February 25, 2012

The Beginner's Guide to Painting Furniture

If you've ever wondered how to paint your old wooden furniture, well then today's post is for you! Welcome to my beginner's guide to painting furniture. 


The beginner's guide to painting furniture. Great tips!



I'm a huge fan of doing big things on a small budget.
I think you can create something awesome and not have to spend a fortune to do so. It just requires creativity and the willingness to get your hands dirty. Painting old thrift store furniture is one of the ways I do that.

Here's my favorite find ever, my bedroom dresser. I scored it secondhand for only $50, and completely transformed it with some homemade chalk paint. (See recipe here.)

I absolutely love the way it turned out. 

The beginner's guide to painting furniture. Great tips!



This dresser was a total score, and I knew immediately that I could turn it into a piece I would love for a long time.
Here is how it originally looked the day I brought it home.

How To Paint Furniture: Great tutorial anyone can use to update old furniture!


This thing was a total ugly duckling at first.  And this 'before' pic does it way more justice than it deserves. It was a dirty, smoky, beaten up, rickety old dresser. 

It took a lot of work to transform this dresser into such a babe, but it was well worth it!

Here's how I did it:

#1. I took out the drawers and removed the handles.


#2. Sanded the whole thing down with my trusty sander.

#3. Coated the whole thing with Zinsser Primer. (See why you should prime first here.)


This is THE primer to use on furniture. It makes your paint adhere like crazy and covers up any smells or stains. Click through to read a great tutorial on how to paint furniture like a pro.



#4. Painted the drawers & frame with 2 coats of Behr Premium 'Creamy White' that I converted into chalk paint. If you use chalk paint, you can actually skip the sanding and priming part, but I wanted this dresser to be really durable so I did it anyways.



#5. Once the paint was thoroughly dry, I put the drawers back in and screwed in the hardware. Then I finished the whole thing with Minwax Finishing Wax (Amazon Affiliate link). All you do is rub some of it on the furniture with a rag and then buff it out. It buffs out to a beautiful finish, and makes painted furniture look fabulous.



This gives the best finish to painted furniture! Click through for a great tutorial on how to paint furniture like a pro.



I usually change out the hardware when I redo furniture, but the hardware on this piece was pretty, so I just left it alone.


How To Paint Furniture: Great tutorial anyone can use to update old furniture!


How To Paint Furniture: Great Tutorial via LiveLoveDIY

My favorite tip is to paint the insides of your drawers. It looks beautiful and it gets rid of any smells or stains.


This is a great idea! Paint the insides of old furniture to make them look and smell like new again.

I'm totally hooked on painting the insides of drawers now. Best upgrade to an old dresser ever! 
You can see more about how to do that here.

I love the way the dresser turned out, and love the way it looks in the master bedroom.

How To Paint Furniture: Great Tutorial via LiveLoveDIY


If you want to read more about our bedroom, you can check out this post about the 10 different looks this room has had since the start of this blog and all of the crazy mistakes I've made along the way! I can almost guarantee you'll enjoy it. :)

And thanks so much for stopping by today! I'm so glad you're here!



For related posts, please check out the following:

 
The beginner's guide to painting furniture. Awesome tips!



Follow my blog with
bloglovin' photo BlogLovin_zps5407d9e3.jpg
Follow my blog onFacebook or

or

Subscribe to LiveLoveDIY with email!
Enter your email address:


click map Facebook Pinterest Google+ Twitter Mail Subscribe

-->

67 comments:

  1. I just found your blog from 'better after' and had to tell you how beautiful your house is! I especially love your guest bathroom! You truly are talented.. thanks for sharing!

    -Peggy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww! Thank you Peggy!!!! You've made my day! Thanks for coming over to check out the blog! :)

      Delete
  2. Lovely, Virginia. Very fresh and crisp with a feminine and classical flavor. I'm here via 'better after' as well! I absolutely love the focal wall in the bathroom--those horizontal stripes are very attractive. Good work getting your brother to do all of that work in the living room! He does nice work! Thank you for sharing your efforts and posting your lovely pictures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! Thank you so much! It's so nice to hear such sweet things! So glad you stopped by to read the blog! Also glad you enjoyed me tricking my little bro into some hard labor!! :)

      Delete
  3. I love the AFTER of your dresser. Main reason? I have the same one! I got it w/ a huge mirror and a matching tall dresser at my Salvation Army thrift store for $79.99. I'm still trying to decide what to do with them.
    See them here right after we brought them home:
    http://www.handbagsnpigtails.com/2010/09/be-still-my-heart.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. So beautiful! I've been on the hunt for a dresser that I can redo. No luck yet. Great job1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Katie! Keep looking! It took me almost a year to find one I loved...and it was a total accident! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

      Delete
  5. WOW! this is stunning and looks amazing in your room!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Cassie! So happy you took the time to stop by! :)

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I thought so, too! :)

      Delete
  7. This is fabulous! There's nothing more beautiful in home decor than a French Provincial piece of furniture! You did a fantastic job! So happy to be your newest fan. Please stop by bellanest.blogspot.com any time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Holly! I did get a chance to stop by and your blog is beautiful! Love those tablescapes! Thanks so much for stopping by! xo

      Delete
  8. Wow that is amazing, love this stopping by from frugal girls

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mel! Happy you stopped by! Have a great day!

      Delete
  9. It turned out so pretty. That hardware is for real gorgeous. I'm loving your whole room!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Megan! I love the hardware, too! Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  10. I love the dresser and have one just like it except for the color. You got a fabulous deal too!
    Check out my two tone combo http://lifebeginsatfortysomething.blogspot.com/2012/09/french-dresser-chalk-paint-project.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura,
      Thanks for stopping by! Our dressers are one and the same!!! Loved seeing your take on it! xo

      Delete
  11. Your dresser is gorgeous - but that mirror? TOO DIE!!! And it enhances it so beautifully - in fact your whole bedroom is just out of this world!
    Hugs,
    Suzan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww! Thank you, Suzan! I thought the mirror really took it up a notch, too! :)

      Delete
    2. Where did you get that gorgeous mirror?!? I'm looking for one just like it! xD

      Delete
  12. I am gobsmacked over how amazing this is...I am totally inspired by this makeover.
    Great blog! I surely will be back
    Bec x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bec, thank you so much for visiting! I hope you come back soon! xo

      Delete
  13. What a great makeover. this beauty doesn't look like the same piece. and your master bedroom is gorgeous. love the total white look.
    rita

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Rita! Thrilled you stopped by! xo

      Delete
  14. Your bedroom is just beautiful. so serene. Love the dresser. I see them all the time on CL just as ugly and beat up as "Wanda"! You did a great job. Where on earth did you score that gorgeous mirror?? LOVE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks SO much, Beth! So happy you stopped by! I actually got the mirror at a local salvage store! Can you believe it?! I thought it really helped take the dresser up a notch! Thanks again! xo

      Delete
    2. I saw that you "spray painted the mirror"???? Would you mind sharing what paint? I was going to do one silver, but thought about the rub and buff. Also, Martha Stewart has paint in "precious metals". Don't know if that would work. Thanks again.!!!! Beth

      Delete
  15. Amazing! It is so beautiful! I too am a fan of Behr satin finish. I have been making my own chalk paint for the primer so I don't have to sand, then a coat of latex satin and wax. It's pretty cheap but Kilz would be much easier. Your bedroom is so peaceful and pretty. I love it.

    The French Hens will be following you. Please visit us anytime.

    ReplyDelete
  16. beautiful! i am about to embark on a similar project and am doing my research. your blog is very helpful. can you share what equipment you used to sand this dresser? do you have any favorite brushes that you always use? thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow what an amazing piece of furniture. I am truly jealous. I love your room it is so clean, crisp and peaceful. Your newest follower.

    Lisa @ Creative Raisins

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Lisa!!! That is so sweet of you to say!! So happy to have you as a new follower! :)

      Delete
  18. Replies
    1. Hi Robin! I actually got it at on old salvage store!

      Delete
  19. WOW - gorgeous! Great job. I like it that you used regular HD paint - nothing trendy like -chalk or milk.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Gorgeous!! It came out just beautiful~ thanks for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! Thank you so much, Courtney! I'm so honored you stopped by!

      Delete
  21. How beautiful this piece turned out! Stopping by for the first time to your lovely blog and enjoyed visiting with you!

    Kindly, Lorraine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lorraine! I'm thrilled you stopped by! Thank you so much for your sweet words!!! Have a great day!
      Virginia

      Delete
  22. So pretty with those curves and the fresh paint! Wonderful Before and After...makes me want to go thrift store shopping. New follower!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Sherry! I'm so happy you stopped by and followed! Thank you for such sweet words....makes me smile! Have a great day!!
      Virginia

      Delete
  23. so beautiful and inspirational! Keep up the good work :) Love your room and all the deco you have!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Everything you've done I've loved! I have a question for you that I havent been able to find much info on-What are your thoughts on using chalk paint/wax on kitchen cabinets? I'm not sure why this hasn't been brought up (very much, that I have found)...you have a lot of paint experience so, thought you'd be a good person to ask! Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. The link to the homemade chalk paint does not work.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow! I have the exact same dresser (and nightstand). I think I see a little project in the works...;)

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is by far the best DIY website I have ever seen! I absolutely love everything you have done! I am going to try and remake an old dresser with chalk paint and I was wondering if you can use semi-gloss interior paint or is it better to use flat paint? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  28. You have quickly become a favorite blogger of mine. I'm hooked on your posts! You're very informative, witty, and your projects are amazing and beautiful!! I have one question. I love all the white, off white colors you use in your house, although I couldn't pull it off, my hubby likes to work on cars. How do you keep it spotless with a hubby? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!!!! Oh, and it gets really messy all the time! I just clean it up before we take photos for a post! Also the great thing about white is that it can be bleached!!! :)

      Delete
  29. You have inspired me!!! You have done such a beautiful job on your house. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful projects. I know very little about paint so I have a question about chalk paint. When I hear chalk paint, I think of black paint that you can use chalk on. Why use a chalk paint? Does it give it a texture?

    Whatever the answer, your dresser looks fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Chalk paint works similar to chalkboard paint (the black stuff you write on), but you can make it in any color. It doesn't have a texture, it's just smooth. But the reason I love using it on furniture is that it adheres to wood really well without having to prime or sand. Basically, it just lets you skip a lot of prep work! :)

      Delete
  30. I found your blog one late night when I was on Pintrest and I think I have read every single post!!! I absolutely love everything!!! I have a lot of furniture that was gifted to us (new homeowners on a budget) and you have inspired me to transform it! That being said...I am terrified! I bought a sander and used it and HATED it! :( I'm afraid I won't get through the project! But I'm still going to try! Whats the best sealer for the method you used on the dresser? I plan on doing this to a bedroom set! Thanks for sharing all your projects!!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Do you ever use stripper? I just bought a french desk with some kind of lacquer on it. I'm not sure if I have to strip it or I can just sand it like you did. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  32. This tutorial was the best find for me! I got an old bureau for free (they were going to throw it away because the slide to one of the drawers was missing) and it needs a serious makeover.

    The teen who it was originally used for had painted it white (which is perfect for the piece), but then wrote in permanent marker on the top edge of some of the drawers and on one side. The original hardware was taken off, the holes filled in, new holes drilled, and modern silver hardware fitted in. This piece has a "French" look to it that the modern pieces have 'ruined.'

    Now that I have your instructions on how to properly repaint a bureau, I can't wait to do it! I'll also need to find more appropriate hardware for the piece.

    I have a question on another piece. I have a very old wood nightstand that seems to have a layer of veneer over the top and was then painted over with a thick black paint. The piece itself is very beautiful and I want to 'restore' it. Do you think the same steps for refinishing the bureau would work on the nightstand?

    Thanks for your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I just found your link and I am so impressed by all of your hard work. I also live in a 70's house but mine still looks like it is in the 70's. I want to paint a 70's style hutch and a kitchen table. I bought milk paint because there is less prep work with it but maybe I should just use the chalk paint?? I would love to hear your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi! Thank you for your tips. I am about to paint a hutch. I have sanded it down and was going to prime it with a spray paint primer but planning on painting it with a roller/brush and Behr paint. Do you think its okay to prime with the spray paint or should I prime with a can a primer instead?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you so much! You have given me courage to tackle a bunch of furniture in my house that I have just been living with. It's good wood furniture, just not a color I want. I hope my pieces come out as great as yours did.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have this exact dresser I am trying to finish. I am in need of one handle... Any chance you have one or know anyone that might have one?
    Great job btw... love the clean, crisp white!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Virginia you're a Rock Star! Love, love, love your tips! And your home... GORGEOUS!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Beautiful! I found your blog while looking for inspiration (and courage!) to tackle painting my sewing table and I want to tell you, you are an inspiration! Extremely talented. That dresser looks for all the world like an Andrew Malcolm Furniture piece. I just bought one of their beds second-hand today and plan to sand, prime and paint it white. I might just have to start looking for matching pieces like that dresser :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love how this turned out and I appreciate that you've outlined the steps. Most bloggers omit that part which makes duplicating very difficult if you're trying to achieve the same look. Just a question, is there any way to avoid the shadows which occur where the drawers aren't tight against the frame?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Found your blog by accident whilst looking for chalk paint articles. I'm bookmarking this site as I intend to come here to learn how to do things well. You are a good teacher, I like that you use chalk paint to make ugly things beautiful enough to use and admire. My first forays into chalk paint use has been on garden items, junk, didn't matter if it came out badly or doesn't last.
    Now I know how to make it durable and lovely.
    No disrespect to others, but I am tired of blogs devoted to distressing with chalk paint, sometimes to the point of ridiculousness.
    This is such a refreshing change, thank you for doing this

    ReplyDelete
  41. seriously amazing! The finished drawers look gorgeous x

    ReplyDelete
  42. This dresser is absolutely gorgeous! I love all your diys. Thanks to you and your chalk paint recipe I have updated four pieces of thrift store furniture and I have to say I love it much better than store bought furniture. You have made this house beautiful. I use all the same paint colors you have used. I'm a total copy cat :-) Did you use the same color thats on your bedroom walls in the side room? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Wall paint color name/brand, please?

    ReplyDelete
  44. Love your makeover!!
    Just saw the same dresser for much higher price on craigslist!!
    http://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/fuo/4351077629.html
    Wish I could find it for 50 too!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I've been reading a couple of your blog entries where you've talked about refinishing furniture. Can you explain chalk paint versus primer (do you need to primer if you use chalk paint?) Also, what is the difference between the polycrylic clear coat and paste finishing wax? I'm looking to repaint a dresser as quickly and easily (and cheaply) as possible. :) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for leaving a comment!! I do the hammer dance every time I read one.

Content Ad

TEMPLATE ERROR: Invalid data reference post.url: No dictionary named: 'post' in: ['blog', 'skin', 'view']