Finishes Tips and Tricks

How to Shop for Painted Furniture

There is a huge trend right now toward painting furniture (as you probably already know if you follow us ☺️). As avid dealers in multiple areas of the industry, we come across work of varying degrees of professionalism. And obviously, no one aims to buy furniture that will break down or require frequent maintenance shortly after purchasing. So, we put together a comprehensive guide to give you some insight on how to shop for WELL-painted furniture.

1. The Scratch Test: Softly rub the edge of your nail across a flat surface on the piece, and then do the same on the inside of a leg or in a less noticeable area. The paint and finish should NOT budge. This is especially important on worksurfaces (like a tabletop) where extra measures should be taken to increase durability. If your simple, GENTLE test in the store doesn’t pass, it will be even worse when you bring it home.

2. Feel It: Feel the surfaces – they should be smooth as a baby’s bottom! Tacky is NOT good, and is usually indicative of a finish, adhesive or curing problem. Rough (similar to sand paper) could mean that dust particles settled in the finish, or the finish didn’t cure properly.

3. Check ALL Surface: It’s always good to inspect the inside and the back of any piece of furniture your thinking about purchasing. How will the cabinet look if the doors are going to be used and possibly left open often? Is the inside of the cabinet painted or at least the inside of the doors? Check the back make sure that all the pieces are attached properly. If the dresser has a mirror attached, make sure it is VERY secure. Review how it’s put together – Are all the necessary pieces there?

4. The “Pretty” Test: Lastly Becca has some design-related things to keep in mind to to help you feel confident about making the right purchase.

– Bring coordinating color swatches for the space the piece will be in. Colors change with lighting, but will stay in the same palette.

– Take measurements! Take 5 minutes one day when you are at home and measure any areas where you are looking to add furniture or decor. Write these down on a notecard to keep in your wallet, or type them into your phone! Then, when you unexpectedly stumble upon that buried gem in a thrift store, you know if it will fit! You can also tape the area off on your floor at home to get a better idea if how the new piece will effect the flow of your space and you will have maximum measurements to work with.

– ALWAYS carry a tape measure with you. Becca keeps on in her purse AND her car. And it has come in handy many, many times!

– Gather a couple of old blankets from home, or consider investing in a couple of padded moving blankets. If you plan to haul your awesome new find yourself, you are going to want to take proper precautions en route to prevent damage.

Thanks for reading this weeks blog we hope that it will help you find the perfect piece for your home!

Tara and Becca

Photos:  Karen at Cattywampus Design in Wauwatosa provide the photos in the blog. Cattywampus has 80 different artists, you are sure to find a spectacular conversation piece there.

Tara Lou
<p>19 years ago, I started my path in furniture by preserving antique furniture, and restoring furniture after home disasters. More recently I have started working with clients to revive their furniture to todays fashions. When I’m not chipping my nails flipping furniture I am out with my kids hunting, fishing, foraging, gardening or hiking.</p>

Leave a Reply

Back To Top
%d bloggers like this: