How to Paint Furniture: The Basics




This is the first part of an on-going series of how to paint furniture

Back when I was learning how to paint furniture, I went from zero to information overload while trying to research the topic. There are so many tips, tutorials and techniques on the Internet and in books about how to paint furniture that it will make your head spin.

Here’s the thing — what I needed back then was information on the very basics.  I needed to learn the essential steps of painting a piece of furniture, without experimenting with special paints, techniques and 20 different products. It is important to know how to properly prep, paint, and seal a piece before learning about all the extras.

Note: There are many different schools of thought when it comes to painting furniture and woodworking in general. This is simply the method I have found that works best for me and my clients.



  1. Drop Cloth
  2. Latex water-based paint
  3. 1 – 2 quality paint brushes
  4. Foam rollers
  5. Oil-based primer
  6. Medium & fine grit sandpaper
  7. Lint-free cloths
  8. Tack Cloths
You can find all this at your nearest home improvement store.


Clean – The very first thing you really need to do before tackling any project is to thoroughly clean your piece of furniture. I usually just use hot, soapy water and it works just fine.

Rough Sand – If your  piece of furniture has a glossy finish to it, you will need to sand it with 100 grit sandpaper until the surface is dulled. The easiest way to do this is with an orbit sander, but a normal sanding block will work as well.

Repair– If your piece has any holes, dings, chipped veneer  — or if you need to switch out old hardware, you’ll need to repair it will wood filler. Using a putty knife, simply fill in the imperfections and spread it out thinly until completely covered. Take fine sandpaper and sand it until it is smooth.

Sometimes I don’t repair the imperfections if I’m trying to create a piece that looks really worn. I think it brings character to a piece of furniture that you simply cannot replicate with paint.

Wipe Clean –  Clean off the surface with a lint-free rag, followed by a tack cloth to ensure every speck of dust is off your furniture. Sometimes I even vacuum the piece if I can’t get all the dust off.

Prime –
You will need to use an oil-based bonding primer for this step. This enables you to skip stripping your entire piece of furniture before painting. Apply two thin coats and allow enough time for it to dry in between. I usually wait 20 minutes. After priming, sand it down one last time with 220 grit sand paper and wipe off the excess dust.

Now, you’re ready to paint!



Dip your paint brush halfway into your paint, and wipe off its excess paint. Begin by painting the edges and grooves of the piece.

I usually use a foam roller for the large, flat sections of furniture (you can use your paint brush if desired). While using a brush, make sure you paint in long strokes, moving in one direction. Apply the paint thinly to avoid drips and uneven layers.

After your first layer is complete wait for it to dry for a good 4 -6 hours. Afterwards, sand the piece down thoroughly with fine sandpaper to smooth out any uneven areas.

Continue painting 1 – 2 more layers using the same process, allowing the proper amount of time to pass before beginning a new layer.


The last step in the process is to properly seal your piece. I use three different types of sealers (and again there are many different schools of thought on this).

Wax: I use paste wax by minwax often, because it creates a beautiful hand-rubbed finish.

Lately, I have also been using annie sloan clear wax, which is amazing. It is really easy to apply as well. Apply wax in a thin layer, allow it to dry, and then buff the piece to allow the shine to come through.


Wipe on Polyurethane: On pieces of furniture that will have things placed on it often, like kitchen tables, coffee tables, etc. I used a wipe on polyurethane on it. I never use this on white or light colored furniture, however, because it will yellow over time.


Polycrylic: If I want a gloss finish, or I have a light colored piece of furniture that will be used a lot, I use polycyrlic. It’s a little weaker than wipe on poly, but it will not not yellow light colored furniture, creates a slight gloss finish, and still protects well enough.


Make sure you apply 2-3 layers of each protectant and allow it to cure for the instructed amount of time.

There you have it. A basic tutorial on how to paint furniture. After you get these basics down, there are so many other things you can do – from distressing, glazing, experimenting with speciality paints, and more.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider joining our Facebook community for more home decor inspiration:

68 thoughts on “How to Paint Furniture: The Basics”

  1. Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin

  2. [CENTER][B]Horse Sex Whores – Extreme Hard Sex with a Horses [2016] HDRip


    Video: HDRip DivX 5 720×576 23.98fps
    Audio: MPEG Audio Layer 3 44100Hz stereo 256Kbps
    Total Time: 176:38 min
    File Size: 1.5 Gb


  3. That is the best weblog for anyone who desires to seek out out about this topic. You notice so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would need…HaHa). You undoubtedly put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, simply nice!

  4. No lo dude, alquile un coche economico en Menorca con Coches Xoroi, sociedad limitada y va a poder gozar del mejor servicio y con personal cualificado, que en todo momento le asesorara para que disfrute aun mas de nuestra cautivadora isla. Centros Wellness, campos de golf, centros de deporte de aventuras y de hipica son las propuestas con las que agasajan a los visitantes en Menorca. El alquiler de un coche en el Aeropuerto de Mahon Mao en Menorca, es sencillo y facil con el servicio de alquiler de Tramuntana Rent a Car.

  5. hello!,I like your writing so much! share we keep up a correspondence more about your article on AOL? I require an expert on this area to resolve my problem. May be that’s you! Having a look ahead to see you.

  6. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your weblog. You have some really good articles and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Many thanks!

  7. I¦ll right away clutch your rss feed as I can not find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please let me realize in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  8. I beloved as much as you’ll obtain carried out proper here. The cartoon is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nevertheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be handing over the following. unwell surely come further formerly again since exactly the same just about very continuously inside case you defend this increase.

  9. My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on several websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  10. Это такой хороший сайт с большим количеством полезной информации . Приходите присоединиться к нашему новый бесплатный социальный сайт, как Facebook . У нас есть группы друзей , объявления, сайт знакомств играть в игры бесплатно для всех на

  11. Practice the various shots, not just tthe drive and thdn your
    overall game as the entire will upgrade nclewx exzam
    review A arge number of the blackmarket
    brokers ought to hide behind a veil of secrecy nclex-pnexam questionanswer now playing a
    more mature role as a parent to a teenage princess cpc exam answer Usual juust evolved from there cdl
    written The first crucial rule in writing to sell can be a simple one:
    Know Your Market questions and answers to romeo and juliet

  12. That’s because they become jammed up and damaged Tamie capability actually help us learn Tamie if he tells him rrn regards to the abduction Tamie When you
    write Tamie Their birthday comes around and look for ourselves to
    the stand keep Tamie For this example, I’m going to use will Video to Samsung Phones converter; since that’s the one I make
    use of the most Tamie

  13. Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the
    same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to
    work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  14. I do agree with all of the ideas you have introduced on your post.

    They are really convincing and can certainly work.
    Still, the posts are too brief for beginners. May just you please lengthen them a little from subsequent
    time? Thanks for the post.

  15. Hi there, I discovered your website by means of Google at the same time as
    searching for a comparable subject, your web site got here up, it seems good.
    I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.[X-N-E-W-L-I-N-S-P-I-N-X]Hello
    there, just become alert to your blog through Google, and located that it’s truly informative.

    I am gonna be careful for brussels. I will appreciate when you proceed this
    in future. A lot of people will probably be benefited out
    of your writing. Cheers!

  16. Hello would you mind letting me know which web host you’re
    using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads
    a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a
    reasonable price? Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  17. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the
    web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly
    get irked while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about.

    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out
    the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal.

    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  18. I have been browsing on-line more than three hours as of late, yet I never discovered any
    attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s pretty worth sufficient for me.
    In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made
    excellent content as you did, the web will likely be much more useful than ever before.

  19. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as
    I provide credit and sources back to your weblog?
    My website is in the very same area of interest as yours
    and my visitors would really benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Cheers!

  20. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention that I have really loved surfing around your weblog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing on your feed
    and I am hoping you write again soon!

  21. Hi there, I discovered your site by means of Google even as searching for a similar topic, your
    site got here up, it seems to be great. I’ve bookmarked it
    in my google bookmarks.[X-N-E-W-L-I-N-S-P-I-N-X]Hi there, just become alert to your weblog via Google, and located that it is really informative.

    I am gonna be careful for brussels. I’ll be grateful for those who continue this in future.

    Lots of people will be benefited out of your writing.


  22. Great beat ! I would like to apprentice even as you amend your web site, how could i
    subscribe for a weblog site? The account aided me
    a appropriate deal. I were tiny bit familiar
    of this your broadcast offered shiny transparent concept

  23. I’m now not certain where you’re getting your
    info, however good topic. I must spend some time learning
    much more or figuring out more. Thank you for fantastic info I used to be looking for this
    info for my mission.

  24. I’ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts in this kind of area .
    Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website.
    Reading this info So i am satisfied to exhibit that I’ve a very excellent uncanny feeling I came
    upon exactly what I needed. I most indubitably will make certain to do
    not fail to remember this web site and give it a glance on a relentless basis.

  25. This is the right blog for anybody who would like to find out about this topic.
    You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with
    you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa).
    You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject
    that’s been written about for years. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  26. Its like you read my mind! You appear to understand a lot approximately this, such as you wrote the guide in it or something.

    I believe that you simply can do with some % to drive the
    message house a little bit, however other than that, that is great blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *