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How to Paint Wooden Furniture

How to Paint Wooden Furniture

There are many reasons, whether environmental, economic, or sentimental, that we might desire to repaint an old piece of furniture. Maybe it is a family heirloom that, despite its age and wear, we can’t bear to throw away. Or maybe it is a dining room table that has suffered a lot of cosmetic damage, yet it still has many years of functionality in it. Whatever your reasoning, painting wooden furniture is a great way to restore its beauty and give it new freshness.

When you decide to paint wooden furniture, it is important that you follow certain steps and use the right products, otherwise you could end up wrecking the furniture you want so badly to preserve!

Step 1: Protect the area

For any kind of interior painting, it is always important to start by protecting the work area. Use drop cloths to protect the floors. Also, since you will be creating some dust, cover up furniture and other items that may be sensitive to dust (like computers).

Step 2: Fill holes and nicks

Often, our older furniture has holes or nicks, and we want to repair these before we paint. Also, if you are painting a dresser or a cabinet, you might desire to change the hardware. If your new hardware will need holes that don’t line up with the old hardware, you need to fill in the previous holes.

To do this, use a wood filler product (available at any home improvement store). Use a putty knife to push the product into the gouge or hole, and then smooth it out. You want the wood filler to protrude slightly above the surface level around it, so that you can sand it smooth at a later step.

Step 3: Wash the surfaces

As any house painter will tell you, a dirty surface cannot be painted with any hope of success. Use warm water with some kind of detergent (such as a mild solution of TSP), and wipe off all surfaces with a sponge. Next, use cool water and a washcloth to rinse off the detergent. Finally, dry the surfaces thoroughly. This way, you don’t have to worry about surface grease or dirt getting in the way of the beautiful coating you will soon apply!

Step 4: Scuff up the finish

While we normally want to avoid scuffing things, when you prepare for painting, this step is vital! The reason for this is that the old finish usually has a protective or glossy layer which will resist the binding of new paint. However, if you scuff up the surface properly, it will allow the new paint to adhere firmly.

Use a medium grit sandpaper or sanding sponge (100 grit) and rub it lightly over every surface that you plan to paint. Be sure to get right into the corners and cracks, which will probably require bending or folding your sandpaper.

Finally, use a slightly damp cloth or paper towel to clean off the dust from the workpiece.

Step 5: Prime the furniture

By this time, you are probably eager to begin the painting and to start seeing results! However, it is important to apply a quality interior latex primer as the next step. Use a brush for any hard-to-reach places, and a microfiber paint roller for flat surfaces. Watch out for drips, and work methodically from top to bottom. Once the primer is dry, you can finally begin painting!

Step 6: Paint your wooden furniture

Unless you are painting a huge piece of furniture, you don’t need a lot of paint. This allows you to invest in high quality paint, which will ensure beautiful, long-lasting results! A satin finish is beautiful, though a semi-gloss may provide more protection against bumps and wear.

As you did with the primer, use a brush and a roller to apply an even coat of paint on every surface, from top to bottom. Don’t try to save time by putting on a really thick coat of paint. You will get better results by applying two or three thinner coats of paint.

Step 7 (optional): Add an extra layer of protection

Your newly-painted wooden furniture should be looking fantastic by now! Also, by using multiple coats of high-quality paint, it has good protection. However, to give it some extra protection, it is a good idea to apply two coats of clear polycrylic finish. This transparent coating will not turn yellow over time (like polyurethane), and it will give your wood furniture even more protection against the incidents of daily life.

House Painting Company for the Washington, D.C. Area

Do you have cabinets, bookshelves, or furniture that you are hoping to restore? Maybe this process seems like a little more than you want to tackle at this time in your life! If so, give Williams Professional Painting a call. We provide all kinds of interior painting services, including cabinet repainting and refinishing. We can also repaint bookshelves and other wooden items. When you hire a professional painter, you can be sure of receiving excellent customer service and beautiful, long-lasting results!

Williams Professional Painting has been serving northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C. region since 1979

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