Restoring old furniture is rewarding in and of itself, but it’s much more so when you know you had a role in the process.
You may use the same painting technique to give new life to an old dining room table you’ve had for years or to give a worn-out dresser from the thrift shop a second chance at life.
Anastasia Casey, an interior designer with a penchant for DIY projects, shares her tried-and-true method for painting wood furniture. To get a professional-looking result while painting, consider reviewing the most often-seen painting errors.
Can You Please Recommend a Good Furniture Paint?
Which paint is ideal for furniture depends on its intended use and the desired look. The smooth look achieved by a matte finish is now popular. Casey argues that the classic and enduring appeal of eggshell and satin finishes.
“A bright color with a high-gloss finish would be a great choice if your style tends to lean more eclectic or bohemian,” she adds. A satin finish is easier to clean than a matte one, so keep that in mind as well.
Chalk paint is a great option if you like a more country or shabby chic look for your house. Chalk paint, as the name implies, gives painted furniture a chalky, matte feel and may be damaged to create an antique appearance.
Paint Techniques for Wooden Furniture
Are you prepared to dive in and give it your all? Follow this detailed tutorial to learn how to paint wood furniture like a pro.
Take out the screws and the drawers
Take off any existing knobs, pulls, or latches and store them in a Ziploc bag. You may also take out the drawers if you wish to paint the front of each one individually.
Make use of a Drop Cloth
The second step is to lay down a drop cloth or tarp and move all of your furniture and drawers to the middle of the room. Paint splatters and drips won’t make it to the floor this way.
The sanding procedure is the most time-consuming step in painting furniture. You should begin with fine grit and gradually increase it. For a very smooth finish, we usually use 80 grits, then 120 grit, and then 220 grit,” adds Casey.
(For your information, a higher grit number indicates a smoother texture.) Sanding creates dust, so it’s important to wear a mask to keep the dust out of your lungs, and anti-vibration gloves to keep your hands safe.
When you’re done, the wood grain should be totally visible and the finish should feel and appear smooth and even all over the piece of furniture. Several hours may be required, depending on the size of the object.
Lightly sand the item so the flat surface has some texture, but if the furniture is in excellent shape and you plan on repainting it with the same sort of paint, you probably won’t need to go down to the wood grain. The paint will stick better if you do this.
Lightly sand the object before painting it if it is unfinished wood that has never been painted, stained, or sealed. You should always prime unfinished wood before painting it to hide the wood grain.
Clean It Up
Use a moist towel or tack cloth to remove dust and debris from your furniture after sanding. The latter is a specialized fabric found at hardware shops that cling to dust and dirt of any size.
Before going on to the following stage, make sure the surface is completely smooth and clear of any debris. If you want to use a moist towel, be careful to let the furniture dry fully before proceeding.
Before painting, Casey suggests priming the surface with two coats.
“There are a lot of paints out there with a built-in primer, but with furniture, you want to prioritize durability and be as thorough as possible,” she explains. If you prime your furniture before painting it, the paint will stick better and your furniture will last longer.
Lightly sand with 220 grits after the second layer of primer has dried if you are using two coats. The paint will stick better to the surface because of the roughness. Dust must be removed before painting can begin.
It was a long journey, but we finally made it! A thin coat of paint should be applied to the furniture after mixing the paint, using a brush dipped in the paint and wiping off any excess.
To apply a second coat of paint, sand gently with 220 grit sandpaper, wipe the surface off with a tack cloth, and wait the recommended amount of time between applications as specified on the paint container.
Every paint is different, but you should wait for the previous layer to dry before applying the next one. Casey cautions, “If you rush the job, you might end up with streaks, bubbles, or gloppy paint.” “If there are any paint streaks or bumps once the piece is dry, lightly sand it.”
Apply a third layer if necessary
Wax, oil, or water—whatever you decide on, it should match the paint’s finish type. “You really need a topcoat to ensure durability and prevent any staining or water damage,” explains Casey.
Wax finishes are my favorite since they are user-friendly and need no drying time. However, if you see that the wax is fading, you will need to apply more.
Polyurethane, which may be either oil- or water-based, is another popular choice because of how well it protects and waterproofs furniture. Matte, satin, or semi-gloss finishes are all OK; just be sure to choose one and operate in a well-ventilated area.
When your furniture is completely dry, you may reassemble it. You may give your hardware a new lease of life by replacing it with shiny new gear or by giving it a thorough cleaning.
It takes more time for paint to cure, or dry to a firm finish after it has dried to the touch. Before putting anything on top of freshly painted walls, wait for the amount of time specified on the paint container. This may take a few weeks.
When You should paint the Furniture
As long as the room you’re working in is dry and well-ventilated, you may paint your furniture at any time of year. Conditions should be neither too hot nor too chilly, and humidity levels should be kept as low as possible.
Primers, paints, and sealants often have temperature recommendations printed on the label. Some individuals like to work on painting tasks in the fresh air of spring, summer, or autumn.
Things to Avoid
Do you want to avoid any mistakes while painting your wooden furniture? To avoid the most frequent errors,
Hastening the Procedure
Casey adds that the most common error individuals make is trying to hurry things. A professional appearance and feel will be lacking if you rush through the painting process without letting each coat dry.
Putting on Multiple Coats of Color
It’s far more probable that you’ll see streaks and uneven coverage if you use heavy layers of paint. If you apply thin coats of paint and sand in between, you’ll end up with perfectly smooth and equal layers.
Priming and sealing your furniture
Priming and sealing your furniture can help it last longer, so don’t skip that step.