Effective, Efficient & Enjoyable Flipping

So you’ve just picked up your first roadside treasure or you’ve decided to give that tired piece in your home a make over. 

Where do you start?

There are so many approaches people take. At the end of the day, we all want 3 things out of flipping or making over a piece. 

  • Effective.  We want our work to be reward with a quality finish, that is long lasting.
  • Efficient.  What is the quickest way to finish the piece, using tried and true process and short cuts, which don’t diminish the effectiveness of our work.
  • Enjoyment.  Producing a quality end result, that isn’t overly labour intensive, we can be proud of and leaves us looking for our next project. 

Through the 1,000’s of pieces we have completed in our workshop we have a very detailed approach.

A process which we teach to new and even experienced furniture painters, with the goal of meeting our 3 objectives, effectiveness, efficiency and enjoyment. 

So let’s look at the nitty gritty of what we do on a daily basis in our workshop so you can copy at home.


The starting point for every piece is general maintenance.  

Everything we need to do with tools to a piece we want to do now.  

Avoiding hammering and cutting after painting is a key.  

The last thing we want to be doing is patching up mistakes on already painted surfaces.

So make sure the piece is sturdy.  Nail any loose panels etc.

We then take off all the hardware, handles, locks, hinges etc.

If we are replacing hardware and existing holes won’t be used we poly fill and sand these smooth when dry.

Likewise for any cracks and dints.  Poly fill and sand flat.

In short there are only 2 things we are going to do to a piece of furniture, paint or stain.

Now the piece is cosmetically repaired and sturdy we move into a clean.


Using Flip Paints Degreasing Cleaner we total clean all surfaces.  Over the life of the piece it has had cleaning sprays, polishes, cooking oils from the air, hand oils, all types of sprays in the house and probably pets touch it.

Getting all this grease and grime off is vitally important to ensuring paint sticks.

Painting and Staining 

There are only 2 things we will be doing to a surface. We are going to paint it or stain it.

Our process for painting is -


For sanding it is -

  • SAND

Painting with Clean, Scuff, Prime, Paint


Once the piece is dry we scuff, with 120-150 sand paper the surface.

We are looking to put grooves in the exisiting polyurethane, not remove it.

This assists the primer to adhere.


A quick wipe with a dry cloth to remove the scuff dust and we are ready to prime.

We now apply one coat of Flip Stick primer.

This primer sticks to the polyurethane surface removing any need to sand back to raw timber and saves a great deal of time.


Once the primer is dry (2-3 hours), we apply 2 coats of paint.  We use Flip Paints Mineral Furniture Paint.

As it has a built in top coat, there is no need to seal the paint.

Staining with Clean, Sand, Stain, Polyurethane 


To stain we naturally need to remove the existing polyurethane and stain to bring the timber back to original.

As outlined in our sanding blog, we belt sand surfaces using 40, 80 & 120 grit, then finish with the orbital sander on 180 & 240 grit.


Quick wipe with a damp cloth not only removes the dust but also make staining easier.

Using Flip Paints Stain which is waterbased and simple to use and the foam sponge applicator, we apply a coat of stain.

With the stain we keep apply coats until we reach the colour we desire.


We finish everything in a Satin finish, it is our preferred look.

Using Flip Paints Top Coat, we apply 2 coats with a foam (not micro fibre) roller.

Once these have dried we sand the surface with 320 grit, this removes all the fibres that have stood up during staining.

Another quick wipe off of the dust, then we apply the 3rd and final coat of Top Coat.

Once the paint and polyurethane are dried, we attach the hardware and we are complete.

Our project has been finished -

  • Effectively, as all surfaces have been prepared correctly and the products we have used ensure our finish will be long lasting.
  • Efficiently, we have used methods and products which take out countless hours of sanding, the biggest burden when people take on painting furniture.
  • Enjoyably, you will have a project finished to the highest quality, with the smallest effort. That’s what we are all looking for.

We hope this helps you in streamlining some of the processing which you take when tackling your next project.

We would love to hear your feedback and are always happy to answer any questions to assist you along your way.

♥️ Bree & Stewart





Leave a comment