8 Top Helpful Tips for Painting Furniture

Apr 12, 2019

8 Top Tips for Painting Furniture

We have been hand painting furniture for over a decade and although each piece is completely different there are some things that we've learned along the way that make projects much easier so learn from our mistakes and have a look at our helpful top tips...

1) Prep - make sure it's clean before you start! It may sound obvious but when a paint company says "no prep" they have assumed that your piece of furniture is clean. In our experience if it's come from a house clearance, recycling centre or someone's shed, it's going to need a clean with either good old washing up liquid and water or sugar soap. Don't forget the rubber gloves! 

Wiping Clean Old Furniture

2) Floor Protection - We use Proplex Black Surface protection sheets from Wickes. They last for ages and are perfect for larger size pieces of furniture. Far superior to a dust sheet as they're smooth and 100% paintproof. They fold pretty well too so ideal to fold up and store in between projects. 

3) Use a quality paint - We've tried a few over the years, we stock our favourite. Our customers often daly with other paint brands but always come back to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Pick one you like and stick with it, you'll get to know how it works on different surfaces and techniques, if you buy from your local stockist they're usually happy to help with free advice and support too which is invaluable when you're starting out.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and brush

4) Invest in good quality brushes - My Dad taught me this when I bought my first flat and he helped me with the decorating. A good quality paint brush will make the job quicker and give superior results. I use Annie Sloan Bristle Brushes, small no.8 for most furniture painting projects. They pick up a good amount of paint so you don't waste time dipping back in the tin and give a fabulously smooth finish. Good for poking into the corners when needed too! 

5) If you want a really flat, smooth finish sand in between coats. I love hand painting because of the effects you can create especially the aged appearance you can give to a newly painted piece, but this is not for everyone. A lot of my clients want their pieces painted in one, flat colour, this is when a fine sand paper comes into its own. Using a 280 grit (I get mine from Screwfix) gently between coats gives a super-smooth finish.

6) Use a brush to apply the wax, and wipe off excess immediately. I always use an Annie Sloan Wax brush, made with natural bristle is makes applying wax quick and easy. Using a circular motion apply a thin layer, wipe over with a lint free cloth (I find old tea towels work really well) then repeat. Two layers is all most furniture needs but if it's going in a kitchen I'd do three.  

Wax brush and tin

7) Leave your wax to cure! - Wax by nature takes time to harden and set, Annie Sloan soft wax takes around 3 weeks to fully cure. You can use the furniture in the meantime but be gentle with it. 

English Yellow Chest of Drawers with Bee Handles

8) Relax! The beauty of painting furniture is that if you decide that you want to change the colour or style of the piece you can simple paint it again. Painting is really economical in comparison to the cost of new furniture, a tin of paint can transform the whole look of a room. 

Happy Painting! 


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