20 Tips for Your Next Furniture Painting Project

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In our previous post we looked at the problem of old furniture. Since it's a problem when your old furniture really doesn't work any longer with your design aspirations. Yes, it's sturdy, robust and it fits in your sitting room. But does the brown colour furniture really work with the new Farrow and Ball Blackened on the walls?

Your next furniture painting project

Top Tips for Your Furniture Painting Project

One solution is to buy new furniture to replace. However, in our last post we noted the costs and complexities of that approach. So, our preferred solution is to paint your furniture to suit your new needs.

Nearly there with your next furniture painting project

Why Paint?

Old furniture, typically strong and durable is typically brown. Sometimes that brown look is also beginning to show its age.

But what can you do? Well, you can paint your old furniture and solve your furniture problem.

Because when you paint your furniture you keep everything you really love about the size, shape and sturdiness of your furniture.

But you can also change everything you don't really like. The colour, shade or finish, perhaps. Since you can adapt all of these to your own needs. Doesn't that sound like a solution?

When you're ready to start your first furniture painting project, here are 20 top tips to speed up the quality process.

Furniture Painting Project Tips

1) Remove the Metalwork

You'll get a better result with your painted furniture when you remove all the metal door hinges, handles, knobs and escutcheons. If any hinges are near impossible to remove safely, the you'll need masking tape.

Remove metalwork

2) Remove Wax

Paint doesn't sit on top of wax, so you'll need to remove any wax on your old furniture with a proprietary fluid, white spirits or sugar soap. We've tried them all and it's mostly hard work.

3) Sand the Wood

Aim to sand everything that's going to be painted and pay special attention to snug doors or tight drawers. That's because these will only become snugger and tighter with several coats of paint. 

4) Clean up

Vacuum and remove all the dust with tack cloths or white spirits.

Sand your furniture painting project

5) Fill Holes

Fill any holes in your old furniture and seal cracks with a decorator's caulk. If you don''t, then you'll soon discover that the cracks and crevices of brown furniture really are very prominent as soon as you paint your old furniture.

6) Mask Edges

At this stage you can mask up the edges of drawers and those bits that you don't want to paint. 

7) Apply Knotting Solution

If you can see wood knots in relatively new furniture, especially pine-built, then you'll need to cover them. Use a proprietary knotting solution and apply with a brush.

8) Apply Primer

You'll want to anchor down everything with a good wood primer from Dulux, or Johnstone's perhaps. Water-based primers are quick and easy to work with.

9) Apply an Undercoat

A water-based undercoat helps you to build up the base for your colour choice. You can choose a white, pale grey or dark grey undercoat so you achieve the best effect and economy with your top coats.

Undercoat your furniture project

10) Paint Your Top Coat

You'll probably need a minimum of two coats of your selected colour for your painted furniture project. 

11) Fine Sanding

Try to use some fine sand paper over any surfaces that seem rough after painting. 

12) A Final Coat

Finish off your project with a final top coat. 

Painting project progress

13)  Test the Doors and Drawers

You'll do well to test that all the doors and drawers from your piece of furniture still fit.

14) Sand Down any Doors and Drawer Edges

Where they don't fit, then some sanding should do the trick. You should get away with a hand sand but in an extreme case then you'll need a sander.

15) Remove the Masking Tape

You're closing in now and it's time to remove the masking tape, check the edges and make good where needed with a fine brush. 

16) Re-fit the Metalwork

Re-fit the door hinges, metal handles and knobs with new Phillips or pozidrive screws. 

Painted furniture project

17) Varnish Your Furniture Project

If the top surface of your furniture needs to be varnished, then now's the time to apply the varnish or polyurethane. We prefer a non-yellowing varnish supplied by either the Dulux decorators centres, Brewers or Johnstones.

Varnish your painting project

18) Fine Tuning

You're nearly there and some fine tuning should do the trick. Use very fine sandpaper and/ or a blade to remove any imperfections and then cover with a fine brush. 

19) Leave to Harden

It's a good idea to leave your furniture project for a good 24-hour period before you move it. If you've applied solvent-based paints or if it's cold then you should extend this period.

20) Move Your Furniture

You've done it. Now's the time to move your furniture back into position and replace everything inside cupboards and drawers. 

The Ultimate Guide to Painting Your Own Furniture

Quick and easy painting!

Ultimate furniture painting guide

Let's Get In Touch

Contact Details

Please don't hesitate to get in touch for shabby chic and furniture painting advice.

Phone Number

07766 225329

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About the Author Andrew

I'm the main shabby chic furniture painter at Surrey Heath-based business Shabby Chic Surrey. I can paint a whole range of furniture with a variety of paints and finishes.

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