Glossy Furniture Finish

So after watching multiple episodes of "Sarah 101", I started to become increasingly jealous of all these vintage finds that she sends to get professionally painted.  They come back absolutely gorgeous - a flawless finish with a beautiful sheen.

Today I went searching.  I read blog after blog of 'how to paint furniture', and I think I finally nailed it.  There's a step process that's important to follow each step.  Mark had some end tables sitting in the garage that he found on the side of the road, so I decided to experiment on those.

First, I sanded them down and filled in all surface scratches and dents.

Next, I primed them.  This is a step I didn't think necessary, as long as I was using the 'paint & primer in one'.  BOY was I wrong!  This ensures that the old varathane doesn't leak through the paint, causing the finish to yellow.  This is the primer I used.  It's called "Zinsser Cover Stain".  It's found amongst the KILZ paint at Home Depot.

Once I was finished painting on this oil-based primer, I was ready for paint.  The second trick is to use a FLAT paint.  Why flat, you ask?  Why, I don't know.  I suppose so the varathane adheres to it, or something.  But for some reason, it did the trick.  I, of course, used milk paint.  Why?  Because I'm in a love affair with the stuff.  It's so cool.  And it's VOC safe, safe for my babies, safe for the environment, and it's supporting a local Toronto company, so it's economically friendly.  Killing a few birdies with one stone there, I say.  Of course, if you don't want the streaky look, just use a regular interior Behr flat paint.

When I was done painting (I put on two coats), I sanded the heck out of the thing.  That's how I got the different colours to come through.  I was pretty pleased with the finish.  However, if I were to do it again, I'd apply the primer with a foam roller, so there weren't those streaks.  Foam rollers, foam brushes.... when it comes to oil-based paints, these things are your friends.  They work miracles.

Finally, I applied my varathane.  This is the one I used.  And much to my delight, it didn't yellow.  After many months of painting furniture, I feel like I've had a breakthrough.  Now I, too, can have high-gloss painted vintage furniture just like Sarah Richardson.  And I don't have to pay $350 to have it done for me :)

And those are them!  ------------------>