It can be very durable . . . depending on the product and process used. I handle my painted furniture kind of rough. I use premium product and my process includes good primer, a tough paint and the best sealing top coat to prevent stains/chips.
Here’s what to look for when buying painted furniture . . .
#1 TOPCOAT: Look and feel for a smooth slick finish, not rough or gritty.
Several applications of a premium top coat is very important. Feel it with your hands and finger tips. A good coating feels smooth. Topcoat wards off stains and chips plus it cleans up nicely. One application is not enough. Two or three applications are required to resist wear and tear. Too thin or a too cheap a brand, then the slightest oops can ruin a beautiful piece.
By slick I don’t mean shiny or glossy. I use General Finishes High Performance Flat sheen top coat, the best on the market. It’s not shiny but it has a slight sheen against the light. Dixie Belle makes a tough top coat too!
I’ve used over-the-counter brands (Rust Oleum and MinWax) but they don’t hold up as well in my opinion or don’t go on as nice. They are cheap to appeal to the masses and the ingredients are of a lower quality.
#2 Ask the kind of PAINT was used
If the answer is Latex, forget about it. It’s not going to hold up. It’s just not strong enough for cabinets and furniture. Anything else is better than Latex: i.e., chalk paint, milk paint, mineral paint. There are so (too) many premium brands and they are all terrific.
I sell General Finishes because I like it. It goes on smooth not gritty. No worries about sanding little chalk specs off, plus it’s tough as hell. It was made for woodworkers cabinetry and is perfect on furniture.
Cosmetics tell the story about quality.
Examine corners and edges for noticeable ugly drips and runs. My painted pieces aren’t perfect but I try. Tiny “waldo’s” escape from time to time. I try to fix them if possible. However, some runs and drips come from the original unpainted finish. -Ugh!
Pull open the drawers and inspect the sides of them. IMHO, a professional paint job is apparent when drawer edges are taped off for a nice clean look. That indicates attention to detail.
PRIMER: Isn’t easy to see.
It is almost impossible to tell if a piece has been primed but the best most durable ones are. Ask. Primer gives paint adhesion to the original wood surface. Paint applied over primer is not as apt to chip or ding easily. I use several products to prime; Zinsser Clear Shellac, Zinsser Shellac White primer or INSL-X Stix depending on the original surface and my paint plan.
After the Buy
Use your piece as you normally would. I do! I’m kind of rough on things and haven’t had any problems enjoying my painted furniture. Wipe with a damp cloth and/or use spray wax and wipe. I’m very happy with how my paint jobs last. Here’s an article about cleaning and maintaining painted furniture, some do’s and don’ts. Give a quick read. Some things are intuitive but there maybe a nugget in there just for you!
See what’s painted furniture is available from KellaChic on my For Sale page. Thanks for reading and God Bless You!