Painting Furniture for beginners. Do you have a piece of furniture that has seen its better days but you are not ready to get rid of it? Paint is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to update a piece! So I want to share my process that I follow when preparing and painting furniture.
- Cleaning Solution
- Rag or lint free cloth
- Bucket/ Water
- Sandpaper (80-120 grit)
- Primer (if needed)
- Sealant (If Needed)
Clean the piece of furniture. Scrub off the dirt, grime and dust. I don’t like to waste my sandpaper on dirt and grime and usually give it a quick wipe down before sanding.
Lightly Sand – I am not going to lie, I don’t always complete this step myself. Depending on the type of paint I am using and how well I want the coverage depends on if I take the time to sand or not.
When I do sand, I use whatever we have! But, I personally like to use these sanding discs. I like them because I can use them on the random-orbital sander OR on a sanding disc to hand sand. I do not usually just use the sandpaper, because I find it hard to hold onto.
Are you wondering what number of sandpaper to use? I usually start with a lower number of sandpaper (it is grittier) and then move up in numbers to a smoother sandpaper. 80 is grittier than 320 which is a smoother finish.
Clean Again! I like to use a multipurpose cleaner with water and a lint-free rag. I use Mrs. Meyer’s Cleaner in my home, so that is what I use on my projects.
Priming. How do you know if you need to prime before painting? If your piece has a stain or is raw wood with a lot of knots in it, you should probably prime before painting. This will first help the paint to adhere better and second will prevent the knots or stain from bleeding through the paint. Especially if you are painting with a light color. I usually use Kilz Primer, mainly because again, that is what we have and can get locally.
Painting! Use long brush strokes for minimal amount of stroke marks. And thin to medium coats of paint will help it adhere the best. It is better to do 3 thin coats of paint versus 2 heavy coats of paint.
Also, the first coat of paint usually looks terrible. It is usually streaky and may not adhere the best to the piece of furniture. You need to allow the first coat to dry (don’t over brush it! It will just remove the paint that you put on) and then continue with second, allow to dry and continue with a third coat of paint.
Continue with the coats of paint until the piece is totally covered. Allow to dry fully (it usually tells you how long drying time is on the can of pain).
Sealant (If Needed!). When would I use a sealant on my furniture? If it is a highly used item, example: kitchen table, end table, chair or vanity in a bathroom then I would recommend using a sealant. I would definitely use one if repainting kitchen cabinets, but that is a much larger project that requires a lot more prep than what I am reviewing in this post.
What type of Sealant should I use? I prefer using a water-based polyacrylic. It is basically odor-free and has a much easier clean up process than using an oil-based sealant. The only time I have EVER used an oil-based sealant is when we sealed our hardwood floors. All of my projects I use water-based.
When using a water-based polyacrylic, use a good brush with thin coats to avoid pooling or dripping. This can cause yellowing when the sealant dries. And of course multiple coats to get the best coverage.
Allow to fully dry and cure before using!
Check out more pictures for the little home office that I am working on getting set up! See this Post here!
My Last Few Tips:
Painting furniture can be as easy or involved as you decide to make it. And sometimes putting in the extra work is worth your time in the long run. That being said, I too have taken short cuts, and have usually regretted those later.
Use a drop cloth, plastic bag, table cloth, anything to keep the paint off of your floors! It is not fun wiping paint droplets or scraping them off of your hardwood floors with a razor blade. I have been know to do this a time or two 😁
Other Furniture Painting:
See below to get my free painting tips and tricks! These are tips that I use every time I work on a painting project, BIG or small! Thank you for reading my beginner tips for painting.
If you want to check out my Shop Favorite’s Page – this has a list of products that I use or have in my house!
And check out my blog post on 5 MUST HAVES FOR DOING PROJECTS WITH KIDS!
Links for Today’s Post
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- Cleaning Solution – Mrs. Meyers All-Purpose Cleaner
- Microfiber Cloths
- Sanding Blocks – Multiple grits
- Multi-purpose paintbrush
- Round paintbrush (if you have a local place that sells Fusion Mineral Paint – this brush may be cheaper)
- Kilz Primer
- Pre-Made Chalk Paint – RUST-OLEUM
- Fusion Mineral Paint – Where to Buy Polycrylic Sealant
- The How to Make Chalk Paint Tutorial from My Vintage Porch