DIY Furniture Painting Techniques

DIY Furniture Painting Techniques

June 17, 2024 0 By Woody Smith

Painting furniture can be an easy and affordable way to transform pieces in your home and add unique style. There are various techniques you can employ for this task that can give your pieces an entirely different appearance.

Before beginning, take steps to clean furniture thoroughly by removing hardware and cleaning thoroughly. Sanding is also vital for clearing away dust and oil build-up as well as filling any dents or gouges with wood putty and waiting until dry before painting.


Sanding furniture before painting it is one of the most crucial steps of painting furniture, as it creates a smooth surface on which paint will adhere. Use either a mouse sander or sanding sponges and be mindful not to oversand; too much dust particles will get into your paint and cause peeling or chipping. When finished sanding be sure to use either your shop vac or tack cloth to remove dust particles as well as wood debris from accumulating under your furniture.

Some paints do not require sanding before application, such as chalk paint which requires no prep, and mineral paint with bonding agent. However, if painting over furniture that will be used for eating or working purposes it is advisable to sand and prime first.


Paint by itself adheres tenuously to most surfaces; primer is specially made to adhere better and give paint something extra to hold on to, helping reduce the number of coats necessary for an even finish while helping its colors to run true.

Primers are particularly essential if you want to paint a light or white color over dark stained wood surfaces, since they reduce the number of coats required and help avoid tannins (bleeding of reddish-brown stain) showing through as you finish painting the piece.

After sanding, always use a tack cloth to remove most of the dust and debris from the surface, to create a clean work area. Once this step has been taken, apply primer just like paint – by brush, roller or sprayer.


Paint is an integral component of furniture refinishing projects, whether starting from an existing finish or plain wood. It provides your furniture with the color and finish it needs, while you can customize its appearance to complement the decor in your home.

Choose low or no VOC products whenever possible for indoor use, limiting exposure to harmful chemicals while working and contributing to environmental protection.

Latex paints are among the most widely available at hardware stores and come in various shades to meet any furniture painting project needs.

Create an eye-catching finish by mixing two or more colors of paint while they’re still wet to create an eye-catching marbleized effect. Or use this technique with copper gel wax, texture medium, and sandpaper for a weathered effect!

Wood Putty

Wood putty is a blend of chemicals and pigments designed to fill imperfections in finished wood furniture. Available in various shades of wood tones, its wide array of shades makes it easy to match it to the color of your piece while remaining flexible after application, unlike some wood fillers that harden quickly after being applied.

Before starting to paint furniture, it is crucial that the surface be lightly sanded first in order to promote adhesion of paint and ensure a smooth surface for your new finish. You can either use an orbital sander or fine-grit sandpaper.

If you want to speed up the prep process, consider removing drawers and hardware from your furniture in order to facilitate faster sanding and priming processes. This may help get them done more quickly.