When you are new to the painting world, deciding what products you need to get started, can be a daunting task. With this furniture painting supply list for beginners I want to alleviate some of that by listing some of my most essential painting items and make it that much easier to get to work on your first project.
1. A Good Quality Cleaner
Cleaning is essential, on every piece, no matter what. Hardware store TSP mixes into water and goes a long way. Green Eze cleaner from Wise Owl Paint is an eco friendly option. Both cut through everything, and when you are tackling decades of built up finger oils, dirt, and furniture polishes, effectiveness is everything. Be sure to rinse away cleaning residue with water, no matter what type of cleaner you choose
2. A Mister Bottle
Whether you are trying to lay on a smooth basic paint finish or master your blending skills, water is essential with your water based paints. An ordinary spray bottle will leave water droplets in your paint that will be a thorn in your side, but a Mister Bottle lays it on in a fine mist. I always have a brush in my right hand and a mister in the left.
3. A Good Brush
It’s no secret, I’m a HUGE advocate of good quality brushes, and investing in a collection of them. I didn’t start out with good brushes, but having them has made me so aware of their value. Cling on paint brushes like the S50, F50, and O45 are some of my most used. My less expensive brushes never cleaned as well, so they required more frequent replacement. Good quality brushes clean beautifully, so I’m still using the first brushes I ever got after hundreds of pieces.
A good brush…or 10, is a must!
I’d recommend grabbing a brush or two and slowly increasing your collection. Its nice to have a few sets so that you can rotate through brush washing.
4. A Few Of Your Favorite Paint Colors
Check out my blog post on some of My Favorite 3 Color Blends, for ideas on colors that coordinate well with each other. With so colors in the line, plus metallics and glazes, can be a bit daunting. Choose a few favorites to start with
5. Satin Top Coat
I love a good quality clear coat for protection, I think for beginners, the Satin Varnish is the easiest top coat to learn with. It has a nice long open life, and can be sponged or brushed. It is a perfect clear coat for starters, get a feel for using a top coat and add that extra protection to your piece.
6. An Application Sponge
These are so inexpensive and make applying a clear coat so much easier. A well-kept Sponge will last through numerous pieces, worth the investment.
7. Black Wax
I use Black wax on almost every piece I do. Dixie Belle waxes are water-based, so I generally sandwich them in between layers of clear coat. Black Wax can be used to deepen colors and add shading for dramatic tonal looks. A 4 oz container will last through several pieces.
Black wax adds depth and dimension to any color
8. A Gold Gilding Wax
Gold goes with any color, it gives dramatic highlights to details, and a good Gilding Wax can be applied with your finger or a brush. Gilding waxes are an easy way to add a high end look, with not a lot of work.
Gold gilding wax, applied with finger tips, to accentuate details
9. A Stain blocking and bonding primer
Stain blocking primer is a bonding primer and stain blocker all I one, and it does just that! Stain and odor blocker is a product you don’t know you need, until you need it! Pieces that have musty odors, cigarette smoke, and other mystery smells, need a primer to encapsulate them. Old wood that is rich in tannins, like mahogany and oak, can seep oils through your paint and cause discoloration. Priming creates a barrier to stop that bleed through. I recommend priming under whites and light colors even when you are unsure if its needed. This is a staple in every tool box
Add white primer under your whites, to prevent discoloration
10. A Good Brush Cleaner
Whether investing in new, good quality brushes, or sticking with an old favorite, using it regularly will require some care. A proper Brush cleaner will add to the life span of any brush. I use a wire brush to remove stuck on paint, even from the worst dried brushes, see the process Here
11. Sanding sponges and finishing pads
These are small items that I use regularly. I sand between each coat with just a little brushing and finishing pads are great for smoothing or Appling transfers. These are small tools that are worth their weight in gold. A 220 grit or finer will work between coats and most are washable and only get better with age. Check out R.A.D. pads from surf prep as an awesome sanding option, available in multi packs that can do fine sanding or rough distressing and everything in between
I am always being asked which order products should be used while painting furniture. I created this printable Roadmap To Painting Furniture to help the beginner furniture painters get started!
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Once you have these staples from my furniture painting supply list for beginners in hand, you can slowly expand with additional products for more decorative looks like Glazes, more Gilding Waxes, metallics, and patinas. By no means will this get you every possible finish, but it will give you a solid base to build from.