Painting is naturally messy, with plenty of opportunities for drips, splatters, and smudges. And in the world of painting, few objects are more difficult to refresh than wooden tables and chairs, given the challenge of applying even coats all the way around the legs. Typically, this involves lifting the legs one at a time so you can reach down to the very bottom. By the time you’re done, it’s not unusual to have paint runs here and there, the bases of the legs stuck to the newspaper or drop cloth, and paint all over your fingertips.
The trick to a clean paint job, both in terms of the piece's finish and the condition of the work area, is to elevate the furniture on Painter’s Pyramids (available at hydestore.com; $9.26), which let you paint all of the surfaces without drips pooling around the legs. After unscrewing any protective foot caps to prevent them from getting painted, just center one of these durable plastic pyramids under each leg. With the piece balanced on the pointy tips of these plastic lifts, you can spray or brush fresh color onto your furniture without worrying that the legs will stick to the work surface. For best results, apply two to three very light coats of paint to avoid surface runs.