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How to Clean Furniture Before Painting: A Step-by-Step Guide

Phoenix Furniture Studio / Beginner Tips  / How to Clean Furniture Before Painting: A Step-by-Step Guide
how to clean your furniture before painting

How to Clean Furniture Before Painting: A Step-by-Step Guide

This blog post is a companion to the video titled “How to Clean Furniture Before Painting: The Ultimate Guide!” In this informative video, I share my tried-and-true method for cleaning furniture pieces before painting them. Whether you’re a seasoned furniture flipper or a weekend warrior looking to spruce up an old dresser, this guide will give you all the information you need to get your furniture sparkling clean and ready for a new coat of paint.

Gather Your Supplies

I start the video by giving a tour of my handy cleaning cart. Here’s a quick rundown of the essentials I have on hand:

  • Cleaning cloths: a mix of microfiber cloths for gentle cleaning and scrubbing pads for tougher spots
  • Brushes: a variety of brushes for different purposes, including nylon bristle brushes for general cleaning, wire brushes for hardware, and drill attachments for deep cleaning
  • Cleaning products: glass and mirror cleaner, barkeeper’s friend, liquid sander (deglosser), rust remover, metal polish, fabric protector, and window and glass cleaner. I regularly use good old dish soap for cleaning the furniture itself.
The Cleaning Process
  • Remove the Hardware: The first step is to remove any hardware from the drawers and doors. This will allow you to clean all the surfaces of the furniture, including the nooks and crannies that hardware can obscure. I recommend labeling the hardware to make sure you know where it goes when it’s time to reassemble the piece.

  • Wash the Entire Piece: Using a damp cloth with liquid sander mixed into the water, wash the entire surface of the furniture. Be sure to pay attention to the back and underside, which often get neglected. For solid wood furniture, a damp cloth is fine. If you’re cleaning plywood or hardboard, wring out your cloth more thoroughly so that the water doesn’t cause the wood to swell.

  • Clean the Drawers: Take out the drawers and wash them thoroughly, including the insides, backs, and undersides.

  • Scrub Stubborn Spots: If there are any areas with stuck-on grime or dirt, use a scrubbing pad to get them clean.

  • Rinse Everything Off: Once you’ve cleaned everything with the liquid sander solution, rinse the entire piece with clean water to remove any residue. Use a fresh cloth for rinsing to avoid transferring any cleaning product back onto the furniture.

  • Let it Dry: Allow the furniture to dry completely before moving on to sanding, priming, and painting.

Bonus Tips
  • If you’re unsure whether a cleaning product is safe for your furniture, test it on an inconspicuous area first.
  • When cleaning hardware, be especially careful not to damage the finish.
  • Consider using a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and debris from inside the drawers and crevices of the furniture.

By following these steps and using my cleaning tips, you’ll be sure to get your furniture pieces clean and prepped for a beautiful new paint job. Happy painting!

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See you on the next flip!

Brenda xx

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