Painting Old or Used Furniture
By: H. Iacobacci-Miller
What You Will Need:
- Mineral Spirits
- Sandpaper - 150 grit and 220 grit
- Tack Cloth
- Wood Filler - to repair any damaged areas
- Primer - high quality
- Paint Brushes
- Alkyd or Latex Enamel Paint
- First things first - Lay down a drop cloth or old sheet to
protect your floor from paint splatter.
- Wipe down the furniture with mineral spirits to thoroughly clean.
- Using the 150-grit sandpaper, sand the furniture to remove the
gloss and give your paint a surface to adhere to. Another option
would be to use a paint or varnish stripper to take the furniture
to the bare wood. Follow the manufacturer's directions carefully
and sand after the process is completed.
- Wipe down thoroughly with tack cloth to remove all dust residue.
- Make any needed repairs using wood filler or wood spackle following
the manufacturer's directions and sanding after filler/spackle
has dried completely. Wipe surface with tack cloth to remove any
- Apply a coat of high-quality primer and allow to dry thoroughly.
- Once the primer has dried, sand the surface lightly with 220-grit
sandpaper and wipe down with tack cloth.
- Apply 2 - 3 coats of your topcoat allowing each coat to dry
completely and lightly sanding between coats, wiping down with
Now that you have the basics down for painting old furniture, you
can opt to do a faux finish, add a creative stencil design to match
your room or even decoupage your updated piece of furniture. Painting
old furniture is a wonderful, cheap way to revive and extend the
life of nearly any piece of furniture from hand-me-downs to flea
If you have pictures of furniture painting projects that you would
like to share, we'd love to post