Friday, August 24, 2007

Painting Furniture-Step by Step

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How to Paint Furniture: I've received so many questions about painting furniture that I decided to write up a step by step guide to share with you. I'm sure there are many different ways to paint furniture but this is how my dad taught me. Below are a few of the pieces I have painted so you can see the "before and afters". The instructions are at the bottom of this post.





After


This bed was free on craigslist.org I was the second person to call on it but I left my name/number just in case the first person didn't show up. He showed up but when he saw how bad of shape it was in he didn't want it. It had someone's initials carved in it but nothing a little sanding couldn't fix.









After



After







After

Painting furniture


Stripping: I almost always strip my furniture before I paint it. Another option would be to sand it really well. You don’t want any clear finish or wax on it or the paint will scrape right off. I use Jasco paint stripper. It comes in a can and I think you should be able to find it at most hardware stores. Follow the directions on the can and make sure you have long sleeves and pants, shoes, and safety glasses or goggles on. Trust me on this one…I was using this wearing flip-flops and got just a speck of it on the top of my foot….Ouch, it feels likes it's burning a hole through your skin…actually it probably is. You can use a wire brush to get into crevices. I buy the small disposable wire brushes at the hardware store (they are shaped like a toothbrush).

Prepping: Before you paint, wipe the piece down to remove all the stripper and sand it lightly. I like to use the 3M sponge sanders. Wipe down again after sanding.

Adding appliqués: If you would like to add appliqués now is the time. You can see on the picture of my bed that I added a cherub/swag appliqué. There are a number of places you can buy them. One is Do It Youself Chic and another is The Shabby Suite. Update: I've been purchasing some lately at The Bella Cottage. Click on either one of those to go to their website.

Primer: Some pieces I primed first and others I didn’t. If the wood still has stain that was not removed completely from stripping and sanding it, I would prime it for sure. Make sure you get a primer that also says "sealer", this will seal the stain so it doesn't bleed through your paint. Some pieces of furniture will need two coats of primer to seal the stain.

Paint: I use regular latex indoor house paint. I’ve used flat and eggshell, it doesn’t really matter, in the end they look the same. I use a soft white, not pure stark white but any color will do. Just brush it on following the grain of the wood. Let it dry and if needed add a second coat. I wait about a week before I go on to the next step (If you're in a hurry you can probably wait 48 hours and be fine). Latex paint it will be gummy if you try to sand it before it’s really had time to cure. Warning...It’s going to look really bad at this point, it will be very flat and chalky looking, especially if you used flat latex but trust me it will look good in the end after you put the paste wax on.

Sanding and distressing: I lightly sand the whole painted piece with very fine sand paper. This really smoothes out the latex paint. On the edges I sand through to the wood to give it a distressed look. You want to do this in areas where the piece would normally wear over time, like on the edges. If you want a more distressed look you can take a large chain and hit it on the wood to leave dents…I don’t do this but I’ve seen my dad do it on his pieces.

Adding accent colors:
This is optional but on some pieces you may want to add another color to bring out the details of the piece. There are two ways to do this. The first is to buy some brown craft paint (umber or sienna colors) and dilute with a little water to make a wash. Use a rag to wipe the wash over the area you would like to “antique” and then lightly wipe away the excess. If you’ve added too much you can remove some of it with a wet rag. I used this technique on the cherub swag appliqué on my bed. The second option is to use “Rub n Buff” which is available at most hobby stores. It comes in many different colors. Put a little on your finger and lightly rub over the piece where you want to add color. The difference between these two options is that the first one gets down into the crevices and the second one goes on the high spots. You can even use both of these together.

Waxing: I use a paste wax instead of a clear coat. I use Howard Citrus Shield Premium Natural Paste Wax. Make sure you get Natural color because it comes in different wood tones also. The wax does make the furniture a little more yellow but it's very light. Follow the directions on the can…you rub it on and buff it out. It takes a few coats of this to give it a nice luster. To keep up the wax finish I occasionally use another Howard product called Feed-N-Wax. Both these products can be found in most hardware stores. (look in the area where they have the wood refinishing products NOT in the cleaning department where you will find furniture polish)

That's it! I hope I didn't leave anything out. Please feel free to leave a message or email me if something isn't clear.


UPDATE: I'm adding a link to how I painted my blue cabinet because I often get asked, click here for those instructions.

258 comments:

1 – 200 of 258   Newer›   Newest»
Ginger said...

I have been reading your blog for about a month or so and I enjoy it so much thank-you. Your home is so beautiful. I want to take the time to comment because it is for funny I alway wanted to know how people got the look when they painted furniture. I new there was more involved than just paint I have been wanting to paint mable china cabinet that is in my spare bedroom with candles in it. I will take before and after pictures and post on my blog when I finish. I only have about 6 projects to to before I get to it.
Thank-you again for a wonderful blog I truly enjoy it.
Ginger

Nunnie's Attic said...

I just started blogging and in our store we sell distressed white items. I love your site. As a newcomer to this whole blog-world is there a way I can mark save your blog to come back to in future???? Probably a most idiotic question, I'm sure... Again, love your work, love your site.

a pink-bee said...

Thanks for the info Cindy, I have alot of painting to do soon :)
crystal

Shari said...

Thank you Cindy! Your instructions are clear and concise. However, I do have a couple questions. Do you prefer using a paint brush over an airless paint sprayer? Do you have any problems with visible brush strokes when the paint dries?

Love the paste wax trick. I recently painted my dining room table & china cabinet but since I didn't really want to seal it with polyurethane, I didn't get the desired "finish" I had hoped for. I'm going to try the paste wax on those pieces this weekend.

My next project is to paint a 3 piece wall unit (a total of 7 1/2 feet wide by 6 feet tall!!) so your tips will come in handy.

Thanks again!

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

If you have an airless paint sprayer that might work better. You do get some brush strokes but when you sand with the fine sandpaper after you paint it takes most of those away.

Julie said...

I love to see your before and after furniture pictures. The actual gift though is to envision it done when it looks its worst..and in that you are truly gifted!!

Rosemary said...

Hi Cindy,
I paint furniture all of the time.
Thanks for sharing your method.
We do it almost the same way.
Isn't it amazing how the pieces look when they are done?
Have a great weekend.
Rosemary

Abbie said...

What ARE you for crying out loud????
I mean that in the most awestruck sense possible!!!
How do you????

Okay let me go read how, these before and after pictures are amazing!!! You give a whole different spin on one man's trash is another's treasure.

Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for the wonderful instructions - your pieces have come out beautiful! I have a china hutch that I've been really wanting to paint so now I'm encouraged to give it a try!

Hugs,
Dena

mary said...

Oh, Cindy, you make it sound so easy! Your before and after pictures are amazing. I'm so glad you're still blogging -- I don't know what I'd do without my daily dose of Romantic Home! :)
mary
mrcarroll@optonline.net

Catherine said...

I am a big fan of painted furniture!! I love to white wash !! Your before and after pic's show us once again just how creative and talented you are!!
Thanks for sharing!! Do hope you get your camera dilema solved soon!
Have a great weekend!!

lcushman said...

Wow, wow, and more wow! I just found your blog today and you have one of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen! (I have been on shabby chic home tours and have been a subscriber to Romantic Homes for years) You are truly gifted in creating a beautiful, relaxing, romantic home. Thank you for posting your painting instructions. As someone who loves to hunt for treasures and rework them and someone who has sold shabby chic items before, I found it extremely informative. Many people keep these methods secret, so thank you for your generosity. You have a very giving spirit.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs - Kim said...

Beautiful!

Linda's Blue Gate said...

Cindy,
I too.... am new to your blog
You are amazing....I just slap paint on and call it done..... What a wonderful thing to know the proper way... you truly are just full of WONDERFUL ideas..
I'm so glad you are doing reruns.... they have been GREAT
Thank you
LInda

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Thank you all so much for you sweet comments! I'm have a horrible day today and you are making me feel so much better!

Penny Carlson said...

Cindy your furniture is stunning. Thank you for sharing your method. I actually do it almost the same way too. Thanks for the leads for the appliques!
Penny

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Cindy, your furniture is so pretty! You've really done a great job with all of the vintage whites & it looks perfect in your home. I love how you tied it all together by painting them all white. Great job!

Rhoda

cammyk said...

Cindy, Your transformations are amazing!! You are just the sweetest to share your painting techniques. I have never used the paste wax on painted furniture. I will give it a try.

Have a lovely weekend. Cammy

Lisa said...

Hi Cindy hope you feel better! I am going to paint a piece of furniture black. I have all of the stuff ready, paint, brushes, wax. My question : Is black harder to paint? Do you think I should double coat it? I plan to sand the edges when finished. Your home is so pretty!

restyled home said...

Wow, that sounds like a lot of work! I, sad to say, am quite lazy when it comes to painting my own furniture. I am a quick results kind of a gal, and I usually cheat and skip steps when it's my stuff. No wonder your home is so perfect...you obviously are NOT lazy!!
Have a great weekend,

Linda

Anonymous said...

No wonder your furniture looks so wonderful. You put so much time and effort into doing it right. Thanks for telling us how you get your results. I've always wondered what was involved.

~elaine~

Sophie Rose Designs said...

Hi!
I've seen you on Rate My Space!
Everything is beautiful...
You're an awesome decorator!

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Lisa, I have painted a desk black for my daughter's room and it took two coats of paint. It was really easy and it turned out great.

Robyn said...

WOW! Just wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

June said...

Thank you so much for this information. I've been thinking about trying projects like this but wasn't quite sure where to begin or what to actually do. I'm quite enjoying your blog--you have wonderful pictures and interesting content.

Carmen Alexandra, Novelist & Poet said...

Cindy ~
Your photos are so beautiful ~ colorful and feminine. The applique on the headboard really adds a wonderful enhancement. Bedroom is very, very sweet and enchanting. Who could be sad waking up there?
Alexandra
silverbellcottage.blogspot.com

Sandy McTier said...

Thanks for the HOW TO! I have several pieces sitting here waiting to be redone!
Have a great weekend and thanks for sharing!

Blessings,
Sandy :)

Gail McCormack said...

Cindy that was lovely of you to share your method of distressing your furniture, takes a lot of time to work out how to make something look old and worn out, you certainly have it down to a Tee.
Always look forward to keeping up to date on your blog

Gail

Helen said...

Hey Cindy...Yes, I painted yesterday...totally inspired once again by you! Rats! I fell off the chair and landed on the floor with chamios yellow paint in my hair...I cried and thought how awful it is to be single again after all these years...however realizing that the wall couldn't get finished by itself...I just got up and did the best I could. Your a wonderful inspiration to others! Happy day and cheers to you! Off to buy paint for the front door now!
OX Helen

Priscilla said...

Thank you so much for this info on painting furniture, I have recently moved house and started to paint some things, I got it terribly wrong. Now I have some idea of what I need and how to go about it.....
Thank you
Priscilla x

Judy said...

Great instructions Cindy and it sounds so easy. I'm looking for a new/old coffee table and I will try your technique when I finally find one. I love your reruns and I'm so glad you are doing them instead of no posting.

Rosy Inspiration said...

Your painted furniture look great. I've enjoyed your blog very much, you have all the things I love. Your cottage bedroom is simply gorgeous. What a place to sleep in! My, aren't you glad you got your bed, I can't believe it was free! One man's (he missed out big time) trash is another's(woman's) treasure???

Michelle E. ~ Vintage Pastiche' said...

Cindy~ Your Dad taught you well! :) Your pieces look beautiful. I don't think people realize, for the most part, how much work goes into making a Romantic Home, romantic and chic, a lot more than just throwing some white paint on. It shows how hard you have worked to make your home as beautiful as it is.

Thanks for taking the time to post those tips. :)

*muahs*
Michelle

martha said...

You really are special, Cindy! There are a few people who can turn trash to treasure, and there are a few people who can arrange it to make a beautiful room, and then I suppose, there's a few who can clearly teach others the techniques. But you can DO IT ALL!
That's why we keep coming back for more. Your blog is the best. Thanks from all of us!

willzmom said...

I love the bed! Thanks so much for the lesson, I love the look.

MaShelly said...

is the paste wax the same as bees wax??I am in australia and can't say i have ever see the brand you have mentioned(thats not to say its not out there thou) just wondered of bees wax would be good?
Cheers MaShelly

karen said...

Oh, I love this post. I have always wanted to paint some furniture, expecially a secretary that belonged to my grandmother. Your post was so helpful. Your furniture is gorgeous, I love it. Your home is so lovely and the name is perfect. Karen

Lynn said...

Cindy, you are amazing! and really, really inspiring. I want to be like you :) Thing is I hate sanding and painting but I want to refinish things like you do, so I guess I will just have to get down and dirty huh? I have painted furniture before but it doesn't look as nice as yours, so thank you so much for posting all your instructions.
Keep up the great work and I can't wait to see what you do next :)

valerie said...

I loved looking at the before and after pictures of the bed and dresser. I have a very similar bed and dresser that was mine as a child and want to paint it white like yours. Can you tell me the brand and color of white you used?

Also, your instructions are great. Can I also follow these steps to paint some pieces of furniture to get that black antiqued look? If so, can you recommend a good black paint.

Thanks -- your blog has given me so many great ideas.

Anonymous said...

Paint over good wood is an absolute CRIME!! You screwed them up good!

tina said...

Who the heck posted the rude comment! I love painted furniture...and you did a fabulous job! I'm going to print out your instructions~ and paint everything I see that is PLAIN wood! How do you like that...anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Oh for goodness sake! I think the painted furniture is beautiful! You took plain, dated furniture and turned those pieces into charming, very pretty pieces. I don't think anyone would really prefer the "befores" to the "afters."
Gina

Becka said...

I am lol at the anon comment. My sister and I are always at battle over painted vs not painted. I am in the process of painting my bookshelf. She loves that peice of furniture and thinks I am committing a crime for painting it. I laugh at her. I hate dark wood, I adore painted wood. And it's mine...so I paint it. And then I laugh when she gets all teary.

I am having a terrible time with paint strokes on mine. i will try sanding it and see if that helps. I wanted a shiny smooth surface (which is unusual for me) but since it doesn't look smooth anyway, i will distress it a bit and see if that works.

I do have one question? Will the paste wax mess up my books? I would love that shiner sheen, but am worried about my books, and am wondering if I should put a clear polyurethane on it. What are your thoughts?

Peg said...

Cindy your home is beautiful and if you hadn't said different I would have thought a lot of money had been spent. You evidently have a talent for design, fancy coming over the pond for a few weeks and sorting me out:o) I have only just found your blog tonight so I got to enjoy everything anew, as for the annonymous posters negative unkind comment well not putting their name to it speaks volumes.
I have bookmarked your blog and look forward to sharing in your new adventures.
Peg

CV. Anindo Furniture Indonesia said...

Hi,
We have lots collections of small tables. Is it made of solid mahogany wood or teak you can find it in Indonesian solid mahogany tables and Small Tables
Thank you.
Sincerely yours,
Muhammad Hisyam Muiz.

Anonymous said...

What a kind person you are to post this for all of us who drool when we look at how you can transform a yard sale item or a thrift shop item into an heirloom.

That table transformation is beautiful. It would fit into any room in the house.

Cindy, have you ever considered writing a book? With the many projects you do, you could do that so easily. And, I imagine companies such as Krylon would make some contribution because you use their products.

Anyway, just a thought.

Again, thank you so much for this transformation guide. I have an old, small, drop-leaf table that I would like to redo. Your photos are so inspiring.

JayJay

Tracy and Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy and Dan said...

Thank you so much for sharing the secret!! I always get streaks in my painting.. what kind of brush do you use? I've been told to use a roller, but that hasn't turned out that great either...I seem to be able to see where the roller overlaps! And many times you can see blotchiness from different angles.. what am I doing wrong?? HELP!! Please comment or email me! Thanks so much!!

Tracy
tlhaws@gmail.com

Cider Antiques said...

Thank you Cindy! I need to wait one more month in Ontario (still too cold) and I like to work in my garage. Minimizes the dust indoors. I will tackle my cabinet soon. I will take before pics. Thanks for the clear instructions! I have added you to my favorties!!! Karen

Lori said...

You named a certain brand of wax. Do you think Johnsons Paste Wax would work the same way or have you had negative experiences with it?

Terri Lynn said...

I have been reading your blog over and over...almost daily. It inspires me to work on my house and attempt to make it as beautiful as yours. I have finally purchased a few pieces of furniture that I would like to pain...as well as a few other items...but I need a little help. When you paint your cages, frames, etc., do you use the same technique? Just wondering how you go about painting plastic and metal and still being able to give it the 'distressed' look I want. Thanks so much for your time and for your blog! You really do need to write a book for those of us that are just starting out! :o)

Rocky & Krystal said...

I just painted a little table hat I had with leftover paint I used to paint my kitchen, and I did not sand or strip it first, but it turned out nice I think . Do you know a trick to getting paint off kitchen cabinets?? also, do you know how to make a tufted bed headboard??? I would love to buy one, but am on a budget, I don't think it could be to hard...

kateinglis2 said...

Try using a foam brush and you won't have any streaks.

Anonymous said...

I am so bad with picking out colors, even whites! Could you tell me the name/brand of color you used on bed? It is gorgeous.

Thanks!

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing said...

Kitchen cabinets are something you use every day, yet you probably never take the time to appreciate them. They seem simple enough, but there is actually more than plenty involved behind the scenes. There are many things to consider regarding kitchen cabinet refacing, cabinets materials, finishes, door designs, and even information on hardware. http://kitchen-cabinet-refacing-design.blogspot.com

Canada said...

Hi Cindy .... wondering if you could tell me if I can paint those awful tables and cupboards that come prefab at stores like Walmart not even veneer ? my bedroom needs updating and I really love what you do but hubby refuses to buy "more stuff" says I have enuff stuff now (can you ever have enuff ?) ..... hubby thinks I am a little nuts but that's his prob LOL .... also in your bedroom pick you have plates hanging, did you use plate hangers ? I can't see any in the pix ..... thanks and keep us up to date when you can .... you are a treasure!!

Suefrang said...

Cindy

I am getting ready to use the same method but I want black furniture. Two questions, first do you always use latex paint? I have seen others recommend enamel or acrylic paint. Do you have a recommendation for a good black paint. Second, I want a soft finish, not glossy. Is that the look I will get with the wax? Thanks for your help and your blog

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I've only used latex and the wax does give it a little sheen.

Lena said...

wow...thanks so much for this post! so inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Great site! Here is a tip for SueFrang: Use low lustre black paint, not flat or gloss. This finish will end up looking exactly like that popular black finish that you can find at Pottery Barn or similar stores that sell black furniture. My sister used Benjamin Moore brand in black, low-lustre for her antique dining room set and it looks fabulous.

PT. New said...

Hello,
We have some collections of teak garden furniture made of solid teak plantation wood grade A only from Indonesia.
Thank you.
Charles Siahaan.

Vanessa Greenway said...

Hello! I found through Deborah at Pics, pots and pens. I've got some projects to get done and I really enjoyed reading your post and it was very helpful. Thanks! Vanessa

Jan and Tom's Place said...

Cindy....what a wonderful thing you've done, by sharing your instructions here!!

Thanks,
Jan

Kate said...

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!
I sincerely cannot thank you enough for sharing your expertise with us. So much better than listening to a grumpy ol' hardware store man! ;-)

Kate.

Melissa Wertz said...

Thanks Cindy! I have a couple of pieces I want to paint, and have been wondering just how to go about it. Thanks so much!

Berlin Deluxxe said...

Your blog is beautifully serene and teaches us all that beauty does not come with high end price tags, but with a can of paint and a little elbow grease anything is possible! Thank you for posting such wonderful blogs...

Devonia said...

Love seeing before and after's - WOW! These are beautiful. Devoia

Fiddledeedee said...

I lived in Los Angeles for 10 years when I was single and child free. I painted furniture for a living. Heavy sigh. I had to put my brushes away when I started pushing out children.

You've inspired me to dust off my brushes and breathe in the paint fumes. I've missed it. Not the paint fumes. The painting. :)

psycheupp said...

your house is so beautiful. I did follow through you step- i painted my cupboard to white - did it myself!!! i have a wooden bed like yours but have no guts to do that yet. perhaps one day I WILL!!! thanks so much! you can visit mine at psycheupp.blogspot.com !!

Shirley said...

Wow! You are very talented. I have a question for you. My daughter was given a Jenny Lind crib that is a little worn and is maple colored. She'd like to paint it all white. Do you have any suggestions for sanding down each one of those spindley slats and also any suggestions for safe baby paint? Thanks for any help you can give.

Tony said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mobili ufficio said...

Of all the office furniture, it won’t be wrong to say that sedie ufficio i.e. the chair is the most important. Chairs used in an office must be comfortable or else there are chances that the productivity of the employees is affected. While choosing the chairs for an office the profile of the employees must be taken into account. For example the chair for a person working on computer would be different from the chair of a person writing on the desk.

Margiij said...

I just found your site...it is exactly what I need to rekindle my love of "redoing". I do have a clarification: Does using the wax technique give the sheen that is seen on the high-end black furniture in the furniture stores? I like many of the distressed pieces; however, for the piece I want to refinish, I would like the sheen of the furniture store black pieces.
Many thanks for any help,
Margii

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Margijj, It does give a sheen, make sure you sand the piece really well before you wax it so it's really smooth. You will notice the feel of it goes from chalky feeling smooth. Then wax, it may take a few coats of wax to give it the sheen you want. With the wax, it's almost like the more you buff it the shiner it will get.

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Oh I forgot to add that maybe you should try it on a scrap piece of wood before you paint your furniture, then you will know what to expect.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much...I am truly anxious to begin on a sofa table that was my grandmother's. I have this big old 1860's home and have so many wonderful things to work with. Thanks for the help and I will let you know how it goes. Please have a great rest of the weekend! Margiij

Teri said...

Great site, going to try your painting technique. I do have a question about the paste wax. On the site for the wax they mention it is not recommended on painted finishes. Should i be concerned? I know your pieces have come out beautiful. My husband is building a country hutch for me and i want that black finish you see on Pottery Barn furniture. Thank you.

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Teri, I've used in on a lot of painted pieces and never had any problems! Just make sure you let the paint cure awhile before you wax it. I usually wait a week just to be safe.

Teri said...

Cindy,
Thanks for the quick response. On my way to buy the wax! Have a great
day.

Teri said...

Cindy,
I will be painting a new piece
(unfinished wood)black. I can only find primers/sealers that are white.
Any suggestions? Thank you.

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Teri, Do you have a Home Depot by you? I was just talking to a man who works in the paint department at Home Depot and they have one brand there (I don't remember the name) but they make a gray primer.

Teri said...

Cindy,
Yes I do have a Home Depot,
I will check there. Thanks again.

Maling said...

Nice Pictures, thank you for sharing!

Julie said...

I have had such a hard time picking paint colors. Would you share the white that you used on your dresser and head board? Thank you for all the wonderful pictures and inspiration.

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Julie, I don't remember what color I painted the dresser and headboard. My dining room table and my armoire in my living room is painted Behr Paint in Polar Bear.

Lisa said...

Thanks so much, Cindy! Do you do anything special with the cane insets in your chairs?

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

No, I just prime and paint the cane back. Make sure you check each side because the paint oozes through and you will get drips on the back side if you aren't careful. You may have to lightly sand the cane after it's painted with a very fine sandpaper to smooth it a little bit.

Becky said...

Thank you for answering all of us.
I know that takes time.
My question is..what is the color of the blue. Is it called french blue and what brand. Also the color of the grey if you don't mind.
Thanks you
Becky

sara said...

Thank you so much for these picture-perfect inspirations! My mom has referred me back to this post again and again - it's been a lot of help as I repaint a desk. Do you have any tips for getting into those letter cubbies?? I just can't seem to get them covered!

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Sara, Thanks for the comment! I would use a smaller artist type brush to get into the part of the cubbies that you can't cover with a larger brush. Not a really small one but one of the larger artist brushes that are a little more pointier than a house painting brush. It may take some time but at least you will be able to get it covered.

a pot, a thought & a smidgen of dirt said...

I just adore you blog, we are just doing up our house now and have alot of old bits and bobs to do up, thanks for the tips on how to paint funiture. fiona

amina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Teri said...

Cindy,
Help!!!! I started to wax a piece of furniture. I painted it black using Ben Moore low lustre latex paint. I let it cure for 2 weeks, the wax (Howard Shield) seems to be taking off the paint. I primed it and sanded in between coats.
I started in an inconspicuous spot.
Any suggestions, did i do something wrong?
Thank you. Teri

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Wow, I've never had that happen before! I'm not sure why it would do that! I wouldn't use it then, you may want to just put a poly type sealer on it instead of the wax.

Teri said...

Cindy,
Thanks for such a quick response.
I agree i probably should not continue. I so wanted that pottery barn finish. If anyone else has any suggestions please advise.
Thank you, love your site, I saw you on hgtv rate my space!!
Teri

Teri said...

Has anyone used Minwax water based wipe on poly on a painted finish?
So many of the poly finishes do not
recommend going over a painted finish. The wipe on poly is suppose to give a more hand rubbed finish. Any one have expierence with this product?
Thanks
Teri

Michelle, Queen of Everything said...

Cindy, thanks so much for posting this. So far, I've just tried spray painting, but haven't been 100% happy with the results. I'm going to do my first piece of furniture "by hand", using your instructions. I'll send you a link to my blog when I post the before and afters. Thanks again!

SV said...

I've been looking for instructions for painting the hinges and handles but can't find it. They look like they're painted the same color so do you sand them first or primer them?

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I primed the hinges with spray primer and then painted them with spray paint. I used white and off-white paint (sprayed at the same time) to try to make it match the paint on the dresser.

ECE AYMER said...

Hi Cindy, I am a very famous decorative painter in Turkey and for about a month almost everyday I have been reading your posts. You are amazing...I also decided to make a blog and last week ı didn't sleep, busy with my blog. These were because of you... My blog has been created by Shabby Chic designs. Thank you very much for opening a new life to me... This is my blog address
www.favoritehometovisit.blogspot.com

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Cindy...thanks soooo much for posting instructions. I always wondered the best way to paint so really appreciate you taking time to outline the steps! Susan

Andrea said...

HI! I've been following your blog for about 2 months. You are very creative and talented and I love that you are frugal too. I just moved to So. California last month from AZ and am excited about all the cottage homes I am finding here.(we live in Burbank) As tastes change and revolve, so has mine. I am tired of old world and traditional and am enjoying cottage style and shabby chic. I have always liked it, but had only used it in my girls room. I am getting ready to paint a coffee table. Thanks for your help. Your house is amazing!

Sandie said...

Thank you so much for the lil tut on how ya do ur paintin because it so came in handy, I painted a lil bookshelf thingy lol yes my lil thingy it was so rough looking and wanted to paint it because my bedroom I want it all shabby vintage romantic type style so i love you page :)
ok im gettin carried away LOL
Thank you again it helped and i saved it:)
love ur page!!!
hugs
Sandie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your painting techniques! You do a great job!
The makeovers are amazing!!

Shabby Chic Lover said...

i have purchased a new home and i was looking for tips on painting the furniture that was left in the house and the table that u have painted is the exact table i have WEIRD ha ha anyway i love your home its amazing a true credit to you thanks again for the tips i cant wait to start

morninglori said...

Love all the great advise! I can't wait to try this on my next project. My question is about paint, do you ever use semi gloss? What is your opinion in comparison to satin or flat?

Thanks again for all the info,

Sandy

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I never use semi gloss because I don't like the shininess of it. I usually use flat latex.

Anonymous said...

I want to paint a color over the legs of kitchen stools that now have white paint. Can I get away with this without stripping the white paint?

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

They probably have a clear coat over the white paint so you should sand them to get that off first.

Couture de Papier said...

Thank you for instructions!! Your pieces are so professional and these are easy steps.I use to use that awful remover like acid,make sure you wear a mask too.Now I use and electric sander(saves my energy)with a mask because most of these old pieces of furniture have shellac as a finish which contains lead.I then dust off still wearing mask.Next I scrub pieces down with TSP.A concentrated detergent that removes oils,polish etc.. which you can get at any hardware store.I prime all my furniture (signs,mailboxes) with Kiltz,a water based primer(no fumes!),again wear a mask and have plenty of ventilation.I seal my pieces with an exterior water based polyurethane,Varathane( will not yellow).Crackle can be added before painting for the 'chippy' look.However with crackle you can only brush in one direction,not back and forth as you would with paint.Cindy,I also use a water based latex flat based paint.It is a good base to paint roses and decorative motifs.I am glad I had this opportunity to write this all down to REMEMBER!!I have a cottage window I think I am going to paint today!!!! Thank you for inspiration!

tanalicious said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tanalicious said...

have you ever tried to applique paper on top like this? http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/02/before-after-nicoles-dresser-and-desk.html

how would i go about doing that? modge podge? prior to the sealant?

and help would be appreciated.

Klarissa Lov said...

I loved the before and after pictures, I lve your room :]

I'm 18 and I'm planning on repainting my bedroom dresser and nightable by myself. I've had them since I was 7 and I'm bored of them, but I don't want to spend a whole lot on new furniture. My furniture is kind of like an old white/bone color, and I want them to match with the bright white of a desk I bought recently.

Thanks for all your tips, I'll definately bookmark this page :]

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I wanted to let you know that I followed your steps when re-painting an old dresser in my daughter's bedroom and the results are beautiful! I am now in the middle of painting a large mirror I picked up at a barn sale to match. My favorite part of the process was the wax... it was actually kind of relaxing. Thank you, thank you for sharing your very helpful tips!

All the best,
Randi Hewit

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Thank you Randi! That's so great to hear!

CWG said...

Hi Cindy,
I'm thinking of painting an old dresser I have. If needing to use wood filler to fill in holes where handles used to be, where in the step by step process would you do that? Also, if adding new knobs (in a different place than the previous drawer handles), when would you do your drilling? Thanks so much for all of the advice!

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

You can fill the holes and drill new ones just before you sand it before you prime it. Just allow enough time for the filler to dry (read the back of the label for dry time). Then when you do your final sand you can sand of the excess filler.

MomInTraining3 said...

I love your Blog! I got some great hand me down furniture for my daughter that we are painting. I found your site by typing in How to paint furniture. I love your pictures!!! Gorgeous stuff!!!

Hand Painted Furniture said...

The Hand Painted Furniture is a pride to possess. If you want your home to depict a picture of your true self, Hand Painted Furniture is the way to go.

Tai Rivera said...

Thank you so much for this post! I am not a Shabby chic but I have 2 items to paint. One is rather ornate. WHen I emailed to the professional refinisher, I never heard back from him! Now I feel confidence that I can give the piece the respect it needs!

Pam said...

You say to "wipe down" after the stripping/sanding process. What do you use to wipe down the furniture? Thanks for your help.

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Hi Pam,
I usually wipe down as much dust as I can with a dry cloth, then I use either a damp rag or a tacky cloth which you can buy at the hardware store in the wood refinishing aisle (where they sell stain, etc.)to get the dust off better.

Jerrie said...

Thanks Cindy! Why can't you be my next door neighbor? ha

Miss Mustard Seed said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and ideas with all of us. I am a muralist & decorative artist and I have never heard of using paste wax as a topcoat for painted furniture. I'll have to give it a try! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Just finished a desk following your advise. It looks great, lots of compliments on it. Got glass handles from Bella Cottage. Could not find the kind of wax you mentioned anywhere in my town so I used Treewax paste wax. I love the worn looking finish. One question-I am on to my dresser next. It has beautiful old drawer pulls and handles on it I would like to use. Do you use your old hardware? What is the process. Can it be painted and look good. Thanks for all the excellent information. Susan

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Susan, glad you had good results. I just take off my pulls and use a spray can of primer on them and then paint them.

Anonymous said...

I have some interior semi-gloss enamel...how would that work on a kitchen table and chairs?

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Sorry, I'm not sure how semi-gloss enamel would work...I've never tried it myself.

Anonymous said...

How do you treat the furniture pulls/handles on a chest of drawers...especially if they are ornate like the dresser you show on your site?

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I took the pulls off and painted them first with spray primer and then spray paint. It was hard to find a spray paint that matched so I held one can of white and one can of antique white and I sprayed both cans at the same time. It worked great! They haven't chipped at all.

Anonymous said...

where can I find the Howard Paste Wax....are they sold at Home Depot?

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I don't think Home Depot carries it. I got mine at Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH).

Kori said...

Hey Cindy! Love what you did with the furniture! I was just wondering if youve ever painted the furniture with color stains and if it gives the same true color, my neighbor swears by this but i dont see how it could look as good as the paint does...

Kori~

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

No, I've never used color stains. They would be more transparent so it would be a different look than painted furniture.

JCK said...

Just found your blog because I bought a painted piece that is perfect for my kitchen -- except that it is black and I want it be white. It is made of wood and wood composites. Have you ever painted a piece like this? Any tips? I imagine that I can't strip the composite parts. Do you think it might be OK if I just sand the whole thing?

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Yes, you can sand the whole thing! I only strip because I think it's easier than sanding!

Beth said...

Hello! I came across your page and tutorial from another blogger. You have a great site!

We purchased a bedroom set from Bassett furniture over a year ago. It was a painted black set and I am fairly certain that there is no WOOD on the surface of the set - although the drawers are made from solid wood. This is weird to me, but I digress.

Anyway, I have knicked it all up, and my cats have really done a job on it with their nails, so I want to paint it. Is this possible even thought it isn't wood? I don't really know WHAT material is underneath - plywood, MDF, etc...and I don't know how to determine what material was used!

Can you help?

Thank you!

suze said...

I have 4 chairs with caned seats I want to paint white-is the process the same? Use a brush or spray paint?
Your home is beautiful!
Thank yiu

Jen said...

Thank-you so much Cindy for taking the time to send the useful and helpful information on the furniture painting. Your home and your furniture are truly a beautiful inspiration. As for any negative comments about furniture etc... each person has their own oppinion as to what is beautiful and if they didnt like it well they don't have to paint theirs. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and obviously didnt learn the quote " if you dont have anything nice to say dont say anything at all." Many blessings
Jennifer

Sherry said...

Hi, Cindy! I am debating between a polyurethane finish and paste wax. why is it that you prefer the wax?

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Hi Sherry, I use wax because it's so easy. I never tried doing a poly but I'm going to soon. Poly would be better for something that gets a lot of use, like the top of a table.

Sherry said...

Thanks, Cindy! I was also wondering if you've ever tried doing cupboards. I'm tempted to do mine, but slightly intimidated.

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Sherry, I painted my kitchen cabinets but they were already painted so it was easy.

Sherry said...

Hmmm...what scares me about mine is that they are an ugly brown laminate stuff. Don't know how to work with it.

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

No, I don't know how to paint over laminate but I remember doing a google search on it once and found some instructions. You might try that.

Anonymous said...

I want to paint oak cabinets in the bath due to water damage, but am intimidated. any advice? thanks

Sylvie said...

Cindy, I've followed your instructions for painting a dresser, I'm wondering how you take care of the inside of the drawers, mine seem to have some kind of urethane that was painted over the wood at a later date. do I sand that down?

and I just love your blog! so many beautiful pictures and great advice

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Sylvie, I've never painted the inside of the drawers. I've always just left them as is.

Anonymous: I would just sand the cabinets down and paint them with a semi-gloss or gloss paint.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I love your style Cindy. I need to choose a white paint for my daughter's bedroom furniture. The colour of the walls in her room is very similar to your living room/dining room yellow. Can you suggest a white I tend to lean towards Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams paint but am open to any suggestions. Thanks in advance!! Daniela

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Daniela, I've used Behr paint in Polar Bear on most of my things, it's really white but once I antique it a bit it's fine. I'm still looking for the perfect white though!

Darcy said...

So glad I've found your blog. I'm moving from a large, turn of the century apartment (high ceilings, moldings, french doors) to a tiny, low-ceilinged, sterile one-bedroom. Dark furniture just won't work in that tiny place. I've decided to do the whole place in pastels but was worried about light colours (I've got two cats). Good to see that you manage quite well with your adorable dog!
I'll be painting my dark wood armoire according to your instructions. My major problem is the IKEA MALM dressers I was given last year - they are an ugly dark veneer. Can't afford to replace them. Any ideas?

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Hi Darcy, You can paint a veneer. Just be careful when you sand it. They are so thin you can sand right through them quickly.

Good luck with your new place!

Desiree said...

Thanks for this great tutorial, Cindy! It helped me get started on re-doing a french provincial bedroom set(the 9 drawer dresser is almost identical to yours!)although I am doing it black, and rubbing walnut stain into where I am sanding it. I've completed most of the set but need to poly it and find handles as 3 of the originals were broken. :-(
I've been using the technique on my dining set too-it's being done in a cream colour. If I can figure out how to link it to one of your show'n'tells I'll show you sometime! I'm just starting the whole blog thing so it might take awhile...lol...Just wanted to say Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

These are sooo amazing! I am trying to do my own furniture for my baby nursery and your tutorial has helped me out so much! I was just wondering.. If we were using a paint color like dark red.. Would you suggest painting primer also or would it look funny having the white show through when you sand it?

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

You can prime it but I would probably sand it down to the wood rather than have the white paint show if you were painting it red. Then after you sand it, rub a little stain over the wood to make it a darker color, that way it won't look like bare wood. Good luck!

Faith said...

just found you today...I have an old piece, a small table, flat on one side, so it can but right up to a wall, it is a soft triangular shape with carvings on the front. It appears to have been repainted somewhere along the line, and now I want to repaint it. I am going to give it a try. Love the cottage look, and so from dark mahogany to a ligher look. I am concerned about the carving/detail work..any particular way to sand that? Work within the grooves and flow I am guessing.

thank you
Faith

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

It's hard to get into the grooves with the sand paper, I usually fold it up and use the crease to get into the tight spaces.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Cindy - I just found your blog today! I'm excited as I plan to paint a very large bedroom dresser and chest. I'm nervous about it though because they are solid mahogany (about 18 yrs old) and I want to go white (midlife crisis!). Anyway, I really don't want to strip them -do you think it will be ok to just sand? Any suggestions on the primer to use? Thanks so much for any help! Colleen

Mama T said...

Hi Cindy,

You are truely an artist. I was wondering if you could help me with my project? I want to paint an old farm table red and want some black or dark stain to show through on the edges and through the dents. Can you help?

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I don't really have much experience painting anything red...actually I have no experience! I would use these steps here but after you sand it and distress it, rub on some really dark stain on the bare wood areas where you sanded. When you wipe it off, most of the stain will just stay on the wood and not the painted area.

KittyL said...

Hi Cindy,

I wonder if you can help me. I bought a second hand dressing table/desk to paint. It has a ink stain on the top and a couple of cup marks and some ink in the drawers. They have seeped through my first coat of water-based primer and undercoat 2-in-1 (I sanded first). I have a feeling it's just going to show through subsequent coats of water-based paint if I keep applying.

My question is, do you think an oil based primer would sort this out? Would I need to remove my first coat of water-based paint first? And, can I paint eggshell (water-based matt) on an oil based primer and undercoat?

Thanks for your great blog. It's an inspiration!

Katy

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I'm not sure. I've had dark stain seep through primer but after a few coats I was able to finally seal it. You may try a few more coats over the ink to see if that works. You could also ask a person in the paint dept. if they know of anything that might work better for that.

Designer Outdoor Furniture said...

Thank you all so much for you sweet comments! I'm have a horrible day today and you are making me feel so much better!

Anonymous said...

I am ecstatic to find your site! I have spent the last couple months wheeling and dealing all my warm-hued, Tucsan decor (and black/red Asian bedroom) away and replacing it all with items I can put some TLC and paint white, Shabby Chic. I always loved going to Prescott and Tombstone, AZ and staying in the bed and breakfasts there. After years of hiding away my collection of vintage linens and depression glass, I am going to bring it all front and center. Your painting instructions were just what I needed. I went to the store and got everything I needed right down to the goggles, gloves and sandpaper. It all cost me about $100, but after selling off all my brown leather furniture the paint supplies are in my budget. (I am also a struggling, single mom.) Thank you for the wonderful inspiration!! I am so excited to get painting and bring all this new decor together! I hope to have a home half as beautiful as yours within about three years. Time to start sanding! :)

house for sale Philippines said...

Cindy: this is a great post. Very inspiring. Congrats on your efforts, and keep up the good work!

Dierdre G

Bette said...

Wow! This is amazing and I've recently been inspired to paint my bedroom furniture. Did you paint your hardware too or replace it? Bette

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Bette, I primed and then painted the hardware too!

jaytamine said...

Thank you so much for this site! I painted a desk for the first time w/ the guidance of this page. Here are my before and after. I purchased the desk at Goodwill for $19.

[IMG]http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc166/jaytamine/b4-1.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc166/jaytamine/af-1.jpg[/IMG]

Sanjay

rosewood furniture said...

This is a very informative site and this post was a big help for me! Thanks for sharing.

Debra said...

Hi. I have a very plain tv cabinet and night stand that is unfinished. What can you suggest to give it a shabby chic look for my daughter's room. Thanks so much.

Carol said...

I am almost finished painting a bedframe that I had picked up at the thrift store. I just wanted to say that I was really discouraged until I applied the wax paste! I am so absolutely thrilled with the results! Thanks so much for this fabulous tutorial!!!

living room furniture said...

Information regarding painting the furniture is very useful. I am now considering partially painting my living room furniture set as I can observe a few scratches here and there (particularly on sofa's wooden armrests).

designer furniture said...

I understand this is a very useful post of furniture and I will add your site in my rss reade

shabby chic furniture said...

They are so fantastic! I try to make my own furniture for my child and nursery and your post helped me a lot! I was just wondering ,If we used a paint colour light red. Because this is attract children's a lot.

Nicky H said...

Hi Cindy - I am sorry I don't have time to read every post on here so forgive me if this question has already been answered.
I have a waxed pine wardrobe which I want to paint white, I don't want it to be distressed or shabby chic in finish, just solid white. If I follow the instructions of sanding and priming and using a household latex paint, then when I sand down with a fine sandpaper just to smooth it out, all I need to do is wax on top for the finish? I am just checking as I wouldn't have thought to use wax on top of household paint.
Thank you kindly for your time and congratulations on all your lovely, successful pieces! Wonderful!

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

You can use wax or polyurethane to cover the paint.

Anonymous said...

Cindy,
I just love your site and am just so excited to get started on a fumed oak antique dresser that I just bought. After I apply the stripper and scrape off the old paint and varnish do I need to use anything to remove all the residue?
Thank you so much for all the tips and advice.
Jessie

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

You want to wipe it down really well. I use a damp cloth if needed but make sure you let it dry well. Then sand it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy,
I am from Canada and they do not carry Howards wax here, but can you recommend another wax I might be able to use.
Thank you so much.

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I can't really recommend anything else because that's all I've used. If you find a paste wax in the furniture restoring area (near the stains, etc.) you might try that.

dyerjuano said...

you done superb job. it is really romantic. I enjoy it so much. Furniture for living room

Anonymous said...

Hi I found this information amazing, priceless. I just have a question. Do you know if I can do it on Ikea furniture?
I have a black-brown nightstand that I would like to paint white. I appreciate your help. Thanks

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

If it's wood you should be able to do it! I don't see why not????

Mark said...

Be careful to check the provenance of your piece before painting it! The last thing you would want to do to an antique cabinet or bookcase with a beautiful patina on it would be to sand it down and paint it white.

Anonymous said...

Do you recommend paste wax over polyurethan as the top coat for a table that has been painted black?

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I've only painted one thing black and I used paste wax. You could use either.

lisa said...

I have just painted an old wooden bed black. I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor satin Black spray paint. It looks really good, but can I use the Howards Citrus Shield Premium Natural Paste Wax on that kind of paint, or does it have to be latex interior paint?

lisa said...

I have just painted an old wooden bed black. I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor satin Black spray paint. It looks really good, but can I use the Howards Citrus Shield Premium Natural Paste Wax on that kind of paint, or does it have to be Interior Latex paint?

cheap wardrobes said...

I have tried several times before to paint some of my old furniture to make them look better. Unfortunately I just make them worse. But you've got some very helpful tips here that I'm going to try that will hopefully work

cheap wardrobes said...

Thank you for the post your instructions are clear and concise.Painting can really regain the look of an old furniture. One way to save yourself from spending to buy a new one.

Colleen said...

Cindy - I found your blog while looking for 'painting antique furniture'. I have 2 antique, oak chests...anything else to consider when painting antiques? Both Oak.

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Oak usually has a lot of grain in the wood and sometimes it's not a smooth as other woods. If you can feel the grain with your fingertips you will probably be able to see the grain (different levels) when you paint it. Try to sand it smooth if possible.

Robert said...

Thankyou, thankyou , thankyou! This is so gorgeous and you provided just the information I wanted/needed to know.

Moira said...

Hi Cindy! I was doing some research on how to paint furniture and came across your blog! I must say when I was finally able to speak (jaw dropped) how much I fell in love with this look. You are an amazing decorator and have given me the insipiration to tackle our bedroom. Wow..just WOW!!! I am still in awe! Question, do you recoomend a special paint brush, or will any do? Thanks for sharing your love for decorating and your creativity!
Moira

Anonymous said...

I have always wanted to paint "something". Well, I have an old jewelry chest w/music box,3 drawers on top behind two screened doors and 1 drawer on the bottom. It is less then 10" tall and 8" wide. My dad gave it to me some years ago and I really liked it, just didn't like the drab brown finish. I am so nervous about attempting to refinish it, but I am going to do it. Thanks for your instructions which I will print out and save.

Mary

interior decorators Melbourne said...

Nice steps you have introduced here for furniture painting. When you're painting, start at the top and work down, smoothing paint drips as you work downward.

K-Sue said...

Thank you for sharing these details. It gives me much more confidence about painting furniture. You can see how long ago you published this, and it is still getting comments!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy, I love your blog :) Your decorating is so gorgeous.

I do have a question though and I'm afraid of what the answer might be. I had bought a dresser to paint white and a friend suggested I could skip the stripping and just sand it with fine grit sand paper.

However, I'm now 2 coats of primer and 4 coats of white paint and the slightest scratch seems to take the paint off :( I have a feeling perhaps I didn't sand it enough or I should have stripped it. Now I'm not sure what to do and sort of just want to junk the whole thing after all the time/effort/money I've wasted.

Do you have any suggestions how I might be able to right my possible wrong? Any feedback would be appreciated.

-K

Mahogany Furniture said...

thank information,
Furniture Miniature | White Furniture | Mahogany Furniture

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