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My Hand Painted Furniture Ireland: materials listing

Listed under Adam Bermingham, Axus, Blog, hand-painted furniture Posted Jun 08 2013

“Traditional Painter Adam Bermingham runs through materials he uses at My Hand Painted Furniture Ireland

As part of his “In the Workshop” series, Adam is taking a look at some of the equipment & products he uses everyday for restoration & furniture painting.

As some of you may already know, over the past while, My Hand Painted Furniture has been moving to a new, larger workshop. Because of this, I thought I would take the opportunity to run through some of the kit I bought last week, to restock after the move.

furniture painting

Furniture painting is very individual, not everyone will need all of these, some may use more, but these are the basics. Almost every piece that leaves my workshop has these things used on them.

The materials I bought last week came from suppliers both in Ballyhaunis & Castlerea. Below is a description of each item, its uses & some of my opinions on them & how they might fit into your projects.

1. Methylated Spirit

furniture paintingMethylated Spirit is also known as denatured alcohol in the USA.

Many of the pieces that come into my workshop are old and have many years of dirt, wax & polish built up on the surface.

The image below is a good example of where I would use meths to remove old & unwanted coatings.

furniture paintingI thoroughly clean the surface by using wire wool & methylated spirit – I apply and leave the product on the surface for a few minutes to eat into the grime & let it do its work, then wash off with a damp cloth.

Methylated Spirit is a highly flammable dangerous chemical, so remember to take the necessary safety precautions & wear gloves at all times.

2. Boiled Linseed Oil

furniture PaintingIf you take a look around my website & you will get an idea of the look I tend to favour on most of the pieces – a little paint & a little natural timber, it’s not all furniture painting.

So on the shelves in my workshop, you will find a lot of wood finishing products & the one I probably use the most is Boiled Linseed Oil.

Once the piece is fully prepared ie. cleaned, filled & sanded to a smooth finish, you can simply wipe on the oil with a cloth. It highlights the natural beauty of the wood & leaves a waterproof barrier. Below is a before & after example…

furniture painting

3. Danish Oil

This is a new product in my workshop so I will do a full write up soon, but this is what Rustins say

An oil finish, suitable for all types of wood.

It differs from Teak Oil in that it contains special ingredients, which prevent it drying to a gloss. It is an easy-to-use, wipe-on finish, which brings out the beauty of the timber and gives a natural, open grained, soft lustrous finish.

Ideal for all woods and is excellent on turned woodwork. Danish Oil is a unique formulation developed by Rustins.

I have heard great things about Danish Oil & I hope it will be an alternative to Linseed oil on lighter timbers.

4. Beeswax

furniture paintingThe technique of using wax to protect furniture is as old as furniture itself. I try to stay away from varnish as much as possible. I see it like this…

If you accept that, from time to time, a piece of furniture is going to take a knock or two, it’s better to have a finish that is easily repairable than a rock hard finish that is susceptible to chips & scratches & takes time & skill to refinish.

Most of the pieces that come out of the workshop that have a natural finish are waxed – Colron make a good one!

5. Satin Clear Varnish

furniture paintingOver the last few months I have been making an attempt to make my business 100% water based, that is, no oil based products.

One by one, I am testing water-based equivalents to the oil based ones I currently use. If they meet my standards, they stay, if not, I continue looking. This is one of them.

I currently use Translac Clear Satin Varnish it applies beautifully with a * Wooster Alpha. Let’s see if water-based Ronseal Quick Drying Varnishcan keep its place on the workshop shelves.

6. Ronseal Smooth Finish Filler

furniture paintingI first used this filler a few months ago on a Hand Painted Kitchen in Newtownforbes, Co. Longford.

It is lightweight, easy to apply & sands to a super smooth finish. I also like the fact that it’s grey as opposed to white, making the sanding process quicker.

7. Ronseal Wood Filler

furniture painting

This is another new product to the workshop so I will let you know in the future how it performs.

In the meantime, this is what Ronseal say…

Few things are beyond repair with Ronseal High Performance Wood Filler. Its unique two-part system creates seriously tough repairs to virtually any interior or exterior wood. You can fill to any depth and even drill, screw or plane it.

Rebuilds rotten wood

Cures wet rot and prevents recurrence< No shrinking or cracking For interior and exterior use

8 & 9. Colortrend Satinwood

painted furniture

furniture painting I spoke extensively about this fantastic paint in a previous post, to read that post click here

It has recently replaced the vast majority of my topcoats in the workshop. It is water-based, easy to apply, hard-wearing & leaves a beautiful soft finish in a large range of modern colours.

10. Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3

furniture painting

furniture painting
This is my go-to primer in the workshop for furniture painting. It is a water-based primer with above average adhesion & pigment resulting in a great coverage. It’s ideal partner is a brush from the Proform Picasso range available at * www.mypaintbrush.co.uk A perfect base for satin/eggshell topcoats.

11. Zinsser Coverstain

furniture paintingOne of the few oil-based products left on the shelves in the workshop, the reason… in my experience there is no water-based product out there that performs the way this does. I use it, almost always with a * Proform Picasso, on problem surfaces. For example, I am currently using it on a laminate & MDF wardrobe & and MDF blanket box.

* 12. Foam Roller Sleeves

These are used to apply paint & primer to large flat areas prior to laying off with a brush.

As a note, although I have never used the Lime wood finishing velvet flock mini sleeve from Axus Decor, I hear great things from my Traditional Painter colleagues. They are available from * My Paint Brush.co.uk

(13) 4 inch trays

The matching trays for the foam rollers described above.

(14, 15, 16) Various Abrasives

Everyday items. I use wire wool a lot for keying surfaces & cleaning with meths. Sanding pads & blocks again for keying surfaces & for distressing.

More detailed descriptions of workshop processes will be available in other blog posts but I hope that this run-down of some of my most common kit has been helpful.

Good luck with your next project. Happy Painting

Joseph & Sons kitchen painting furniture painting West IrelandSpecialist painter and decorator, Adam Bermingham, is a member of the Traditional Painter UK network. He is the first port of call for hand painted furniture and kitchens Ireland.

Joseph & Son is Adam & Tom Bermingham, a father & son team with diverse backgrounds covering specialist painting and decorating, antiques and interior design.


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4 comments to “My Hand Painted Furniture Ireland: materials listing”

  1. Charles Budd

    Hi Adam, thanks for going into so much detail. I have tried to avoid using meths as much as possible, but so many of the Traditional Painters seems to use it for cleaning, even after using Krudkutter. Are there no other ‘more friendly’ cleaning agents out there which are as good or nearly as good? Or would you recommend meths as outperforming anything else for total cleaning prior to new coats being applied? I love the Picasso brushes, but thought they were best used for lighter paints, such as emulsions – yet you like using them for Coverstain! Don’t you find them too fine and floppy for such a heavy coating?

  2. My Hand Painted Furniture Adam

    It’s all about degrees for me Charlie. Start off with a light cleaner & progress through to Meths if required. For me, it’s the toughest.

    With regard to Coverstain I don’t use the Picasso in it much anymore, it was the best I had come across at the time of writing. I’m using Adorn DuPont & Purdy Pro Extra these days.

    Still using the Picasso for Bullseye, I thin that a good bit.

  3. Charles Budd

    Thanks for explaining all that Adam. And really good to meet you at the Painting and Decorating Show.

  4. My Hand Painted Furniture Adam

    Right back at ya Charlie, a real pleasure.

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