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How to paint furniture

I get a lot of questions asking how I paint furniture, so I thought I would do a little post to about it.

I now have a spray gun and use lacquer for all my projects, but before that, I used spraypaint. Unless you're refinishing a lot it's more economical than buying a sprayer.  I LOVE it! You get a great, professional looking finish and it's much more durable than latex paint. I really like the advice on this blog, and I don't see the need to restate everything she has already said. She also has some video tutorials on glazing and spray painting which are great.

There are a few things I would do differently. I really like the Kiltz spray primer but I don't use it on every project like Brooke suggests. It's really expensive, and if you do sanded edges it will show. I only use it on raw wood, dark colored projects I'm painting a light color, and really thrashed stuff. If the project has a decent finish I just scrub it with a kitchen sponge on the green abrasive side, and a bucket of water with dishsoap. Then, rinse it and wipe it dry.  This gets off all the greasy fingerprints that keep the paint from sticking, and roughs it up enough to make the paint really adhere to the piece. 

Also, I like the Valspar spraypaint from Lowe's. I haven't ever found a protective coat in a spray that I like so I brush on several coats of polyacrylic. Verathane brand works great. 

Try to avoid buying pieces that someone has already painted.  They end up being a lot more work!  Usually the paint needs to be sanded down or stripped completely because not everyone preps their pieces properly and then the paint just doesn't stick.  And, there are usually brush marks and drips and chips and it's just a mess I like to avoid.  :)

Please email me if you have any specific questions about refinishing.  I'm always happy to answer any questions.  :)


  1. Thank you for the info!!! I now know for the future to not buy painted pieces!!! I am sure the project I sent your way are one of the messy projects you like to avoid!!!

  2. can you check the link I went to go read it and it goes back to blogger :( I was curious to see if I already do all the tips stated. Thanks!

  3. Oops. I just fixed the link so now it goes to All Things Thrifty.

  4. I enjoyed checking out your blog! Thanks for talking to me the other day when I stopped by. I do want you to do my kitchen table--I will call you! Melissa

  5. Okay. I have a side table that has a high gloss cherry wood stain on it. I really do not want to sand it before painting... Is there something that I can put on it before painting that will keep the paint from scratching off? Is that the kilz stuff?

  6. This is so helpful! Thanks so much for the info.