A lick of white paint

12 Dec

Never underestimate a coat of white paint. It can update almost anything, giving your old item a brand new clean look. Recently I picked up this painting in St Vinnies for $25. I really like the picture and the style in which it is painted but I hated the dated frame, so I painted it. Reframing is a costly exercise but keeping a tin of white paint handy for such jobs is hardly an expense.

If you’ve never attempted this type of revamp, here’s a few tips.

1. Clean the surface you are about to paint. Even if it looks clean, still give it a wipe over as any residue can adversely affect your paint finish. If the surface has a gloss finish, give it a light sand with fine sandpaper. This will give the paint a surface to stick to.

2. I prefer to use a water based semi gloss or gloss paint. Oil based enamel is messy to clean up and takes forever to dry. The water based varieties are pretty good these days are versatile enough to use on most things. Pick a paint brush for the job. The width of the brush should be relative to the surface you are painting.

3. You may need to mask areas that you don’t want to get paint on. I kept my painting in its frame when I repainted the frame. Removing it would have been too fiddly and there was potential to damage both the frame & the painting. You can buy special painter’s masking tape (its blue, you get it in the painting section of the hardware) but I just use regular masking tape. Its way cheaper and still does the job. So long as you don’t leave the tape on for too long you shouldn’t get any sticky residue.

4. Give your item a couple of thin coats rather than a thick one. You’ll get a better finish. Use long strokes in the same direction and remember to pick out any paintbrush bristles that come loose right away. They are much harder to get out when the paint has dried. Follow the paint manufacturer’s instruction for drying times and once you are happy with the coverage leave the item to dry a further few days to enable the paint to harden before use.

5. Step back and admire your handiwork.

I think you’ll agree that my painting now looks better in its new frame. I think it lets the picture shine rather than competing with a multifaceted frame.

I hope you don’t take me too literally. White paint is only the beginning! Let yourself be seduced by the masses of colour charts on display in the paint store. Paint a side table orange, spray paint a cane chair, let the kids paint their cubby house. What have you got in mind?

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