How to Paint Furniture: Essential Tips

Transform the look of a chair, table, or dresser with these DIY tips on how to paint furniture.
Have a thrift store that needs to be revamped, a family heirloom that begs to be restored, or an old dresser that is ready for an update? Painting is a surprisingly quick and easy way to create custom decorative furniture, and you can easily do it yourself.

Here's how to make unfinished or past-its-prime furniture look like new again!

1. Choose the right primer, paint, and finish

When planning a DIY furniture painting project, selecting the color is the fun part. Here are some additional things to consider.

2. Primer

Primer is a base coat that prepares a surface for painting. Seals, blocks stains and provides a uniform base for painting. It also increases the durability and appearance of the painted surface.

There are different primers formulated specifically for wooden, plastic, metal or ceramic surfaces. Check the label or ask your home care professional for advice on which primer is right for your specific project.

3. Paint

The ink should be chosen based on:

  • Type of material to be painted
  • Surface condition: is it prepainted or varnished?
  • Surface Preparation. Bare wood? Prepared?

4. Optional top coat

As the owner of a hand-painted children's furniture business for over 15 years, I have learned from experience that there are some situations in which it is acceptable to forego a protective coating: 1. When painting furniture with a glossy hard enamel finish oil-based.

2. When a piece of furniture is strictly ornamental and not functional.

To maintain the beauty of your painted furniture over time, especially with high-use furniture such as a kitchen table or stool, adding a protective finish such as Varathane Ultimate Polyurethane (water-based) or Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane ( oil-based) is one more step worth taking.

5. Gather tools and supplies

Before you begin, gather all the tools, materials, and supplies you need to avoid a trip to the hardware store mid-project.

The basics:

  • Brush and/or roller and roller cap;
  • Painter's tape;
  • Paint can opener;
  • Hammer to close the lid of the paint can,
  • Throw away clothes;
  • Sandpaper or electric sander;
  • Degreaser (trisodium phosphate or TSP);
  • Cloth/cling cloth;
  • Screwdriver.

6. Remove Hardware

Remove all handles, handles, drawers, and shelves. Remove the ports or covers. Make sure to put all the screws and accessories together in a container in a safe place.

7. Mask unpainted areas

If there are any areas of the furniture that you do not want to paint, such as hinges, drawer guides, or locks, cover them with masking tape.

8. Cover your desk

Protect the floor or table with a cloth or plastic cloth. Canvas cloths absorb spills, splashes, and mishaps, saving a lot of work when cleaning.

9. Preparation and sand

If your piece has a lot of dirt build-up (chair backs are notorious for this), clean it with a degreasing agent like TSP. You can find it at most hardware stores, home centers, or online. Make sure to let the surface dry before moving on to the sanding stage.

For unfinished, wooden, or previously painted furniture that is in relatively good condition, sanding to scratch the surface so that the paint sticks is usually sufficient. Note: Highly varnished furniture should probably be removed.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about How to Paint Furniture: A Beginner's Guide

Source: Erin Spain

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