Welcome to "How much work did you put into that thing?!"
I've been meaning to do a before and after post detailing just how much effort goes in to repainting a piece of furniture. It really isn't all that easy, especially if you do it right! So I took several pictures of a painting job in progess, just to show all the steps we go through before a painted piece ends up in the store. Apologies for some of the pictures; I took them on my phone camera because that was the only one I had on hand at the time.
So remember this distressed white fireplace mantle?
It once looked like this. Yeah. That's paper stuck on to make it look like faux green marble. Yup. Aside from that, it had some other cosmetic issues close up, mostly on the top, and really, the piece needed a bit of help. To see how I did it, follow me after the jump:
So the first thing to do was take out the inner portion and get that awful paper off. Which involved soaking the whole thing in warm, soapy water and scraping it off by hand. THat took just about as long as it sounds it would.
After dealing with the paper, it was time for sanding, both with a power sander and by hand. The inner portion needed it the most, since there was still glue left from the paper removal. The rest of the mantle just got a light sanding to get the primer to stick. Then, a coat of white primer to both the mantle and the inner portion, as seen here.
Then for the paint! The pictures show the mantle at two coats, but it ended up taking three and some little touch ups in the end. I brush painted - it was kind of windy that day, so spray paint was out, and I thought brush strokes looked better on this piece anyway. To prevent odd paint lines and such, I painted the inner portion seperately and then reattached it afterwards. Once all the paint was on, I took some back off. Yes, all that work only to remove some of it. I hand sanded around the edges and details to give it a neat shabby-chic distressed look. It took two passes to really get it distressed enough.
And here it is, finished and in its place at the store. It may not seem like that much work when you're looking at the final product, but that took two days of work and it was a relatively easy piece.