HOW TO PAINT FURNITURE
How To Paint Furniture: If you are looking to learn how to repaint old furniture and transform chintzy looking furniture into cool modern pieces for very little money, then this step-by-step tutorial is for you! In just a few hours, I painted this console table that had recently found a place in our entryway and completely changed its looks for under $10. Plus, if you want more detailed instructions on how to paint anything you can download my free E-Book, The Designer’s Guide to Painting Your Home! I cover how to pick out paint colors, which types of paint to use, and my favorite paint colors plus more!
HOW TO PAINT FURNITURE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
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- Wood Filler
- (optional) use only if you need to repair holes
- you want to use a good primer, after making the mistake and using another one I ALWAYS use Zinsser Smart Prime–it is no to low VOC and covers the best
- For furniture, I use Benjamin Moore Semi-Gloss Natura in semi-gloss or Benjamin Moore Advanced which is a low VOC cabinet paint. Natura is their zero VOC line of paints.
- Paint Brush- use a 3″ angled trim brush
- I use this one (Purdy 3″ angle)
The green and beige finish was much too yellow and dated for the room. It looked shabby chic minus the chic, and was completely out of place in our colonial home. And my husband HATED it. So change was due! After painting it a jet black with semi-gloss paint, the table commanded its own presence and coordinated nicely with the door (also in a jet black semi-gloss.)
HOW TO PAINT FURNITURE – DIRECTIONS
- 1.) Sand furniture with a relatively high grit sand paper. I used 120 for this piece, and used it for the vintage dresser and the table as well. You can always use a sanding block to make the horizontal surfaces go faster or use a sanding sponge.
- Then wipe it down with either a damp rag or cloth.
- PRIME IT
- I usually always prime surfaces–even my walls for better adherence and coverage. Since the vintage table was going a darker color, and it was painted already, I skipped it. It is up to you. However, for my other projects like my vintage dresser and vintage changing table, I chose to prime it beforehand to ensure an even surface.
- PAINT IT
- For this piece, because the table had quite a few nicks and wasn’t in perfect shape, I chose to use semi-gloss which still gave it a nice glossy finish. In the past to paint other furniture pieces, I have successfully used a high-gloss cabinet paint with great results. To see the other pieces click the Vintage Table and the Vintage Dresser, or download my free E-Book. To choose what type of paint and finish you should use on the piece of furniture, you should answer the three questions below first.
- Use a foam brush and a small paint brush to get into all of the corners. For my high gloss pieces, I used a foam roller on the horizontal surfaces and skipped the brush, utilizing several foam brushes instead in order to avoid any brush strokes. Semi-gloss is more forgiving so you can use a brush. For high gloss, I would most definitely urge you to use an inexpensive foam brush and a foam roller with little to no nap. Plan on a good two coats. The vintage dresser and table both required three coats of paint for solid coverage.
- Let the piece dry at least 24 hours before you use it. For my high gloss pieces, I waited 48 hours for the paint to harden before placing anything on it. I did notice a little bit of stickiness with the vintage dresser, so the more coats you put on, make sure to give it more time. You worked so hard for it, don’t let impatience ruin it!
Remember where it started?
WHAT TYPE OF PAINT SHOULD I USE?
- What type of use is the furniture going to get to use? This will determine whether or not you need “cabinet paint.”
- Hard daily use like a kitchen cabinet–> cabinet paint
- more irregular light use e.g. an occasional table –> semi-gloss
- What level of glossiness do you want? This will determine whether or not you need “cabinet paint.”
- Mirror-like finish–> high gloss
- Glossy finish –> semi-gloss
- What type of shape is your piece of furniture in?
- Perfect or really good–> you can use high gloss
- Not so perfect –> semi-gloss is more forgiving
SEE MORE EXAMPLES BELOW AND MY FREE E-BOOK
**PRO TIP: High gloss finish tends to draw your eye to any imperfections and will show wear more easily. Another good thing to remember is that the darker the paint, the more glaring the mistakes.
HOW TO PAINT FURNITURE EXAMPLES…MY PAST WORK
Before and After Vintage Dresser – high gloss cabinet paint
I used Benjamin Moore Advance Cabinet paint for the Vintage Table and the vintage dresser. I chose cabinet paint because of the expected heavy use both objects would get. However, I really wanted a mirror like finish on the tabletops which were in impeccable shape, so I compromised: cabinet paint in high gloss.
Vintage Table Before & After– high gloss cabinet paint
Upholstered Bench DIY with spraypaint
DIY Upholstered Rocking Chair– spraypaint
Pretty good for under $10 project, right? Seeing as this is how it began?
IF YOU LIKED THIS HOW TO PAINT FURNITURE GUIDE, THEN YOU’LL LOVE THESE POSTS:
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