Make Sure Your Furniture is Very Clean
It's super important to make sure your furniture is very clean before doing anything. You clean before you sand because you don't want to work any of the dirt or grease down into the wood fibers. So clean first, then sand. If needed, clean again after sanding.
Clean until your rag doesn't pick up any more dirt and grime. I have had some pieces from a smoker's home that took 4 all over cleanings before they were considered clean enough to move on to the next step. Pieces that have been waxed or polished (especially with Pledge) will prevent paint from adhering (sticking).
With some cleaners, you need to rinse after, so just get in the habit of wiping your piece down with a wet rag before sanding. If it still looks wet after you wipe it down, dry it off before going on. Wipe it down with a damp rag after you sand also.
Why do we sand?
Sand the surface of your piece to rough it up so it's ready to be painted. It's called giving it "tooth." If the surface is slick, the paint won't have anything to grab onto, so we take away the shine with sand paper or a sanding sponge and create a better surface for paint. Many who use chalk type paints will tell you that you don't have to do any prep before painting. But I say, always prep - just to make sure your design efforts will last. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. ~Val Frania
Isaac will be demonstrating each process step-by-step in videos. He is 12 years old.
2 min 13 sec
Preparing the Surface for Paint