3 Secrets to Painting Built-in Furniture + Homemade Chalk Paint

This post brought to you by FrogTape. All opinions are 100% mine. Using FrogTape I’ll show you tips to painting built-in furniture and a homemade Chalkboard Paint Recipe.

My “baby” girl is not such a “baby” anymore. She is growing up so fast, and we thought it was time for her to get a cool “big girl” bed! We wanted to get something that fit her very active, very spunky personality, but just couldn’t seem to find the right thing, so my hubby and I (ok, mostly my hubby) decided to head to the hardware store and get creative.

We built (he built… I hauled wood and held nails in place) our growing girl this very cool bed/ climbing center. The top section is going to have bookshelves and bean bags and act as a fun “reading deck” that can double as a bunk bed if we have people staying over. The structure also has a little slide, and we have plans to add a small swing to one side and chalkboard underneath.
Because we were kind of figuring things out as we went, we didn’t paint this “built-in” bunk bed before it was securely attached to the textured wall behind it. So, instead of using my typical technique for painting furniture (taking it outside on tarps for a few sunny days) I was faced with the challenge of painting this bed… but not the wall.

I’m going to be honest and say that painting this built-in piece of furniture required a lot more time and precision in the “prep work” then I would normally spend on furniture painting. However using a few “prepping secrets” made the actual painting go very smoothly, even for a paint novice like me!
1. A Sticky Solution- I learned that painting built in furniture is all about the tape-job. I think I spent more time taping then I did actually painting. Because of this I wanted to choose a really good painter’s tape that would actually stay put! After I had put so much time and effort into taping, I didn’t want it to start peeling away from the wall before I had finished my project. I found the solution to this is Textured Surface by FrogTape (available at Walmart, Lowes and Menards). This tape is treated with the patented PaintBlock™ Technology which is a super absorbent polymer that reacts with the water in latex paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape, which helps prevent paint bleed. This tape worked so well against my textured wall, especially when I went over the tape with a wet rag right after applying to activate the PaintBlock Technology.

2. Space Saver- As is the case with many built-in units, there was a small space between the furniture and the wall. I used this little technique to get that space covered by tape, not paint. When I lined up the tape against the wall, I let a small section of tape (about 1/4 of the width of the tape) overlap onto the wood. I then used a butter knife to push the overlapping section underneath the wood and into the space. This was a bit tedious, but well worth the effort it saved to keep the paint off of the wall.
3. Little by Little- I found that using the above technique, it was really hard keep my tape lines straights. So I discovered that it was best to tear off 6-12 inch sections of tape and work on the taping just a little at a time. I was careful to overlap the tape sections, so that there was no wall showing in between. However, as I worked I found that the overlapped sections had a tendency to peel up. There was an easy solution to that also. I simply dabbed the overlap with FrogTape® Liquid PaintBlock® Edge Sealer™ which is a liquid that came with the package of FrogTape® Textured Surface Tape. It is made to help deliver super sharp paint lines, even on textured surfaces. It worked like a charm! It secured the two sections together, and they acted like one continuous piece of tape for the rest of the project.
While I had the painter’s tape up, I decided to go ahead and paint the textured wall behind her built-in bed in chalkboard paint! I used a very simple recipe for homemade chalkboard paint. I loved working with this paint as it was it went on so smoothly despite the grout being mixed in. It was so easy, and forgiving to work with that I even let my little girl help!

The painting went really quickly, and I was very pleased with the finished result when I pulled off the tape!

Something that I learned by this project is that taking the time to properly prep your “built in” furniture is an investment of time and effort. However, when done properly it pays off big time, in ease of painting! I was really pleased with how well my daughter’s bed and chalkboard wall came out, (and that I didn’t have to repaint her entire room due to any painting mishaps)! 
For more tips and ideas be sure to follow the FrogTape Textured Surface board on Pinterest.

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Emily Buys

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