Patios by Beth Marquez Interiores

​How to paint your unfinished wooden furniture

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Looking to treat your room to a fresh, new look, but don’t have the budget for new furniture pieces? You know you can just update what you’ve got with a fresh coat of paint, right? That is, if your room consists mostly out of wooden tables, chairs, shelves, etc. 

Here’s how…

What you will need

First of all, make sure you have everything before you start painting:  

• drop cloth 

• 220-grit sandpaper or flexible foam sanding sponge 

• primer 

• latex paint 

• roller frame and rollers 

• paintbrushes 

• foam paintbrushes.

Step 1: Prepping

If painting inside, you may want to protect your floor (and walls and furnishings) by removing any knobs, pulls or hardware from those furniture pieces and laying down a drop cloth (old newspapers work just as well).

Step 2: Sanding

Next up, sand your furniture (medium-grit sandpaper is ideal) and get all of the glossy finish off so that the upcoming paint will have a good surface to “grab” onto. 

Note that if you are painting as opposed to staining, you don’t need to strip the finish or sand it down to the bare wood. Simply removing the glossy finish is good enough. If the surface is already dull, you can skip this step.

Step 3: Dusting and priming

rustic Dining room by Cabana Arquitetos
Cabana Arquitetos

Vista para o vale da sala de jantar

Cabana Arquitetos

You need to dust properly after sanding to remove any residual grit. Then it’s onto priming those pieces by either rolling or painting. You can also use spray primer. Priming hides imperfections and provides a surface for the paint to adhere to. 

This should be left to dry for at least an hour.

Step 4: Sand again

With a fine-grit sandpaper this time, lightly sand your piece between every coat of paint, which will help you achieve a much more professional and even finish. 

And don’t skip the dusting afterwards!

Step 5: Paint

Now that your furniture is primed and dusted, the painting part may begin. Although it’s up to you what paint you wish to use, we recommend going with interior latex paint in a semi-gloss finish. Paint with a flat finish usually shows every fingerprint and flaw and is harder to clean. 

The glossier the finish, the easier it is to clean. Paint thin coats and remember to sand in-between each coat (about 2 – 3 coats in total).

Step 6: Protect

After giving your last coat of paint at least 24 hours to dry, you are ready to seal it. Sealing your furniture provides extra protection for your finish and also creates an easy-to-clean surface.  If you are using a white or very light colour of paint, don’t opt for polyurethane to seal your finish, as it can yellow over time (on any other paint colour, it should be fine).

And you’re done!

After finishing with the sealing part of the project, leave those pieces alone for about two days before touching them again or adding back the hardware, otherwise you might damage all the hard work that’s been completed up until now.

Happy painting! 

This is the perfect time to have a look at: Stop! 14 mistakes you're making when painting the walls.

Planning on painting your furniture pieces?
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