Learn how to paint wood furniture with this very detailed, step-by-step video tutorial! Instead of buying new wood furniture, update the furniture you already have – quickly and easily! The key to getting fabulous results with no brush strokes, is using the right painting tools and paint!
By far my most popular blog post is How To Paint Furniture. In fact, no other blog post is a close second. When I wrote that post about our master bedroom dresser, I was using a Benjamin Moore Advance paint.
The great thing about the BM Advance paint was that it dried very slowly, so it leveled out very nicely. The bad thing about this paint was that it dried very slowly, and I had to wait 16 hours to apply a second coat!
After I finished this dresser, I hired a professional painter to spray paint all of the doors in our house. He convinced me to let him use Pittsburgh Paint’s Breakthrough paint instead of the BM Advance paint.
I was skeptical to say the least. But, he asked me to try painting a swatch of the Breakthrough paint on the a piece of finished trim in our laundry room. He said not to sand the trim first, just apply a light coat of the Breakthrough paint, let it dry for 20 minutes and then try to scrape it off.
So, I tried it, and was amazed! I couldn’t scratch off the Breakthrough paint! (By the way, I’m not being compensated by Pittsburgh Paints or Benjamin Moore).
The great thing about the Breakthrough paint is that it dries very quickly, so you can re-coat in 2 hours. Another fabulous thing about the Breakthrough paint is that you don’t have to apply a primer first! UNLESS YOU’RE PAINTING OVER OAK! If you’re painting over oak, the grain will bleed through the paint, so an oil-based primer applied before the paint is a must!
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HOW TO PAINT WOOD FURNITURE
Recently, I painted a stained wood dresser in our guest bedroom, and I used the Breakthrough paint in white. I’m so happy with the results! Here’s a before and after pic.
So, today I’m going to share a tutorial for how to paint wood furniture using the Breakthrough paint instead of the Advance paint.
- Pittsburgh Paints Breakthrough paint (in the color of your choice)- This is the paint that we used to paint all of our cabinets, trim and most of the furniture we painted. Very durable and adheres extremely well. Our color is actually Benjamin Moore’s White that I had our local Pittsburgh Paint retailer mix for me. On the lid of the can it says the color mixture is L4.
- Oil-based primer that has stain blocking in the title. (ONLY USE IF COVERING OAK WOOD!)
- TSP Liquid Substitute cleaner
- Dust mask and/or respirator
- Mouse Sander
- 100 grit sanding block
- 220 grit sandpaper
- Tack cloths
- Paintable caulk
- Small paint tray
- Wooster Shortcut paint brush
- Whizz 4″ microfiber roller with 3/8″ nap
- Whizz roller handle
- Small felt pads
I’ve created a detailed video tutorial to show how to paint wood furniture, and I’ve written out the instructions below the video.
- Drop cloths – Lay down drop cloths under the pieces of furniture you’re going to paint. This will help to prevent getting paint on floors.
- Remove any hardware – If your piece of furniture has handles, knobs or hinges, remove them with a screwdriver.
- Wash wood – The piece that you’re going to paint may have grease and/or be dirty. To make sure that the paint will adhere to the wood, it’s very important to clean the wood. Wash your wood furniture with Liquid TSP Substitute cleaner, using the ratio of TSP to water that’s listed on the bottle. Rinse the wood with clean water, and dry with a towel. *IMPORTANT – I DON’T RECOMMEND USING THE REGULAR TSP PRODUCT. IT COMES IN A POWDER FORM THAT YOU MIX WITH WATER. IT’S VERY HARD TO COMPLETELY RINSE OFF, AND CAN PREVENT THE PAINT FROM ADHERING TO YOUR WOOD FURNITURE.
- Fill holes – Fill any holes, dents or large scratches that you may have on your wood furniture with wood filler. Let the wood filler dry, and then sand to smooth wood filler even with the wood surface.
- Sand flat areas – Sand the wood with a sander, 220 grit sandpaper or a sanding block, and wipe clean with a tack cloth. (To get a smooth painted surface, you must remove all of the sanding dust from your furniture. You don’t need to sand the stain and varnish or finish completely off, you only need to scuff the finish so that the paint will adhere to the wood better.
- Sand curved areas – On any curved parts of the wood, use a 220 grit sandpaper to scuff the surface. Wipe off sanding dust with a tack cloth.
- Apply first coat of paint – Using a micro fiber roller on flat parts or a paint brush for curved parts of the wood, paint the whole furniture piece with one coat of Pittsburgh Paint’s Breakthrough paint. This first coat will not look pretty. It will be pretty thin, so the wood will still show through the paint.
- Caulk any cracks or gaps – After two hours, if there are any cracks or gaps in parts of the wood furniture, caulk them with the paintable caulk.
- Apply second coat of paint – After the caulk has dried, apply a second coat of paint.
- Apply third coat of paint – Let second coat of paint dry for two hours, and then apply third coat of paint. After the third coat of paint, the wood should not be showing through.
- Apply polycrylic (optional step) – If you would like to protect the furniture after it’s been painted, you can also apply three coats of polycrylic (NOT polyurethane which can yellow over time).
- Replace hardware – After paint and polycrylic have dried, re-attach the old hardware. To give your furniture an updated look, you can also purchase new hardware for any drawers or doors and install it.
UPDATE: I’ve created a video about HOW TO APPLY POLYCRYLIC OVER PAINT. You can find it here:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial for how to paint wood furniture! Let me know if you have any questions!
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