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How to Refurbish Old Knick Knacks

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Priming and Painting
How to Refurbish Old Knick Knacks

Apply thin coats of primer and your choice of paint to the knick knack to create your own personalized home accent.

Photo © Jami Delia

Pick a well-ventilated area to prime and paint your knick knack. Lay down newspaper, or a drop cloth if you have one, to cover your workspace. You can also place your knick knack in a large, wide cardboard box. I like to use a cardboard box when using spray paint so it will capture some of the overspray.

Before you begin the painting process, make sure you have the correct primer.

  • use grey primer if using a dark colored paint
  • use white primer if using a light colored paint

Having the right kind of primer is important when painting with or over dark colors. Primer is also necessary to help the paint stick to your knick knack. Since most knick knacks are made of plaster, porcelain or glass, sanding the knick knack before painting is not the best idea since it may scratch and/or damage the item. Applying a coat (or two) of primer instead will ensure the paint sticks properly to your refurbished knick knack.

  1. Apply multiple thin coats of primer to your knick knack. If using spray paint, make sure the primer goes on thin and smoothly and does not run.

  2. Apply a single thin coat of paint and let the knick knack dry before applying another coat of paint. Again, be sure to wait at least an hour or so in between coats so the paint doesn't run or smear.

  3. Let your knick knack completely dry overnight in a cool, dry place.

  4. Display your newly painted knick knack anywhere in your home.
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