Are you looking for ways to make your furniture painting easier? Keep reading so you can discover some easy furniture painting tips that will save you time and frustration. These tips are from my 8+ years of experience in painting and flipping furniture for a profit.
Furniture Prep is Key
You can’t start to paint furniture without properly prepping your furniture. I know, you have heard you do not need to prep if you use chalk paint – WRONG! All furniture needs some type of prep, some more than others.
Cleaning is part of the prep and ALL furniture needs to be cleaned before you paint.
I consider furniture prep like building a good foundation for a house. You can’t just start the build until the foundation is set properly. And you can’t paint until the prep foundation is complete. Here is more in-depth information on How to prep furniture the proper way.
NO Can Furniture Painting
Painting furniture with a brush and dipping directly into the paint can will form build-up on the edges. That build-up leads to dried paint, rust, and other impurities getting into your paint. Nothing is worse than trying to pick out old paint clumps from a freshly painted piece of furniture.
The best thing to do is pour a small amount of the furniture paint into a clean container and paint from that container. Do not pour out too much paint, it is best to continually pour small amounts into your working container. This allows you to stir the paint as you go and not be left with a bunch of extra paint that needs to be poured back into the original paint container.
When you have finished the painting, pour the leftover paint back into the original paint can, making sure to strain it as you pour it back. This will keep all the impurities from going back into the paint can. See the video below on how I strain paint. This helps keep the paint free of debris and helps the paint to last longer.
Straining Furniture Paint
Once your paint can have been used, always make sure to strain the paint before using it again. You can also see the amount of debris this saves from going onto my painted furniture.
Watch this quick video on how to strain your paint.
It is extremely important to strain all paint and more so if you are using a paint sprayer. This will save you the frustrations of debris clogging up the sprayer and potentially ruining it.
I have used the paper disposable strainers, and the mesh strainer part separates from the paper very easily. This creates more work and wastes a lot of paint by having to restrain again. I find it much easier to use these plastic mesh strainers instead of paper strainers.
Furniture Paint Containers
Some of your existing paint cans can be hard to close as they may have dried on paint or rusted lids. These FIFO squeezable containers are the bomb for storing paint. No more dealing with rusted paint lids.
Make sure you strain the paint as mentioned above as you transfer the opened paint to these containers. The other great bonus about these containers, it forces you to use a separate container to paint from. Just make sure you place a label on the FIFO container to list the paint brand and color.
Are you wanting to learn how to paint furniture and just can’t find the time in your busy schedule to go to a local workshop?
Frustrated with all the conflicting tutorials on “how–to” or “what products”?
Are you eager to learn a new paint technique and afraid you will mess it up?
Learn many different furniture painting techniques with video training from beginner to advanced.
Once you remove the hardware from the furniture piece it is very difficult to open the drawers.
I insert old furniture screws into the backside of the drawers so the screw is sticking out. This allows me to easily open and close the drawers while painting. If you spray your furniture, this also serves as a plug to prevent any of the paint from being sprayed inside the hole. Keep reading for more furniture painting tips.
Sand Between Coats
After you have let the first coat of furniture paint dry. Lightly hand sand to smooth out any imperfections or dust that dried on the wet surface. Use light grit sandpaper of 400+ when sanding in between coats of paint.
This sanding in between coats will also make your paint have a smooth finish before sealing. This is also the best time to correct any drips that may have occurred after applying your first coat.
Color Mixing Left-over Paint
Sometimes you are left with 1/4 of a paint can and it is not enough to paint another piece of furniture. So instead of buying more, stretch the paint by mixing it with other partially used paint.
The easiest way to stretch paint is by mixing it with a white/cream color that will make it lighter or a black/brown color to make it darker. You can also mix colors within the same color family.
The biggest tip is to test your paint mix before you actually begin to mix colors. Dumping a bunch of colors together will just make an ugly gray. Dip your finger in the paint and place a small amount on cardboard. Next, dip another finger in a different color and mix that with the first amount. This is the easiest way to test colors before mixing them together.
Using Quality Paint Brushes
The brush and roller matter when achieving a quality finish. Use a synthetic bristle for painting and a natural bristle for waxing.
Try different styles of brushes to see which one feels the best. I like to use this Purdy angle brush when painting near the edge tops and also in hard-to-reach areas. The short cub-style handle fits in between shelves really well.
Cleaning and taking care of your paintbrushes are very important to maintain the life of the brush and the bristles. Sign up to receive my FREE Furniture Paint Guide and discover how to clean your paintbrushes as well as more in-depth information on How to paint furniture.
Favorite Paint Brushes
- Purdy and Zibra short handles for edge painting and tight areas
- Cling-on and Zibra round brushes for paint blending
- Mini Foam rollers for flat surfaces
- Natural Bristle Wax Brush
One of the best things you can do if you plan to paint more than 1 piece of furniture is invest in a paint sprayer. Years ago, after painting 4 spindle chairs for the very first time, I went and bought a paint sprayer.
I use the paint sprayer for most of my painting with a few exceptions for special paint techniques that require a paintbrush. I will NEVER ever hand paint a chair again. The paint sprayer is so easy to use and the clean-up is an easy process as well.
Check out this coffee bar makeover to see the paint sprayer in action
Make sure to properly tape and cover off any sections of the furniture that you won’t be painting. I use newspaper and Frog tape to get the job done.
If you have any other furniture painting tips, please share in the comments below.
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