Best way to prep coffee table for chalk painting?
February 2, 2015 11:26 AM   Subscribe

What is the best method to clean and prep a coffee table for chalk painting?

Ten-plus year old coffee table that was a hand-me-down is getting a makeover; I haven't used Pledge or any similar furniture polish on it during that time. How to best get the accumulated gunk off?

I have made an imgur photo album, if that helps. It originally had a sort of weathered look, as if it were made from salvaged wood pieces, and has accumulated scratches, etc., over the years. Those indented lines between the wood pieces have accumulated dirt/dust as well, I thought I would run an old knife in there to dislodge the gunk. Ew.

I intend to do at least two coats, finishing with a creme wax coat on top for durability.

I'm aware this is googleable but wanted to get feedback/ideas from people here.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
TSP is pretty great. Its a degreaser and cleaner. I'd saturate the table and let it stand, perhaps over night. Then I'd saturate again and scrub the hell out of it with a magic eraser, steel wool or light grit sand paper. Whatever makes sense to you.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:40 AM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

You have to be careful to thoroughly remove TSP - if you don't, your paint will peel like MAD after a few weeks. I'd suggest odorless mineral spirits instead, making sure to let it dry very thoroughly before painting.
posted by ersatzkat at 12:15 PM on February 2, 2015

Best answer: I've done a few chalk paint projects, and found that a light sanding works the best for priming wood. One of the benefits of chalk paint is that you don't need to spend as much effort priming beforehand, since it adheres well to many different surfaces. Surfaces with a heavy poly coating or fake wood have been much less successful for me, so getting some of the gloss off with a sanding block and creating a bit more friction on the surface what I would do, rather than the addition of a product that may add build up.
posted by sarahnicolesays at 12:21 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Just be mindful that the scratches and grooves you leave with accumulate chalk dust, making the surface harder (though not impossible) to clean. My experience was with a bumpy bedroom wall, which usually required a wet rag to erase. Sanding and/or filling the grooves before painting would make it easier to erase with a typical eraser, dry cloth or the occasional hand.
posted by rubster at 12:38 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you for your help. Ruthless Bunny I appreciated your suggestion but the TSP alarmed me a bit so I went with good old-fashioned sanding.

I've uploaded more photos to the imgur album so you can see how I've approached the problem, and the progression, if it's at all helpful to anyone.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:43 PM on February 5, 2015

« Older Personal tax accountant in Seattle?   |   Online Audio Language Database? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.