Design Guide: How to Properly Paint Wood Furniture

Home projects are on the rise with home professionals receiving a 58% annual increase each year. While completely remodeling your kitchen, bathroom, or another space in your home can be quite expensive, you can change the look and feel with wood furniture for much less.

But if you decide to incorporate wood furniture, then you might wonder how to properly paint it. Well, you’re in luck! Read this complete guide on how to properly paint wooden furniture today to ensure that it goes perfectly with your indoor and outdoor designs.

Choosing the Right Paint

To finish any surface, it need to be clean, dry, and dull. You can get away without sanding, but we always recommend sanding any piece prior to finishing.

Mineral paint (aka chalk paint) is a good option if you don’t want to sand. The other great part is that you won’t have to prime beforehand. However, you will have to seal it with either a polyurethane or a wax to preserve the finish.

For milk paint, you don’t need to topcoat, but if the item is high use (i.e. dining table), we always recommend doing so. Use a water-based to avoid lighter colors ambering. 

Another good option is an interior trim paint and primer all in one, which doesn’t necessitate a topcoat. It has enough enamel in it that a topcoat won’t be needed and you’re able to select the sheen, whereas milk and chalk paints both have flat finish.

If you’re painting over an existing finish, use a bonding agent to help the paint adhere. You may also need a primer.

Make sure that the color you choose goes with the theme of the room and the mood that you’re looking for it to project. 

Preparing the Area

Before you begin, place a drop cloth on the floor to avoid staining anything with paint, and place your wooden item on top of the cloth. Make sure you’re in an area with adequate ventilation an open doors and windows to help release fumes. Wear powder-free nitrile gloves and a face mask while you work. 

How to Paint Wooden Furniture

If you’re removing paint you’ll want to ensure that it doesn’t have lead. You can buy lead testing kits at your local hardware store. 

Remove Paint

Next, you’ll want to remove the non-lead loose paint by scraping it off. Use even pressure as you work.


If sanding is necessary, go ahead and do that in order to even it out. Use 80-100 grit sandpaper and then switch to 150-200 grit depending on your wood species.

Apply Primer

Apply the primer if you’re going to use one. Use darker primers for darker colored paint and lighter colors for lighter colored paint.

Use a back and forth motion as you go and apply 2-3 coats. Let it dry before you proceed.

How To Avoid Brush Marks

When you’re ready to begin, some painting tips include using a short-handled angled brush. This might work better than rollers since you’ll have more control over them. You can also use a foam brush or a foam roller. 

Ensure that you follow the grain as you go. Once you’re done with this, allow it to dry and apply the topcoat and let it dry. 

Learning How to Paint Wood Furniture

After reading this guide, you should have a better idea of how to paint wood furniture and transform your different pieces. Are you ready to transform your space with unfinished wooden furniture? 

Whether you’re looking for a piece for your kitchen, bedroom, or another room, we have you covered. Check out our large selection of items today.

Still have questions? Shoot us a message or give us a call — we’re here to help!

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