"I love my cats because I love my home, and little by little they become its visible soul." Jean Couteau

Sunday, May 26, 2013

guest bedroom makeover

After I painted the guest room a medium gray a few months ago, I decided to paint all the furniture in there white. I had been thinking about doing something to the furniture for awhile, as it's just a mish-mash of random furniture that got put in there -- a bookshelf and table from my first apartment, a bed a friend gave me when I moved to my third apartment, a dresser I got off craigslist -- so it didn't really go together. The bed is actual wood, the rest is Ikea fake wood, but everything was slightly different colors of 'wood'. After I got the room painted, I decided that all white furniture would really pop against the darker walls, so once the weather go nice, it was time to get started.

I decided to try spray painting, which I had never done before. I thought it might be easier, especially for the bed, which isn't all straight lines that could be roller painted. Also, I thought it would take less time since spray paint doesn't take as long to dry as regular paint. I was wrong on both accounts, though I still think, theoretically, these could both be true.

Even after reading multiple blogs about spray painting furniture, I still didn't really know what I was doing. One blog I read strongly recommended Kilz primer and Krylon gloss paint, so that's what I started with. I do think the Kilz primer is great, though it's all I've used, so I have nothing to compare it to. Partway through, I was emailing my friend, Cathy, and bemoaning the many troubles I was having, including that I seemed to be going through way more cans of paint than I had anticipated. She recommended Rustoleum, saying that she thought it tended to cover better and so not require as many cans as other brands. Rustoleum has a brand called 2x Painter's Touch, which is supposed to cover twice as well as their regular kind, so that's what I went with. As a bonus, the 2x kind cost the same as the regular Rustoleum, both of which cost about half what a can of Krylon cost me. As a double bonus, I could get Rustoleum as Home Depot, whereas I had to go to Michael's or Hobby Lobby for Krylon, which was just less convenient (theoretically, I could get Krylon at Walmart for about the same price as Rustoleum, but Walmart always seemed to be out of white gloss).

Over time, I got better at spraying. I knew from my blog reading that you don't want to spray in one spot for long; you want to keep moving. However, in real life, it's not as easily done as said, and you have to keep moving faster than I thought. Because of this, I ended up with a lot of spots where the paint pooled and dripped and, once the problem was there, it was hard to remedy, so those drips are still there. Oh well. It's just the guest room, which hardly gets used, so I'm OK with some imperfections at this point.

The other important thing for spray painting is wearing appropriate protective gear. DEFINITELY wear a mask over your nose and mouth, and safety glasses are a good idea too. Also, spray paint in a well-ventilated area. I mostly did it outside, in the back yard, or in the garage (with the garage door open) when it started getting rainy.

I started with the dresser, then moved onto the bed, then the bookshelf. I left the bookshelf until last because I was initially hoping to not have to paint it at all. I had actually sold my old light wood-colored bookshelf and bought a new (to me) one that was supposed to be white. Once I got the dresser drawers painted and set them next to the bookshelf, though, the shelf was more of an off-white, so I still had to paint it. By the time I got to the bookshelf, I had my method down, and that piece took me a lot less time and paint than the dresser and bed. The dresser, I only did one coat of primer, but I was doing it pretty thick and getting lots of drips, so with the bed and bookshelf, I did two coats of primer and tried to do them thinner. For both the dresser and bed, I started out with the Krylon paint and did so many coats I lost count. Then I got the Rustoleum and did maybe two or three more coats! The bookshelf got two coats of primer and two coats of Rustoleum.

So without further ado, here are some before and after pictures!

So now I'm finally done! Which is good because I have a lot more projects planned in my head. Plus, Zach is probably tired of seeing me in painting clothes all the time:


  1. You have more perseverance than I would. I think about coat 4 and drips I would have headed over to IKEA. Good for you. Looks great.

    1. well, ikea apparently doesn't make true white furniture anymore, only off-white, or i might have bought at least new bookshelf and dresser.