Does this title make you laugh as much as me? Keep your clothes on people.
Seriously though, a common thing I hear from people who want to paint their furniture is that they are intimidated by the process. They are overwhelmed by the idea that paint needs to be stripped before repainting. This is a common misconception about painting furniture. Every piece does not need to be fully stripped before being repainted. Learn when stripping furniture is required and when it is not.
When Does Paint Need to Be Removed First?
There are only two situations I would recommend stripping a piece of furniture before painting. The first, is if the current paint job is not adhering well. Painting over peeling or chipping paint would only lead in a second coat of peeling paint. The second, is if your furniture has intricate wood work. A second paint job will soften any designs. I had a claw table that had beautiful woodwork, to keep the integrity of the design it had to be stripped.
Avoid Manual Stripping – If you do have a peeling or chipping paint job, use a chemical stripper to avoid the laborious task of chipping and scraping away all the paint. There are a few on the market, but, something like ‘Citri-Strip’ should do the trick.
When You Can Just Sand
If the current paint job is adhering well, then you can go ahead and just sand the piece before painting. Here’s another common misconception about this step, the entire paint job doesn’t need to be sanded off.
When sanding you are doing two things. Creating a scuffed up surface for the next layer of paint or primer to stick to.and creating a smooth surface.
You shouldn’t need to spend more than 10-20 minutes sanding to accomplish these two things, unless you have a seriously uneven or messed up surface.
Once you are finished sanding, make sure you wipe away all dust thoroughly, with a wet washcloth. Then, you can use a primer if the current paint is oil based, or just start with paint if the current paint is latex or water based.