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 or scratched, or you're just not a huge fan of the stain. Perhaps you tried painting over it, but the paint just didn't seem to want to stick. Learn how to turn your potential furniture cast-off into a beautiful and revitalized piece of furniture for your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper Screwdriver Painter's tape Dry towel or rag Paintbrush Primer paint Paint in the color of your choice
  • Use your screwdriver to remove any hardware from your piece of furniture; alternatively, you may choose to cover it with painter's tape, but hardware removal will lead to a better overall paint job. Set the hardware and the appropriate screws in a safe place.

  • Apply the sandpaper to your piece of furniture, and rub vigorously. Your goal is not to reach bare wood--just to remove the protective varnish that covers the finish so that your paint will be able to hold onto the wood.

  • Once you have sanded the varnish layer off of your piece of furniture, remove any excess dust by wiping it down with a towel. Once this has been accomplished, apply a coat of your primer paint, and allow to dry.

  • Once the primer coat has dried, you are ready to apply your color coat. It's likely that your piece of furniture will require more than one coat of paint, so when purchasing your paint, plan accordingly.

  • Once your paint has dried, reattach any hardware that you may have removed prior to sanding. Or, if you have used painter's tape instead, remove it at this time, and use your paintbrush to carefully touch up any areas needing paint that the tape may have covered.

Tips & Warnings

  • You will want to purchase at least a semi-gloss paint, as flat paints attract and hold onto dirt.

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