Saturday, February 2, 2013

How to Paint Furniture

Cost:  $75-$100
Time:  6 full days of painting and dry time

Well I finally decided to start painting my dining room furniture that is over 30 years old.  If you missed it, here are my inspiration pictures.  

I spent about $75 on oil based primer, 1 quart of Sherwin Williams Oil Based Satin Enamel in black, a can of Flood Penetrol, a clear satin finish polyurethane, and on a few paint brushes and rollers. I used a 25% off Sherwin Williams coupon on the paint, saving about $25.  (You can find these coupons in the Sunday paper or set up an account at your local Sherwin Williams store and just ask for it!)


If you are going to paint furniture I highly recommend using a primer, to help the paint stick without chipping later on, and penetrol for oil based paints.  Penetrol eliminates brush or roller marks on your furniture.  These products really give a professional finish to your furniture. Sherwin William paints are great!  They are long lasting, durable, and have a beautiful finish.  If using oil based paint, make sure you are using the correct brushes, it really makes a difference.   See my earlier post on oil based painting tricks.


1.  Remove chair cushions and any hardware attached to the furniture.

2.  Use a primer and mix it with the penetrol (follow the directions for mixing).  Make sure you are working in a well ventilated area.  I painted in my garage with the doors open or cracked open.  You may want to sand your furniture, but this is not necessary if using primer made by Zinsser.  It can go directly onto glossy surfaces to make your furniture ready for painting.  Using a primer helps cover stains and helps adhere paint to your furniture to stop chipping and flaking.  Put on 1 good coat of primer and 2 coats on the table top that will get the most use.

The backs of my chairs are wicker and yes I painted them with a brush.  This helped get into all the crevices.  I used a brush especially made for oil based paints on the chairs and legs of the tables.  I used a roller on all other surfaces.  Using a roller on the tabletop and smooth surfaces is a must.
Let primer thoroughly dry before applying paint.

3.  Mix paint with penetrol. Apply your 1st coat of paint on your furniture.  Take your time and do not apply to heavily to avoid dripping.  Wait until paint is completely dry, about 6 to 8 hours, before applying a 2nd coat of paint.  This is very important because if the paint is not dry it will clump and streak.

Again, I used a brush on the chairs and legs of table and a roller on all the other surfaces.

 4.  Apply a coat of polyurethane on the table top or any other area to help protect your furniture from spills. I applied polyurethane to my table top and buffet.  The polyurethane I used has a clear satin finish.

5.  If using the same hardware, spray paint it the color you want or clean it well.  I chose to spray paint mine in in black with a gloss sheen.  Since the look of the hardware it a little outdated, I did not want to spray them in silver and have them stand out on the furniture.  Painting them black will help them to blend in to the black furniture.  When using spray paint, I recommend Rustoleum brand.  I have used this product in the past and it has never failed me.  Rustoleum spray paints are very tough and durable.

6.  Attach hardware and seats to furniture

7.  Stand back and admire your hard work!

Notice the black hardware?  It looks good!  Now I want to build a frame around the mirror on the buffet.  I am also thinking of maybe taking the wallpaper down or painting the white walls on the bottom another color.  What do you think?


If using oil based paints beware that your brushes and rollers will not come clean under running water much-like latex based paints.  You need to purchase mineral spirits to properly clean them.  I did not do this.  I saved money by buying only 2 brushes for oil based paint and 3 small rollers for cabinets and I "preserved" them between uses.  This is my tutorial on how I did this.

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