Swooz Answers Your Paint Questions

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Susan “Swooz” Hudson of Black Dog Salvage knows all about furniture paint, specifically Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint, which she helped develop with Woodcraft.  Swooz teaches classes at her studio at Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, Virginia, and throughout the US at various Woodcraft stores. Let’s let Swooz answer some of her most frequently asked questions.  

PHOTO courtesy Woodcraft Magazine

 Why is Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint especially good for mixing?

In order to create custom colors for our show builds (on DIY Network’s Salvage Dawgs) and custom builds for customers, we needed the three primary colors: I Need a Bandage (red), Blue Ridge (blue), and Star City Sunshine (yellow). The three primary colors allow us to mix any color since the pigments are rich and true. We can make any tint of a color adding Clean Canvas (pure white) or any shade of a color adding Black Dog Black (true black).

Q – What do you mean by pure, true colors? How does that affect mixing?

If you go to the paint chip area of any Big Box/DIY store you will find hundreds of whites and many blacks. When we speak of a true white we mean just that...it is pure. It will not “pull” yellow, pink, green, grey, or blue and consequently it will not “pull” the color you are trying to mix in that direction. Same with our black. If you line up your black pants in your closet, you will see that maybe one or two pairs are actually BLACK...the others may “pull” red, blue, purple or possibly even green. Our black is rich and true and easy to use to create shades of any of our colors. Be careful though — it is STRONG! Start out with less than you think you need, and then divide that in half. Add a little at a time till you reach your desired shade of a color. 

Q – What colors can I make? I don’t know how to get the color I want.

You can create any color! We’ve come up with 35 popular color mixes to get you started, and we introduce new ones each season. We just introduced half-pint sizes to make mixing easier when you just need a little of each color. Check out all the recipes here: Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint Recipes. And if you come up with a super cool one on your own, send it to us!

Q – What else is unique about Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint?

There is no need to strip, sand or prime your project before painting. But you must CLEAN it thoroughly with a non-silicone based cleaner. Be careful and know what you are using as a lot of name-brand dish washing soaps have silicone in them and these will repel the paint. Some popular liquid dishwashing soaps are great for washing brushes...and birds, but not furniture. Silicone residue will keep the paint from adhering. I only use TSP (trisodium phosphate). I just did a comparison between two “other” well-known cleaners and TSP and TSP whooped the other two. Woodcraft sells a very similar product called Krud Kutter.

Q – Does the paint really stick to any surface?

It will stick to most any CLEAN surface including but not limited to: glass, metal, brass, bare wood, painted wood, stained wood, plastic, lacquer, poly, shellac, varnish, and ceramic/concrete. The paint should not be used on furniture that has been oiled consistently such as Teak or Scandinavian style furniture – no paint will adhere to those surfaces.  

Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint has 16 colors that can be mixed to create any color

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Woodcraft employees take part in a paint training class at the Parkersburg, WV, location


Q – Can I create distressed finishes with Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint?

Yes, along with many other popular painting techniques like dry brushing and wet distressing. Our paint is a 50/50 blend of high quality water-based latex and acrylic paint bases. Latex alone has a propensity to roll when distressed with sandpaperYou’ll find some helpful videos on Woodcraft.com where I show you my tips for getting the best results. 
Distressed Finishing Techniques with Swooz
Dry Brush Distressing with Swooz
Painted Candle Holder with Swooz
Give a Picture Frame New Life with Swooz

Stop by your local Woodcraft store and stock up on Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint and supplies for your next painting project!

PHOTO courtesy Woodcraft Magazine

We hope you'll be inspired!

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