How to paint furniture

Furniture upcycling is a great activity to do with family and friends because it does take a bit of time. Great for getting the kids to do something in the holidays! Painting furniture can also be a fun, cheap way to furnish your home, but it can be a little bit stressful as there are a lot of steps. We’ve made this guide to keep things simple so you can upcycle yourself into a furniture painting fiend!


Step 1. Prepare the area.

Preparing furniture for painting can create a lot of dust so if the weather is nice setting up outside is a great option. If you are inside, try to clear a large area of furniture, then use a Seriously Good Cotton Rich Dust Sheet to protect floors and surfaces. If you are out doors use a Seriously Good Tarp, not to protect from dust, but from spilled paint.


Step 2. Remove varnish

This is the most time consuming part for any upcycling project. First use a Seriously Good Dust Mask so you do not breathe in any harmful dust while sanding. Then use some Ultimate Assorted Sandpaper working from coarse to fine and a Seriously Good Cork Block to remove the layer of varnish. You can save a lot of time by using an electric sander for this section.

When you have finished sanding the piece of furniture clean dust away with a Seriously Good Microfibre Cloth. 2 microfibre cloths come in a pack, make sure to keep one cloth safe for the final step. This cloth is great for picking up dust particles instead of just moving them around.


Step 3. Prime

Priming is a very important step, not to be missed. Some furniture paints can act as primers and some don’t so check the tin. You need a primer which will block stains from coming through the wood. Apply the primer using an Taskmaster Fitch Brush for the detailed bits and a mini roller with gloss sleeves to quickly paint the flat sections.

While the primer layer is drying, clean the brush using a little white spirit in a sealable jar, like a jam jar. Work the white spirit into the brush and then wipe with some Seriously Good Paper Towels. Repeat this process until the brush is clean.


Step 4. Top coats

Before applying your top coat lightly sand the primed surface using a Seriously Good Fine Sanding Block. This creates a nice smooth surface for the paint to bind to and will give the best finish.

To make any shapes or areas of detail on the furniture use some Seriously Good UV Tape to mask off a portion of the furniture. We recommend checking out our Instagram and tip exchange pages for some inspiration on what can be achieved with some well-placed masking tape.

When you have the surface primed, sanded, cleaned and taped use a Taskmaster Fitch Brush to apply the top coat. The fitch brushes are great for use with chalk paint and are fantastic for painting areas of detail quickly.

Most furniture paint is oil based so you will need to clean the brushes with white spirit in the same way as before. There is a big shift in the paint industry away from oil based paints towards water based, so check the paint tin in case the paint has become a water base. Water based paints can be rinsed out in the sink very quickly thanks to our easy clean technology.


Step 5. Optional, distress the furniture

Get that iconic upcycled look by using some Ultimate Fine Sandpaper or a sanding block to distress sections of the paint work, even taking it back to the wood. We recommend doing a bit and then stepping back to see what the whole piece looks like. Repeat until you have something you love.


Step 6. Optional, wax furniture

If you used chalk paint instead of gloss paint you need to follow this final step to protect your furniture in the long run. First clean the furniture using the same microfibre cloth again. The microfibre cloths come in packs of 2, now use the other microfibre cloth to rub on some furniture wax. The wax will protect the painted area of the furniture from being damaged or from transferring paint onto your walls or furniture in your home.

Leave the wax to dry for the stated time before placing your furniture. And that’s it. You now have a wonderfully characterful piece of furniture, and better still if you change the look of your room in future you can always repaint your furniture to match!

Interior Woodwork
Interior Woodwork

All tools used in this How To Guide

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