Frequently Asked Questions About Our Furniture Paint
Is Rethunk Junk a chalk paint?
No. Rethunk Junk (RTJ) is a resin paint. There's no chalk, powder, or mineral in our paint. RTJ is self-sealing so there's no waxing required. I've been painting furniture for almost 10 years and have tried all types of furniture paint. We carry the RTJ line because I get the best results with it and find it the easiest to use.
Do I have to sand or prime before painting?
This is our favorite part - no sanding or priming required! RTJ sticks to every surface we have used it on including wood, laminate, glass, and plastic, without sanding or priming. Just make sure you thoroughly clean your piece with Prep Spray. Prep is an RTJ cleaning product that removes dirt, grease, and buildup from your piece. It prepares the surface to be painted and helps the paint adhere to the surface. Don’t skip the Prep!
If your piece has any nicks or scratches that you want smooth, then those will need to be sanded before painting. But only for smoothing purposes – not because the paint requires it.
Do I have to use Prep? Can’t I use another cleaner I have at home?
We definitely don’t recommend painting without using Prep first. If your piece has a lot of dirt – because you just pulled it out of barn maybe! – it’s a good idea to wash it off with soap and water. Then do a final cleaning with Prep before painting. If your piece has a lot of grease or build up, we recommend using a Scrubby Pad with Prep to remove it.
How much paint will I need? How many coats does it take?
This depends on what color you are starting with and what color you are painting, as well as if the piece you are painting is natural wood or treated wood. Using one of our whites over a darker piece will require more coats. And the reverse is true – using a darker color over a light piece will as well. Most pieces will need 2-3 coats for full coverage. If you’re painting a piece with one of our whites – Cloud, Snowy Day, or Cotton – full coverage may require 3+ coats.
Here are some estimates on how much you can expect to paint:
- 1 quart covers on average 2 coats with room: 2 five drawer dressers, OR 1 dining room table and 4 chairs, OR 1 nine drawer dresser, OR 10 linear feet of cabinets (outside only)
- 1 pint covers on average 2 coats with room: 1 five drawer dresser, OR 1 bookcase, OR 2 regular size end tables or night stands
Do I need to apply a top coat?
We recommend applying Tuff Top or Flat Top on any piece that will get a lot of use, such as tabletops, chairs, dressers, and definitely on cabinets. Tuff Top has a satin sheen similar to the paint finish. Flat Top has a matte finish and should not be used on dark paint colors or it will produce a cloudy appearance. You’ll need one 8 ounce container per pint of paint.
What paint brushes should I use?
For a smoother finish, use a high quality brush. We stock Paint Pixie Oval Brushes and Pennelli Guiliani flat brushes in several sizes. Whatever brush you use can be easily cleaned with soap and water. All RTJ products are water based. Our Suds Brush Soap will make your brush clean up easier and keep the bristles soft, extending the life of your brushes. If you'd like to learn more, click here to get our free video where we share which brushes we use on most of our project.
How long does it take for the paint to dry?
Typically, your piece will be dry to the touch within about 30-45 minutes. Drying time may be extended during more humid weather. Your piece will be dry and can be used with care within a few hours of painting. We recommend careful, light use for 30 days. Thirty days is standard cure time for most paint, including wall paint. This doesn’t mean you can’t use your piece – just handle with care.
Do you carry all the RTJ colors and products?
Yes! We carry all 45 paint colors, as well as all the Stain Top colors, Washes, Metallics, and more. We offer free sample sticks of all the colors so you can take them home before deciding what color you want. We also have painted sample pieces of many of the colors in the store to help you decide.
Is the paint safe and eco-friendly?
Absolutely! All our RTJ products are low VOC, low odor, and safe enough to be used on baby furniture. All the products are water based and easily clean up with soap and water.
Can you teach me how to paint my furniture?
Yes! We’d love to! We offer in person Furniture Painting 101 workshops. You can see our workshop calendar and sign up on The Cotton Shed Vintage Market's website. We also have a YouTube channel where we share tips and tutorials. Find it here.
I don’t want to DIY. Will you paint my piece for me?
Absolutely! Pricing varies based on the size of the piece and the finish you want. Please send us a message with a description of your piece(s) to get started.
How do I care for my painted piece?
Most traditional cleaners contain alcohol and other chemicals that will dull and dry your painted finish. We recommend using RTJ Clean Top on all painted furniture. Just spray some on a clean, soft cloth and wipe the dust off your piece. It won’t damage your beautiful painted finish!
Shop all our Rethunk Junk paint products here. Shop our paint brushes and other supplies here.
Click here to get our free video on our favorite brushes and to get more furniture painting tips.