Painting Wooden Furniture Like a Pro: We Show You How it's Done
15 min reading time
Do you also have one or two pieces of furniture at home that you just can't look at any more? Still in top shape in terms of quality, but visually just not modern any more? Maybe you have inherited a great old secretary, but the dark brown colour just doesn't match your style? Our answer is: it's easy to paint old furniture! With our paints, you can repaint your old furniture and easily give it a new character.
Table of contents
Before/After sample photos of painted and lacquered wooden furniture
- Actually, our customer liked the chest of drawers so much, but it simply had too many scratches and quirks already.
- This update was worth it! Painting a wooden chest of drawers with a wow effect! The carcase was painted with MissPompadour Green with Forest. Wallpaper on the doors and a new handle.
- A classic and really old-fashioned wall unit in rustic oak. How good that you can also paint veneered furniture.
- Just take the doors out and paint them. The wall behind is painted in the same tone.
- An old side table with integrated lamp, which unfortunately was no longer in good optical condition.
- With a fresh coat of paint, the little table became an individual eye-catcher. You don't have to sand, you can simply paint.
- The classic children's chair, which survives many generations, does not have to go to the bulky waste because of its blemishes.
- Because with a fresh coat of paint, this children's chair is like new and ready for the next round.
- An old bar cabinet with water damage. It has potential. Painting wooden furniture is simply fun!
- With new handles and feet and a change of colour, the cabinet is chic again.
- This buffet was heavy, massive and dark. It shouldn't have moved into our customer's home like that. How good that the customer had the idea to paint the wooden cabinet.
- Nothing of the heaviness has remained. The wooden surfaces have been treated with antique wax to beautifully emphasise the grain.
- It's hard to believe that this secretary and chair are bulky waste finds...
-... when you could still do so much with them. Both look like new. And what great handles!
- Actually still quite beautiful, but simply not suitable for the style of living. No problem for our customer.
- Bright and fresh with MissPompadour Green with Glacier. The golden handles and fittings then fit in really well again.
- The wooden look on the ceiling and in the seating area just seemed old-fashioned and oppressive here. Inviting? Not really. Painting wooden furniture white makes all the difference.
- Paint the wooden bench and table, then the family will enjoy getting together again.
- A very simple shelf. Our customer had a lot of imagination and a vision of what it could become.
- Due to the mix of materials, the shelf became a wonderful unique piece.
- These bedside cabinets were a classic classified ad find and were just crying out for a makeover. How good it is to be able to paint veneered furniture.
- With a new colour, the cupboards can now move into a new bedroom.
- Our customer found this chest of drawers too old-fashioned. And also simply too dark and massive.
- Why not just change the drawers and handles?
- A really quite normal and frankly boring wooden chest of drawers. We can hardly believe the after picture ourselves.
- You can also just paint the body of the wooden chest of drawers? The drawers have been sanded and stencilled.
Step-by-step instructions: How do I paint wooden furniture properly?
Step 1: Choose a varnish
Step 2: Prepare the surface
Step 3: Clean the workpiece
Step 4: Prime surfaces
Step 5: Paint the furniture
Step 6: Sealing the result
Furniture like new: this is why you should paint your old furniture
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Painting and Varnishing Furniture
1. Paint and tools
What paint do I use to paint wooden furniture?
If you want a silk matt look, MissPompadour Eggshell Varnish is the right choice. These qualities are the most robust and very easy to care for. If you like the matt look, choose your desired shade from the MissPompadour Matt Varnishes.
Which colour shade do I choose for my piece of furniture?
The question of the specific colour is often a very individual one. Of course, the colour shade should best match your furnishings and style. White is always popular and timeless, as it goes with practically every style - whether country house, modern or shabby. So you'll be pleased to know that you can easily paint your wooden furniture in one of our many shades of white! With white, simply calculate with 3 - 4 coats, depending on the substrate and white tone, sometimes a primer is appropriate. Then a clear white will also cover and give you the opportunity to change your old wooden furniture.
Brush or roller - Which painting tool do I need?
Paint all corners and edges as well as ornaments and hard-to-reach areas with the fine MissPompadour brush. For larger areas, use the varnish roller for water-based varnishes. Of course you can also paint your whole work with the brush. Our fine brushes are very flat and bevelled. This allows you to achieve very smooth surfaces. Just try what works best for you.
Can you paint wood without sanding it?
We distinguish between natural wood and wood that has already been varnished
With natural wood , you should always check whether it has been waxed or oiled in recent years. If so, you must sand the wood in any case, otherwise the paint will not adhere well
If the surface has already been painted, you can just paint it. And it doesn't matter whether they are coated with acrylic varnish or synthetic resin varnish. Only if the coloured lacquer is flaking off in places do you have to sand the corresponding areas.
Can I also paint waxed or oiled furniture?
If your piece of furniture to be painted is waxed, you must remove the wax before painting. You can do this with Painting the Past Remover or sand the wood. The wax must be completely removed for your paint to last.
With oiled furniture, the question is how long it has been since the last oiling. If you have always re-oiled in the last few years, you should also sand the surface and clean it well. If your 20-year-old piece of furniture was oiled once at the beginning and then never again, you do not need to sand it
Since waxed or oiled furniture is natural wood, we recommend priming it with MissPompadour To Block.
When do I need to apply a primer?
If you work with the varnish qualities and want to paint already varnished furniture, you do not need a primer. A primer coat of MissPompadour To Block is appropriate if you are painting a natural wood
Oak, tropical and softwoods tend to "bleed out". This means that tannins are released from the wood and cause unsightly stains in the varnish. Of course, this effect is most visible on light and medium-light varnishes. So if you paint very dark, you can do without To Block. If you want to paint your furniture with MissPompadour Matt Varnish, you can do this wonderfully on natural woods. Of course, you also need To Block here if your wood could bleed. If you paint Matt Varnish on an already sealed, i.e. lacquered surface, you can use To Bond - MissPompadour primer to ensure that the paint adheres better to the surface.
3. To Paint
How do you paint a wooden cabinet to cover it?
Our paints and varnishes all have a very high opacity and are therefore wonderfully suitable for painting wooden furniture. In most cases, you can achieve a great, opaque result with just two coats. Sometimes, however, more coats are needed. Please note our instructions for priming.
How many coats are necessary and how much paint do I need?
For many projects, you can achieve a very beautiful result with just 2 coats. Of course, it also depends on the painting technique, the surface and the desired colour how many coats you need. In our practical quantity calculator, which you will find next to each colour shade, you enter what and how many square metres you are painting. You will then get the estimated consumption for two coats.
How can I paint transparently so that the wood grain is preserved?
Our varnishes and paints have a very high opacity. They can be thinned with water to achieve a transparent look. Please note that this can be at the expense of durability. Also, you cannot use a primer with diluted paint, as it would show through. So if you are painting wood that tends to bleed, we advise against thinning the paint.
4. After painting
How long does the paint last on furniture that is subject to heavy use?
How long a coating lasts is, of course, always dependent on the wear and tear. Every painted surface is subject to a certain amount of wear. In addition, the durability also depends on the substrate. If the surface is stable and well cleaned, our varnishes and paints have a very good durability. With MissPompadour To Seal you can additionally protect furniture that is subject to heavy use. However, as every painting fan has a different opinion of the use of their furniture, we cannot make any predictions as to how many years your paint will last perfectly. In a pinch, chipped spots or scratches are really easy to repair.
Do I need to seal my furniture?
The silk matt varnish qualities MissPompadour Eggshell Varnish are very robust. If you expect a heavy load, you can use MissPompadour To Seal to make the surfaces even more resilient. The matt qualities MissPompadour Matt Varnish are not quite as robust. Here you can also use MissPompadour To Seal for a more robust surface. You can also seal the matt qualities wonderfully with our wood wax. Often 1-2 coats of the transparent wax are enough for this. Take a look at our blog post on this.
How do I clean and maintain my painted furniture?
Cleaning your lacquered furniture is very easy! Dust with cotton cloths - do not use microfibres, as they have an abrasive surface and gradually remove the varnish. For stains, wipe carefully with a damp sponge and dishwashing liquid. Generally, gentle cleaners are more suitable because they do not attack the varnish.
It is important that you do not expose the paint to standing moisture, as it does not like this and it can dissolve it.
However, the painted surfaces do not require any further care.
Can I also paint my furniture indoors?
Our paints are low-odour and can be used indoors without difficulty. When painting, make sure there is a good exchange of air.
Video tutorial painting wooden furniture - furniture upcycling with paint by MissPompadour
These are the accessories you need to Paint your favourite wooden pieces
- Screwdrivers for removing fittings: This is the cleanest way to work and saves you a lot of tedious taping.
- Sandpaper or sanding pad in different grit sizes: For all places where old varnish has flaked off. These should be sanded smooth first.
- Cleaningcloth and bucket to thoroughly clean your workpiece first: The surface must be free of dust and grease for your paint to hold well.
- To Mask if you don't wantto paint certain areas. It's best to remove the masking tape before the paint is dry, so you get a clean edge.
- plastic drop cloth or newspaper: To protect your floor.
- Brush, varnish roller and paint tray: It is best to pour the varnish into the paint tray. Use the brush to paint corners and edges, and the paint roller to paint surfaces.
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