Granny B's Old Fashioned Paint is a leading provider of authentic chalk-finish paint in Southern Africa. In this post, I will explain the importance of cleaning the furniture item with either sugar soap or lacquer thinners prior to painting them, and compare the benefits of lacquer thinners vs sugar soap.
Cleaning the furniture item is an essential step before applying any paint, as it ensures that the surface is free of dust, dirt, grease, wax and other contaminants that could affect the quality and durability of the paint. Depending on the type of paint you are using, you may need to use different methods and products to clean the furniture item effectively.
One of the most popular types of paint for furniture is chalk-finish paint, which has a matte finish and is ideal for distressing techniques. Chalk-finish paint can be applied to just about any surface without little, and sometimes no pre-preparation or sanding required.. However, it is still advisable to clean the furniture item thoroughly before painting it with chalk-finish paint.
There are two main products that you can use to clean the furniture item with; either sugar soap or lacquer thinners.
Sugar soap is a mild but strong cleaner that has been specifically developed to remove dirt, wax, grease and grime from a painted surface.
Lacquer thinners are a solvent blend specially formulated to thin and clean lacquer-based paints and varnishes. Sugar soap is water-based less damaging to the skin and the environment.
To use sugar soap or lacquer thinners to clean the furniture item, follow these steps:
- Wash the entire item of furniture with sugar soap following the manufacturers direction which usually involves diluting with water. You may need to scrub hard on areas that have stubborn stains or marks.
- Rinse well with clean water and dry thoroughly with a towel.
- If needed, repeat the cleaning process until no residue remains.
- Lacquer thinners requires that you simply use the product out of the bottle with a lint free cloth and then wiping down with a slightly damp cloth.
- Apply your chosen chalk-finish paint according to the instructions on the label. You may need to apply two coats for better coverage and adhesion.
- Let the paint dry completely before applying any wax or sealant if desired.
Some advantages of using sugar soap or lacquer thinners to clean the furniture item are:
- They are effective at removing dirt, wax, grease and grime from various surfaces.
- They do not damage or discolor most types of paints.
- They do not leave any harmful fumes or odors behind.
- They are easy to find and affordable.
Now that we have covered how to clean the furniture item with either sugar soap or lacquer thinners prior to painting them, let's compare their benefits in more detail.
Lacquer thinners have some advantages over sugar soap when it comes to cleaning certain types of paints. For example:
- Lacquer thinners can dissolve oil-based paints better than sugar soap, which can help remove stains such as tar, resins, stains, nicotine from steel, wood and some painted or varnished surfaces
- Fewer steps are needed when using Lacquer Thinners as it tends to evaporate.
However, lacquer thinners also have some disadvantages compared to sugar soap when it comes to cleaning certain types of paints. For example:
- Lacquer thinners are more powerful than sugar soap, which means they can damage plastic and rubber materials if it comes into contact with them.
- Lacquer thinners are flammable than sugar soap, which means they pose a higher risk of fire if they spill over hot surfaces such as stoves or ovens, also making it a risk for storage in unsafe areas.
- Lacquer thinners emit strong odors when they evaporate from surfaces , which means they can create unpleasant smells in your home if you do not ventilate well. They are also know to trigger allergies
Therefore, depending on what type of paint you are using for your furniture project, you may want to choose either sugar soap or lacquer thinner as your cleaner.
In short, sugar soap is the less harmful and more eco-friendly option as it is waterbased as opposed to the solvent based lacquer thinner option
I hope this blog post has been helpful for you.
if you’d like to view the video tutorial and explanation of how to clean your furniture with these two items please click the link to our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/CLnMfkvPn4Q?si=q2Yn7uYjCBfrGA9W