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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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!