Painting Furniture 101 Class Format

The following class is an outline of the basic Furniture Painting 101.  This is meant to be a guideline for you to use as you begin teaching your own basic classes using American Paint Company products.  Feel free to ‘make it your own’ and personalize it to fit your own individual style.  Classes are a great way to build relationships with your customers, so have fun and enjoy your class!

Items needed for class:
  • Three Boards
  • One Paint Stick
  • Two Paint Samples
  • Finishes Samples
  • Paint Brushes
  • Wax Brushes
  • Distressing Rag
  • Sandpaper
  • Promotional Items

Pre-Class: Set Up

Set up the class with the above items for each student’s space, with the exception of the two sample pots of paint.  You may have each participant select their own sample pots of paint when they arrive.  Its best to select one dark color and one light color.  These are included in their class fee.  Its fun to have everyone select their own paint because they will like painting with the colors that are pleasing to them and it allows for the other participants in the class to see different combinations of colors.  You could also select two colors for them before class and have them available in small containers at their spot.  Either way, make sure each person has two colors to work with.

You will also want to make sure that you have water and paper towel available on the table for cleaning brushes, etc.

Step One:  Paint Application

The first step of the class is paint application.  During this portion discuss how to create a textured paint finish and a smooth paint finish.

On board #1 apply the paint in order to create a textured finish.

On board #2 apply the paint in order to create a smooth finish.

On board #3 (call this the ‘freedom’ board) they have the freedom to apply it any way they choose.

Have each one of their boards marked with a #1, #2 and #3 on the back.  This will help you distinguish which board you are working on during class.

Wait until the boards dry and then apply the second coat on each of the boards.  You may have them apply the lighter paint color as their first coat and the darker paint color as their second coat.  They can paint their paint stick with the color of their choice.  This will be set aside for Top Coat application later.

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Step Two: Furniture Preparation

It may seem a little out of order to have furniture preparation as the second step of the class, in doing this you can discuss furniture preparation while waiting for the first coat of paint to dry.

Teaching your class this way will give you a moment to discuss furniture preparation and introduce our Surface Prep/Brush Cleaner.  Mix some in buckets of water that is in the center of your classroom tables.  Discuss when to sand, prime and what to paint.  This is also a good time to go around the table and have each participant share what they are planning to paint.  This will bring up other prep type issues and give you an opportunity to provide each person with individual attention as you discuss their project.  While you are sharing and discussing be sure they also get that second coat of paint on each board.

Step Three: Distressing

After all three boards have their second coat of paint and are dry, it will be time to begin the distressing portion of the class.  Provide them with some distressing guidelines and show finished examples, if you have them available, of where and how to distress an actual piece of furniture.  Then apply those tips to their three painted sample boards.

Distress board #1 using sand paper.

Distress board #2 using the wet distress technique.

Distress board #3 (their freedom board) with whatever method they choose.

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Step Four: Finishing

This portion of the class introduces them to each one of our finishes (with the exception of Glaze and Hard Coat).  Discuss the features and benefits of each one of the finishes, then using the brushes you have provided for them, finish each board as follows:

Board #1 is finished using Clear Vintage Antiquing Wax

Board #2 is finished with Dark Vintage Antiquing Wax

Board #3 is finished with a pre-mixed mica powder/clear wax combination

The paint stick is finished with Top Coat. Top Coat is an easy application and does not require a full board.

Step Five: Caring for your Furniture

After all three of their boards are finished, discuss with them how to care for their newly painted piece of furniture.

Step Six: Review

At the end of class review each board and each step that went into creating that finish.  You can give them a sharpie marker and have them write the details of how they created that finish on the back on their boards.  This gives them a reference tool they can refer back to when they are at home and ready to tackle their first project.

The entire class takes approximately 2 hours to complete and you can charge $50.00 or more/per person and you will need to base it on what your community will pay for this type of class.  It is preferable they pre-register for the class and have them pay ahead of time.   After class allow them to shop and purchase paint.  If possible have an assistant working with you who can ring up paint sales while you give recommendations and answer any other questions.