How To Paint Stained Furniture

If you're getting tired of covering your scuffed wooden furniture, and would like to provide it with a fresh look, painting could be your best option. Painting your old stained furniture is an economical way to refinishing it. All you need to invest is a little of your time and a few dollars on some supplies and equipment, and your furniture could look brand new instantly.

  • Sand the surface of your stained furniture. Paint does not adhere well to waxed or varnished surfaces. If you are unsure whether your old furniture has any finish, scrape a small hidden part of the piece using a dull knife. If a whitish film gets scraped off, you will have to strip the finish from your furniture first. For this step, you will need two kinds of sandpaper, one with medium grain and another with fine-grit. Place the chair or table, or whatever furniture you want to refinish, on some old newspaper. Use the medium grit sandpaper to rough up the surfaces to be painted and rub off the old finish. Sand along the wood grain, if you can see it. Once all the shiny protective sealant has been taken off, begin sanding using the fine-grit sandpaper. This will make the entire surface smooth, allowing the primer to adhere to your furniture better.
  • Apply a bonding primer. Wipe off the dust and debris using a damp cloth. Remove the layers of newspaper that you used to line your work area. Lay down another layer of old newspaper, this time, to catch any drips while you work with paint. You can buy bonding primer from your local hardware stores. If this kind is not available, you can always use interior primer as a substitute. Apply a coat of primer and let dry. If you are restoring curved or carved furniture like chairs, it is best to use a brush to apply the primer. For furniture with a lot of flat surfaces, it is better to use a roller. Apply a maximum of two coats of bonding primer, allowing it to dry in between coats. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions with regards to the proper drying procedure. You will know instantly if there is any leftover sealant because the primer will not stick to those areas. If this should happen, simply allow the primer, which you have already painted on, to dry and repeat the sanding process.
  • Cover all the surfaces with your choice of paint. Once the primer has dried, apply the first coat of your chosen paint color with a roller or brush. Let this dry for at least three hours before putting on the second paint layer. Allow it to dry for another few hours and check if the furniture still needs more coverage. If the paint is already even, you will no longer need to paint on a third coat. Spray the entire surface with a thin coat of varnish once the paint has completely dried. You can check this by pushing your fingernail into the paint, if it makes any indentations, you will need to wait for a few more hours before spraying on the protective sealant.

If your furniture has some hardware, doors, or drawers, remove these before starting the painting project. Simply reattach these parts once the final coat of varnish has completely dried. If you insert the drawers too early, the paint might stick and you will have a hard time pulling it out again. The same goes for furniture doors.


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