How to Paint Furniture Black

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Many people start to redecorate a room and inevitably hear that every room needs a piece of black furniture to anchor it. Instead of running out and buying a new piece of black furniture, lots of people decide it is cheaper to paint furniture black. While using black paint has its potential drawbacks, such as blotchy or streaky coverage, those risks are no match for proper preparation and technique.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper (120, 220, 400, 600 grits)
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Paint brush
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Sand the piece of furniture thoroughly with 120-grit sandpaper.

  • Clean the sanding dust with a lint-free cloth that was soaked with denatured alcohol. You can find this in most paint and home improvement centers.

  • Sand the entire piece again, this time using 220-grit sandpaper, and wipe it down as in Step 2 to remove any dust.

  • Apply the primer coat using a 1 1/2- to 2 1/2-inch angled paint brush, depending on the size of the piece of furniture. Have the paint store tint the primer as dark as possible. Black paint covers dark primer better than white paint. Paint from the top down to better see drips or runs.

  • Lightly sand the primer after it dries using 220-grit sandpaper and wipe it down as before.

  • Apply the first coat of black paint to the furniture in the same manner as the primer. Don't worry about uniform coverage on the first coat, especially if you're using a glossy paint.

  • Sand the paint with 400-grit sandpaper after it dries. Don't sand too heavily, just enough to knock down brush strokes. As always, wipe away the sanding dust.

  • Apply a second coat of black paint to the piece and let it dry. The coverage should be much more even now, but small, light-colored streaks may still be present.

  • Sand the piece again using 400-grit sandpaper and wipe clean.

  • Apply a final coat of black paint to the furniture piece and allow it to dry. This third and final coat should have evened out any blotchiness and covered any streaking as well as added a deep, black tone to the whole piece. If desired, sand the final coat with 600-grit sandpaper, which is usually only found in automotive supply stores.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use an additive such a Floetrol with latex paints to improve brushability.
  • Paint in a place that is well-ventilated. Open doors or windows to create a crossdraft and carry the paint fumes outside. Also, wear a respirator designed specifically for painting.

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  • Photo Credit pinceau à cuisine image by Nicolas BEAUMONT from Fotolia.com
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