Different Methods for Painting Furniture


Different methods for painting furniture: from the pictures it's easy to see how each technique is different from another, and how they work.

I have gotten a few emails and questions from readers about my painting “techniques”, and about the many different methods for painting furniture.

It would be great if you could do a post on how to stitch cushions (hand made) especially and also on painting the furniture.

Another:

I would truly appreciate any advice with regards to painting wood.

Well, the truth of the matter is that, although I have been painting furniture for a long, long time, I am not that comfortable giving advice about it. But let me give you a few ideas.

Different methods for painting furniture: from the pictures it's easy to see how each technique is different from another, and how they work.

Different Methods for Painting Furniture:

From the pictures I easy to see how each technique is different from another, and how they work. Here’s a handy illustration:

You can see the brush strokes in the first ones. I had to look for a spot where they were visible to make this picture, they are generally not that bad.

Different methods for painting furniture: from the pictures it's easy to see how each technique is different from another, and how they work.

The foam roller gives a smoother, more even finish, albeit a bit textured. I like the texture a lot. And, if I can do it, I always chose paint roller over any other method, but your mileage may vary.

Spray paint is, of course, the gold standard. This particular item was painted with canned spray paint, but that gets expensive really fast. If you are painting big items then you will be needing a real sprayer. Here’s a little sprayer that got fantastic reviews from Amazon*.

I haven’t bought it, so I am not endorsing it.

Different methods for painting furniture: from the pictures it's easy to see how each technique is different from another, and how they work.How about my favorite tip for painting with a foam roller?

Apologies for the suckitude of my drawings. I am totally out of practice.

This is usually how I paint flat surfaces with a roller. It prevents paint buildup on the edges, which will most certainly require a lot of work to fix.

Now some quick tips:

  • I add some thinner to the paint to reduce marks. I usually add about 10% thinner, adding a bit more if the paint has dried out (I always use enamel, other paints might be different).
  • I disassemble as much of the furniture as possible. It is a lot easier to paint individual pieces and then re-assemble.
    I let enamel dry at least 8 hours between coats, 12 if it is a humid day. I sand with a 800-grit sandpaper between coats, enough to dull the shine. It gives better adhesion.
  • I let the piece “cure” at least 24 hours, preferable 3 days before using it. Even if it’s dry to the touch you can scratch the paint if it’s not properly cured.
  • If the wood is “virgin” I don’t prime. For some people this is sacrilege, but it works for me. If the wood has already been painted, it’s best to strip it and prime, the wood pores would be sealed and adhesion would be poorer.

Different methods for painting furniture: from the pictures it's easy to see how each technique is different from another, and how they work.

Any tips of your own you’d like share? If you know any other interesting source, please share it too.

Aunt Clara

More about painting furniture:

Painting kitchen cabinets (via Young House Love)
Painting kitchen cabinets, etc. (via Centsational Girl)
Spray painting (via Chez Larsson)

*Affiliate link.

Different methods for painting furniture: from the pictures it's easy to see how each technique is different from another, and how they work.

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6 Comments

  1. Thanks Lana Mango for considering the request and posting on the techniques.It is very helpful and the best for beginners like me.

  2. Thanks Lana Mango, it has me stumped (haha) too. And I have considered almost everything, not an exorcist though. Yet.

  3. Lana Mango says:

    @ Anonimous:Wow! I am speechless (that doesn't happen often). Thank you, you are far too [email protected]:All that and it still bleeds through? Have you considered consulting an exorcist? :)I can only think that the wood is probably soaked in something. Perhaps if you went to a specialist store they'd know what to do. I am baffled.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I absolutely *love* your blog. Your photographs are cool, crisp, and oh, so professional!I also love your adventure. You're up for tackling every obstacle that comes your way. You find a solution and you work your way through it. I *love* that!So, thank you for your pioneer spirit, for your generosity in sharing, and for your standard of beauty that you convey through your photos. And thank you for sharing your stories and the people in those stories. I love it all and I thank you for your postings!

  5. Great tips, Lana Mango. Love your drawings, they don't suck at all :)I always prime for virgin, but I've never had to strip for painted (yet), I just get stuck in with the sandpaper. I have had a real drama with stains though – I have a bookcase in my shed that I can't for the life of me figure out how to paint. I've stripped, I've tried stain blockers, primers, 7 coats of paint, nothing will stop that crap bleeding through. Have you ever had any problems like this?

  6. Miss Val's Creations says:

    Fantastic tips! I haven't painted any furniture pieces yet but have done many walls. Your illustrated tips explain perfect how to deal with the outer corners on walls. I'd love to paint furniture as beautifully as you do. 🙂

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