How to: Painting Furniture

There's a science to painting furniture. Follow these 8 simple steps for adding color to your furniture with some paint.

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Burnt Orange Desk with Photograph Shelves Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Materials and Tools:

painter's tape
220-grit sandpaper
latex multipurpose primer
oil-based paint (white, dark and light gray, beige, black)
paintbrushes

Steps:

1. Remove the drawers and mark their order with a piece of tape on the bottom and a number. Remove all the hardware and store it in a bag or jar.

2. Sand the piece lightly and remove the dust (both new and old furniture should be sanded).

3. Prime the entire piece evenly and let dry. For the drawers, mask-off the inside side rails so that the primer only touches the drawer front. Put a tarp on a countertop or a work bench, and then set the drawers on it with the front over the edge. This makes it easy to work in a standing position. Let dry.

4. Lightly sand the entire piece again to remove any raised wood fibers and remove the dust.

5. Always paint furniture from the top down because if any paint gets on the bottom of the piece, it will be covered with the final coat. For the marble effect, apply oil-based gray paint by pouncing the natural-bristle brush for a soft mottled look. Immediately start adding the next series of colors, working from the darker gray to beige to lighter gray, pouncing the wet paint to blend it together.

6. Drag a small brush with black paint through the wet top to create marble-like veins.

7. For the body, apply oil-based paint starting at the front working with all the horizontal pieces first, and then the verticals. Fill-in the sides by applying the paint, and then softly laying it off from top to bottom. Paint the drawer fronts by working from side to side.

8. Apply more coats as necessary, depending on the chosen color. Once the piece is completely dry (two days for oil-based paint), replace the hardware and slide the drawers into position.

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