So, maybe you got some old hand me down dressers from one of your relatives, or found some really great old cabinets at a yard sale. However you got it, now you want to repaint it, but you are not sure how to repaint old furniture. Do you just grab a can of spray paint from Walmart and spray it whatever color you want? Well, you could do that, but it is very messy, probably would not look very good, and it would not last very long. The best way to repaint that old furniture is to follow some simple rules and steps.
Write out your Plans
Knowing how to repaint old furniture could be a hobby, a one-time thing, or even a business. No matter what reason you are repainting the furniture, there are always steps that you have to follow to get the best results. The first thing you need to do is to have a plan. Decide exactly what it is you want to do to the furniture and how you expect it to look when you are finished. Choose the color and designs you want to do, and draw up a model or example of what the end result should look like. You do not have to be an artist to draw up an example. It is for your reference only, to be used as a guideline as you work.
Gather the Tools
The next step is to gather all of the tools and other supplies you will need to prepare and repaint the old furniture and to keep your area clean. For example, you will need sandpaper, primer, paint, paintbrushes, a small can to mix paint, soap and water, masking tape, putty knife, wood filler, and a drop cloth, tarp, or even some old newspaper. At this point you should know what you will be using to apply the paint; a sprayer, paint brushes, rollers. Once you have gathered what you need you can get started on preparing the furniture for painting.
Clean and Prep the Old Furniture
Remove all of the decorative accents, such as handles, knobs, and other pieces you do not want to get paint on. Cover any remaining hinges or decorations with masking tape. No matter whether you bought the old furniture at a yard sale, found it in the trash, or even if you bought it from a store, you should always clean the old furniture before you try to repaint it. You can use a bowl of soapy water, dish soap works best, and a sponge or soft cloth. You do not want to scrub it so hard that it leaves scratches, but you want to make sure it is clean so the paint will stick well. After cleaning the furniture, wipe it with a clean, damp, lint free cloth. Then let it dry naturally for at least six hours.
Patch and Sand and then Repaint Old Furniture
Before repainting you have to sand the old furniture. But, before sanding you have to fill any holes, chips, or damage in the wood. Use a good wood filler and try not to get it anywhere but in the holes or damaged areas. Use a putty knife to wipe away any extra and then let it dry. Now it is ready to be sanded. Use sandpaper or a sander and sandpaper that is right for the type of wood that the old furniture has.
Prime the Old Furniture
Many people skip this step in the repainting process, but that can be a big mistake. Using a primer makes the paint spread more evenly on the furniture, and helps it to last longer. You do not want to spend hours working on your old furniture and then have the paint start chipping or rubbing off after the first week. Just one coat of primer, except for the areas that may get more used than others, like a tabletop or dresser. The only time you may not want to use primer is if you want a worn or shabby looking finish. Although even then if you do not use primer it will usually end up flaking. After priming, let it dry for at least an hour.
There are some paints that have primer in them already, and you can try those when repainting the old furniture. But, they do not work as well as using a separate primer and paint. It may save you a little bit of time and effort, but in the long run it is worth the extra work.
Time to Repaint the Old Furniture
Now comes the part you have been waiting for, time to repaint old furniture. Be sure to paint in a ventilated area and protect the floors or any other area you do not want paint on. Make sure the paint is mixed well and stir if necessary. Use a clean and soft bristled paintbrush, and you should wash it first to remove any dirt or dust.
Using light, long strokes, and brush paint on evenly. Be sure to get the paint in all of the cracks and crevices and then let that coat dry before deciding whether to do another coat. More often than not, there will be a need for more than one coat of paint, but let each layer dry completely before deciding whether to paint another layer.
One More Step
After you let the paint dry completely, you have to seal the furniture to be sure it will not get dinged or damaged easily. Choose a good waterproof sealer for the best coverage and protection. Although you may want your guests (or your children) to use a coaster, that does not mean they will. You do not want the old furniture to get damaged after you spent all that time repainting it.
The final step is to enjoy your masterpiece. Maybe it was the first piece of old furniture that you have repainted or maybe you have done dozens, but either way it is good to take a look at it and think “I did that.”