Tips on How to Paint Wooden Furniture

Today's article contains some tips on how to paint wooden furniture in a professional way. If you're looking for a new look on your wooden furniture or would like to recycle old furniture, this article is for you!
Tips on How to Paint Wooden Furniture

Last update: 21 March, 2021

It’s easy to paint wooden furniture and you just have to take into account some precise indications. This is a great way to remodel your cabinets.

Wood is such a valuable material and it’s present in most homes in one form or another. In fact, it’s so versatile and durable there are infinite possibilities for recycling and reconditioning it. Therefore, you can have different styles in the same piece over a long period of time without having to invest in new furniture.

Today’s article contains some tips on how to revamp your furniture.

Characteristics and advantages of wooden furniture

Wooden furniture has many advantages, some of which are:

  • It’s a classic that never goes out of style regardless of the latest trends.
  • Wooden furniture is easy to clean and easy to repair and restore.
  • It’s a highly durable product you can leave behind as an heirloom and last many generations.

How to paint wooden furniture

Painting wooden furniture is simple but there are some things you must take into account. The most important thing about both options below is you must carefully follow every step.

Also, use the materials we suggest because you can’t use all stains or paints on wood. That said, let’s move on to the first option.

Furniture made of wood palettes.
Wood admits recycling elegantly, marking a style in homes or places in which this modality is chosen.

Paint wooden furniture in bright colors

  • For this alternative, the first thing you’re going to do is to sand the entire surface. This step is essential and the basis for the final work to look professional.
  • Eliminate any varnish, dirt, grease, and others with the sandpaper. You must do so in the direction of the grain of the wood.
  • When there are no longer any traces of paint or varnish, you’ll have to wipe it with a rag to remove the dust that’s been hanging around. This is because the paint won’t adhere to it if you don’t properly remove it.
  • Now it’s time to apply the primer. This is a type of coating, similar to paint, that you’re to apply on the wood before you start coating it with the final color of your choice.
  • Allow it to dry a few hours and then coat it with the final paint. You might have to apply more than one coat, so let it dry between each one of them.
  • Finally, apply a coat of colorless varnish (matte or glossy) to protect the paint for it to last longer.

As for extra materials, you’ll need a brush for the corners and grooves and a roller (foam or wool). The sizes and materials will vary depending on the dimensions of the furniture and what you’re most comfortable working with.

Restoring a piece of furniture with varnish

  • The second option requires you to work with varnishes to remodel a wooden piece of furniture. It can be colorless or have some tonality. The final choice will depend on the condition of the base wood.
  • The first thing you’re going to do is remove the stains from the wood using products specifically designed for that purpose. Then, you’re going to sand the surface with medium-grit sandpaper to remove any remains of the previous varnish and other imperfections. Fine steel wool should be your last step to make it really smooth.
  • Next, you’ll apply a stain and the wood will absorb it. It comes in the form of oil or spray.
  • Sand it further after it dries, only with a finer grit this time, it’ll help the next coat of paint set better. Then, clean off the dust with a rag.
  • Now it’s time for the main stain. The first coat should be thinly diluted, while the second is a little thicker. It’s important to let dry for at least 24 hours between coats.

General tips to keep in mind when painting wood furniture

Here are some tips that are important when starting the revamp your wooden furniture. There are times when you’ll want to imitate a design you’ve seen elsewhere, but it isn’t always possible to do it with what you have at home.

The elements

Make sure the paint you choose is suitable for what you want to do. Read the labels and the manufacturer’s instructions in detail before you purchase it and especially before applying it.

For example, if you want to restore outdoor furniture, the varnish must be sun and water-resistant. The most ideal one for wicker is spray as it can reach the nooks and crannies.

The variety of brushes and rollers can be overwhelming so the most important thing to keep in mind here is the actual piece of furniture you want to paint.

Rollers are best for large, smooth surfaces, as brushes can leave marks and bristles. As for the moldings, angles, and corners, we suggest you switch a brush.

Assembled or unassembled?

That’s the million-dollar question! Again, it’ll depend on the type of furniture. Disassemble it if it’s easy to do so, we recommend it to be able to get to every corner and to ensure proper protection from the elements.

However, just take off any removable parts such as handles, drawers, and shelves to at least facilitate the task of sanding and painting if you cannot disassemble it entirely.

A person removing a hinge.
Disassemble the piece of furniture if you can to be able to paint every nook and cranny.

Is priming necessary?

Yes, because it’ll save you time and paint. You may not know it but primed wood is easier to paint and the finish will be more even.

Which do I paint first and how?

You’re going to paint from the inside out. Begin with a brush and do the moldings and corners and then move on to the larger ones with a roller.

The direction must follow the grain of the wood. Also, don’t overload the brush to keep the paint from dripping.

It’s quite gratifying to paint wooden furniture

There are two important moments when you paint your furniture: the beginning and the end. Make sure you prep the surface well before painting and don’t try to rush it.

A clean surface free of impurities and dirt will ensure paint adhesion. Also, fill any holes or imperfections with wood putty — choose the most similar tone to your piece of furniture.

Finally, upscale furniture is all about the finish so either varnish it, apply crackling or use some other technique to give it a distressed look. Meanwhile, your options regarding finishes are endless!

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