5 Pointers When Painting Furniture

5 Pointers When Painting Furniture

DIY projects can save you so much money! Rather than purchasing brand new, think about repurposing what you already have. Today I’m sharing my 5 pointers when painting furniture!

YouTube video
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Other than my piano makeover, I don’t think I’ve ever taken you guys along when painting a piece of furniture.  

Sunroom with bamboo window shades in our cottage style home
Furniture makeovers using paint refinishing an antique piano to make it beautiful

Usually I just share the before and after, but today I want to share some specifics. I hope these 5 pointers when painting furniture help you!

If you read my spring dining room post from last week, I told you guys that I was thinking about paining the little dresser that sits off of the kitchen. I got if for $15 at a thrift store and it’s the perfect little place for linens and napkins. 

Small antique thrifted dresser refinished with paint
English Cottage influenced home decorated for spring with antique dress repainted

Last fall I decided to paint it green on a whim, but I’ve never been sure about the color. So today I’m painting it back to the color it was before – a dark, cool gray. I wish I had the paint color for you guys! We had to do some touch up work on the outside of our home and since the paint color was chosen by the previous owners, we simply chipped some off the house and brought it to the hardware store to have it color matched. 

Gorgeous antique refinished painted DIY furniture
Beautiful english cottage inspired grey dresser repurposed as dining room decor

We will have to paint our home exterior in the next few years, and once we do I will most definitely share the color with you all! Let’s get started. 

5 Pointers When Painting Furniture – Clean the Piece Well and Remove the Hardware

The very first step I take when painting a piece of furniture is to clean then piece well and remove the hardware. I like to use an Enviro-cloth, and if you aren’t sure what those are you can read all about them, here! They are amazing microfiber cloths that only use water!

Washing thrifted and antique furniture before painting

Before cleaning the drawers and doors, be sure to remove all the hardware. This is where a lot of the dirt and fingerprints really build up. For this small dresser I only had three pulls to remove, but I’ve painted some pieces in the past that needed hinges removed as well. 

Removing hardware on thrifted or antique furniture before repainting part one of 5 pointers when repainting furniture

If I’m painting a piece that has larger doors like my corner cabinet for example, I will usually leave those on and try to be careful not to paint the hinges.

5 Pointers When Painting Furniture – Remove Any Drawers and Doors if Necessary 

Whenever I’m painting a piece of furniture with drawers, I always like to remove them first. They are so much easier to paint when standing upright, and they don’t get in your way as you paint the rest of the piece. 

Remove and doors or drawers on antique or thrifted furniture part two of 5 pointers when painting furniture

Depending on what I’m paining, there are times I remove doors, too. If you think it will make your job easier, take an extra step to remove them and paint them separately. 

5 Pointers When Painting Furniture – Flip the Piece Upside Down

The third tip I have for you today is one that I learned years ago when I painted furniture for a local coffee shop! I worked with two sweet ladies who told me that whenever a piece has legs, flip it upside down when you paint it!

When refinishing antique or thrifted furniture for a makeover flip over the piece to make painting easier

By flipping it over, you have a much better view of the legs and you aren’t crouching over to to try see every angle. It truly makes painting so much easier! 

5 Pointers When Painting Furniture – Use a Good Paint Brush and Quality Paint

Quality Paint

Today I’m being lazy and using a basic latex paint. Since I’m painting a piece that already has paint on it, I’m not sanding or prepping the surface at all. 

If the furniture piece that I was painting happened to have a shiny surface, I would most definitely either rough it up a bit with some sandpaper, or use chalk paint.

Painting details when refinishing older furniture for english cottage style home

I know chalk paint can be a little pricey, but I’ve got you covered! I wrote a whole post about my favorite homemade chalk paint recipe here if you want to check it out! It’s so simple and easy to whip up. 

The reason I love chalk paint so much is because you don’t have to prep your surface at all, so there is no sanding required. Jolie is an excellent brand, I actually used their paint when I gave my piano a makeover a few years ago. 

A Good Paint Brush

You also want to be sure to use a high quality brush when painting. Believe me – I’ve used cheap ones before and they are such a hassle! They leave bristles on your furniture and streaks on your painted surface. 

My favorite brush to use is by Wooster, I love the rubber handle and the silky soft bristles. 

DIY furniture painting makeover in english cottage style home

5 Pointers When Painting Furniture – Seal the Piece 

The last step I have to share with you today is to make sure you seal your piece with a topcoat for extra protection! 

Now I will admit, there are times I haven’t done this. For example, I never sealed my corner cupboard in my dining room because I used a high quality paint in a satin finish that is very wipeable. It has lasted great! 

How to paint furniture on your own in 5 easy pointers

Since I’m using flat paint today, I am definitely going to finish it off with a good wax topcoat by Jolie. This last step will give some added protection and really make it easy to clean whenever I need to wipe the surface down. 

Easy ways to paint furniture and transform it
Refinished thrifted furniture in english cottage style dining room

In summary, my 5 pointers when painting furniture are:

  1. Clean the piece well and remove the hardware
  2. Remove any drawers and doors if necessary
  3. Flip the piece upside down
  4. Use a good paint brush and quality paint
  5. Seal the piece
Beautiful refinished antique thrifted dresser in english style home
Painting furniture DIY repurposing thrifted and antique furniture in your home

I hope that tutorial was a help to you guys! Let me know in the comments below if there was something I missed, or something you have a question about! Be sure to watch the YouTube video linked above to see me paint this dresser from start to finish. 🙂


5 Pointers When Painting Furniture


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  1. I love the Wooster brush too! So much more manageable than other angled brushes! But OMG you are brave to paint without anything underneath to protect your tabletop and floors! Sure shooting’ if I did this I’d drop, if not kick over the whole can! I’m glad you avoided any catastrophes like that! Love the gray!

  2. The idea of taking a chip of paint to the hardware or paint store is brilliant! Your piece looks great !

  3. I’m sorry I must’ve missed where you got your brush from ,love how easy you made it look so cute God Bless


  5. Norwex cloths are the best! I actually love washing my windows now, lol! No chemicals and no smears!

    Your little side table looks beautiful painted in the gray! I can see you’re trying to get a lot of these jobs finished before the new baby come! What a joyful, busy time that will be! Looking forward to your next post.💕

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