Whether you're moving into your first apartment, purchasing your first home or simply redecorating a room, there's a good chance that you'll need to purchase furniture for your space. If your budget is tight, there's a good chance that you won't be able to afford new furniture. Fortunately, most used furniture pieces can be given new life simply by painting over an old finish. A good coat of paint can update the style of an outdated piece, cover an imperfect finish and disguise blemishes so that your dresser, table or chair looks like you bought it new.
Things You'll Need
- Clean rags
- Tack cloth
- 400 grit sandpaper
- Mineral oil
- Wood filler
- Paint brushes
- Small box or container
- Drop cloth
- Safety goggles
- Paper face mask
- New hardware (optional)
Remove the hardware from the furniture piece using your screwdriver. This includes removing doors from cabinets if your piece of furniture includes them. Be sure to set the hardware aside in a small container so that you don't lose any important parts later. Place the disassembled furniture pieces outside on a large drop cloth.
Apply mineral spirits to a clean rag, then wipe down the entire piece of furniture---as well as any disassembled pieces---to remove any oils, dirt or residues from the surface. Allow time for the pieces to dry.
Use sandpaper to sand the finish, following the grain of the wood and making sure you sand in the small cracks and crevices. You need to use a fine-grit sandpaper, such as the suggested 400 grit paper, to avoid scratching the wood. This light-sanding process is not designed to remove the old finish, rather to create a surface for the primer to adhere to.
Rub the entire surface of the furniture (inside and out) with tack cloth to remove any dust and residue. Wipe down each piece again using mineral spirits to remove any last bit of residue from the surface. Allow at least 1 hour for the pieces to dry before moving on to the next step.
Fill in any chips in the wood using wood filler.
Apply a coat of primer to the entire piece of furniture, including any disassembled pieces. Allow enough time for the primer to become dry to the touch. This may depend on the product, and the outside temperature and humidity levels. Consider applying a second coat if the first appears to be too thin. Allow time for the primer to completely dry before moving on to the next step.
Sand the surface of the primed piece using a fine grit sandpaper to remove any rough areas before painting.
Brush on a layer of paint using even strokes that follow the direction of the wood grain. If you are using spray paint, hold the can about 12 inches from the surface of the wood and make slow passes to apply the paint. Allow time for the first coat of paint to dry before applying a second coat. Allow the second coat to dry overnight.
Reassemble the piece of furniture using the original hardware, or replacements you have purchased, then place it in your room.
Tips & Warnings
- Use gloves, safety goggles and the face mask whenever you sand or paint.
How to Paint Furniture
Adding a fresh coat of paint to an old piece of furniture will update the look of the piece for just pennies...
How to Paint a Table
How to Paint a Table. Sometimes all old furniture needs is a pick me up with paint. This is especially true for...
How to Paint Stained Furniture
People may stain furniture to enhance or slightly alter the color of wood. Stained wood often is finished with a glossy, protective...
How to Paint Finished Wood Furniture
You have the perfect piece of furniture for your room. Unfortunately, the finish just isn't what it should be. Perhaps it's scuffed...
DIY: Painting a Kitchen Table
Paint can turn a new, raw-wood table or an older, previously painted table into a centerpiece for your kitchen. Painting the table...
How To Paint Over Finished Wood
Painting over finished wood poses a few problems if done incorrectly. The finish offers little for new paint to adhere to, and...
How to Paint My Wooden Furniture White
Wooden furniture can be painted many times over. As your room's décor changes, so too can the look of your wooden furniture....
How to Paint Over Shellac Finished Cabinets
If your cabinets have been shellacked, you'll need to remove the glossy element before you can paint. Shellac is a type of...
How to Paint Pre-Finished Furniture
Congratulations -- you've found a bargain. The chair you've acquired at the garage sale is the perfect size and style for your...