How To Paint Wooden Furniture: A Step By Step Guide For Beginners

In its natural form, wooden furniture is perfect, but after a while, the chair or dining table you’ve had for years didn’t sound the same as when you first purchased it. The paint might be flaking, or for a new look, you might only want to paint the wood exterior. Why care about the correct way to paint furniture, you ask? Yeah, it’s right that you might get straight to strike and not think about picture-perfect stuff. There is, after all, no lack of online furniture painting posts, and I have used several of them personally to paint bedroom wardrobes, rustic hardwood floors, comfortable chairs, farmhouse decor, and more.

But that doesn’t mean that I have no problems with them, or with “shortcut” paint strategies, and probably you, too. For example, after just a few weeks (or days!), you might find that the paint you apply during one of these rushed projects inevitably chips and peels. However, by taking a paint bucket from the home depot, putting on a few coats of any old paint, and preparing for it to dry, you will not get the best possible result. That’s why you should know how to paint wooden furniture right at home if you possess even one wood piece.

You Will Need Equipment


For beginners, this description can look overwhelming, but don’t be frustrated! You will find that this task is easy to tackle until you find that each item has a fundamental purpose.

-> Drop the fabric
-> (if you paint antique furniture) Lead Testing Kit
-> Dust mask N95
-> Filler of wood
->Tool for polisher
-> Masking tape
-> Sander Orbital
-> Cloth tack
-> The Tape of the Painter (Optional)
-> A foam Roller and Paintbrushes
-> A Starter
-> Paint polish
-> Simple Laquer(Optional) or a sealant

If the object of your love has been painted before or is still in its natural wood condition, my step-by-step method of painting furniture will help you in achieving the look you want each time. A rag and a little elbow grease had included.

Check the Lead Paint

You will be dealing with antique furniture manufactured before 1978 to test the paint to make sure it is lead-free. Lead is very detrimental to your safety and should avoid for long periods. If you begin to sand lead-based paint, even if you wear a dust mask, there is a chance of inhaling airborne paint particles that can cause lead poisoning. Paint lead detection kits are affordable, is worth the additional time.

You need to make sure that your face and body are covered before you begin this project. To shield your eyes from sawdust, wear protective goggles and a face mask to make sure that you do not breathe in the sawdust either. If you don’t mind a little painting on your face, gloves are optional.

Have your workspace prepared

Depending on the starting state of your furniture, this project will create a lot of mess. Make sure you have a big enough drop cloth, canvas, or tarp to cover space under your furniture and around it. It will assist you with quick cleaning later on.

To see any dents or imperfections in the wood, ventilation to prevent sawdust from circulating inside your home and being breathed in afterward, and a large enough room that you can walk about easily, you need an excellent light source. This way, you can get into the nooks and crannies of your furniture without difficulty. You do this on your porch or patio covered by a canopy, either in your garage or outside. Check the weather to ensure that no unforeseen rain creeps up on you if you have decided to do this project outdoor.

Furniture prepping: Hardware Removal

Step 1

A rag and a little elbow grease are still part of it. Before you get out of the paint, every dresser, table, and cabinet need some cleaning planning. To clean off the dust, dirt, and greasy fingerprints, I use mild dish soap and water. Paint won’t adhere to a dirty surface having grease stains.
Step 2

Remove from the furniture any appropriate hardware. Most of the time, it involves unscrewing any knobs, pulls, or other hardware. Before you paint, cleaning the hardware helps you to paint the whole wooden surface uniformly and protects the hardware from paint drips.
Go forward and uninstall the old ones even if you decide that you want to substitute the hardware with new bits.

Step 3

Fix wood filler for any sliced, holed, or pitted surfaces. On the damaged portion of the wood, add much of the wood filler, not on the unchanged wood. There could be some overlap because later, you can sand it down. Scrape the excess wood filler away with the putty knife and allow it to dry.
Fill in the old holes where the old hardware had attached if you’re going to replace some hardware on your furniture. However, Using a putty knife to flush the board and let it dry. Save your time and effort by using an orbital sander if you have a big piece of furniture. A small sandpaper block finished off with corners, grooves, and any other nooks and crannies, or only sanded by hand.

Step 4

Sanding can eliminate any residual varnish or lacquer, making it easier to apply to the primer coat.
Medium-duty sandpaper ought to be OK. Using heavy-duty sandpaper only if it appears dense to the current finish.
Pay careful attention to any areas in which wood filler had added. Enough sand to flush the filled parts with the rest of the furniture.


Priming is what, after painting, can help you get a smooth surface and bright color. It also prevents any possible stains from soaking through the wood and the paint. And use a white primer to get saturated colors if you’re using a light pigment. You should black primer for even coverage if you are using dark-colored paint.

Select the right primer for the job  paint that must match the type of primer you use. Using a satin or semi-gloss finish with either a synthetic or oil-based primer is recommended for furniture.
Only oil-based primers work with oil-based paint, but they have a powerful smell. Make sure the area in which you had painted is well ventilated if you want to use oil-based paint.

Apply The Primer

It is possible to brush or spray primer on it. Either way, make sure that you add an even layer to each section of the furniture you are planning on painting. To paint corners, sides, and other places that would be skipped by a paint roller, use a paintbrush.
Wait for it to dry after you add the first coat of primer. Water-based primers take about 1-2 hours to dry. It can take up to 24 hours for oil-based primers. The bottom line: have patience. Sand it gently with fine-grit sandpaper as soon as the primer dries.

Among coats, add extra layers of primer and sand

If you brush on the primer, before using the sandpaper to smooth out the surface again, let the primer dry completely. Using the tack cloth to clean the stain and paint on another coat. Repeat these steps to ensure that they are all fully dry and sanded until smooth until you have 2-3 layers of primer. You do not need to sand the layers if you are using a spray-on primer. Before adding more, allow the primer to dry.

Test the surface for any bumps, marks, dents, or defects before you paint. Before going on to the painting stage, wipe the entire surface clean.


To prevent it from settling into the paint when it is drying, vacuum any dust. Moving furniture to a place where when you are painting, leaves or other debris will not blow into it.

Apply A Thin Paint Layer

Use a synthetic-bristle paintbrush to add latex paint. You are using a natural-bristle paintbrush if you have oil paint. To spread the paint over even surfaces, use a foam roller. Use a brush for boundaries, corners, and other areas the roller does not hit.

As the paint starts to drip before it can set, paint over the place. Until proceeding, smooth it out. Following the lines of the furniture, paint from the top down. If both brushes and rollers are employed, make sure the paint layer is still in place until you leave it to dry. For a better finish, aim to use several light coats instead of one heavy coat.
Let it dry for at least six hours, then sand lightly.

Enable the first coat of paint to dry. It will take 6 hours in most colors. For any droplets, bubbles, or bumps, check the surface. As soon as the paint dries, gently sand away any drips and runs, then use a fine grain of sandpaper to go over the entire surface. Using the tack cloth, remove the residue.

Additional Coats of Paint Apply

You would not be able to create a flawless look through a single coat of paint. Between coats, apply two or three extra coats of paint and sand. To prevent the wood from wrapping it is necessary to let the paint completely dry between each coat.

It is optional: Apply a simple finish.

You may opt to add a clear finish to give your furniture a glossy or matt look, depending on your preference, and protect it from scraping or flaking. This move is, however, entirely optional. For instance, water-based polyurethane can safeguard the surface from potential knicks or bumps. Follow the instructions for drying times on the item.

Leave it until it dry.

Let the paint recover when you have done it for a few days. Remove the hardware when you are confident that all the layers are dry and bring your furniture back together.

Enjoy your new furniture (like)!

Oh, see? It’s a simple method to learn how to paint wood furniture at home than what you might imagine. With a few hours of work, you will produce results that are as good as those of a specialist. Not only should you brag that you did it alone, but you didn’t have to pay a service charge to save money. It is a win-win scenario!

Want to turn your woodworking skills into a great business? Read our article on how to start a woodworking business with Wood Working HERE.

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