How To Prepare Wood Furniture For Painting? DIY Tips

by James Williams

Painted furniture can be beautiful. A person will not have to throw out their older pieces just because they are out of date. Painting furniture can bring new life to it. A person needs to be able to take their time and paint it with some skill so it does come out looking great. These are some tips for furniture painting if a person is trying to fix up pieces for their own home or make some money off of a new hobby.

Preparing Wood Furniture For Painting
Preparing Wood Furniture For Painting

Painting Like a Pro

It will take some time for a person to learn how to paint furniture and have it come out professional looking. The decision about how the piece will come out will be based on the look a person is trying to achieve, the age of the piece, the finish they choose, and the color. If a person is using matte paint they do not have to worry about the different brush strokes and do not have to worry if they are uneven. If a person is looking to have a glossy finish they need to make sure that when they paint the strokes and smooth and they will be even.

Prepare the Furniture

It is important to make sure the furniture is well prepared before painting it. If a person wants to have a piece that will have a smooth look they will need to sand down the furniture. This will help remove any imperfections or any areas that are not even. This will allow a person to have a smooth surface to work with and this will make it easier to get the smooth finish. If a person is going for the distressed look or if the furniture is in good condition sanding may not be needed.


When painting a larger piece a sander may be used. This will make it easy to make sure the surface is smooth and even. When a person begins to paint they will have a good surface to start on and this will help with the final project.

A Man Sanding Wooden Door
A Man Sanding Wooden Door

Quality Matters

A person should use quality products to get a quality product. A person should begin with a high-quality paintbrush so the bristle will be strong and will not fall off. A quality paintbrush may be more expensive up front but a person will not have to purchase a new one in the middle of their project. A good paintbrush will also give a better finish. It is essential to use quality paint. This will also affect the finish of the furniture. A person should look for wood paint or paint that is specially designed for furniture use.

Use a Primer

When painting furniture it is important to use a primer. An oil-based primer is the best choice. If a person is going to use latex paint they can still use the oil-based primer. The primer will cover the surface and will help even out the old texture. If the primer is used over furniture that has not been sanded and still has texture it should be sanded again before painting. The additive should match the type of paint that is being used on the project.


When looking for a smooth finish there is something that can be added to the primer. Floetrol can be added to the latex paint and petrol can be added to oil-based paint. This will help thin out the paint and will help reduce the appearance of the brush strokes. To use these additives a person needs to follow the directions that come on the package.


The paintbrushes or the rollers do not have to be cleaned after every use. When painting furniture it is going to take more than one coat. The previous coat needs to fully dry before adding a coat of paint. Washing the paintbrushes or rollers is real paint. They can be put in a bag or wrapped in foil. Once the surface is wrapped they can be put into the refrigerator. They will not dry out and can be used again the next day when the furniture is ready for a second coat.

Start at the Top

When painting it is best to start the top of the piece and begin to paint from the top to the bottom. This way if the paint begins to drip it can be blended in.

Distressed Look

The distressed look for furniture is in and stylish. When going for the distressed look it is important to keep things natural looking. The furniture should be sanded with high grit sandpaper. A person should then think about the part of the furniture that will get the most uses such as the chair arms or the edges of the drawer. If random areas look distressed this will take away from the natural look.

Sealer the Tops

If a person is painting a table they should take special care when it comes to the top. They should use a high-quality sealer to protect the surface. If the surface is stained polyurethane will be the best option. If the surface is going to be pained a poly acrylic sealer is best. 

This will help prevent yellowing. This will also protect the surface from daily wear and tear. Dresser and chairs can also be sealed since they will be used often. This will help protect them from nicks and dings from everyday use.

Allow Time to Harden

Before using the piece give the paint time to get hard. Allowing the paint to dry is the first step. Some paints such as latex paint will not fully dry for 30 days.

The piece should be allowed to sit before being used. There is a difference between hardening and drying. It will take more time to harden.

These are some tips for furniture painting. A person can follow this advice when they are looking to give new life to older pieces they may have around their home. With the right supplies and time and patience can have the pieces looking great.

Recommended Article:

About James Williams

Hi, This is James from HomerDIY. I have great experience in writing about everything related to Pump and DIY tools. For the last few years, I am researching the different types of tools and sharing my opinion on this blog.

Thoughts on "How To Prepare Wood Furniture For Painting? DIY Tips"