Top 7 Furniture Painting Tips

By on February 15, 2014
Furniture Painting Tips

Have you been looking over the kid’s dressers or your favorite bookshelves and thinking that they have seen better days. That poor piece of furniture has suited the family well for years but now it seems it may be time to say goodbye. Don’t despair; what it really needs is a simple makeover. You know the kind you watch others do so easily on television but thought you could never do. Well of course you can and we’re going to help.

Listed here are seven furniture painting tips that will make you look like a pro. You know you can do it, so let’s get started.

Prep the Furniture

The first step before even opening the paint can is to prep the piece of furniture. Start by removing any hardware such as knobs, drawer openers, and decorative accents. Wash with soap and warm water to remove any residue and then allow it to dry thoroughly.

Then using fine sandpaper such as 220-grit, sand all surfaces of the furniture to remove any rough spots and prep the piece so that the new paint will adhere sufficiently. Lastly, wipe the sanded surface with a light cloth to remove left-over sanding dust. Using a hand-held orbital sander such as the DEWALT D26451K can make quick work of the large areas saving you time to spend on those more detailed spots.

Consider Using a Primer

If the dresser is well worn it is wise to coat the surface first with a primer. Be sure to use the same type primer as the type of paint. For example, if using an oil-based paint use an oil-based primer, when using a latex paint use a latex primer. It is possible to use an oil-based primer with a latex paint but keep in mind that the oil-based primer will have a fairly strong aroma.

*Bonus Tip: When using an oil-based primer add a tablespoon of vanilla extract and mix well. The vanilla will cut down the odor and actually add a pleasant aroma to the room.

Choosing the Paint

Latex paint is an ideal paint for children’s furniture such as a dresser because minor messes can be easily cleaned. Latex paint is available in a number of sheens which refers to how the paint looks when dry. For example, a gloss or semi-gloss paint reflects light and has a somewhat bright appearance whereas a satin or egg-shell finish has a very nominal shine. Typically a satin or egg shell finish is preferred for a child’s dresser.

Use Risers

The feet or decorative legs are often the most difficult area of the piece of furniture to paint, so a great tip is to lift them off the floor. You can do this by placing simple blocks of wood that are large enough to stabilize the dresser under each leg. Often a 4” x 4” or 6” x 6” wood block will suffice. This will also help to keep paint off the floor and to raise the dresser to a better height for painting.

Start at the Top

It may seem silly to note that it is a good idea to always start the furniture painting at the top as naturally gravity will cause the paint drops to fall down. But by starting at the top you can smooth out any small paint runs or drips before the paint has a chance to dry.

Paint in One Direction

Always remember to paint in one direction and with one smooth action whether using a roller or paintbrush. This will give an even appearance to the finish and make you look like a pro.

*Bonus Tip: Don’t skimp on the quality of your paintbrush, a poor quality paintbrush will leave an overall rough finish with a few lingering brush hairs. High-quality brushes such as the Wooster Brush Q3211-2 will last for years when properly cleaned and stored.

Don’t Be In a Hurry

Patience is truly a virtue when it comes to furniture painting especially if multiple coats are needed and if the dresser has an intricate design. Allow roughly 24 hours in between coats to ensure they are thoroughly dry and take your time when working in small spaces to give them a smooth uniform appearance.

Anyone even you can make a worn piece of furniture like your child’s dresser look brand spanking new by following these seven furniture painting tips. Just remember to start with good quality paint and supplies and then be patient. Be willing to give the project a try, who knows you may just discover a new hobby.

About Misty Spears

I absolutely love all things DIY, especially when it comes to decorating my own home. I’m a thrift store junkie and my head just explodes with ideas to repurpose old junk into something practical and beautiful when I come across that perfect treasure. I’m a wood furniture rebel and try to paint every surface I can to bring color into my life. My life revolves around my family and enjoying every moment that life serves up to me. You can connect with me on Twitter @diyhomeinterior, Instagram @mistyspears and see my pins on Pinterest for a sneak peak into all the DIY projects I am working on and crazy life happenings.

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