Doing DIY furniture painting project? Here are a few tips and tidbits that will help you as you refresh your furniture with a coat of paint. Trust us, these can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.
Decide Your Finish Ahead of Time
Glossy? Distressed? Subtle matte? Semi-gloss? These aren’t just marketing terms, they’re important decisions you need to make about how your furniture will look. If you want something more distressed or aged, go for a matte finished paint and then distress it with sandpaper. For a more traditional finish, opt for eggshell. If you use paint any glossier than that, be sure you’re using rollers, not brushes, as high gloss paint shows brush marks.
Find out how to choose the right paint finish here.
Sand and Fill In Any Imperfections
With furniture painting, preparing the surface is critical. Go over your piece with a sanding block, and use spackle on any chips and dings. Sanding is very important if you’re painting over a shiny surface because you need to give your new paint something to adhere to. That said, if your piece is untreated wood or if you like a distressed look, you can skip the sanding.
Priming isn’t necessary for every painting project, but here are some project types that you should use a primer on:
- · Furniture destined for humid rooms (like bathrooms)
- · Painting over a very dark color
- · Laminate furniture
- Rusted furniture
Each of these types of pieces requires a specific type of primer, so do your research ahead of time to get a primer that does what you need it to. As a rule of thumb, remember that you can use latex paint over an oil-based primer, but you can’t paint oil-based paint over a latex primer.
Get the right primer for your project here.
Be Prepared to Paint a Few Layers
Furniture, like walls, usually requires more than one layer of paint. To get an even finish and to eliminate brush strokes, plan on painting two or more layers (not including the primer). This will give good color payoff and ensure that your paint can handle a few digs and scratches without exposing the furniture underneath. Small rollers work the best for even color distribution, and if you need to even out the paint, small sponges can really help! Of course, always ventilate the room you’re painting in.
Don’t Forget Finishes
For surfaces that will take a lot of impact and traffic, such as tabletops or chairs, you’ll want to apply a finisher to make the color last a long time. For stains, a wipe-on polyurethane works well, or try a polycrylic sealants for paint. Of course, if you like a distressed look, then sealant may not even be necessary.
Let It Dry
Give the paint plenty of time to dry and cure between layers. Latex paint can take up to thirty days to fully dry, so be extra careful with freshly painted pieces the first few weeks you have them in your house. If you can, don’t put it in your space at all until the paint is fully dry.
Once it’s dry, your piece is done and you’re free to enjoy its new look!