There’s a new paint in town, and it’s definitely stealing hearts! It dries fast, is super durable without a topcoat, feels soft and silky smooth, and it’s basically perfect for an easy DIY furniture makeover! It’s the best alternative to using chalk paint for a solid paint finish.
Different Products for Different Finishes
If you’re looking for a smooth solid paint finish, brush free finish, the perfect satin sheen, easy to use, water based product for thrifted, old, worn out furniture, we finally found the perfect product.
This is totally not a bash on chalk style paint whatsoever! I love chalk paint and use it all the time. But in times where I just want a solid finish without having to use a poly or wax to seal it in (I could talk for hours about top coats gone wrong), this new paint is coming to the rescue.
See, I love me a good chalk paint finish, but sometimes I or my clients, just want a solid colored finish, no problems or extra steps with sealing the paint, and high durability.
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I started to wonder what other products were out there and I knew that there had to be an easier way to get that finish.
I started to hear about General Finishes Enduro Pigmented Poly and I was super intrigued. I’m happy to say that I’ve finally tried it out for myself, and I’m in love with it!
Obviously it’s not going to be the right answer for everything. I’m definitely not jumping ship from chalk paint yet, because there are things that chalk paint can do that this pigmented poly can’t do. They each have their own specialty!
Here’s the difference between chalk style paint and General Finishes Enduro Pigmented Poly.
General Finishes Enduro Pigmented Poly in Black or White
- Priming is definitely recommended. Otherwise you’ll more than likely have bleed through issues and possible adhesion issues.
- No top coat required at all. Pro cabinet painters use it everyday in kitchens and bathrooms! Which means that it has to be tough!
- Comes in black and white, but you can get it tinted as well.
- You can distress it. But you’ll most likely need a top coat over it. ( I don’t have experience with that yet)
- Enduro Black Poly is ready to recoat within 1 hour.
- This product is made for spraying. Some have good results with a brush and a roller, but it isn’t recommended.
- Creates a smooth and solid colored finish.
Chalk Style Paint
- While a lot of them say you don’t have to prime, I’ve found the complete opposite. I prime every single one of our chalk painted pieces because of bleed through.
- Requires a top coat of some sort. I prefer water based poly for it’s durability and ease of use.
- Each brand has their own color line, but you can create your own homemade chalk paint in any color.
- One of my favorite features is the ability to distress it for a worn look. It sands super easily and quickly.
- Chalk Paint dries quickly, usually within 30 minutes in ideal conditions.
- You can either brush it or spray it on, whatever floats your boat.
- You can blend paints, add glazes and waxes to create fun finishes.
Okay, let’s get to the makeover!
For this DIY furniture makeover we used:
- General Finishes Enduro Pigmented Poly in Black (Get it in a quart here!)
- General Finishes Stain Blocking Primer
- Sandpaper (220 & 400 grit)
- Orbital Sander for the Top of the Dresser
- Watered Down Latex Paint in Brown for the Top of the Dresser
How to Prep for Enduro Pigmented Poly
We started out this dresser makeover just like we do any other furniture project.
We scrubbed off the dirt and grime, filled in any larger blemishes with wood filler, and then scuff sanded the whole piece with 220 grit sandpaper.
For more details on how we prep every piece, head over here.
Since I was using the black poly, I didn’t prime for bleed through, and I wanted to test out the adhesion of the Enduro Poly. (More on the results of that in a bit!)
Painting a Dresser with Enduro Black Poly
Painting the dresser was pretty straight forward.
The poly is pretty thin when fresh from the can, so I didn’t need to thin it at all. If you’re using a hobby paint sprayer you might need to thin it down just a bit.
Then we sprayed on the first coat and let it dry for about an hour.
Then we lightly sanded the whole thing down with 400 grit sandpaper to get a super silky smooth finish.
Once we got rid of the dust with a vaccum and a tack cloth, I sprayed on another thin coat of black poly.
I repeated this process for 3 coats of paint, which is the recommended minimum coats for durability.
Troubleshooting the Black Poly
After the first coat of paint was dry I noticed that one leg had a little bit of a different finish.
It was splotchy and definitely not the same sheen.
I knew then that something wasn’t right. But I kept on painting to test the product and see what would happen.
After 3 coats of poly the spots were still there.
So after the last coat was dry, I applied one coat of General Finishes Stain Blocking Primer. And then I let it dry for at least 2 hours.
After the Stain Blocker was dry, I went back and painted another 3 coats of Black Poly in that area.
Painting the Black Poly with a Paint Brush
This time though, I painted it on with a quality paint brush, just to see what would happen if I used a paint brush instead of the paint sprayer.
The black poly went on a lot thinner with the paint brush, but I followed the same process of
- brushing the black poly on
- waiting an hour
- sanding with 400 grit sandpaper
- and then painting another coat of black poly until I had 3 coats.
I was worried that it would leave brush marks, but to my surprise, the poly leveled really well, and I can’t see any brush marks at all!
Do you need to prime??
The primer did it’s job too and completely blocked whatever was making those splotchy spots!
Just from this one experience I would definitely recommend using a primer, even with the black poly.
It’s super frustrating to have to go back and fix something that could have been avoided in the beginning!
The Farmhouse Hardware
For the hardware I chose from what we already had in our drawer of hardware.
For the label pulls I printed out some super simple labels, put them in the little label spot and off we went.
For the top of the dresser, let’s go back to the very beginning when I was prepping the whole dresser for paint.
- I used my orbital sander (with 80 grit then 220 grit) to sand down to bare wood.
- Then I taped off the bare wood with painters tape and pre-taped plastic to keep the Enduro Black Poly from getting on the fresh wood.
- After the bottom of the dresser was complete, I took off the plastic, sealed the wood with my favorite water based poly and let it dry.
- I wanted the top to have a little bit of color to it, so I went back with thinned out brown latex paint (thinned out with water) to create a stained wash look on the wood. I did it this way because originally I planned to keep the wood completely natural, but then realized it needed a little bit of color to it after it was sealed.
- After I wiped on the wash, I sealed the top with 3 more coats of our favorite water based poly.
There ya have it!! Get a super smooth black finish with no hassle whatsoever!
Don’t forget to pin this to your favorite board for future reference!
- Prep the furniture by removing the hardware, cleaning the surface and then scuff sanding with 220 grit sandpaper.
- Remove any dust with a vacuum and tack cloth.
- Tape off the drawers with pre-taped plastic and painters tape to avoid overspray inside the drawers.
- Spray 2 coats of General Finishes Stain Blocking Primer. Let each coat dry for at least 2 hours.
- Sand by hand with 400 grit sandpaper to remove any texture. Remove dust.
- Spray 1 thin coat of General Finishes Enduro Black Poly. Let it dry for at least 45 minutes.
- Lightly sand by hand with 400 grit sandpaper to remove any texture. Remove dust.
- Repeat steps 5 and 6.
- Spray one last thin coat of the Black Poly.
- Let dry.
- Attach new hardware.
The Wood Top:
Before painting the bottom, sand the top down with 220 grit sandpaper and the orbital sander. Remove the dust.
Stain the top to your liking, let it dry, and then wrap it with plastic before painting the bottom of the dresser.
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