Painting Furniture 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Updating Furniture

Congratulations! You picked out an old piece of furniture to breathe new life into.

Now what?

I’ll be honest. Gaining a professional looking painted project requires a little more than just slapping a coat of paint on, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming either. Before you start your next project take a look at this quick guide. It has everything you need to get started as well as a few tips to make sure you get the best results possible.

Let’s Begin!

Step 1: Selecting Quality Furniture

By now you’ve probably already found a piece of furniture that you want to work on. Take a look at your furniture and make sure it is of sound quality. Start with a piece of furniture that is made of solid wood if possible. You want a piece of furniture that you can be proud of and that will hold together for years to come. Be sure to keep this at the top of your mind when looking for furniture and take a second look if you already have a piece.

Step 2: Patience

Patience is key when it comes to restoring and painting furniture. Like discussed earlier, a successful project takes more than just new paint. There is a process and it is crucial that you take your time and do things correctly the first time.

So remember:

  • Patience
  • Patience
  • Patience

Rushing a project will only lead to less than ideal results. Imagine moving into a home that doesn’t have windows or doors. It would not be very secure (and probably a little drafty). If you wouldn’t move into a house that isn’t ready, why put paint on a project that isn’t ready? That leads us to step 3…

Step 3: The Process

Before you paint your furniture, you will need to get it ready. Preparing the piece correctly is critical for a successful project. The first step for any project is giving your project a good cleaning. You want to get rid of dirt, grimes, and oils so your paint will adhere to your project.

Pro Tip! Using a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water is an environmental friendly option for cleaning furniture. We also use a diluted Simple Green mixture to clean our projects. 

Analyze your project to determining if a light sanding or primer is needed.  Country Chic Paint has a great step by step guide to help you determine your next step.

Some pieces will require you to do some repairs as well. For these jobs, you will need materials such as glue and clamps. Make sure you do a thorough job and do not cut any corners when it comes to prep work. It would be a shame to pour hours into restoring a piece only to have the paint flake after a couple of months or a leg fall off. Check out our Youtube channel for future tips on sanding and other techniques!

After your piece has been properly prepared, it’s finally time for the best part….

Step 4: Painting!

Choosing your paint, stain, varnish, etc is just as important as actually painting. There is no “one right way” to paint a piece of furniture. However, there are a lot of wrong ways. The important thing is that you get a quality paint. You wouldn’t buy an expensive piece of art and then showcase it in a cheap frame, so why would you ruin your masterpiece by putting a lousy paint on it. That is why Louisville Mercantile uses Country Chic Paints. It is easy to use, goes a long way, holds up to time and daily wear and tear, and the color selection is impressive. Using a quality paint will ensure your furniture holds up for years to come. If you’re still deciding the color for your next project,  check out this link for color scheme tips.

There are plenty of different tools and techniques when it comes to reviving furniture. Be on the lookout for future articles where we will dive deeper into specific tools and techniques but for now there is nothing wrong with keeping it simple. Whether you need brushes, sponges, cleaning supplies, or anything else, Louisville Mercantile has just the thing to fit your style. Stop by their Louisville or Maryville location and check out all they have to offer. Never be afraid to ask questions or try new things. And of course, if you ever come across a project that seems to big or complicated you can always ask Louisville Mercantile for a custom painting quote and let the experts there take care of your special project.

Be sure to keep in touch with Louisville Mercantile on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube to stay up to date on all the future classes, workshops, and tutorials.