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2. It really is important to properly prepare your furniture piece first.  If you are going for a smooth finish, it is a good idea to lightly sand the entire piece to smooth any flaws.   On the other hand, you can probably skip the sanding if you are going for a distressed finish or painting a piece that was in fairly good condition.  Regardless of the look you are going with, if your piece has a super shiny or a flaky finish, you should always start by sanding it.

3. Use high quality paint brushes.  I am a major cheapskate and I used to buy the cheapest paintbrushes I could.  Big mistake.  Bristles were constantly shedding onto my projects and they left horrible brush marks.  I have since become a huge fan of Purdy paintbrushes.  They are a little more expensive up front, but they last much longer so it evens out in the end.  And they give a much smoother finish.

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