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Painting FAQ

How many coats of Vintage Paint do I need for my project?

The number of  Vintage Paint  coats depend on what you're painting, what you're painting it with, and your painting style.
On average you will need 2-3 coats for light to medium colours such as light blue or white.
For black or dark grey 3-4 coats will give you a great finish.
You will need 4-5 coats for bright colours such as red. To increase the coverage of bright colours, use  Neutral Basecoat .

Do I need to clean, sand, prime and varnish my furniture first? 

  • Yes, you should always clean all furniture before painting.
  • We recommend lightly sanding furniture before painting. This will remove any loose finish (paint is only as strong as the surface you are painting!) and it will even out any rough bits. We recommend 120 grit sandpaper for most cases. 
  • Priming is usually not needed when painting raw timber, or pre-painted or pre-varnished wood. See the next question for exceptions to this. 
  • Varnishing with Vintage Clearcoat is recommended for heavy use areas such as table tops, or if you'd like to increase the sheen level of Vintage Paint.

When do I need to use your primers?

  • Neutral Basecoat is basecoat/undercoat that is tinted a light grey colour. It will help you to achieve greater vibrancy and coverage when using bright colours such as Buttercup, Cherry Bomb, Sweet Tangerine etc.
  • Bondcoat Primer is used on smooth, hard-to-stick surfaces such as glass, ceramic, pvc plastic, laminate, formica. 
  • Stainblock Primer is used to prevent tannin stains from leaking out of raw redwood timber. Stainblock Primer is also effective on ink, nicotine and water stains.
  • Metal Primer is used when painting steel, iron, aluminium, zincalume and stainless steel.

Is Vintage Paint safe for my children's or pet's furniture? 

Yes, Vintage Paint is a non-toxic, waterbased product that can be used on children's and pet's furniture.

Do I need to wax my furniture after painting?

No, not unless you want to!
Vintage Paint  does not rely on wax for durability. Wax can be applied to give it a soft lustre or silky feel.
If you do want to wax your furniture, try our 100% natural  Vintage Wax.

My paint finish is chipping off, what has happened? 

If, after the 7 day curing period, your finish is starting to chip, peel or scratch off, it may be caused by one of these reasons:

  • The surface had pre-existing flakey paint/varnish. Paint is only as strong as the surface you are painting. Ensure you sand the finish before painting to remove any loose paint or varnish.
  • The surface is flexible or soft. Soft substrates like bamboo, cane, cork etc may be softer than the paint, causing the paint to stretch beyond its limit causing cracking.
  • The surface had traces of dirt, wax, grease, oil before painting. Use detergent such as sugar soap before painting and remember to rinse off the residue.
  • The surface is ultra smooth, such as glass, ceramic, laminate, formica, pvc plastic. Prime the surface with Voodoo Molly Bondcoat primer before painting.
  • The surface had sanding dust. Each time you sand, clean off all the sanding dust before painting.
  • High humidity, condensation. This will trap moisture layers between coats and may cause it to peel. 
  • Too many layers of paint. Adding too much paint will cause the surface to become soft. 
  • Not stirring the paint. When paint is sitting idle in the pot, settling of the contents will occur. Ensure you stir paint well before applying. 
  • Contamination. All equipment, like brushes, stir-sticks, rollers etc need to be clean before use to avoid any possible contamination to the paint. 
  • Blistering or bubbling. Can be caused by a damp project, where some moisture evaporating through the paint layer. It sometimes happens when painting in direct sunlight. 
  • Diluting the paint too much. Adding too much water can cause the finish to crack or flake, if its being applied on a non-porous/smooth surface. 

My clearcoat is looking patchy, what did I do wrong?

Its important to work quickly (but carefully!) when applying Vintage Clearcoat. It can dry very fast, so you want to avoid you to over-work partially dry paint. To eliminate this, work in rows to maintain a "wet edge" at all times. 

Do I need to prep my furniture first?

Yes, preparing your finish will give you the best result.
  1. Remover any hardware such as hinges and knobs.
  2. Lightly scuff with 120 grit sandpaper to remove any loose particles and to create 'tooth'.
  3. Repair any scratches or dents with builders filler.
  4. Lastly, clean, rinse and dry it really well.

What coverage should I expect with Vintage Paint?

On average,  Vintage Paint  will give you 12-14sqm per 1 litre coverage.
The colour you use, the surface you paint on and what tool you use to apply the paint will affect coverage.

Can I mix your colours together to make my own custom colour?

Yes! It's lots of fun to custom mix your own paint colours. 
Hint: Classic White is a great white for toning down other colours. 

Can I thin out Vintage Paint, and what can I use?

Yes, you can dilute Vintage Paint with water if necessary. Some reasons for thinning it out are

  • When using in a spray-gun
  • For applying the first coat to raw timber
  • To create a whitewash/colour wash affect
  • If the paint is too thick for your painting style

How matte or shiny is Vintage Paint?

Vintage Paint is a low satin sheen (eggshell).
For a matte sheen add  Vintage Chalk Powder.
If you want to make it shiner apply a coat of Vintage Clearcoat.

Help! I've a brown/yellow/pink stain is bleeding through my finish, what should I do? 

This sounds like you're painting bare redwood furniture, such as mahogany, kauri, kwila, cedar etc. They contain high levels of tannic acid. Tannin will bleed through your paint finish, no matter how many coats you apply, and will appear as a patchy stain. To stop this in its tracks, use Voodoo Molly Stainblock Primer (you can paint straight over the Vintage Paint you've just applied so long as its dry).

How long should I wait to apply another coat or to apply clearcoat?

You can apply another coat of  Vintage Paint , or a coat of  Vintage Clearcoat  as soon as it is dry.
If you are using Vintage Clearcoat over another brand of paint, wait 28 days for it to fully cure.

Can I use Vintage Paint to paint over a smooth surface like glass, or my flat-pack furniture? 

Yes, you can paint over smooth surfaces with Vintage Paint, with the assistance of Voodoo Molly Bondcoat Primer. Bondcoat Primer is a high adhesion primer that can stick to hard-to-paint, smooth surfaces, such as glass, laminate, formica, PVC plastic and ceramic. 

What is the difference between Vintage Paint and Chalk Paint?

Vintage Paint  and chalk paint are two VERY different products.
Traditional chalk paint is called 'distemper' paint. It is chalky, breatheable, textural and is used on interior walls and furniture. In its most basic form distemper is made from chalk (whiting) and a binder (glue size). It is not washable, even when dry. To be functional on furniture, chalk paint must be sealed with wax or varnish before use.
Vintage Paint on the other hand is a complex acrylic based paint. Unlike chalk paint it does not rely on a protective coat of wax or clearcoat for durability, nor can it be washed off once dry. Vintage Paint contains various ingredients to reduce brush marks, have self-priming properties, have longterm durability and provide fast curing times.

How do I distress Vintage Paint for a shabby chic look?

Simple distressing is as easy as sanding . Use 120 grit sandpaper to lightly rub back the corners and edges of your project.
You could also use a random orbital sander for a heavier distressed look. Experiment with different grit numbers.
For a chippy effect, use two different coloured layers. After the first colour is dry, apply wax in strategic parts. Apply the second colour. When dry, use sandpaper to distress.
Dry brushing creates a washed/coastal distressed look. After the first coat is dry, use another colour for the top coat. With a large brush, dip the bristles in a little paint and drag the brush over the surface.

What is the differences between your whites?

Classic White - Basic furniture white that is clean and fresh.
Antique White - A warm soft white with cream undertone.
Bone China - A cool white that has a grey undertone.
Glacier - A cool white that has a blue undertone.
Sandstone - A warm neutral with a beige undertone.  You can view our full colour range here . 

What brush should I use and how do I clean them?

We recommend good quality synthetic brushes for applying Vintage Paint products.
All our products are water-based, so you can clean brushes with water.

Can I paint my upholstery fabric? 

Vintage Paint will certainly stick to fabric (you just have to see the clothes in my wardrobe!). However I would test this before committing as the resulting finish and texture may not be to your liking. Generally, paint will need to be diluted/thinned out before applying, and having a spray bottle of water is useful for pre-dampening the fabric. Adding a "fabric medium" to the paint is also advisable. 

Why does Voodoo Molly have primers and clear-coats if Vintage Paint doesn't need either?

When painting over pre-painted, pre-varnished or bare wooden furniture, in most cases you will not need anything other than  Vintage Paint ! 
We have a great range of supporting products suitable for furniture that is made of  metal ,  glass ,  laminate ,  redwoods etc . We have included a great product called  Neutral Basecoat  to assist you when painting bright colours such as Cherry Bomb.
Our  clearcoats  and  wax  are perfect if you want to increase the sheen level of Vintage Paint, or if you have high-use areas such as step-stools and table tops. 

Do I have to sand my surface before painting?

Vintage Paint  does not require any laborious stripping or sanding, however its best to light sand all projects before starting. This will help prepare your surface into the best foundation possible! A light scuff with 120 grit sandpaper will be adequate for most projects.  

How long should I stir Vintage Paint?

Acrylic based paints should be stirred for at least five minutes, with a flat paddle to fully incorporate all the ingredients. If it has been in storage for a while, this will take longer to stir especially if the contents have started to settle. 

How fast does Vintage Paint take to dry?

In normal temperatures, Vintage Paint is touch dry in 30 minutes and can be recoated in 1 hour. However in low or high temperatures, or in breezy locations this time will be different. 

Why should i seal my project?

Sealing furniture can mean one of two things. Sealing the surface BEFORE painting and sealing the surface AFTER painting.
Sealing before you paint is usually done to prevent stains bleeding through your paint. Common causes of stains are tannin bleed from redwoods, ink stains, water stains, nicotine. To seal the stains in, use  Voodoo Molly Stainblock Primer .
Sealing after painting usually refers to adding a clearcoat finish. This would be required if you want to increase the sheen level, or your furniture is a heavy use item. Use  Voodoo Molly Clearcoat .  Voodoo Molly Wax  may also be used as a sealer after painting, but is not recommend on table-tops.  

What is the difference between clearcoat and wax, and which should i use?

Voodoo Molly Vintage Clearcoat  is a water-based polyurethane available in Low Sheen or Semi Gloss. Use clearcoat to permanently increase the sheen level of your project, or if the item is well-used such as table tops and step-stools.
Use  Voodoo Molly Vintage Wax  to provide a soft lustre. Wax is not a permanent coating, so you will need to reapply it every 6-8 weeks to maintain it. Wax can beused over paint, raw timber, antiques and leather, however its not recommended on tabletops. 

Is Vintage Wax sticky when you apply it and would it stay like that?

Vintage Wax  is not a sticky product at all, but will be tacky when first applied. Apply wax with a soft brush or lint-free cloth and allow to set overnight. The next day buff to a soft lustre with a lint-free cloth. 

Does your Vintage Chalk Powder contain any colour?

No, Vintage Chalk Powder is only an additive, which is mixed in with an existing paint. It does not contain any colour, nor will it change the colour of the paint you're mixing it into. 

Can I use a spray gun for applying Vintage Paint?

Yes. Vintage Paint works beautifully in a spray gun. In most cases you will add a little water to dilute it to a spraying consistency, how much water will depend on the air pressure, size of the nozzle and the model you are using. 

What advice can you give me about using Vintage Paint in a spray gun?

  • Ensure you are in a well-ventilated location and do not spray in temperatures below 10C.
  • Protect the area from overspray. Its easy to create a temporary "spray booth" with plastic sheets. 
  • After preparing your furniture, mask off the parts you don't want painted. 
  • Dilute Vintage Paint as necessary to achieve a consistent spray, and do a test spray. 
  • Apply in thin coats, sweeping the spray gun across the piece, beginning and ending each coat completely off the side. 
  • Do not spray in one area for too long, otherwise the paint build up with create drips. 
  • Clean your gun WELL when you have finished each coat. 
  • Between each completely dry coat, use 180 grit sandpaper to smooth it out. Remove sanding dust. 
  • Additional coats can be applied after 1 hour in normal conditions.

What grades of sandpaper do you recommend using with Vintage Paint?

You can do most things with only 3 grades of sandpaper.

100 grit -- Furniture preparation 
120 grit -- Distressing
180 grit -- Smoothing finish between coats

The lower the grit number, the rougher the sandpaper is. The higher the grit number, the smoother the sandpaper is.

When distressing, try experimenting with different grits. A low grit gives a rough, heavily distressed finish, and can be useful for weathered looks. A higher grit gives a smoother, more subtle rubbed look. 

What detergents can I use for cleaning my furniture before painting?

We recommend sugar soap for initial cleaning preparation, however other types of household detergents work well such as dish-washing liquid. Ensure all cleaning residue is rinsed off before painting. 

Can I use a natural bristle chalk paint brush for applying Vintage Paint?

Yes you can, but only if you're wanting a textured, hand-brushed type finish. For most finishes, even distressed ones, we recommended a synthetic brush when applying Vintage Paint, such as Haydn DIY1000. 

Do I need to paint outside, or can I safely paint inside?

Vintage Paint is non-toxic. You can safely paint both inside and outside your home. 

How can I reduce brush marks when using a brush to apply Vintage Paint?

Vintage Paint does have additives to help reduce brush marks, however here are some handy hints for getting a lovely finish. 

  • Use a new, good quality synthetic brush. Wash it before using.
  • Use the widest brush that is practical for your project. A 50mm brush is good for most furniture pieces.
  • Paint in a draft free location, that is of an average temperature. The quicker your paint dries, the less time the paint has to flatten out.
  • Work quickly, but carefully, without over brushing partially dry paint. 
  • Between each completely dry coat, lightly sand with 180 grit sandpaper. Remove sanding dust before recoating.

Does your Vintage Clearcoat and your Vintage Wax yellow over time?

Both our Vintage Clearcoat and our Vintage Wax are non-yellowing. Both are safe to use on white items, without affecting its colouring. 

Does your Vintage Chalk Powder additive work with my existing decorators paint? 

Yes, Vintage Chalk Powder additive can be added to any water-based acrylic paint to make a self priming chalk paint. For best results, use a low sheen paint. 

Can you apply Vintage Paint with a roller?

Yes, you can apply Vintage Paint with a paint roller, sponge pad or foam brush. We recommended a flocked roller. 

Can I get a white-wash or colour-wash look with Vintage Paint

Yes! You can either create a wash with Vintage Paint (any colour), or buy our Vintage Stain Whitewash. 

Have another question?

Email us your question at  admin@voodoomolly.co.nz