Painted Furniture

Dining Room Set

Everyone likes painted furniture!…  That is the premise from which I devise this writing.  What might be debatable is the color a piece of furniture is painted, or the style in which it is painted, nevertheless, one is hard-pressed to deny that an old piece of furniture can be livened and freshened up with a coat of paint.


So painted furniture not only enhances a room with its update, but offers the homeowner a way to save money.  Why buy a new piece of furniture if, for a small fraction of the cost, you can paint a second-hand piece?  I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking you personally might not want the work of painting a piece of furniture, but if you know how easy it is, you might be convinced to do the job yourself.  If not, you can have someone else paint it for you.  I know there are people who do this because I have a friend who paints furniture for others and at a reasonable cost. If you are interested, visit her page at:

Black Cabinet

One advantage of painted furniture is that you can go wild with your color choices and not be out of line.  A painted piece begs to be seen, so you don’t have to shy away from bold color here.  This might be your only opportunity to add such drama in a room and get away with it.  This is my take on it.  Yes, I could paint that dresser white and it will look amazing, or that buffet light grey, and be perfectly happy with it.  But, If I choose to, I have the option of going bold and making a statement with my piece, treating it as artwork.  And if I tire of its boldness a couple years down the road, I can repaint it a more neutral color or change to another bold color to co-ordinate with a change in décor.

blue dresser

So how do we begin?  Purchase a good quality paint in the color of your choice.  Although oil-based paint has been the go-to in the past, today’s latex paints work fine, but warrant the need of a light sanding with medium and then fine grit sandpaper, and a good undercoat of primer.  Choose from a matte or semi-gloss finish, or go with gloss for a harder finish and a shinier look.

white dresser

Once your wood is prepared, clean dust away and begin to paint.  Start with a coat of primer.  I use an angled brush to paint into corners, and a foam roller for flat surfaces to get an even finish with no brush strokes showing.  If you prefer to see brush strokes, and some do, cover all surfaces with a brush being careful to brush with the grain.  When the primer is dry, cover with a first coat of paint.  In my experience with latex paint, at least two to three thin finish coats are necessary for proper coverage, allowing each to dry fully before applying the next as well as lightly sanding with fine grit between coats for a smooth finish.

Pink Dresser

To go for a well-worn cottage chic vibe, turn your latex paint into chalk paint by adding plaster of Paris ( 2 parts paint to 5 tbsp. plaster of Paris to 3 tbsp. water) and forgo prepping with sanding and priming.  Add patena to a newly painted piece of furniture by lightly sanding around edges of drawer fronts and table tops to let the original stained wood show through.

An optional step to take once the last coat of a smoothly finished painted surface has thoroughly dried, but necessary if using chalk paint and distressing, is to thinly apply a couple coats of water-based polyacrylic clear gloss finish.  This will offer more durability and enhance the sheen.  Look for a product that guarantees not to yellow or crack over time.


With any piece of furniture you paint, it is important to continually check corners where excess paint can get caught and then dribble down to ruin your work.  Go over them with a dry brush to catch any drips and smooth them away.  If you are working on a dresser or other cabinet with hardware, remove hardware prior to painting.  To end up with a clean finish line around drawer fronts, tape them off prior to painting, and never paint sliders on which drawers need to run or your drawers will not slide properly.

Red Mirror

If painting a chair with a removable upholstered seat, remove the seat prior to painting and replace once your chair is finished.

Once your project is done, you will be anxious to move it into place and start using it.  A word of caution, do not be too anxious.  It takes time for all the finishes to cure.  Give yourself three to five days before putting your piece to work for you to prevent scrapes and dents as temperature, humidity, and paint thickness all affect drying time.

You are not limited by what furniture you can paint to end up with a masterpiece as long as it is wood,in good condition, and properly prepped and finished. Having said that, there are primers and paints on the market that let you paint over melamine and plastic surfaces as well as long as you follow additional steps in the process. So pick up your paint brush and tackle a chair, dresser, table, bench, console, mirror frame, picture frame, or whatever else your heart desires. Add a pop of vibrant color, or blend your piece into its surroundings. The sky is the limit!


~ by shirleyliseblogspot on April 10, 2013.

2 Responses to “Painted Furniture”

  1. Reblogged this on Guest Folding Bed | Elitedecore Online Furniture shop.

  2. Reblogged this on cottage life.

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