The DIY Home Decorator Answers Every Question You Have About Painting Furniture
I have painted and made over dozens and dozens of pieces of furniture with paint and stain. This page is to help you find the answer to your furniture painting questions so you feel confident to proceed with your furniture makeover project and have success.
How do I paint over furniture with polyurethane on it?
- Sand over all surfaces to be painted with 100 grit sandpaper. Wipe away grit, let dry. A 10 minute going over with the sandpaper in your hand is all that is needed to provide some “tooth” for the paint to grab on to.
- Using a high quality brush, Purdy makes good ones. They are around 10 bucks but if you take care of it, it can last for years.
- Brush on one very thin coat of KILZ primer, let dry. Add another thin coat, let dry.
- If you see any brush strokes in the dried primer or paint, you can smooth them with 220 grit sandpaper. Wipe away sanding grit.
- Brush on 2 light coats of high quality paint Look for the words Acrylic or Enamel on the label. Let the first coat dry before applying the second. Use light coats.
- Once paint is dry you can seal with water based Polyurethane. I use Minwax Polycrylic. Dry time: I wait at least 24 hours, if humid, wait longer.
- Paint can take a few weeks to fully cure, so be gentle for with your painted pieces for a week or two before heavy use.
Do You Need to Sand Before Painting Furniture?
When painting furniture there is no need to remove all the paint down to the bare wood. If you wanted to stain the wood, then yes you would need to do this, but when painting furniture the sanding is done just on the surface to to rough it up to provide some “tooth” for the paint to grab onto. Clean the sanding grit off and then apply the paint in light coats, letting the first coat dry before applying the second light coat.
If using chalk paint or any latex paint, tannins may seep through to the paint in some types of wood. If your set is old and dark stained wood and you plan to use a light color, you may want to prime first with clear shellac. One coat and let it dry will do the trick. I have only had to do this on one piece. A mahogany mirror where the wood was old. I painted it with Annie Sloan blue and it went brown right away. This doesn’t happen on most new or lighter stained pieces of furniture.
Do You Use a Brush or Roller to Paint Furniture?
To answer the question, Do you use a brush or roller to paint furniture? The answer is—I use both.
Each piece of furniture is different and requires a different plan. I use a brush most of the time, but a roller comes in pretty handy and speeds up the process of painting large pieces of furniture
- I use either a high quality angled brush made for latex paint or a flocked foam roller with rounded ends. The rounded ends keep roller marks from occurring in the painted finish.
For instance when painting a dresser – I use a 1-1/2″ angled brush to apply the primer coat and the paint to the detailed molding under the top of the dresser. I used a foam roller with round edges to prime and then paint the large flat areas of the piece. I also use a roller when I paint the front of a dresser and the drawer fronts. If the drawers have detailed or rounded edges, I use the angled brush. After rolling the paint on I fix any drips or excess paint with a few dabs of the paint brush.
When I am painting a piece of furniture that has grooves in it, I use a roller first and then use a brush to paint into the grooves.
If you are thinking of painting a piece of furniture, it’s best to have both a brush and a roller handy. Along with the brush and roller, you should have a small clean container or tray to pour your paint into. Keeping it small allows you to hold the container in one hand and the brush or roller in the other as you work around the piece.
What is the Best Way to Clean a Paint Brush and Roller?
To keep your brushes and rollers in good shape so that you can continue to use them, wash each out thoroughly with soap and water and hang them upside down to dry after each use.