In this post, we’re going to discuss the basic types of finishing for beginners and how to choose the right one for your piece. There are a few options when it comes to turning your before into an after: brush painting, spray painting, and staining. But how do you decide what the best choice is for you?

1. Brush painting is a pretty foolproof way to go. Never underestimate the power of a paint job, because it’s one of the cheapest ways to completely change the look of a piece of furniture. Not only is it easy to master, it’s easy to fix mistakes. Using thin coats, and sanding between them if necessary, you can achieve a professional looking finish every time. If you decide down the road you want to change the color, just grab some sandpaper to rough up the paint and start over!

2. Spray painting is awesome for surfaces that traditional paint may have a hard time adhering to like metal, glass, ceramic, and plastic. It’s also useful on wood, especially if you’ve got some detail work that is hard to sand. Krylon Fusion makes a no-prep primer and paint. It’s expensive though, so I like to use it for 1 or 2 coats, and then if I still need more coverage I buy regular spray paint.

3. Staining is a great choice for real wood pieces (no particle/fiber board). You can sometimes get away with staining a wood veneered piece if it is fairly thick and in good condition. One important thing to keep in mind about staining is that once it’s done you cannot redo it without using a stripper (did I really just say that?) What I mean is that if you stain your kitchen table a rich mocha color and then decide to go back to oak, it’s not going to be an easy process. Sanding will not get the stain out, you will need a paint/stain chemical stripper to get back to a blank slate.

If you ever develop a hobby for this, it’s likely that you’ll use all three methods eventually! Keep checking back for more detailed posts as I demonstrate each one.

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