8. how to paint furniture

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Step 6 – Apply 2 layers of the paint of your choice

Once you have done all the groundwork i.e. sanding and priming – now it’s the fun part!

Choose the paint colour that you want the finished piece to have, and apply 2 coats for an even colour finish.

TIP – Sand each paint layer slightly and you will get a smoother final finish

TIP – Use roller or paintbrush depending on the type of finish you want – I used paint brushes only for this project

9. how to paint furniture

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Step 7 – Decorate (Optional Step)

You could leave this step out completely if you simply want to paint the furniture one colour, but if like me you want to add some decoration to the items, then now is the time to do so!

We chose some paints in tester pots as we only needed a little paint for the decoration, and therefore it was much more cost effective.

10. how to paint furnitureUse the masking tape to define the patterns that you want to create on the furniture – make sure that the tape is firmly pushed down so that there are no gaps for the paint to leak out under the tape as this can cause a less than perfect finish.

11. how to paint furnitureThen simply paint in the colours that you want to use.

12. how to paint furnitureTIP – I prefer to take the tape off prior to it drying as I find that this means it is less likely to take any of the paint off the furniture that you don’t want to take off. Other people prefer to leave it to dry first – so experiment and find what works best for you.

13. how to paint furnitureUse your imagination – create whatever patterns, shapes, layers that you want to have – you could have the whole rainbow, a shape etc… – whatever works for you!

14. how to paint furniture15. how to paint furnitureThe last part of decorating that I wanted to achieve is to distress the piece a little. This would match the style of my house better, and gives the final item a much more homely finish in my eyes.

Once the paint had all dried completely on all the stripes I did, I simply took back outside and used the sandpaper to go through the layers of paint back to the wood.

TIP – You could paint another colour underneath the final paint colour and sand back to this instead of the wood finish

TIP – Sand areas of the furniture that would naturally wear over time to give a more accurate distressing – I concentrated on the seat, the edges of the back of the seat, and the legs.

16. how to paint furniture17. how to paint furniture

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Step 8 – Apply a layer of varnish

The final step to complete the job is to apply a layer (or 2) of varnish to the items.

I always choose a matt varnish as I much prefer a matt finish to paintwork, it looks more like it hasn’t got varnish on this way.

The varnish helps with longevity and makes it much easier to clean and not to mark with things like water marks from cups or drawing marks from pens etc…

18. how to paint furniture

So – those are the steps that you need to follow if you want to update some of your own furniture. My top tips to take away for how to paint furniture are as follows:-


A step by step guide taking your through exactly how to paint furniture to get a new decorative look

Are you tempted to paint something in your own home? I’d love to see what you come up with so please let me know in the comments below!

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  1. What type of paint should I use for best results. I am using interior satin but having an awful time getting a smooth finish. Should I switch to oil base? Should I use a thinner as I understand this covers better and drys slower?

    • Hi Dan – If you use a good primer then any interior paint will work well. For this project I just used Matt emulsion – then the varnish on top set everything. We’ve had no issues with this in the years we have been using it.
      If you prefer – a good satinwood paint will work well also – I have used to paint a tray in our living room and didn’t then need a varnish over the top.
      Lastly – make sure you really sand the item well – this is the stage that takes the most time – and then sand between paint layers also. You will then get a smooth finish. Hope this helps, and good luck!

  2. Great post, your tips are really helpful, thanks for sharing this guide! The chairs and the table you’ve made are so cute, but i like them more before you distressed them.

    • Hi – Really pleased you like the post – and glad you like the example! I love the way you can customise to make it look exactly as you want it to – and by not liking the distressed look yourself you have just taken an extra step away which is a time saving bonus!

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