The Best Steps for Painting Furniture with Latex or Oil-Based Paint
We all probably have furniture pieces we would love to paint. Whether it is a family heirloom, an old dining set needing a refresh or a thrifted cabinet. But what is holding you back? Are you afraid of the time it will take or the lack of knowledge on how to paint the piece?
I will walk you through the steps of painting furniture easily. If you know how to paint furniture, chances are, it will take you a lot shorter to get it done.
My Experience with the Wrong Paint
I have a confession to make. I don’t like chalk paint. There, I said it. It’s not that I dislike the distressed look, although it is not entirely my style, I admit that it has its charm. And all the creations on Pinterest painted with chalk paint is lovely! But I don’t like the chalky finish, and I don’t like working with chalk paint.
A couple of years ago, when the chalk paint craze arose, I went to the local supplier and bought a sample pot to try on a cabinet I had bought at my day job’s second-hand store. Everyone was raving about it, and I wanted to try it! For me, the allure was to paint a piece without sanding it first. Well, I started painting the cabinet drawers, realised that I did not like the colour or finish and stopped there. The paint dried too quick (even though I had thinned with water) and I kept seeing brush marks. It sat like that in our entryway; blue drawers, black frame, for almost two years before I plucked up the courage to fix it. With this post I’m not saying you should not use chalk paint, you might love working with it if you try, but it was just not for me.
How to Paint Furniture, the Easy Way
Below you can see what the cabinet looked like before I started any work on it. Our entryway is really dark, and because of that, I had difficulty deciding on the colour. I wanted a colour that would brighten up the room, but I did not want to paint it white.
I decided, at last, to paint it the same blue as our accent wall in our lounge. and finally got to work to give the cabinet a permanent new look
- Sanding Paper in coarse to medium grit
- Multi-surface Primer (I used a Plascon one)
- Plascon Velvaglo Oil-based in the colour Azure Like It (Since discontinued)
- Hamiltons Ensign, 50mm angled brush
Sanding the Surface
I’ve learned that sanding a piece before you paint it is essential. Priming may not always be necessary, but sanding is. I still need to repaint our built-in cupboards in two bedrooms, as the paint keeps on peeling. So learn from my mistakes and sand your furniture before painting. You need to create a surface to which the new paint can adhere to; otherwise, the paint will continue peeling. As you will paint the surface, you only need to sand with coarse to medium grit sandpaper.
Priming the Surface
After sanding, you need to clean all surfaces from sanding dust before you can start with the primer. When using Plascon Velvaglo (Oil or Water-based), you do not need to prime if you are painting a previously painted surface. But if you paint previously unpainted furniture or laminate furniture, it is better to use a primer. One coat of primer is all that is necessary.
This cabinet has four metal legs on the sides. To make the painting process more manageable, I removed them and the spacers to be able to paint all sides of the legs, spacers and cabinet.
I always use a Hamiltons Ensign 38mm, or 50mm angled brush to paint furniture. The angled brush leaves fewer brush strokes and is so easy to work with. I usually paint two coats of paint on furniture to get good coverage. Wait the proposed time between the coats to dry for better paint adhesion. You can also use a foam roller to paint larger pieces.
To Seal or Not to Seal
Depending on the paint you use, you might need to seal your work with a topcoat for better durability. However, Plascon Velvaglo does not require a topcoat, so I skipped that step. Ask your local supplier to advise you if the paint you are using requires a top coat or not.
So What is Holding you Back Now?
It is easy to paint furniture if you know which steps to follow, and you can inexpensively and instantly transform an old piece of furniture! Why don’t you book out a bit of time this weekend and start painting that long-overdue item on your to-do list! Share down below in the comments section what your experiences are with painting furniture, and if these steps have helped you. I would love to hear from you.