I’ve always known paint can transform a furniture piece, but to end up this good – even I was shocked! Let me show you my process and results from working with Fusion Mineral Paint for the first time on our DIY Painted Antique German Sleigh Bed and talk about how I decide if a piece is best painted or left alone.
The great debate when coming upon a unique piece of furniture is – to paint, or not to paint.
Let me take you through the thoughts that run through my head that help me decide if a piece would be best painted or left alone in whatever state I found it, then I’ll show you my painting process.
*This post is in partnership with Fusion Mineral Paint. All opinions are always my own. Affiliate links are included.
Here is how we found this old and unique Antique German Sleigh Bed for sale on Facebook Marketplace for only $80!!!
Here is the “AFTER” in all her light blue glory. For full details on this space, please visit my post on my daughters bedroom makeover.
I selected the color “Little Whale” from the TONES FOR TOTS line from Fusion Mineral Paint, which is a lovely soft light blue color, at its best.
In deciding if I should paint this piece, here are the questions I asked myself . . .
1 – Could the curves and detail be accentuated with paint, or would it make them less noticeable?
My censuses was that paint and a light sanding/chipping would do the details wonder.
2 – Is the current wood color/tones beautiful and well stained?
I thought the wood finish was in horrid condition. It was stained unevenly, as the previous owner was trying to save it with a thick uneven lacquered finish, and I absolutely despised the wood tones.
3 – What is the overall look and feel I want for this space, and will painting help me achieve that?
My daughter and myself wanted a light and bright room, with an overall cottage style. A painted chippy piece of furniture was a sure fire way to get a light and bright cottage style space.
4 – What is the history of the piece, and would painting it destroy its value?
Perhaps the most important question, for us people who value “the story” of an item. As the owner selling the piece shared with us, it was a very old piece, brought to the US from Germany by her Grandmother. She had used it with her boys, and said that they had “beat it to pieces” through the years. Parts had been broken and glued back on, it came with nicks and dents and a few layers of stain/varnish. I felt it had already been altered from it’s precious original state many times, and in such rough condition, that painting it could only add beauty and another layer of history to the piece, rather than taking away from it. I knew I wanted to sand and chip it up, to actually accentuate its age and imperfections. Doing these things would make it something perfectly imperfect, and nothing like anything you could find in a store.
5 – Which would be more work, painting it or stripping it?
With all the layers of stain and varnish, stripping it would be a phenomenal amount of work, with toxic chemicals as a necessity. Rather, a light sanding and a couple coats of paint would leave me with a simple afternoon project, with all the results I wanted.
After considering all those questions, painting it was a no brainer for me! What do you think? Would your answers to those questions have been similar? Would you have painted this Antique German Sleigh Bed? I’d love to know your thoughts!
Now armed with my paint and supplies, I got to work! Having never used Fusion Mineral Paint before, I didn’t quite know what to expect and was a little nervous it would deliver the results I hoped for. I had tried several milk paints and several chalk paints, but never before tried this mineral paint.
I was grateful Fusion Mineral Paint sent some basic painting guides along with their paint and this kit that included a tray, sandpapers, cleaning cloths, and they sent me their Staalmeester brush. It also had a roller bush handy for the long flat parts. I also discovered on their pamphlets that come with the paint and from information on their website, that the paint basically has a built in finish coat, which means I didn’t need to worry about any polycoats or waxes – which was nice!
The guide said if my piece had a varnish finish, to give it a light sanding first, which is what we did.
The microfiber cloths from the kit were great for wiping the dust and dirt off the piece before painting.
I mostly used the Staalmeester brush, which did such a good job at getting the paint inside the detail and crevices. On the long sides I used the roller brush.
I was delighted that all I needed was 2 coats of this paint and it was completely covered. This bed took almost the entire two 16 oz bottles of paint, the fumes were hardly noticeable, and it went on silky smooth.
SANDING AND CHIPPING
I found for the sanding and chipping part, I needed a stronger grit of sandpaper than the soft grit that came with the kit. I dug through the garage to find a variety of grit to play with.
The more gritty sandpaper did a great job at chipping the details and edges just how I wanted. I went along all the parts that I felt would naturally chip over years of use, and any parts where I wanted the detail to shine a bit more.
Then I took the less gritty sandpaper that came with the kit, and ran it lightly over the entire painted surface. It left the paint finish so buttery smooth and soft to touch.
After clean up, I was giddy with the results!
MY OVERALL THOUGHTS ON FUSION MINERAL PAINT
Having tried so many different kinds of chalk paint and milk paint, I felt like Fusion mineral paint was the perfect mix between the two. It didn’t have the unpredictable flaking like I’ve so often experienced with milk paint, but it chipped and sanded down easier than I’ve experienced with chalk paint which almost adheres too good. It dried to a very nice matte finish, but not quite as matte and chalky as chalk paint . . . in my opinion.
Of course, you must consider the type of finish you are painting over, which will determine how the paint will react. Having painted over a lightly sanded varnished piece, the adhesion was way better than I expected. After having played with it, I can imagine this paint would just soak into raw or unfinished wood, leaving you with a beautiful full coverage. I can also imagine it would paint over an already painted piece just as well. Knowing now how it behaves, I think you would have both the options to choose a chippy look or complete coverage with Fusion Mineral Paint.
If you are curious about their colors or want to see other pieces painted with Fusion, their website has some great examples and so many beautiful colors. I’m also loving their Instagram feed, especially the live IG stories where they share many techniques and results. It’s so fun to see the actual creator of Fusion, Jennylyn, using the paints and sharing her techniques. She is so sweet and helpful!
HOW DO I BUY FUSION MINERAL PAINT
Let me quickly address this frequently asked question. There are a few ways to purchase Fusion Mineral paint.
Probably the best option (if it is available for you) is to go to the Fusion website and search your area to see if there is a retail store or online supplier near you. You would then visit the store and see the colors first hand, or have it shipped to you if that retailer ships. I don’t have that luxury of having a retailer near me, so I feel the other best option is to buy on Etsy or Amazon.
The problem with buying on Amazon here, is I’m not currently seeing a lot of colors and options in my searches. There are a few, but they even look more expensive.
SO CHECK OUT ETSY for retailers there who appear to stock more variety with better prices.
I hope seeing my process and hearing my thoughts on Fusion Mineral Paint have been helpful. What questions do you have for me? What other paints have you tried on furniture and loved? I really enjoy discovering new ones and would love to hear your thoughts!
OTHER SOURCES FOR THIS ROOM