Top 10 DIY Painting Furniture Tips

painted furnitureContributed by Info Guru Heather Vecchioni

One of the most rewarding do-it-yourself projects is painting furniture to repurpose, re-cycle, reclaim discarded items.

Painting furniture yourself instead of paying someone else to do it, or even buying new furniture, is not only fun, but can save you quite a bit of money, as well. Before you jump in, however, it’s helpful to adhere to a few DIY painting furniture tips, and buy the right supplies, from sanders to sealers. They’ll make your finished product look better and allow you to enjoy the process more.

10. Sanding

sanding furniture

Sanding gets rid of old paint and creates a nice, smooth surface for new paint to sit against. Sanding certain areas of your furniture can be a bit tricky, however. For instance, curvy legs or arms on a chair or table can be quite difficult to sand. Save yourself the frustration by using foam pads – they can get into those curves and remove the paint. Additionally, use a high-quality detail sander on the top of the furniture, or any spots that are flat. Doing so gets the job done fast. Just make sure you’re wearing a face mask for protection.

9. Priming


Priming creates a nice base for new paint to latch onto. Additionally, it blocks out any stains, marks or unsightly features on the furniture. Unless you prime, you run the risk of having these unattractive marks show through your new paint. Choose primer that is the same color of your paint for best results.

8. Oil vs. Latex Primer

oil and latex

The type of primer you use makes a big difference in the final outcome of your project. You have to use the right primer for the type of paint you’re using or else the results will come out less than favorable. For instance, oil-based paints and primers should be used together. However, you can use an oil-based primer with latex paint and it will come out fine. Although oil-based paints and primers do provide great protection and stain-blockage, they have a strong odor. Use latex if you think the odor will bother you.

7. Elevate


Painting the feet of a piece of furniture is a little tricky. If the furniture is sitting directly on the floor, there’s a good chance you’ll paint the floor more than you will the piece of furniture. Solve this common problem by placing the feet on wooden blocks. They’ll allow you to get more of a surface area — which means more painting on the furniture — than sitting on the floor would.

6. Work From the Top On Down

top on down

When you finally get around to priming or painting, it may be tempting to work from the bottom up. However, resist this temptation, as it may leave you with less than perfect results. Paint is known to drip, and when you start at the top and work your way down, you are able to fix the drips. But when you start at the bottom, you likely won’t see these drips until they are dry and it is too late.

5. Finish


Before you decided on the type of finish your paint has, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself in to. For instance, gloss finishes leave a very sheen look to your paint. Matte, on the other hand, has no shine or smoothness to it at all. So it makes sense to know exactly what finish you’ll be left with before applying the paint. You’ll also need to use primer with the same finish as your paint.

4. Drying Time Factor

drying time

So it’s rainy outside and you decided to go ahead and get this project done. That’s great, as long as you don’t mind waiting a little longer for the paint to dry. The humidity and moisture in the air can cause the paint to dry slower than it would on a dry day.

3. Remove That Dust

remove the dust

Sanding causes lots and lots of dust to rear its ugly head. Not only is it all over you, but it’s also all over the piece of furniture, too. Before you even think about priming, you’ll need to get rid of that dust, or it will make your priming job a disaster. Remove the dust by going over the surface with a damp rag or a tack cloth. Move in one direction and it will get rid of that mess in a hurry.

2. Polyurethane Practice


Polyurethane adds a sheen to your furniture and also offers a bit of protection to the paint. Applying this clear substance is simple and definitely worth the effort. Use a high quality paint brush to apply in the same direction as the grain. Allow the polyurethane to completely dry before you apply another layer.

1. Take Your Time

take your time

You may be in a hurry to get the job done, but you’ll likely end up with a messy project if you attempt to speed things up. Taking your time and being patient between paint, primer and polyurethane layers will give you the best results possible. Additionally, trying to cut corners in what you are doing usually just ends up with a sloppy and unflattering end result.

Although it’s not a guarantee you’ll end up with a perfect project, following these diy painting furniture tips increases your chances of loving the end result.

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