Bench Painting and the Best Painting Tips That Helped

Now that our DIY Built-In Storage Bench is complete, it’s time to add some color! Paint projects can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time! Here are some of the best painting tips and practices that helped us with our bench painting project.

Green painted bench with floral wallpaper, art and window.
Green painted bench with floral wallpaper, art and window.

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Tip #1: Sanding

Sanding, prior to painting, closes the pores of plywood and ensures an even surface for paint application! Painting without sanding would reveal bumps and other imperfections which would result in an unevenly finished paint job! We sanded our red oak plywood bench using an orbital sander and grit sandpaper paper. We began with 120 grit sandpaper and finished up with 220 grit sandpaper. The higher the grit number, the finer/smoother the sandpaper, and the lower the grit number, the coarser the sandpaper.

Wood bench, flooring and window.

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Tip #2: Paint Color Testing

Once I’d committed to having the storage bench painted, it was then time to find the right paint color! I love the wallpaper pattern we chose for the playhouse and so I decided to stay within the green family. I believed green was the best paint choice to compliment the wallpaper and contrast the flooring.

Wood bench with green paint samples.
1 – SW Evergreen Fog || 2 – Behr Herb Cornucopia || 3 – SW Cocoon || 4 – SW Rosemary || 5 – SW Dorian Gray

I highly recommend purchasing paint samples prior to committing to a paint color for any project! It is much more cost-effective to purchase a few paint samples, rather than waste gallons of paint because the color wasn’t the right one. Also, lighting makes a huge impact on how a particular paint color will appear in any space. Remember to check your paint samples at different times throughout the day before making a final decision! This is hands down one of the best painting tips we can share!

Tip #3: Taping

I think Bernard is great at cutting in, but he’s always been a firm believer in using tape! We both love modern designs, so having crisp lines is very important to us! Our secret weapons to consistently achieve crisp lines are green tape and caulk. This is one of our most recommended painting tips! We apply caulk along the tape lines to better seal them.

White painted bench and window.
Shop our favorite painter’s tape HERE

Tip #4: Primer and Paint Selection

Paint projects, particularly ones involving wood, should include a primer. We tend to keep some multi-purpose primer on hand because they work well on different project materials. Priming, prior to painting, will allow the paint to better adhere to your material surface. Since this space is for our girls, we wanted durable paint that will hold up over time. We chose Behr Scuff Defense paint for its stain blocking and scuff-resistant features.

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Tip #5: Paint Brush vs. Roller

Let me preface by saying a paint sprayer will always be my favorite painting method! The velvety smooth finish you achieve with a paint sprayer cannot be beaten! However, paint sprayers have their own set of challenges and some projects aren’t worth the setup and clean-up of a paint sprayer.

Green painted bench, floral wallpaper and window.
Shop our favorite Foam Roller HERE

That being said, rollers would have to be my second choice. For wood projects such as this storage bench, we love using foam paint rollers! They produce an incredible finish, without the brush strokes of a paintbrush. Paint brushes, however, are a necessary evil when it comes to painting small areas.

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Painted DIY Built-In Storage Bench

Our DIY Playhouse is probably the most colorful space we’ll ever have in our home! I fall in love more and more with each new project addition! We gave Neah the big job of choosing the bench’s main color and she picked Sherwin Williams Evergreen Fog which so happens to be their 2022 color of the year! For a little contrast, I paired it with SW Cocoon.

Green painted bench with floral wallpaper, art and window.

Shop this space by tapping the images below:

The girls have already been enjoying their playhouse and creating fun memories! We feel so blessed to be able to build this space for them! If you missed it, be sure to check out our DIY Built-In Storage Bench post where we share our approach to tackling this project.

Green painted bench with floral wallpaper, art and window.
Green painted bench with floral wallpaper, art and window.

I’m not sure what the next playhouse project will be but I’m already excited about it! I do have a new area rug for this space but I’ll wait to debut it with our next project addition! I hope these paint tips help you with your upcoming paint projects! Until next time friends!

Aminah Chung


2 Replies to “Bench Painting and the Best Painting Tips That Helped”

  1. A peaceful playhouse with space for imaginations to go wild💚. So beautiful!!

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