The title of today’s installment of “Painting With Bright White” should be titled “When Things Don’t Go According To Plan”. I’m going to divide this post up into 2 parts. Part 1 will explain what I was planning on doing to finish off my cherry end tables. Part 2 will explain what I actually wound up doing.
And before we dive into all of the details, I want to preface by sharing that this is what happens when you enter into a furniture makeover…especially when you’re working with bright white paint. You’ll have a plan and the furniture may not always cooperate with it. You need to stay flexible and have some tricks up your sleeve to troubleshoot.
Okay, here we go!
What I Was Planning On Doing
So the plan was to apply 3 or 4 coats of Snow White Milk Paint by General Finishes to my cherry end tables. I was up to that point during my last blog post on Part 2.
Then, I would gently sand away the edges where my client wanted distressing to be, revealing the Dark Chocolate Milk Paint I carefully applied a few steps ago.
Once the distressing was all finished, I would topcoat the entire piece using a mixture of General Finishes High Performance Topcoat mixed with 10% Snow White Milk Paint. This addition of the paint into the topcoat would not only seal the piece, but help prevent yellowing.
What I Actually Wound Up Doing
The problem with my plan was that coat after coat of Snow White was going on my tables and the coverage wasn’t getting any better. It was like I was painting with skim milk! No matter how hard I tried, you could still see the bits of Dark Chocolate around the edges where I did the “cow trick”.
Now in hindsight, I realize that I was too generous with the Dark Chocolate. I really needed to limit it to just the edges of my piece and not have painted such broad areas.
Mental note made for future projects! (See, this is the kind of stuff that furniture painters, like me, learn by trial and error. This is how we perfect our technique over time!)
So how in the world was I going to get good coverage with white paint?
The answer came with a new product General Finishes rolled off the production line called Brushable White Enamel!
This product marries white paint along with a topcoat all in one product. It comes in quarts and gallons (sorry, no pints) and is also available in Satin and Semi Gloss sheens (sorry, no flat). Now all furniture painters need to do is prime and then apply a few coats of Brushable White Enamel. It eliminates the need for a separate topcoat, thus drastically reducing the chances of yellowing! (Let the angels sing!)
I placed an order and once it arrived, promptly ripped the box open and applied two coats over my cherry end tables. It covered beautifully!
I gently distressed the edges of my tables with 320 grit sandpaper, being super careful not to burn through the Dark Chocolate Milk Paint to reveal the cherry wood underneath.
In some places, I used my finger to wipe away the Brushable White Enamel after I freshly applied it.
It worked like a charm.
Always wear some sort of a mask when you’re sanding. Protect those lungs!
You guys, I can’t even explain how amazing Brushable White Enamel is. It’s a product that will reduce costs (because you don’t need a separate topcoat), time spent on projects (which saves you money) and will give your clients the durable bright white finish they’re looking for.
This product is my new recommendation for painting with bright white. Had I had this product in my stash before I started my cherry end tables, I would have begun with this from the very beginning. But like I mentioned before, hindsight being what it is, I can use it moving forward on new projects!
You can purchase Brushable White Enamel from my General Finishes retail locations at Homestead Studios in Parkesburg, PA and Morgantown Market in Morgantown, PA.
As far as the cherry end tables go, they’re all painted and now I’m working on refinishing the tops.
That’s a blog series for another day!