How to Paint Furniture

The key to a successful furniture painting project is in the preparation. Surfaces to be painted need to have a dull finish so that primer will adhere to it. TSP or TSP Substitute can be used to degloss and prep surfaces, but if you have a very glossy finish, as in the table example below, "liquid sandpaper" is great alternative to sanding for speed and dust control.

Using the liquid sandpaper is my preferred method of furniture prep. I don't like sanding because of the dust that it creates, However, you should take precautions when using the chemicals by reading their directions. For more information on deglosser products click here.

If you have flaking surfaces, you will have sand the surface. All flaking surfaces have to be removed. If you have veneer damage, simply remove the loose pieces and fill the voids with a wood-filler and sand until smooth.

My preferred primer is the Kilz Original oil-based spray primer. This makes for quick work, but you must have a well-ventilated space and a spray area to catch the over-spray. If you don't have that, Kilz Premium water-based liquid primer is the next best thing.

Use 4" high-density foam rollers.for a brush-free finish. I use a brush for the edges and corners first, then use the roller for overall surface painting. The trick for no drips is to remember not to brush the paint over into an edge, always brush "off" of the edges.

For the best top coat use quality paint, such as Benjamin Moore. Use egshell finish for a washable matte finish. Pearl finish is a step above egshell and semi-gloss is the glossiest you can get in latex. Choose your finish based on the look and function of your piece.

Typically, you will need one prime coat and two top coats. If you are distressing your finished piece, you may only need one top-coat.

Have fun transforming your pieces!

Gather your supplies.

Nice dining table with a worn finish.

Table after primed and painted.

Table in it's new environment.

If you don't want to paint your own pieces, contact us and we can do it for you in our in-house workroom. Prices vary depending on condition and size of the piece.

Julie Fergus, ASID, is a nationally published interior designer. Her studio and showroom is located in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Julie's clients are primarily in the Lakes Region and Mount Washington Valley, however, she will travel throughout the state and North East. |