A Better Look: 8 Steps for Repainting Wood Furniture

Do you have old wooden furniture that you’d like to use again? If the wood is still durable, you might have to clean it and repaint it first before displaying it back in your living room. How about a new piece of furniture that has a color you don’t like?

The answer to those questions is by repainting them. However, repainting furniture is not as easy as it looks. Read below to know the steps which you’ll need to follow to get the best paint job for your wooden furniture.

Prepare Your Furniture

Whether it’s brand new or an old piece of furniture, there’s always an off-chance that you might want to change it color. Make sure you prepare the furniture before starting any paint job. Preparing means that any repairs should be done, given if it’s an old piece.

For newer pieces of furniture however, you might ought to decide on painting it a new color since it may void your warranty. If you’re not painting the whole thing, separate removable pieces like drawers or small parts before starting the process. Paint these separately to ensure that you’ll paint all sides and parts of the furniture. Repair any parts of the furniture which aren’t functioning well.

Gather Your Tools and Materials

You’ll need sandpaper (80-220 grit is fine), a scraper, primer, tack cloth, and paint. Use a brush, foam roller, or spray for primer and paint application. You’ll also need some old newspapers to prevent any messy paint from splashing all over the place.

Prepare the Workspace

Now that you’ve prepared the furniture to be painted, it’s time to prepare the area you’ll work on. As mentioned above, old newspapers can be a big help when working with paint. Spread the newspapers on the floor or surface you’ll be painting on. Also make sure that you have cloth and other things that you can wipe away paint with, should a spill happen.

Scrape off Old Paint From the Furniture

Before you start painting, make sure that you clean your furniture. Wipe off any traces of dirt on the surface with a cleaning cloth. You have to remove the original paint of the furniture.  Use the scraper to remove the paint but be careful not to damage the wood in the process.

Sand Your Furniture

Use the sandpaper to sand off the furniture piece. Sanding will help you get a better finish for your paint because your primer will have a better surface to cling to. You can start with 80-grit and move to 150-grit to achieve a smoother surface. Remember to be careful to protect the wood from damage.

Apply the Primer on the Furniture

If you’re using a brush, follow the direction of the wood grain when applying the primer. A thin coat will do for your first coat. Make sure to reach the tight corners. A foam brush can help you in this task. Use a white primer if you’re painting the furniture with light colors, and dark-colored primer for darker paint colors.

When the first layer of primer is dry, sand it again with 220-grit sandpaper and wipe with the tack cloth. You can apply two to three coats of primer, and make sure to sand after applying each layer to help you achieve a smoother surface. Wipe away the dust after sanding.

Painting the Furniture

When the surface is clean and smooth, you’re ready to paint. The ideal paint for wood is semi-gloss latex paint. For brush users, follow the lines on the design. A nylon brush is useful in reaching narrow areas of the surface. Apply two to three coats of paint.

Remember to sand after applying each layer. Always clean the dust with a tack cloth. Use a different piece if necessary to ensure that no specks of dirt or dust will cling to the furniture.

Finish by Protecting the Paint

Protect the paint with a protective finish. If you use light paint colors, avoid polyurethane coating because it can turn yellow after a few years.

If you’re using a roller, watch out for air bubbles. For spray cans, follow the lines of the design when spraying. Hold the can for at least 10 inches away from the surface. Remember to sand the surface before applying the final coat.


Whether it’s old or new, furniture needs to coincide with your preferences for it to become the perfect piece. One of the biggest preferences is color. The steps above will help you repaint your furniture so that it’ll be a better fit in your home.

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