Why I don't do "Zero Prep"

Dec 20 , 2020

Why I don't do "Zero Prep"

Zero Prep. None. Nada. Ziltch. No sanding, stripping or priming. Just paint it....apparently. That's what they say...........

Up until about 10 years ago, I always heavy sanded, I stripped and I primed. That was the first week of every single project. I didnt like that first week. Lets face it...its messy, unpredicable, toxic and boring...So, when I heard of this *new* paint that said "zero prep",..even though I thought I knew better...but recognizing I didnt know it all, I instantly ordered it from across the sea and counted sleeps until it was delivered into my overly eager hands. However. It was soon (once again) confirmed for me that if something is too good to be true....well.....

Ya know, furniture refinishing isnt an exact science. I dont know how that dresser I just hauled home from a yard sale was cared for or used or stored for its previous 60 years. Grandma's LOVED Pledge...Great Grandma's LOVED Murphey's Oil soap and both generations of Grandfather's just adored a french polish. The corner of the barn where I dug out that china cabinet also might have been home to birds who poop or a car that leaks. If its a newer finish, (like IKEA, The Bombay Co. etc) or kitchen cabinets....those finishes are bullet proof. They dont want anything to stick or stain their finishes. So for us to come along and just slap on paint might have you doing exactly what I was doing when I (just like they said I could). "zero prepped" my peices of new and very old ....crying in frustration as I watched the paint so easily peel and chip right off at the slightlest bump...I cant even blame that paint...In my high hopes of not knowing better, I tried every single paint brand that made the claim, I even made my own and I had every one of them fail on me at some point...once again teaching me that I do know better..

(& YouTube does't always have my best interest in mind)

Needless to say, anyone that pops in the shop and asks me if I have "zero prep" paint may see me twitch a little..but they will NEVER hear me refer to any paint as zero prep paint. I dont feel like that would be fair or to be honest, very honest. That statement creates broad expectations that I know no paint can live up to on every furniture project. What I do offer at ReVived Vintage (and love and use everyday myself) are minimal prep paints. A chalk based paint, a milk based paint and a mineral (acrylic) based paint, Listen, I *want* you to be successful with your project..I *want* you to love it and I *want* you to be able to use it without worrying about it (because that doesnt make Christmas dinner very fun) and so with all of these paints, I suggest a light sanding to start. (Its not usually what people want to hear, but Id rather see your excitment for your next project rather than see you yelling at me for your first that failed) From there, you may need to wash it (bird poop) or seal it (bleeding oil) but I dont heavy sand pieces anymore and I dont strip furniture before I paint it. All I do, and what I recomemed, is to sand the sheen off, wipe off the crumbly bits and get painting. It's still easy, and still quick, It's still awesome and it's still way less prep work than painting with a hardware store paint...but this way, you will have a durable, quality end result finish, your time and money will be well spent and your paint wont lift off with your coffee cup Sunday morning.

Without the proper "minimal" prep..this can happen forever...making your piece not as durable or usable as it should be to hold up it regular use

Just 5-15 minutes of light sanding with a medium grit paper can save you hours and days of starting over.....Case in point. was this dining room set. Without minimal prep, this piece failed. It was a newer manufactured piece and was "zero prepped." with a well known chalk based paint. The paint effortlessly peeled and scratched right off . My client came to me disapointed and understandably frustratred. I had to take it right down to the bones and start over

Stripping furniture is a terribly messy job that I dont miss doing.

It ALL had to come off this time.....Before we would have just been able to sand the hot spots, where the action happens, the flat areas (aka: the easiest parts to sand)


This was the end of day one! Have I convinced you to ignore the "zero prep" paint pushers yet?

Can we all hear our Mother's right now? "Do it right the first time or you'll do it again"


"anything worth doing is worth doing right"

or maybe our Dad's

"What the hell did you do it like that for?"

I get it,,I hear you,,I hate sanding too, no matter how minimal it is..but I hate having to redo projects more and trust me, you will too.......So, zero prep paint?



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