You found the perfect piece of furniture. It is exactly what you were looking for, except for the outdated golden oak color. But in your mind, you can see it now……a beautiful rich navy with a glossy finish. Or perhaps a soft shade of creamy ivory. You’ve bought the paint and the brushes, changed into an old tee shirt and you are ready to go to town transforming your dream piece.
Stop! Do NOT paint that furniture! There is a very important step that cannot be skipped if you want your new “old” piece of furniture look its best and last for many years. That step is to thoroughly clean your piece of furniture. Many people overlook this step and I can tell you, the paint will not properly adhere.
The product we like to use is called White Lightning by Dixie Belle. This is a TSP based product that dissolves easily in water.
When cleaning large pieces of furniture such as a dresser or buffet, it’s easier to mix the White Lightning in a gallon of warm water. For smaller pieces, add a little of the cleaner to a spray bottle of water. You can use either a soft rag or a Scotchbrite sponge to gently clean your piece. You will be amazed as you watch years of grime and old furniture polish quickly disappear.
After your piece is clean, go other it again with a clean white rag and clear water. This will remove all residue from the White Lightning and the white rag is important because it will show you if there is any dirt left on the piece!
At this point, I would remove all hardware and scrub those areas thoroughly. Many times there is a buildup of oil and dirt accumulated around handles and knobs. If you plan to replace your existing hardware and the drilled holes will not be the same, now is the time to patch those holes.
Dixie Belle makes an awesome product called Dixie Mud and it makes patching so easy. It spreads like icing, dries quickly and is easily sandable. Dixie Mud is also the perfect product to use on any other areas needing to be patched or repaired.
Now it’s time to let your perfect piece of furniture dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step.