Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ten Simple Tips to Painting Furniture..

 I love painting furniture & giving it new life. I have painted so many pieces of  furniture that in turn I have made a lot of mistakes. Let me tell you, painting furniture is way different then painting a wall. I wanted to share some of those lessons I learned from my mistakes I made while painting furniture. Hopefully you can learn from all my many errors! Now I am not saying that I have perfected the art of painting furniture, but I do have some great tips for you to get started....

  Tip number one... If you are working with a dresser or another piece of furniture that can be taken apart, do so. It is so much easier to paint the furniture when it's in separate pieces such as drawers out of the dresser or table top off the table base. Remove all hardware & anything else that can be removed. You can pay better attention to the fine details & it's more manageable to paint the entire piece that way.

  Tip number two ... Always sand your piece of furniture before you start painting. You may not think that it's necessary, but it will completely change the way the paint dries. The furniture does not need heavy sanding, just a light sanding with a fine grit sand paper would be sufficient.

  Tip Number three ... After sanding the piece of furniture always wipe it down with a clean rag to remove any dust. This will allow the paint to be true to color with out any dirt drying into the paint.

  Tip Number four ... Use a primer. This helps the final color to look its best. When choosing your primer remember that you must use an oil based primer with oil based paint. You can use an oil based primer with latex paints. The difference between the primers? Oil based primers are amazing at blocking stains and awesome at helping the paint stick to the furniture. It's downfall is that it has a strong odor. Latex is not as good at blocking stains but it still does a good job & does not have a strong odor.

  Tip Number five ... Prevent drips. This is one mistake I have made so many times because I rush too much! There are a few good ways you can do this. If you are using a roller (which I love the most) Make sure you only have a light amount of paint on the roller at a time & wipe any access of the edges with a rag. Same goes for your brushes, do not put an excessive amount of paint on the tool at a time. Also work from the top of the piece to the bottom to wipe any drips as you go.

  Tip Number six ... Choosing paint. I like to use Satin finish latex paint for all my shabby sheek pieces,but you can experiment with any finish to make your piece turn out the way that you envisioned it. When you go to pick up your paint you can ask the paint counter employee what they suggest for what you want your final outcome to be.

  Tip Number seven... As far as whether or not you want to use a brush, paint roller, or sponge brush, that is all up to you. I happen to use all three tools when I paint pieces. Rollers are nice when you are working on a large surface (Such as when I did my entire bedroom set!) Brushes are nice for adding texture & simply adding great coverage to your piece. Sponge brushes are great for getting in small areas & for fine details. Also if  you have an air compressor, they make great paint tools for all kinds of painting jobs that are easy to use &  have a great final result.

  Tip Number eight ... Polyurethane the piece when you are finished. This will make your piece easy to clean & dust in the future. You can get polyurethane in a spray can or you can buy it to paint on with a brush. Make sure to put on the polyurethane in even layers because as the polyurethane is clear, you can still tell a difference when it dries if it is put on uneven. Be sure to follow the instructions on the polyurethane can.

  Tip Number nine.. Allow your layers of paint to dry. If you plan on doing more than one layer, allow at least twenty four hours between layers. Also allow your paint to dry before adding your layer of polyurethane.

  Tip Number ten... If you are doing a shabby sheek piece of furniture, work with a few different colors. By doing layers of colors you add more depth & richness to the piece & after sanding it adds more of an antique look. & to achieve the shabby sheek look, sanding after the paint is completely dry is ideal.

  So that's all of the painting tips I can think of today, but I am sure there are so many more that I didn't mention. If you have any paint tips you would like to share please feel free to add them in the comments below! Also be sure to go like "Liz Marie Blog" on facebook for upcoming posts, pictures, & just to chat!

Love Always,


  1. Oh my goodness!! I was just looking up how to paint the rustic distressed look on furniture! I have this old bookcase that I am going to paint and then add decals and insert cute little organic shelves from target!! This was great help! thank you!
    <3 Alexandra Mimoso

  2. Thanks for the fabulous tips! I love repainting furniture too!! I had no idea there was a difference in primers either and I've never used learning new tricks!!

  3. I'm so impatient when it comes to painting. I never tend to do enough prep and don't wait long enough in between coats. Good tips, I'll just have to approach it as an adult rather than a child needing immediate gratification :)

  4. You are so welcome ladies! Thank you so much for all the lovely comments. I hope all these tips are helpful. Alexandra that sounds so cute! When you are finished you should post a picture to the Liz Marie Blog facebook! I would love to see it! Marie I just learned that tip this last time I pained a piece of furniture I thought it was helpful bc I would have never known! & Tracy you made me laugh out loud.. I feel the same way about myself!! haha

  5. i love your blog and enjoy looking forward to new postings <3

  6. Thanks for the tips!! I have abou 4 items in my basement that I need to paint before I can use them in my house!! :) Very helpful :)

  7. You are so welcome!!! post some pics to the Liz Marie Blog facebook when you are done :) I would love to see some pictures!!!

  8. Thanks for sharing the tips! I have a couple of pieces that I want to paint and I appreciate the tips =))

  9. I am your newest follower! You have a wonderful blog, and I am going to be referencing this post when I redo some pieces when it gets warmer. Thanks for the tips! :)

  10. You got another new follower. I will be using these steps. I didn't know about oil based primer. So glad I found this info. Question? Is poly the VERY last step? What if I do layers, do I do poly in between? Also, do you use waxing to get an antiqued look? I see others mention it....just curious.

    Thank you.


  11. Quick question, do you sand even after polyurethene or prior to that?