The following instructions will show you how to paint real-wood furniture on a budget, breathe new life into an old piece, or enjoy the beauty of painted furniture. Everything you need to know about painting furniture is included in this comprehensive tutorial.


Preparation for painting furniture is the most tedious element of the process. It’s not much fun, but it’s necessary if you want a decent outcome. You may need to perform more or less prep depending on the piece you’re painting and the type of paint you’re using. That piece of furniture, on the other hand, should not be painted at this point!

Please get rid of the hardware and get it cleaned and repaired.

Any paint you choose will require a thorough cleaning of your furniture before it can be properly applied. This includes removing any traces of dirt and dust as well as any traces of oil. It is necessary to remove hardware such as knobs and pulls and a patch in any holes, dents and scratches with wood putty before lightly sanding.


Preparation for chalk paint is undoubtedly the simplest. Mostly, any surface may be painted over with chalk paint. I always recommend scrubbing your furniture thoroughly with a teaspoon or a teaspoon replacement, then wiping with a liquid deglosser. Using a deglosser is one of my favorite tips for getting paint to adhere. When the surface is sanded down, it helps the paint adhere much better than if it were left shiny and bright.

Fusion Mineral Paint is my favorite because it doesn’t require a wax top coat like Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint.

The Latex Paint

Using latex paint, I’ve painted a slew of pieces of furniture with great success. Compared to other strategies, this one necessitates much more planning. First, use medium-grit sandpaper to sand down the gloss on any table treated with polyacrylic or polyurethane (is there a shiny hard coat?). The surface has been softened, but not totally. After that, a thorough cleaning with the teaspoon cleaner is required, and it’s best if you let it air dry.

Before painting with latex, prime the furniture with a shellac-based primer (such as this), the paint will stick better, and the furniture’s surface will be protected from stains and tannins.

It is possible to apply latex paint using a paintbrush or a roller. Always use light coatings. Three thin layers rather than two thick applications will produce a better finish. If you’re concerned about brushstrokes, a solution like Floetrol can help keep the paint from drying too quickly and thus reduce brushstrokes. If you’re painting over oil-based paint, you might also choose Hard Coat (which dries to a rock-hard finish) or Oil Bond. Always sand between coats of color with fine-grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections (220 grit). Use the tack cloth to remove any remaining dust.