Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Paint Prep Cheapies

Well I was going to talk about my wreath today because it was going to be gorgeous and I would be crowned the Craft Queen.

Google images strikes again!

Buttt, that didn't happen. Rob said my wreath looked stupid, and it did (don't worry, he said it nicely). My ribbon was wonky because it had no wire in it so it kept flopping all over the place. The pumpkins were baaad as well. Rob said my pumpkins were 3D and my burlap was 2D so it looked dumb (ie: the pumpkins stuck out too far). Fair enough. I got new ribbon and I'm going to have my Nana help tie it so it doesn't look stupid again. I also bought some moss so that should help the 2D/3D problem. I almost typed R2D2 there instead, whoops. Anyways, huge FAIL.

So in lieu of the wreath, lets talk about three cheap paint prepping tips I've picked up along the various furniture painting stuff I've done. Hopefully these are earth shattering-ly original. Or not.

1.) I hate tack cloths. They leave my fingers all sticky and I have to go wash my hands after using them. So I found another, cheaper, way of getting rid of dust and sawdust from surfaces.

Enter the Viva brand of paper towels. If you've ever used them you know they feel very different from normal paper towels... more cotton-y. They're also lint free and have the same texture as those Swifter dusters. Just swipe them on the surface and they hoover up the dust just like a tack cloth, only much better for my hands.

One other pro? Why pay $2.50 for a pack of three when you can pay $1.50 for a whole roll of Viva paper towels? 

Ta Da! Like magic.

2.) Those plastic putty knives are a racket. You don't need them. Just use your finger!

Hi I cost $2. 

Hi I'm free!

Spackle and wood filler are both water soluble so just scrub your finger afterwards. I didn't grow a sixth finger so it's obviously just fine. I know saving $2 isn't much, but I'm currently jobless. So every penny counts. Plus I hate feeling like a chump. 

3.) Changing hardware on dressers usually leaves an ugly impression of where the old knob used to be. Like this:

It's a weird pet peeve to have, but that really bugs me. 

For my dresser, I just smooshed wood filler all over the old hole and impression marks (with my finger of course)...

And then poked the old screw back in to avoid filling in the hole. 

Now it's good for sanding and painting, the old impression is gone, and you can still put your new hardware in. Yay!

Now that I've blown your mind (sarcasm) anyone else picked up some odd tricks to cut costs when prepping furniture for paint? Anyone else so devoid of craft blood in them that their men had to save them from embarrassment? :( At least I can paint furniture dangit. 


  1. Crafting is overrated. The Viva towels are good tip. I usually just vacuum and then wipe with a regular paper towel.

  2. I've not noticed that before on rehandled furniture - but you're so right! That's going to be my pet peeve too now - see what you've done to me!!!



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