Monday, January 31, 2011

How to Paint Furniture: A Tutorial

Good morning!
I hope everyone had a great weekend. We had a lot of fun with family this weekend and continue to be amazed at just how close we are to home.

Last week I tackled another painting project. I promised I would post a tutorial on how to paint furniture the correct way and also how to do it the quick and easy way.

When I first painted this table it was pre-blog and we had just moved to Florida and I had purchased the pedestal table off of Craigslist for around $40 with 2 leaves. It started out an ugly oak color with several scratches. The man I bought it from said it had been their family dining room table through several children. How awesome to bring a well loved table back to life!

The "Correct" Way to Paint Furniture
this is all my opinion and what I think works guarantees ;)

1. Sand table to rough up the current paint or finish. I used an electric sander and spent a solid 20-30 min covering all the edges of the table until it felt rough to the touch.

2. Clean the table to remove all the dust from sanding. This can take awhile to get all the mess you just created. I wiped and wiped probably 3-4 times over the whole table to ensure I wouldn't be locking in any dust while painting.

3. Once the table has dried I applied a primer.....any old primer will work (skip this step if you bought paint with primer)

4. Paint the table. This may sound like the no brainer step but it is important to minimize brush strokes and constantly be watching for drips. I often went back over with a roller to smooth out any brush strokes and I definitely used a roller on the table top. Apply a second coat if necessary.

5. I let the table dry overnight and applied a coat of polyurethane in the morning to the whole table as a protectant. I have never used a roller with polyurethane but next time I might try it because I can see a few brush strokes in the gloss.

This is how I prepared and painted the table the first time taking it from oak to a beachy blue. I also distressed the table after about a week or so. The coat held up for the 2 years we lived in Florida and I got several compliments of people thinking I purchased the table in the blue color.

This time around I didn't have the patience or the warm weather to sand the table nor apply several coats of paint and primer.

How to Quickly and Effectively Paint Furniture


1. Clean the furniture well making sure to remove all debris and dust

Almost finished

2. I used a paint and primer in one and jump right into painting. I only needed 1 coat of paint on a majority of the table. I did go back and do a second coat on the table top just to ensure it was covered completely.

Waiting for the paint to dry

3. Once the paint has dried and you are happy with the coverage apply a coat or two of polyurethane.

Not only does polyurethane protect the furniture from scratches and wear it adds a shine


Pregnant ladies must paint with a mask on :)
As you can see the quick and easy is the way to go in my book if the furniture has smooth surfaces. Because I had already sanded and painted this piece I felt confident in using the quick method to paint this table. I don't regret it one bit!

Have you painted any furniture lately? Send me pics and I would love to feature you!



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