed the drawers and began prepping the frame. I filled all of the holes, dings, and gouges on the frame with some Bondo and sanded it smooth (some areas needed to be filled twice and sanded smooth). The whole frame was sanded with 150 grit sandpaper.

At this point I decided I wanted to add something fun to the piece. The white and walnut look is great, but I've done it before and so have many other people. You probably know I love geometric designs, so I decided to add a geo pattern to the 3 drawers in the center. It would be a fun way to make the piece unique but wasn't something that would have to be seen all the time since the drawers are hidden by the cabinet doors.

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I measured and taped off the pattern on the 3 drawers, then used my handy dandy trick to get perfectly painted lines. Just like the frame of the credenza I lightly sanded the areas of the design that were to be painted with 150 grit sandpaper to rough them up a bit and the give the primer something to hold onto.

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primed drawers

Priming and Painting
Next I rolled on 2 coats of Zinsser Cover Stain primer to the frame and the 3 interior drawers where the geometric design would go. I had my can of primer tinted grey a while back so that's is what I used. A simple foam roller did the trick. It does leave a funny texture so once it had dried I sanded with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the finish.

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After primer I moved the dresser and 3 drawers into my spray booth. When painting pieces I lay then down on saw horses to easily paint the tops and sides. I used a poster board to prevent overspray when painting the cross bars between the drawers and when painting the drawers to keep the insides clean. The legs and base were also taped off with paper.

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I tried a new type of paint for this piece. I sprayed on Benjamin Moore's Advance Alkyd paint in High Gloss. If you want to hear my thoughts and experience with it I will have a post on it soon and will compare it to what I normally use (General Finishes paints and topcoats). It covered well, I ended up spraying on 3 coats (which is better than the 5 or more I usually have to brush on when painting a piece white). It looked great after 2 coats but there were a few spots that were a little thinner and since I had used grey primer I went for the third coat. This paint cleans up with soap and water but acts like an oil based paint (the paint lady told me it's made out of vegetable oil). It does require 16 hours in between coats (dry in 4 hours, but the re-coat time is longer). I also sanded after each coat with 320 grit since the paint was high gloss and I wanted each coat to stay on and be durable. If you want to read about how I started spraying furniture, and which tools I use, click here. I talk about my spray booth, HVLP gun, compressor and air filter.

Once the third coat of paint had partially dried I removed the tape on the drawers and from the base of the piece (as well as the hinges and around the center cabinet area where the geometric drawers go). BM's Advance does need time to cure before use. I happened to be too busy with classes and work to have time to stage and photograph the piece, so it has been finished and curing for 2 weeks and the finish hard with a nice sheen.

You can find a video on staging this credenza here along with a list of the items used.

And now, here is the credenza all Fresh and Modern!

Before & After Fresh and Modern High Gloss Credenza with Geometric Drawers  from The Weathered Door

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