How to Paint Unfinished Wood Furniture
To redecorate a room, there’s no need to buy new furniture—just update what you’ve got with a fresh coat of paint. Watch this video to find out how.
What You Need
220-grit sandpaper or flexible foam sanding sponge
roller frame and rollers
Lay a drop cloth
If painting inside, you’ll want to protect your furnishings. Remove any knobs, pulls, or hardware from the furniture.
For a smooth finish, use a flexible-foam sanding sponge or 220-grit sandpaper. If your piece has knots, sand them until they’re even with the grain.
To remove residual grit, you can use a clean cloth or a vacuum.
To seal the wood, roll or paint a coat of primer over the entire piece. You can also use spray primer. Priming hides imperfections and provides a surface for the paint to adhere to. Let dry for at least an hour.
Aha! If you’re not sure whether you want a shiny or a flat finish, try flat first. You can always re-cover flat with a satin or a semi-gloss, but it’s harder to go in reverse and cover the sheen.
Using a roller on large surfaces and a brush on smaller ones, apply a coat of latex paint.
Let dry for at least two hours
When the paint is dry, use a clean brush to apply a second coat of paint (two coats are generally the minimum needed for a nice, even finish).
Tip: Between coats, put your brush in a plastic grocery bag and stash it in the refrigerator to keep it moist. That’s faster than cleaning it and waiting for it to dry.