As you can see our house has a honey oak problem. Thus began my love affair with this paint:
I first read about this paint on the Paint board on Gardenweb. So many people were asking how to paint their kitchen cabinets and the painting pros on the board suggested this paint along with some others. The reason I tried it out- it's cheap ($26 bucks a gallon baby), you can have it tinted to any color, you can buy it at Ace Hardware and even when you use a brush to apply it, it is self-leveling so the brush marks disappear. After using it I have also found that 1 gallon also goes a long way (for example it only took 1.5 gallons to complete two coats on all my kitchen cabinets). After thinking it was too good to be true, I wandered over to my local Ace to buy a quart an and try it out. Then a small problem occurred-not all Ace's in this city carry it. Luckily I found one and even though it is a half hour away from our house, it is worth every mile. I read advice about how to apply it, practiced using it and then set off to paint away the oak. I used it a lot in our house-all the trim, cabinets, doors, crown molding, and window panels. Each time I impressed with the finish--it just looks so smooth. But in order to make it look nice, you have to know how to apply it. This skillset Derek has not learned (and thus his excuse not to have to paint trim) but I hope that after this tutorial he too will be able to master it. Disclaimer: I am not a pro painter, just a DIYer but this is what I learned about spending many hours with this paint!
1. Prepare whatever you are going to paint. With all the wood trim in our house I sanded and then primed before I used this paint.
2. Use a high quality brush. And if your high quality brush gets all junked up, go ahead and buy a new one.
3. Plan how you are going to paint. This paint can only be brushed for about 30 seconds before it starts to set up. Then if you brush it after that it is almost sticky and will not level the same way. So if you painting a door, window or anything with multiple parts, plan how you will start and stop because you need to keep a wet edge and move very quickly. It works well on square things to start and stop at a natural seam and even better at a seam away from your line of sight.
4. Dip your brush in and get a medium amount of paint. I have found this paint to be a little thinner than typical paint and it tends to drip, especially on the first couple of brush strokes.
5. Brush the paint on in long even strokes. Practice on the thickness in which to apply it. You need to put it on a little thickly to get a really level finish....but not too thickly otherwise you will get tons of drips.
6. Reload your brush, start away from your wet edge and then paint into it again using long strokes. Like this:
7. Repeat. As you move along, keep an eye out for drips and lightly wipe them away with your brush. If you notice drips more than a couple of minutes after you painted that area, you have two choices. Leave the drip, sand and repaint later or wipe at the drip, sand and then repaint. Once the paint had set and starts to level it is difficult to fix so be really careful with drips and catch them early.
8. If you are painting something like a 6-panel door, I have found it to be more successful to paint each panel separately being careful not to get paint one the outer part. When I do get paint on the those I wipe it with a damp paper towel to stop it from setting up. After each panel is painted, I then paint the long parts of the door keeping multiple wet edges at a time and moving very quickly between them.
9. I have found I need one coat of primer and two coats of paint on anything wood. Things that were already painted white, I have just used one coat.
10. This paint takes a long time to dry. According to the can, you need to wait 24 hours between coats. This is especially true if you are using a deeper color as they take longer to set and then dry. But on the plus side I have observed that I have longer to brush before those colors start to set.
11. This paints looks terrible as it is drying. It looks splotchy and uneven. Even though I have already gone through multiple gallons I still need to remind myself not to look at it as it dries. If I look at it, I am convinced that I forgot how to paint properly and I am tempted to rebrush it. Just don't look at it for at least a couple of hours. And if you do, sit on your hands and don't touch it....you will just make it worse.
My number one tip is to practice, practice and then decide your plan of attack on each thing you are going to paint. I hope you enjoy this paint as much as I have!
Some things I have used it on:
Bye Bye Oak!
(Check out my other posts about this paint here and here)