How to Paint Country Furniture


Furnishing your home with country-style furniture makes a house warm and inviting. Window treatments and chairs wear gingham or plaid fabric. Floors are wooden and rustic. Bright paint colors with a rustic appeal characterize country furniture styles. Ideally, pieces should look like they have been lovingly used for a hundred years. There may be small dings and worn paint in the corners. You can create this warm and inviting furniture style with the right paint and tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Rags
  • Ammonia-based cleaner
  • Toothbrush
  • Sandpaper
  • Base coat
  • Top coat
  • Paste wax
  • Paintbrush
  • Clean the wood thoroughly with ammonia-based cleaner. Dip a toothbrush into the cleaner to reach the small crevices.

  • Sand the furniture with medium grit sandpaper. Scuff the surface of the furniture with sandpaper to create a small amount of texture. Remove uneven paint and any imperfections with the sandpaper. Wipe away sanding dust with a damp rag.

  • Hammer areas of the furniture with both the head and the back of the hammer. Create small dings and nicks in the surface of the furniture to create an old appearance.

  • Apply a base coat. Choose a flat latex paint in any color you like. The base color will show through the topcoat in selected areas. Paint with a good quality paintbrush.

  • Apply paste wax to the furniture in selected areas. These will be the areas where the base color will show. Choose corners and other areas that would typically get worn by normal use.

  • Paint the furniture a topcoat. Choose any color latex paint you like that coordinates with a country style. Red, white and green work in country furniture. Paint the furniture with a good quality brush. Apply a thin layer of paint to prevent drip marks and heavy brush strokes. Let the first coat dry. Apply a second coat. Let the second coat dry overnight.

  • Rub the furniture with a rag to remove the paint over the paste wax. A portion of the paint will come off of the furniture, revealing the base coat underneath.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add more wear and tear by using a chain or steel wool. Hit the furniture with the chain to create dents. Create light scratches in the paint by scraping it with the steel wool.

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  • Photo Credit bauernmalerei image by Daniel Fuhr from
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