How To Paint Any Furniture At Home

A new layer of paint can revive the look and feel of your old furniture. Painting furniture at home is easy and fun, regardless of the type of furniture you want to paint.

The main difference between redecoration projects are the products deemed suitable for the material you’re painting. However, you’ll have to roughly follow the same steps. This guide aims to show you how to paint any furniture at home. Then, just follow the same simple steps using suitable products.

How To Paint Furniture At Home – Tools And Materials


  • Specific furniture paint (i.e. wood, MDF, laminate, metal, etc.)
  • Specific primer
  • Sealer
  • Mild detergent
  • Degreaser
  • Sponge
  • Drop cloths
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint stripper


  • Paintbrushes
  • Small roller
  • Roller tray
  • Scraper
  • Sander

Step 1 – Remove Old Paint (Optional)

Removing old paint may or may not be necessary depending on the type of furniture you’re painting. Removing old varnish from wood or metal furniture may be beneficial, especially if the old paint is flaking or peeling.

Skip this step for engineered materials, such as laminate or MDF, or for natural wood furniture.

Depending on the thickness of the paint, you can either sand off old paint manually or with a sander – or remove it with stripper. A heat gun may also remove the paint efficiently if the old paint is thick.

If the furniture has drawers or doors, dismantle them and follow the same steps to treat each piece; this will guarantee better results.

Step 2 – Clean The Surface

This step is essential for all painting jobs. Grease and oily stains prevent new paint from sticking to the surface while dust may be visible under the paint. Painting a dusty surface may also result in premature peeling or flaking of the new paint.

To make sure the surface is thoroughly cleaned, the first step is to remove dust with a dry cloth. Inspect the surface and identify any stains. Scrub them off with mild detergent or degreaser, then rinse the surface with clean water.

If there are no stains and the surface is in a good condition, just wipe it clean with a damp cloth and let it dry before proceeding.

Step 3 – Sand The Surface

It doesn’t make much sense to clean the surface before sanding, but sanding a clean surface prevents the infiltration of grease into the deeper layers of the material.

Sanding’s purpose is to increase adherence; on wood furniture it also smoothens the surface – an essential step towards a professional finish.

After sanding, remove dust with a vacuum cleaner and wipe the surface with a dry cloth to remove all residues.

Step 4 – Prime The Surface

Priming is an essential step when painting furniture at home. This product has a double functionality. On one hand, its water-repellent properties create an impermeable film on the surface, protecting it for a longer time.

On the other hand, priming improves adherence and covering power.

Before applying the product, cover any areas not to be painted with painter’s tape and lay drop cloths on the floor to prevent dripping.

The application method may change from one product to another. The best thing is to follow the instructions that come with the product. Respect all indications regarding drying and curing times as well as the instructions regarding the application method and the recommended number of coats.

Step 5 – Paint The Surface

Once the primer is dry, paint the furniture with an adequate product. Because the application method may change, follow once again the instructions delivered with the product.

According to the experts, the best way to paint furniture is with a paint sprayer. If you can work in a well-ventilated area, this method is by far the best. In an enclosed space, apply the paint with a brush or roller. Spray paint is a great alternative to all other methods.

At this point you can decide if it is necessary to apply a second coat or if you want to create a distressed look.

To create a distressed look, apply two coats of paint in contrasting colours and slightly sand the topcoat after the paint has dried.

Leave the paint to dry and cure as indicated by the manufacturer before continuing with the last step.

Step 6 – Seal The Surface (Optional)

Sealing the paint with transparent varnish is optional, but this step will prolong the lifespan of your new furniture.

Furniture sealers come in various formulations to use on different materials. Again, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer regarding application and dry time. Wait for an additional 24 hours after the topcoat is dry before handling the object.

Step 7 – Enjoy Your Furniture

Remove all painter’s tape and assemble the furniture if you have dismantled any pieces. Decorate your interior with the newly painted furniture and enjoy your new look!