Tips For Painting Furniture

Our guest bedroom had some furniture that was my mom’s when she was a little girl. In fact, the furniture pieces were made in 1953 according to the information on the back. I’m the sentimental type, so instead of just discarding it to buy new, I thought it would be a good idea to repaint it, so it has a more modern feel, while still keeping it in the family.

The original furniture set was painted white with an apple green accent trim like you see here on the matching dresser.

chest before painting

The furniture set appeared a bit formal for our Craftsman style home, and it seemed to me that it would be better suited for Country French home designs. It was quite attractive through the years, but our home is not decorated with any pastel colors, and with the guest bedroom being within sight of our front door when people arrive, it always bothered me that the room felt mismatched with the rest of our house. And, I didn’t like that the guest room felt like a bit of an after-thought.

I really loved the look of this piece of furniture to the right that I saw on Pinterest. So, it became my inspiration. dresser inspirationMy husband and I went Lowe’s and headed to their paint department. Instead of guessing what type of paint would be best, we asked one of the associates to point us in the right direction. We selected a semi-gloss black paint that the associate said worked well for our project. Then, I explained the trim idea, and we found a very light cream color paint that would look like a nice contrast, but not as harsh as stark white. After selecting the paint, we bought some good quality paint brushes in a few sizes, and some painter’s tape to assist with painting the trim.

When we got home, we moved the piece of furniture onto a cloth and out of the bedroom. We removed the drawers and hardware and dusted and wiped the piece of furniture with a damp cloth just to make sure the surface was clean. Interestingly enough, the associate at Lowe’s said we wouldn’t have to sand the piece of furniture with the type of paint we bought, but as the project progressed, I think sanding it may have resulted in a better paint coverage and durability that would stand up to frequent use.

We started by painting all of the drawers one time, and then giving them time to dry before we painted again. We painted them a few times to ensure even coverage. Then, we painted the actual dresser in the same manner.

When it came time to paint the ivory accent, this is the part of the project where it may have been wise to sand first. We added the painter’s tape around the places we wanted to paint the ivory accent stripe, and then painted on the stripe. After a couple of coats to ensure the ivory paint was fully covering the black paint, we allowed it to dry. When it came time to remove the painter’s tape, the black paint in a few places came off with the tape! Luckily, it was only a few very small places, but it was a bit of a challenge to get those spots repainted, and smooth, so it looked like that never happened! I definitely recommend even a small amount of sanding before painting to ensure the paint adheres to the furniture. You live and learn.

hardware choices on dresser

After thoroughly drying, we put the drawers back in place and went to the Lowe’s to look at hardware. There are so many great choices it was a bit overwhelming to say the least! So, instead of second-guessing my decision, we bought 6 different styles of hardware. We put each one on and compared. Although there are a few that we liked, we asked friends and family their opinions too. We made a final selection, added the hardware, and voila! Our painting project was complete!

finished dresser


Have you ever tried to paint furniture? Share your photos and tips here!


3 thoughts on “Tips For Painting Furniture

  • February 5, 2020 at 1:27 am

    The before piece of furniture was not the same piece you painted.

    • March 26, 2020 at 5:03 pm

      You are correct, unfortunately I didn’t take a good pic of the piece I completed before I started. However, the piece that is shown is painted exactly the same as the piece I repainted. My bad for not having a good pic, but the point is it is possible for paint to completely transform furniture to an entirely new look.

  • March 8, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Didyou use furniture paint, wall aint or chalk paint? Really like the look o f thr black.


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