Part Two | Preparing to paint and using primer
If you missed Part 1 of this series you can read it here: Bookcase makeover | Part one
Remove the hardware
To make painting easier, it’s usually best to remove the hardware. This bookcase had two each of drawer pulls and tea light holders which were easily unscrewed with a screwdriver. I find it helpful to keep the hardware and screws together in a plastic bag so that I know where everything is and nothing gets lost. I took the drawers and shelves out so that I could paint those separately.
Prepare the water-based primer
After giving the can a good shake to mix, I poured some of the water-based primer into a small painting tray. Here’s a little tip to make the clean up process easier: line the tray with aluminium foil first. When the job is finished, just remove the foil leaving the paint tray completely clean and ready for the next project.
I usually find the consistency of the primer to be too thick but that’s where the benefit of using a water based primer comes in handy. I just add water a little at a time, mixing up really well until I am happy with the consistency. It doesn’t need to be too runny either though so be careful with the amount of water. I like it when it has the consistency of pouring cream.
First I painted one side of the shelves so that they would be dry by the time I had finished priming the bookcase and I could turn them over and paint the other side. I did the same with the drawers, painting the inside first.
Starting from the top, I worked my way down the outside of the bookcase first and then the inside. Don’t worry if it looks patchy and messy, the chalk paint will cover all that later. The point of the primer is to stop any dark wood stain from bleeding through your lovely new paint job. In some of my first chalk paint projects, I didn’t use primer because I read that it wasn’t necessary and that chalk paint covers everything. Unfortunately, I found that this is not always the case and now I’d rather be safe than sorry. Although chalk paint goes a long way, it’s not cheap so I find using the primer also helps stretch that precious paint even further.
Check the coverage of the primer
Once the bookcase had a full coat of primer I looked it over to see if any of the old stain was bleeding though. If this was the case, I would have needed to do another coat but as it was there was no bleed though so I just let it sit overnight to dry and then it was ready for Step 3 – Applying the Chalk Paint
You can read part one of this series here: Bookcase Makeover | Part one
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