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How to paint wooden furniture?

Asha Bogenfuerst Asha Bogenfuerst
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It is not necessary to spend large sums of money every time you want to make changes in the home, or to buy brand new furniture. Sometimes just changing the position of some furniture and accessories can add a whole new dimension to your home. One of the most enjoyable and guaranteed ways of doing this is to change the color of existing furniture by painting it, especially wooden furniture. If you follow the methods we describe below, the result can bring a brand new color to your furniture and create a fresh atmosphere in your home. 

In this article, we will try to explain the tricky points of wood furniture painting step by step and offer solutions for you on how to paint wooden furniture.

Preparing the furniture before painting

 Dining room by Frigerio Paolo & C.
Frigerio Paolo & C.

TETRIX table and bench

Frigerio Paolo & C.

There are some basic operations you need to do after you decide to paint your furniture. If you do this indoors, you can start by covering the room with nylon or newspaper so that it does not get stained by paint. You should then wipe the furniture with a cloth to remove any dust and prepare it for sanding. 

Is it necessary to sandpaper?

Sanding wood furniture is not a requirement, but it is highly recommended if you want to get the best result. For example, if the surface of your furniture is already very smooth, you can start painting without sanding. On the other hand, if you are working on a previously painted surface, without sandpaper, your work will be very difficult. In addition, if there is roughness, holes or paint spills on the surface of the furniture, sanding becomes an obligation. It is also recommended that you apply a coat of primer in such cases. Okay, we accept that it's a laborious job, but if you want to do it once properly instead of twice, you have to put up with this effort to not regret it later.

How to apply sandpaper?

For furniture that has not been painted before, you can easily take care of it with a fine sandpaper. In polished furniture the job gets a bit more difficult and you may first need thin, then thick sandpaper. Note that the sanding number needs to be reduced depending on the thickness of the polishing pad. It is important to remember that you need to be careful not to use excessive force when using sandpaper, especially if it is just to brighten the surface of the surface so the paint shows nicely on the surface. In the same way, it is necessary to perform double sanding in furniture which has been previously painted. 

Is it necessary to apply a primer?

  by Annie Sloan
Annie Sloan

Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan www.anniesloan.com

Annie Sloan

Of course not, but to get a better result, an application of primer is strongly recommend, especially if you have to get rid of the existing paint on the furniture, so that the new paint does not peel off easily. Remember, however, that once you apply the primer you will need a fine sandpaper again.

Paint stage

 Kitchen by Annie Sloan
Annie Sloan

Cabinet painted in Chalk Paint decorative paint by Annie Sloan

Annie Sloan

Now comes the most enjoyable part of the job: painting. It is up to you whether you will use water-based acrylic paints or oil paints for your wooden furniture. Both types of paint can be applied to wood. However, do not forget that some wall paints are not suitable for wood, so make sure you read through the directions about which surfaces are suitable for the paint before you buy it. 

You can use both brush and roller as a painting tool. The paint should be thinned and stirred carefully first. An attempt with very thick or overly liquefied paint may fail, so it is very important to get the consistency right. Ideally you should apply paint twice, but wait for it to dry completely before applying the second coat. 

Talk about your creativity

In this article we tried to answer the question of how wooden furniture is painted. However, in terms of furniture painting, keep in mind that it is just a simple color change. With a bit of creativity and a little talent, you can turn an outdated or stained furniture into a work of art that everyone will covetously look at, just like in this photo. 

If you're feeling ambitious, you can even try building your own furniture. For some tips on how to do this, you can refer to our article titled 'how to create upcycled furniture.'

Final stage: Varnish

It is not a necessity but we have come to the last stage after two layers of paint. Even if you do not need to put varnish on some paints, it still helps to protect the paint, but make sure you get the appropriate varnish for the paint color. It is better to choose a quality varnish to prevent yellowing that may occur later on. 

If you want to read up more on painting wooden furniture, you can refer to our article titled '8 tips on how to paint wooden furniture.'

Protection of wooden furniture

Finally, let's finish with a few ideas about how you can protect your wooden furniture. One of the first things to be aware of is to avoid direct sunlight that can ruin wood lacquer. In the same way, moist environments can damage wood and cause it to swell. This also breaks the shape of the furniture and shortens the life span. 

We hope the tips here have been helpful. For more DIY ideas, you can have a look at our article titled '7 ideas to paint your furniture with a lacquer finish.'

What else would you like to know about painting furniture? Please share with us in the comments section below. 
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