furniture, reclaimed wood

The Best Way to Paint Wood Furniture

The Best Way to Paint Wood Furniture

When you have wood furniture and you wish to paint it, it’s important to know what to do. You want the wood to mix well with the paint, and you want the color to really shine. Whether you are painting an end table, a dresser, or even a conversation piece for your room, the color and technique play a vital role.


Sanding is one of the most critical steps when you are going to paint wooden furniture. Many people miss this step and then are unhappy with the overall outcome. Sanding the wood is going to help remove any previous layers of paint or stain and smooth out some of the imperfections. 150-grit sandpaper is going to be the best option, though if there is an existing varnish, you may want to choose 80-grit.

Residue Removal

Residue has to be removed before you paint, too. A tack cloth can be the simplest way to accomplish this. Just go over it with the cloth until sand, dust, and other things are removed so that your paint will go on smooth.


You can find a great primer that can be used on wooden furniture. Different types of primer are out on the market, so it will depend on the kind of wood you are working with. Once the primer has dried, you will want to sand out any drops that are in place and then wipe it down with a tack cloth again.


The type of paint you use will depend on where it is going and what kind of wood your furniture is made from. Semi-gloss paint is the most common. You should plan on applying three thin coats with a foam roller. Allow at least six hours in between the coats for sufficient dry time.


Once you apply the paint, you want to do your best to protect it. Water-based protectants can be purchased. Generally, you can apply a light coat of this with a foam roller. It will take 24 or more hours to dry. From there, you can display and test your furniture by observing and sitting on it, and make sure that it is going to look good and last a long time. Then you will clear and seal everything, so use a tack cloth to make sure you aren’t sealing lint, dog hair, or anything else that may have landed on the furniture since the paint has dried.

Take your time to find the right materials. Your furniture can look great when it gets paint. You can choose a simple white wash or go with a bold color to make a statement within a room of your house. Either way, you want to avoid chipped paint and unsmooth finishes. These get easily avoid if you follow the right steps and use quality materials every step of the way.

You won’t have to paint and repaint if you do it right the first time around. Even with reclaimed wood furniture, the painting steps are the same.