Refinishing & Refurbishing Tips and Tricks

Why Prepping Wood for Painting is So Important

I hear it over and over, ” I want paint you don’t need to prep” or “do I really have to do all that sanding?” I call BS on any paint that suggests you don’t need to prepare your wood first.

Would you serve a beautiful home cooked meal on dirty plates? Would you take your car to get repainted by a place advertising there’s no need to wash your car before repainting it? The answer is an astonishing Hell NO! So why are so many people painting cabinets and furniture with out properly cleaning and prepping? I don’t have the answer but I can rant on more about how to prep and why. So stick with me.

In our world we want fast quick results trust me I am one of those people. But what kind of feeling of accomplishment are you going to have on a half assed kitchen or furniture repainting?

Steps to Prepping

1. Cleaning, furniture and especially kitchen cabinets get nasty gross. Between dust dirty hands fingers. You need more that a baby wipe to clean that up. Make sure the cleaner you are using doesn’t leave a residue. That residue will stay on the wood and may react to your paint adhering.

Cleaning Supplies

2. Sanding, why all the sanding all the time. Have you ever painted glass? Try it once. There’s your answer. If you don’t create scuffs in he existing finish what does your paint have to grab on to?

Defects Found After Sanding

In addition scuffing also helps removing imperfections. Naturally stained wood hides a lot of imperfections. Once you paint that a solid color those imperfections jump out. Scuffing will help.

See our list here for recommend products

Here are some failed painting projects from improper prep work
Unknown Reaction After Painting
Bleed Through After Painting
Paint Pealing (improper prep work)

So if you are still with me and really want to know how to paint your kitchen or furniture you can download my eBooks on the proper way to do it. We get more in-depth on prepping and priming. Even how to eliminate bleed through. This ebook was written by me with 20 years experience in refinishing and woodwork.

Hope this has swayed you towards some good hard work. If it has turned you away give your money to a small business, but do your research and make sure they are a reputable company. They should have a Facebook page, instagram, website. Ask them what their refinishing process is. If their process isn’t exactly like mine it doesn’t mean they don’t do quality work it just means they have a system that works for them. Their system should include cleaning and sanding in some form.

Thank you for reading,

The Upcycle Girl


This blog contains affiliate links please read our disclaimer page.

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: