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  • kristenlovesdiy

Starting out as a DIY'er (DIY Starter Kit!)

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

When flipping furniture, you will always have your 'go to' tools. Everyone has their own favorite brands, but the tools/supplies/process are generally the same. Below you will find a starter kit for what I use in almost every single furniture flip.


1. Strip

First, you will want to strip. This isn't *always* a necessity, but usually the furniture you are flipping has gone through years of bad painting or thick finishes. Technically you can sand through it, but it will just take much longer and your arm will thank you. As I mentioned earlier in this post, everyone has their favorite strip solution but my go to (for right now) is Citristrip because it works pretty fast and at least has a Citrus smell versus a super toxic one.


Depending on how many layers of paint are there, I will either let it sit after lathering the surface for 15 mins or overnight. Next, I use a carbide scraper to scrape off the Citristrip and paint. Be gentle with the carbide scraper though - you don't want to accidentally dent your wood piece! You can also use a regular paint scraper if you prefer.


2. Sand

Unless you use some great primer, you will ALWAYS need to sand your pieces. It's the grit that will change per piece depending on your desired end result. You will also want to invest in an electric sander as it will likely save you hours.... as well as your arm itself. I like this electric orbital sander but really any of them will do the job just fine! Because you will likely need to use a couple different grits of sandpaper, it's better to just buy a variety pack to have on hand.


Grit rule of thumb...

  • 60 - 80 grit - Surfaces that have thick varnish

  • 100 - 120 grit - removing stains and blemishes before staining

  • 150 - 220 grit - bare wood or scuff sanding (for adhesion) if just painting the entire piece

3. Prime & Paint

Once you have it sanded, you can finally start having fun with painting! First thing's first, you will want to wipe the piece off with a microfiber cloth to make sure all the dust and particles are off of it. It is important to use only a microfiber cloth because rags or paper towels will leave residue. This step is ESPECIALLY important if you have a shedding dog like my dog, Shrek, whose hair ends up everywhere.


Next up is primer. I usually only do primer if the piece is dark and I am painting with lighter paint only because the paint I buy at home depot already has primer in it. Some people prefer to always use primer no matter the piece - totally up to you! My favorite primer is the Zinsser 1-2-3 spray primer because you can spray the entire piece in just a few minutes.


And now.. we paint! You can either go with your classic paint brush or rollers OR you could invest in a paint sprayer if you know you will be using it again. Make sure to sand using 220 grit in between coats especially if using a paint brush to ensure a smooth finish.



4. Seal

The last step of this process is to seal all of your hard work! The last thing you want is for the paint to chip or water damage from a cup. I apply the Minwax Polycrylic Water Based Protective Gloss using a paint brush.


....and voila!

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