26 April 2009

Painting Wood Furniture: 10 Tips

my dresser makeover

I {heart} painted wood furnture. That's no secret. Here are 10 tips if you want to give it a shot.

  1. Do what YOU like. I'm not telling you to paint grandma's priceless armoire, but what good does it do to live with a piece of furniture that you don't like just because someone says, "But it's WOOD"?


  2. Start small. Pick something inexpensive and small to practice on. A old wood chair is a perfect first project.


  3. Clean it really well. A good scrubbing with soap and water will do a long way for creating a surface that will hold paint. If it's really greasy or grimy, there are products you can use to clean it better but I've never used them.


  4. Evaluate the surface. If its slick and shiny, you're going to need to sand or use a liquid deglosser (liquid sandpaper). If not, you can skip the sanding step.


  5. You may not need to prime. I only prime if it's a piece that will get heavy use. If it's just going to get looked at vs. sat on, jumped off and banged around, I usually won't prime.


  6. If you're using a dark color, get a tinted primer (in black or grey). It makes getting an even finish so much easier.


  7. If you want a really durable finish, you can use an oil-based primer with a latex paint. Just don't use latex paint over oil-based PAINT. That will make you a big ole mess.


  8. Take care of any drips or streaks when they happen. When I'm spray painting, I keep a foam brush handy to wipe away and runs or drips.


  9. If you miss one, wait for the paint to dry REALLY well and sand it away then repaint.


  10. Be patient! This is the hardest step for me. Letting your piece dry well between coats will go a long way toward avoiding problems in the finish like bubbles and crackling.


I had grand plans to show you my latest project for Edie's painted wood project party at her blog, Life In Grace. Unfortunately, it was way too windy to spraypaint outside this weekend and The Hubster has had about enough of my spray painting in the basement.

Here are some other painted wood projects. Some are mine...some not.

Detailed tutorial for painting a wooden chair: ASPTL
Dresser makeover: Sanctuary Art at Home
Thrift store desk makeover (It's amazing. Seriously): Living with Lindsay
Painting porch chairs: This Young House





33 comments {Click here to leave a comment}:

Michelle@Fromhousetohome said...

Great post! I love painting furniture. Like you said, there are always those people that gasp because you are painting over natural wood. I say if it makes you happier with paint on it, it's worth it!
~Michelle

emily said...

Great tips, Kimba. Short and to the point. Love it.

edie said...

Kimba,
Thank you so much for linking up!! I love your list and my painter actually advised to do number 7....but I'm lazy and hate cleaning up oil paint. I'm sure I'll be touching up from time to time!

I love your blog and appreciate all the helpful tips!

Thanks again for joining the party!

Hugs and love,
Ms. Edie

Jenny@ L.O.T.s of Love said...

Thanks! I've been pondering my first project!

Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Great post, my friend. You are the master in this. :)

the undomesticated wife said...

I'm in the middle of a project too. Sanded the piece down last week, the spent all week upset that it was windy and raining and I couldn't paint. Will be raining all this week too. Arg!

Little Lovables said...

Excellent post! Patience is my hardest thing too. Do you know if you can paint veneer?

Oh, and tack cloth is great for rubbing down after sanding!

marty39 said...

Great advice. I am about to paint two chairs, and I appreciate all the help. I also checked out some of the other posts your suggested, awesome information and inspiration. Thanks. Hugs, Marty

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

Thanks for the tips - Love it

Jen r. said...

Great tips! Thanks for the mention! Jen

Cheryl said...

Thanks for this post. I am wanting to paint my dining chairs black and I wasn't sure about how to go about it.

Songbirdtiff said...

Hey, lucky lady! You won my poster prints giveaway! You should be hearing from online poster prints shortly. Thanks for entering!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Great tips today, thank you! I've been searching forever for the perfect wood desk for my craft stuff, but haven't found one that's REAL wood and the right size yet. Being patient is probably harder than the painting part, but this is all good to know. :)

Remodeling Guy said...

Great tips Kimba! Makes me want to paint something right now!

Have a great week!

Tim

ST. MICHAEL'S WIFE said...

Kimba, I have a buffet similar to the first picture on this posting, and I want to paint it black, too! Did you use a flat or a glossy black? Thanks for all your posting -- you are always inspiring!

Kimba said...

St. Michaels Wife - Thanks for asking. I used satin spray paint on that buffet.

Here's a link with a tutorial from when I did it...

http://asoftplacetoland-kimba.blogspot.com/2008/09/furniture-rehab-401.html

Kimba

Rachel said...

Those are some great tips. I tried my first spray painting adventure this last week. I can definitely tell I've never been in a gang. It didn't go so well. But I'm sure I'll be up for more... I'm a glutton for punishment.

My First Kitchen said...

You're so good at lists. Did I tell you I tried to paint an old solid wood desk I bought from a neighbor? I lugged the whole thing (this puppy was hea-vy) upstairs BY MYSELF and felt like Wonderwoman. I think my biceps doubled in size. Then I assembled the whole thing by myself and got all ready to paint it. Then? The desk, already a little loved by its previous owners, totally. fell. apart. I might have cried a little. Then I just went to IKEA and bought a new desk. That tends to be how my painting jobs turn out. :)

bec4 said...

I love painting furniture--and black is my favorite right now! Also--you give us the best links--I have found many wonderful blogs through yours--thanks!

Myrna said...

HI Kimba!
I've stumbled upon your blog when doing decorating research..I'm speaking at a women's group at our church and was wondering if I could use your hints on garage sale finds (Furniture Rehab)? I will give you credit for it along with your blog address...
Thanks for your consideration--I LOVE your blog and will be back!!
Blessings!
Myrna

amybluestar said...

Thank you for the tips! I too have problems waiting for the paint to dry between coats. . I just want it to be done . .

Myrna said...

Thanks for responding so quickly, Kimba!..and your sweet comments!
I have to tell you something...this is what I emailed my girlfriend after viewing your blog and became gripped with fear and insecurities about talking in front of a group:

I am battling a full-blown melt down. I'm thinking "Who the heck do I think I am to give a slide-show and talk on Wed?" I made the mistake at looking at some new decorating blogs and they have WAY better pictures, ideas, insight, etc, than I do. I feel so inept and mediocre in comparison. I feel like I'm gonna be a bumbling idiot up there. I'll slink out afterwards, never to be seen there again. We'll have to find a new church. We'll have to MOVE! Oh this is agonizing!!!!!!

Blessedly, my friend wrote back and talked me down from the ledge! ;-)
Hope you got a chuckle out of this!;-D
Thanks again for you help!!
Blessings!
Myrna

Anonymous said...

I've done a few pieces in the past and would love to paint my piano (from wood, to black). Have you ever attempted anything like this?

Kelli said...

I love paint, anywhere, any time!! I would spray paint in a box, with a fox, in a house upside down... wait, sorry... This is not Dr. Seus!!!

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Great tips, thanks for sharing. I have a LITTLE problem with the patience part too. :)

Kimba said...

I KNOW I've seen a post about someone painting a piano before. I can't remember where though.

Anyone? Help?

Kimba

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

See, I hardly ever sand but ALWAYS prime. I'm glad to hear it works OK when you don't. I'm too sceered not to. But I am ALWAYS so impatient too. UGH, it's like waiting for paint to dry! Wait...

HeathahLee said...

Why did I not realize in the makeover post that this dresser is the one that goes with my Kiddo's chest of drawers? Same hardware and everything! Sound Man redid the chest (it had layers and layers of paint on it from my sister's childhood on!) and I LOVE it!

I'm about to paint a couple of side tables in my bedroom, and you can be sure I'll be following your steps!

Kasey Hunt said...

Thanks for the great tips. I'll be thinking about this the next time I'll be painting. Although, I'm in love with spray paint right now!!

Link said...

Select the stylish home furniture india at theurbandecor.com. You'll find the best designs suitable for your home.

Modern Furniture India. said...

The CasaModern your exclusive online design gallery and resource guide brings collections from modern, contemporary traditional, and other designer furniture manufacturers and showrooms in Italian and European interior designs for your home, office, villa, luxury apartment, service apartment, call center, hotel, cafe, pub, restaurant, and other fine living space requirement!

DakerMom said...

I know this is a really old post to comment on, bit it's related, promise! And I hope you have the time to answer, because I'm new to refinishing and transforming and need some help to get started on a particular project! I got this little wooden toy chest at a consignment store, it's painted white and the wood is really rough (I think it's kinda like a plywood maybe, that kind of texture) and the paint job is horrible! It seems really rough and dry. I know the stuff that normally needs to be sanded is the shiny stuff but I'm guessing to get a smooth surface I need to sand. I already sprayed on a coat of the paint I wanted to use, but it wasn't looking good, so now I'm sanding (hopefully that's right). Should I use primer before I attempt to paint again? Basically now I'm sanding off the paint I sprayed on as well as some of the original. Help please!! Thanks!!

DakerMom said...

Just to clarify though, it's not plywood, it was just a rough wood, hard to paint over, but now I've sanded it to smooth, but still don't think that texture will cover easily with paint because it seems to just absorb it or something..? Again... help!!
-Jessica