How to Paint Wood Furniture

If you are purchasing new wood furniture there should be no reason to give it a facelift.  Hopefully the construction and quality of the finish is sturdy and durable to get your money’s worth and last for quite some time.  But we know that new furniture is not always in our budget.  We also know that tastes change over time, and what you once thought was perfect in your home might not match your décor or design anymore.

For these reasons, we fully support looking around for used furniture that you can spruce up or even refinishing an existing piece that you own.  But before you break out those paintbrushes we strongly urge you to take the time to research the proper techniques before you get started.  This will save you time and money.  We want to get you started down the right path.  The following information is certainly not a comprehensive guide but hopefully it will lead you in the right direction.

What is the first step?

Before starting any project make sure that you have all of the supplies that you need as well as enough time to dedicate to the project.  I have always found that every project takes longer than anticipated, so make sure to budget in some extra time just in case.  Once you have your supplies in order, it is time to prep the piece for your project.  Although some may say that sanding is unnecessary, if you want to only have to paint this piece once, I would highly recommend starting by sanding.  Depending on the size of the furniture piece I wouldn’t spend too much time on this, just enough to rough up the surface a little so the primer will adhere. Next, wipe off any residue with a soft cloth.

What kind of paint should I use?

Start by using a primer as a base.  Pay close attention to what type of material your piece is made of.  Is it real wood?  Is it laminate? If it is laminate than you may want to use a shellac-base primer.  Don’t be afraid to ask the professionals at your local hardware store if you are unsure.  Once primed and dried, you can sand away any drips for a smoother surface.  Use a foam roller and start applying coats of semi-gloss latex paint.  According to this Country Living article you should apply three thin coats, allowing each coat to completely dry.  Making sure that all particles are completely removed (very important), you can wrap up with a Polycrylic Protective Finish.

What is the best technique for painting?

As we mentioned, it is important to use the proper type of paint for the project that you are tackling.  The Amish Outlet Store offers excellent advice when it comes to sanding: “Use a coarse sandpaper, a sanding block or a power sander to strip the finish off until the surface is smooth. Once most of the finish is off, switch to medium grit sandpaper to further remove any shine. Finally, finish off with a fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the wood until all finish is completely removed.”  Once you start painting, a good rule of thumb is to work with gravity.  Since the drips will be moving down, start at the top and work your way down smoothing out any drips along the way.

There are plenty of online resources when it comes to DIY furniture restoration and repainting.  It is always advised to do research on what type of materials you are working with and make sure to have the proper space to complete the project.  We hope these tips were a helpful guide to get you started.  Have fun!