How to Paint Wood Furniture, Step-by-Step
The third coat’s the charm.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:31 AM
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In Back to Basics, we’re providing you with the straightforward step-by-step instructions to tackle all those household projects you’ve been wanting to try.
That wood table might have looked just right for your space when you picked it up, but maybe, after a few years, it’s feeling a bit drab. Or perhaps you snagged a cool bench off Craigslist, but it’s not quite meshing with your room the way you hoped it would. Never fear—you can easily upcycle your furniture with paint.
The process of painting wood furniture goes beyond simply running a paintbrush along its surface, but it’s still a relatively easy DIY. To make it even more beginner-friendly, it’s worth investing in a hand sander, which helps the job go far quicker than it would if you relied on sandpaper. Here, contributing editor Elaina Sullivan shares the step-by-step of how she revitalized a simple wood table with a few coats of satiny black paint.
What You Need
- Drop cloth or plastic tarp
- Clorox wipes or all-purpose cleaner
- Sandpaper/sanding sponge or hand sander
- Quart of paint with primer (like Benjamin Moore Aura in satin or semigloss)
- Paint trays
- Small roller brushes and handle
1. Place the piece of furniture on a clean work surface, such as a drop cloth or plastic tarp. 2. Clean it off with an all-purpose spray or Clorox wipe.
3. Sand all areas—top and bottom—that you want to paint. Use a hand sander for large, flat surfaces, and sandpaper or a sanding sponge for smaller or more detailed components. 4. Wipe or vacuum surfaces to clean off the sanding dust. 5. Flip the piece upside down.
6. Using an exterior grade paint with primer, apply paint to the underside and legs of the piece. Use a roller brush for large, flat surfaces and a brush for smaller sections. 7. Allow it to dry before applying the next coat. It will take about 30 minutes. 8. Apply one to two additional coats—most pieces require a total of two to three coats of paint.
9. Flip the piece of furniture upright. 10. Apply paint to the rest of it using the same method. Wait until the last coat is totally dry before styling and enjoying your newly rejuvenated table, chair, or other piece of furniture.
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