How to Paint Wood Furniture: A Detailed Guide

Wood furniture is one of the most essential parts of our homes. It helps fill up space, add functionality and make our houses feel like home. While many people think of furniture as being only for indoor use, there are many pieces that you can use both indoors and outdoors. 

Outdoor furniture is great for entertaining guests or relaxing in the fresh air. But, just like indoor furniture, it can get worn down over time from exposure to the elements. When this happens, it’s time to give it a new lease on life with a fresh coat of paint.

Wood furniture is a classic choice that You can use indoors and out. But, before you start painting your wood furniture, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that the paint adheres properly and looks its best. 

Types of Wood Furniture Pieces : 

There are many different types of furniture pieces made out of wood. These include chairs, tables, dressers, chests, end tables, coffee tables, etc. 

When choosing a type of wood furniture to paint, it’s essential to consider the piece’s function.  For example, a coffee table or end table will get more use and wear and tear than a dresser used less often. 

This means that you’ll need to choose a paint that is durable and can withstand regular use. You’ll also want to consider the color of the paint. If you want the piece to blend in with your other furniture, choosing a neutral color like white, black, or gray is good. 

But, if you want the piece to stand out, then choosing a bolder color like red, blue, or yellow is a better choice.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to painting wood furniture like a pro!

Painting Wood Furniture Like a Pro:

Painting Wood Furniture Like a Pro

Step 1: Choose the right paint for your project:

If you want your paint job to last, you need to use the right paint. You will have a choice between oil-based paint and latex paint. Oil-based paint is more durable, but it is also more challenging. Latex paint is easier to work with, but it is not as durable.

 If you are painting a piece of furniture that will get a lot of use, such as a kitchen table, you should use oil-based paint. If you are painting a decorative piece that will not get a lot of use, such as a picture frame, you can use latex paint.

Step 2: Prepping the Wood Furniture: 

The first step is to prep the furniture. This means sanding down any rough spots and cleaning the furniture’s surface. 

You’ll want to use medium-grit sandpaper to start with. This will help remove any loose paint or varnish that might be on the furniture’s surface. Once you’ve sanded down the surface, you can use finer grit sandpaper. 

After you’ve sanded the furniture, it’s important to remove any dust left behind. The best way to do this is with a damp cloth. Once you’ve wiped down the furniture’s surface, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Step 3: Use a Primers:

primer is durable and will resist fading over time.

Once you’ve chosen the paint, you must select a primer. Primer is a type of paint that helps the top coat adhere better to the surface. 

It’s also important to use a primer to paint over a dark color with a light one. This will help to prevent the dark color from showing through the light one. 

For best results, you should use a latex primer. This type of primer is durable and will resist fading over time. 

Step 4: Applying the Paint: 

Now that you’ve chosen the paint, it’s time to start painting! To get started, you’ll need to gather a few supplies. These include: 

  • Paintbrush
  • Roller
  • Paint tray
  • Drop cloth

Once you have your supplies, you’re ready to start painting. Begin by covering the area around the furniture with a drop cloth. This will help to protect your floors or patio from paint drips. 

Next, pour some paint into the tray and dip your brush. Start painting along the edges of the furniture, using long strokes. Once you’ve finished painting the edges, you can use a roller. 

Rollers are great for painting large surfaces quickly. Use a roller, dip it into the paint, and then roll it over the furniture’s surface. Be sure to use even strokes, and don’t forget to paint the legs of the furniture!

Once you’ve finished painting, allow the furniture to dry completely. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a day, depending on the paint you use. 

Step 5: Apply a Second Coat: 

For best results, it’s usually a good idea to apply a second coat of paint. This will help ensure the furniture is fully covered and protected from the elements. 

To apply a second coat, follow the same steps as you did for the first coat. Once the second coat is dry, your furniture will be ready to use. 

Once the paint is dry, you can add any finishing touches. This might include stenciling or adding new hardware.

Step 6: Use a Sealer:

Sealers are unnecessary, but they can give extra protection to the paint job and make it last even longer. There are two types of sealers you can choose from:

Polyurethane: Polyurethane is a clear sealer that will protect the paint job and make it more durable. It’s important to note that polyurethane can turn yellow over time, so it’s not the best choice if you want a long-lasting finish. 

Wax: Wax is another type of sealer used on painted furniture. It will protect the paint and give it a nice shine. Unlike polyurethane, the wax will not yellow over time.  To apply a sealer, follow the instructions on the product. Once the sealer is dry, your furniture will be ready to use. 

Why settle for boring, plain furniture when you can have something stylish and unique? With a little bit of paint, you can transform even the most ordinary pieces into something special. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to painting wood furniture like a pro.

Tips for Painting Wood Furniture:

  1. If the wood is chipped, sand it down before you start painting. 
  2. If the wood is stained, use a degreaser to clean it before painting.
  3. Cover any areas you don’t want to be painted with painter’s tape.
  4. Wear a respirator mask while painting to avoid inhaling paint fumes.
  5. Work in a well-ventilated area.

Why You  Shouldn’t Paint Your Wood Furniture:

Why You Shouldn’t Paint Your Wood Furniture

Though wood furniture has many benefits, there are also a few reasons why you might not want to paint it. Here are a few things to consider before deciding whether or not to paint your wood furniture:

  1. The type of wood: Some types of wood are better suited for painting than others. If you’re unsure whether or not your furniture is suitable for painting, it’s a good idea to consult a professional.
  2. The finish: If your furniture is high-quality, you might not want to paint it. Painting over a finish can be tricky, and it might not turn out how you want it to.
  3. The value: If your furniture is valuable, you might not want to paint it. This is because paint can decrease the value of some types of furniture.
  4. The style: Painting wood furniture can change its style. If you like how your furniture looks now, you might not want to change it by painting it.
  5. The time: Painting furniture can be time-consuming. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to painting, it might not be the best option.

These are just a few things to consider before painting wood furniture. If you decide that painting is the right option, follow the steps outlined in this article. 

Frequently Asked Questions;

Can you paint straight over wood furniture?

Yes, you can paint straight over wood furniture. However, it’s essential to sand down the furniture’s surface first. This will help to ensure that the paint adheres properly. 

Can I paint over varnished wood without sanding?

Yes, you can paint over varnished wood without sanding. However, it’s important to use a primer or sealer first. This will help to ensure that the paint adheres properly. 

Do you have to sand before painting wood furniture?

Yes, you should always sand before painting wood furniture. This will help to ensure that the paint adheres properly. 

Can I use latex paint on wood furniture?

Yes, you can use latex paint on wood furniture. Latex paint is a good option for wood furniture because it’s durable and easy to clean. 

Is primer the same as an undercoat?

No, primer is not the same as the undercoat. Primer is a type of paint that helps to prepare the surface for painting. The undercoat is a type of paint that helps to protect the surface from damage. 

What happens if you don’t use a primer before painting?

If you don’t use a primer before painting, the paint may not adhere properly to the surface. Additionally, the paint may not be as durable as if you had used primer. 

Can I use a paintbrush or roller to paint wood furniture?

Yes, you can use a paintbrush or roller to paint wood furniture. However, it’s important to choose the right brush or roller for the job. 

Is primer just white paint?

No, primer is not just white paint. Primer is a type of paint that helps to prepare the surface for painting. It’s usually white, but it can also be in other colors. 


Painted wood furniture is a great way to add a personal touch to your home décor. With the right supplies and time, you can easily transform an old piece of furniture into something new and stylish. When painting wood furniture, be sure to sand the surface first, apply primer, and use a paintbrush or roller for the best results. With a little practice, you can paint wood furniture like a pro!

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