We've been telling our customers this forever! No matter what type of paint you are going to use, whether its a "minimal prep" paint or not, you must clean your piece before you paint!
What is the best way to do this?
Over the years we've tried and recommended lots of different degreaser cleaners for prepping furniture. Everything from TSP and mineral spirits, to Simple Green and Krud Kutter. We've made all sorts of recommendations and tried different products for different jobs. Some work better than others for certain conditions.
Finally, we've found a way that works under all circumstances! Its easy. And it will always work. Here it is:
You will need the following:
- Denatured Alcohol (available at any hardware or paint store).
- Scotch Brite sponge (the green, scratchy kind).
- Paper towels (or a lint-free rag).
- A fine grit sanding pad or 220-400 grit sandpaper.
Mix the denatured alcohol 50/50 with water. I like to keep a bunch pre-mixed in a plastic bottle (drip or spray works just fine).
Pour some 50/50 Denatured Alcohol/Water mix on the scotch brite sponge. Scrub your furniture piece with this (all surfaces that you will paint). This breaks down all the old wax, oils, furniture polish and dirt that may be hiding on your piece.
Wipe your piece dry with paper towels (or a lint-free rag). This will also help wipe off the residual dirt/wax/oil that the denatured alcohol just broke down.
Scuff sand with the 220+ grit sandpaper. This does not mean removing all the old finish! It just means wiping the piece down with the sandpaper to scuff up any sheen that might be on it. This is especially important if you have a high gloss surface! Scuff sanding will give the paint something to bite into and hold onto once it dries.
Wipe off the piece with a damp rag to remove any dust that might have formed during scuff sanding.
Now you're ready to paint!
Our friends at General Finishes have a video on this prep method, incase you're visually inclined.