Today’s post is all about How to Fix Furniture Painting Mistakes… because let’s face it, we ALL make them! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked on a piece that’s coming along great – then I decide to ‘get-my-artsy-on’ and try a new color or technique and OMGOSHHH, now it looks h.o.r.r.i.b.l.e.
Instead of giving myself credit for trying something new, I feel frustrated, angry and discouraged, and I want to ditch the entire project. I put the paintbrush down. Step away. And after a few days of trying to forget the ugly, I feel like hiding the piece in a corner somewhere so I never have to look at it again. Sound familiar?
This thrift store dresser is a perfect example of one my screw-ups (and there have been many) and how I fixed it with this simple and logical fix… which will work for you too! 🙂
Here’s the thrift store dresser I started with…
And just so you can see the entire process, my very first coat was Slick Stick to create a bonding surface for the paint. This stuff is amazing! If you have a slick or shiny surface that you don’t want to sand, Slick Stick bonds to pretty much anything.
After the Slick Stick, the first coat of Barn Red and Florida Orange were applied.
Here’s where it gets ugly. I put on a second coat of the two colors and blended. The blending didn’t turn out quite like I wanted. But then it got even worse. When I applied a Coffee Bean black around the edges, it looked waaaaay too harsh. Not the look I was going for! Kind of messy and scary, don’t you think?
THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I USE. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
- Tallboy Two Tier Dresser – SALVAGED
- Slick Stick
- Paint Brushes
- Barn Red Chalk Mineral Paint
- Florida Orange Chalk Mineral Paint
- Coffee Bean Chalk Mineral Paint
- Black Wax
- Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide
HOW TO FIX FURNITURE PAINTING MISTAKES::
The simple fix. I didn’t give up and I PAINTED OVER IT! I know, this probably sounds too simple and obvious. But if I had given up and left it as is, I wouldn’t have ended up with this restyled piece.
And all that was needed was one more blended coat of the Barn Red and Florida Orange on TOP of the black to soften the look and clean it up. Then I applied some black wax to blend around the edges to tie the entire look together. What do you think?
The reason I’m sharing this with you — I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received saying “I’ve ruined my piece because … [fill in the blank]…picked a wrong color and/or tried this or that technique. Should I sand it all down and start over again?”
No need to sand it all down! There’s no need to create more work for yourself because 9 out of 10 times, it’s salvageable!
Sometimes those ‘mistakes’ end up adding to the character of the painted furniture. So, the extra work starting from scratch is NOT needed. Just paint over it. That’s the beauty of paint.
I guarantee you, the most successful and talented people (at ANY craft) are the ones that have screwed up the most. I always try to keep this in mind and I hope nothing stops YOU from trying new colors or painting techniques.
It’s just paint – and it’s all fixable. 🙂
A big thank you for all your warm emails, comments and questions. It really does encourage me to create posts [that I hope] you feel are helpful… so keep’em coming. 🙂
FEEL FREE TO CHIME IN… I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU. 🙂
Happy painting my friends!
MMS Dresser – Some Bad Takes and Some Good Advice
MMS Yellow Dresser Makeover
90’s Laminate Dresser Makeover
How To Paint Furniture Without Brush Marks
Layering Chalk Paint – Empire Dresser Makeover
PIN AND SHARE!
I’m loving this advice. I need some more because I painted a table and chair set, which tiene out great, but I didn’t print the chairs and that paint is chipping and peeling like crazy. Do I have to stop it and start again or can I use something else like this slick stick you speak of?
Thanks for the encouraging post & sharing the difficulty with this one. Turned out very well blended with theblacl nicely toned down.
Thanks Tracy! I know you know as well as anyone that often makeovers don’t turn out the first time around. Sometimes playing around and a lot of tweaking is required. 😉 Have a super weekend my friend. XO
Helen Case says
I just painted our kitchen table with chalk paint and wax and it looks horrible. It doesn’t shine and they suggest using a brush on it, but I feel like that won’t help. Can we paint over it?
You sure can Helen! I’m just wondering if the wax may have been applied on a little thick and maybe that’s why it’s not buffing out/shining? If so, it might be beneficial to give it a light sanding with a 220 grit to remove a little wax and create a little tooth. Good luck. 🙂
I’m glad that I came to know about this article and found these painting mistakes before I start painting my own furniture. Now these tips will definitely help me paint my furniture in a better way.
Mary Tramel says
I am having a chair reupholstered and the upholsterer recommended Dixie Belle paint. It is an ornate French bergère chair, I started with slick and stick, then paint then clear coat then tried to highlight with gilding wax. It looked awful so I covered it in gilding wax and now it won’t dry.
The paint retailer is suggesting I use a hair dryer or mineral spirits or she will give me silver paint at cost. It has been a month since I waxed it, I have buffed it repeatedly.
Melissa Bayman says
Love the colors you used. About how much of each did you need for this piece. Since the Chalk Paints can be a little pricey I don’t want to over buy. Thanks,
A lot depends on how you paint but an 8oz of the Florida Orange and Coffee Bean should do it. If you want to be on the safe side with the Barn Red – 16oz.. and you’ll have left over. Hope this helps. 🙂
Lisa Scronce says
Love love the colors! I have red throughout my house and I think people forget not everything has to match exactly. and sometimes that’s where we get trapped. Some of my biggest oops are now my favorite pieces. Thank you for sharing all your techniques. I enjoy reading your blog!! Keeps me inspired and to keep being creative!!
That’s the HUGEST compliment Lisa. Thank YOU!!! And I don’t like match-matchy either. That said, I wish I had the guts – don’t know how else to phrase it 😉 to decorate with vibrant pieces like this in my own home. 🙂
i love i love bright colors in my home!
Hi Jeanie! Love that! My sister is the same way… although red scares her…lol. I love working with color, yet my home is mostly neutrals and whites. Go figure. 🙂
Debra Wise says
Denise, thanks for the oops post. I have attempted a couple of times to do the blending on furniture pieces. To me, they were a disaster because they looked like I had just taken different colors and painted without looking blended. I wound up just repainting them completely a solid color. You inspire me to keep trying and maybe I’ll succeed at learning to blend.
Oh, I hope you do because its a fun finish and it was the same for me Debra. Still is actually. If you look at my first and second layer, the transition between the red and orange isn’t that great. But the 3rd layer that covered/muted some of the black blended really nicely. My water mister is a HUGE help too. Works for brush marks AND blending! 🙂
Hi really enjoy your blog. I am interested in the pictures on the wall, is it possible to have a close up of how you have hung them. Thanks so much.
Hi Ruth, and thank you! 🙂 I don’t have a close-up but all I did was hang an empty frame on the wall. Then I hung the apple still life oil painting on a separate nail (inside the frame) from a bulldog clip. Hope this helps.
Hi Denise………..just painting a buffet……in an off white but not really happy with the shade. Is there a way to brighten it other than buying another tin of different colour paint?
Love your work!
Hi Tricia! I’ve brightened neutrals by using a white wax or white glaze but that might not be the look your after. ??? And thank you! 🙂
Jackie Cooley says
I LOVE it!
Thank you Jackie! XO
Louise Despatie (Le Grenier de Lili) says
Hi Denise, I just love reading you.
A quick question: I’m itching to try Dixie Belle Products, but I find shipping costs to Canada are exorbitant.
We are in the Ottawa area. Do you have a retailer in Ontario that ships for less? Or do you travel to the US? If so, where is the closest retailer south of the border?
Thank you, and keep writing, love it!
Thanks for the kindness Louise! xo Yes, there is a retailer in East York and another in Pickering. I’m not sure if there are any retailers in your Ottawa area, but if you go to this link and plug in your area, it should help you out. 🙂
Marcia A Banach says
Thanks for the “oops” and fix-it post! These are so encouraging. You’re right, we’ve all messed up stuff that was going along perfectly well right up until it wasn’t! I go through that exact never-want-to-see-it-again stage, and mine usually results in attaching a very unkind title (like Table from Hell). Nice to know we all go through that. Keep your great posts coming!
Oh, believe me… I’ve attached some unkind words to a few of my pieces as well Marcia. I censor my unkind words to OMGOSHHHH for the sake of keeping the SI Blog family friendly. 😉
Suzanne Wille says
Hi Denise! Please don’t be offended but when I first saw your “after” pic I thought it was your mistake picture. It really surprised me that it was your after. The color may take me awhile to wrap my head around but the stick product sounds like one I’d like to try. My question is before I paint wood I accidentally left a flea market table outside and the wood top is lifting up in one of the corners. Is there a post that would explain how to fix?
You are so unexpectedly refreshing with your weekly posts!
Thanks for your suggestions,
It’s BOLD for sure, and no offense taken. We all have our preferences .I’m sure it will sell to someone with a strong style and personality for sure. The Slick Stick, amazing. If you have something that you don’t want to sand and/or can’t sand – laminates, glass, brick, cupboards, slick furniture, it works GREAT. As for your wood table top, it’s really hard to say without seeing it. Feel free to shoot me an email with a pic and I may be able to help.
Denise, you always inspire me and this red dresser is stunning! Seeing your steps is encouraging because I can’t tell you how many diy projets I’ve started, not liked the way it was going and given up. I could fill a room. ha Keep up the good work.
Thanks so much Nicki! I’m glad this is encouraging. 🙂 Have an amazing day.
Marie Blackburn says
Great post, Denise! You are so right about it being, just paint. I’ve been there many times and like you mentioned, walking away is always a good idea. Sometimes days, weeks, or months but you ALWAYS come back with a fresh perspective. What an interesting tall boy – I’ve never seen one like this. What a difference toning down the black made! Pinned 🙂
I couldn’t agree more! Walk away – distance yourself – but then have the courage to come back and rethink/repaint!!! It’s the only way to fix these mishaps which are guaranteed to happen now and then. 🙂 Thanks for the PIN my friend. xo
WOW! I actually like it! I almost didn’t finish scrolling down when I saw the first picture 😝. I’ve had many do overs that I wish I could have fixed as easily as you did this one. The black pulls really set if off!
Ya, it came together nicely but not without a struggle. When my sister first saw the mishap, she said “that’s frigg’n devil scary”..lol. Glad you kept scrolling Susan. 🙂
Hi Denise. You described how I’ve felt so many times when my painting projects didn’t go as I expected (angry, frustrated, etc.) But I have to admit and am embarrassed to say a few of these mishaps have ended up in a dark lonely corner of my basement. Thank you for your sound and helpful tips. You are always so encouraging.
I think everyone has those unfinished projects lurking in corners…lol. Have an amazing day my friend. XO 🙂 😉 🙂
Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your ooops. It’s good to remember we’re all imperfectly human. Thankfully God gave us the intelligence to recover from the mishaps we create. Love your Blog and your honesty. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
….good to remember we’re all imperfectly human. Thankfully God gave us the intelligence to recover from the mishaps we create… LOVE this. Thanks Deb. 🙂
Elina Baade says
Thank you .. you inspire me
Yaaay… thanks Elina! 🙂