6 Simple Steps for Painting Your Furniture

It is easy to go and buy a piece of ready-made furniture in a store that you just unpack at home and use straight away. But, have you ever considered painting an old piece of furniture to make it look good as new and then reuse it? There is a special feeling of satisfaction involved in this kind of process, so if you are willing to give it a try, read our 6 steps for achieving a perfect result.


Sanding If your piece of furniture has a finish that needs sanding, it’s best to do this outside. The best time to sand your finish is in spring when the weather is warm and dry. Sanding will remove the unfinished area of the wood from the wood grain, giving you the opportunity to sand away rust, dirt, or anything else that may mar the finish. Use a metal sander to sand the area until it’s completely free of all dust and debris. Sanding is also important to give the finish a flat, even finish.

Finish Prep

If your piece of furniture has already been sanded and finished, you’ll need to clean it before painting. Use cleaners specifically designed for wood surfaces to clean your piece. Wipe down the finish with a clean wet cloth to remove any dust particles. If you have any decayed or damaged portions of the wood, sand away those first before beginning the cleanup.


The third step is painting. Make sure your color is applied evenly and coats should be checked for stains. You can apply a small quantity of paint at a time or paint in several passes, depending on the space available, so you can work in small circles and keep from smearing the area.

When the piece is ready, you can start working from the center outward. Begin by applying an undercoat to help seal the wood and make it easier to clean. Then apply the color in even passes with a fine-toothed sandpaper, taking care to sand in even layers. Finally, apply the topcoat and let it dry.

woman painting a vase

Wet Distressing

Once you’ve let the paint dry, you can move on to the finishing touches. One option is to use a wet distressing process. Wet distressing is much less intensive on your wood than dry brushing, which makes it a good choice if you are not a professional. With wet distressing, a solvent-based cleaner is applied to the wood and then a heavy, wet brush stroke is used to scrub it down. This process leaves a hard surface and can take a few days to dry, but the result is a dresser that will look like new.


If you don’t mind a bit of extra work but want a finished product that looks like a work of art, you may want to consider using a finishing wax. A finishing wax works just like painting except it contains natural oils that actually improve the color of your furniture. You simply apply the finishing wax to your piece after you paint. The finish will also protect your wood from cracking and premature aging. Although this type of finish wax costs more than paint, it is also a more long-lasting solution, making it a good investment.

So, what are you waiting for?

Whether you are making a bedroom dresser or a dining room table, these tips should get you started on your project. As you learn how to paint furniture, you can apply different finishes to your pieces so that each piece has a unique and individual look. Don’t forget to practice how to paint furniture with a small painting sample so that you don’t ruin your pieces during the actual project.