How To: Repainting Wooden Furniture

Friday, November 7, 2008






Part of my bedroom remodeling required more interesting furniture. My parents bought me the old set from a used furniture store for $220 in 2005. The pieces are of decent quality, made with real wood, and are sinfully boring. It's recommended that you don't paint antiques because the value of the piece will be greatly reduced, but as you can see from the above photos, these are not antiques, just normal student-sized furniture.

I used this tutorial from J Caroline Creative as a reference.

Materials
A gallon of high quality paint (you'll have extra, but that's no big deal. I used Valspar in High Speed Steel from Lowes I should have splurged for a better quality paint)
A half/gallon of tinted wood primer (the paint mixer guy can help you pick it out)
A half-gallon of polycrilic or polyurethane
High Quality Paintbrushes (for acrylic-based paints:synthetic bristles)
Medium & Fine Sandpaper (and maybe a power sander if you'd like to speed the process up)
Rag
New knobs/pulls (changing hardware is the easiest way to make furniture look better. I got my glass knobs from eBay)
Power Drill, if you need to drill new holes for the new knobs
Screw Driver, for uninstalling and reinstalling the knobs
Wood Filler, if you need to fill-in old holes not being used by the new knobs
Tarp or lots of sheets to put under the furniture while painting
A well ventilated room (I used an open window and a fan for the ventilation)

Step 1: Prepare Room for Painting

Cover your floor and furniture with a tarp or sheets. If you use sheets like I did, the paint may bleed through and you may need to use paint thinner to get it off the floor. Be careful!!

Step 2: Remove Furniture Hardware

Step 3: If Needed, Fill Old Hardware Holes

If your new knobs will not fit into the old holes, fill them with wood filler. I overfilled them, and then put pressure on both sides of the hole to make sure the filler was packed in there. You may wish to let it dry for 15 minutes and then do another round of wood filler, to avoid the indentations left by the old holes. Either way, you need to let the wood filler dry 15 minutes before sanding it.

Step 4: If Needed, Drill Holes for New Hardware

If the new hardware does not fit into the old hardware's holes, you will need to drill new holes. Make sure to use the correctly-sized bit for the new knob's screws. To make sure the knobs are placed in the same position on each drawer, you may wish to use a paper template with a hole cut where you should drill. Marking with a pencil first is highly recommended.

Step 5: Sand Everything That Will Be Painted With Medium Sandpaper

I used a power sander with medium sandpaper to sand down the flat pieces of the furniture, and a piece of medium sandpaper to sand the detailed edges and hard to reach places. When using a power sander indoors, I highly suggest wearing a dust mask. Sanding the furniture will give the primer a surface to cling to, so you need to sand off the shiny surface of your furniture.

Step 6: Use a Damp Rag to Clear Off the Sanding Dust

Step 7: Paint Furniture with Tinted Primer

Step 8: Sand Primer with Medium Sandpaper Between Coats

Be sure to read the primer's directions to see how long you should wait between coats.

Step 9: Use Damp Rag to Remove Sanding Dust from Furniture

Step 10: Give Furniture a Second Coat of Tinted Primer

Be sure to read the primer's directions to see how long you should wait between coats.

Step 11: Sand Primer with Medium Sandpaper Between Coats
Be sure to read the primer's directions to see how long you should wait between coats.

Step 12: Use Damp Rag to Remove Sanding Dust from Furniture

Step 13: Paint Furniture

The first coat may go one really streaky, but that's okay, we'll put on more coats. Just watch out for drips!!

Step 14: Paint Multiple Coats Until Satisfied With Coverage

Remember to read the paint's instructions to see how long to wait between coats! For this set of furniture I had 2 coats of primer and three coats of paint. I wrapped my paintbrush in a damp paper towel and placed it into a ziploc bag in between coats so I could reuse the brush. Do not sand between coats of paint!!

Step 15: With New Paintbrush, Apply a Coat of Polycrilic
Polycrilic can be very drippy! I coat two sides of furniture, check the first with a brush to clean off the drips, coat a third, check and clean the second, etc. You should do this every time you apply a coat of polycrilic.

Step 16: Sand (With Fine Sandpaper) Between Coats of Polycrilic
Be sure to read the can's instructions to see how long to wait between coats! I used a power sander for the flat areas and hand-sanded the curvier parts. The sanding is just to give the next coat of polycrilic a surface to cling to, so do not oversand! If you do, you may need to use some touch up paint and wait for that to dry! Sanding is the perfect stage to fix any drips from the polycrilic.

Step 17: Use Damp Rag to Remove Sanding Dust from Furniture

Step 18: Apply a Second and Third Coat of Polycrilic, Fine-Sanding In Between Coats (and Removing With a Damp Rag)
Do not sand the last coat!

Step 19: After a 24-hour Wait, Install New Drawer Knobs

The coats of primer and paint may have filled in your holes a little bit. Just use a screw driver and the screw from the new hardware to clear the hole out.

Step 20: Done

1 comments:

Sam @ The Junk House said...

This set does look like the nightstands I painted! I'm glad you stopped by to let me know about them. I love them in gray! And those knobs look great too! Painting that whole set must have been a lot of work!

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