By Sarah Engler and Alexis Givens
August 17, 2014
Credit: Mark Lund

What You'll Need

  • One gallon Ace Royal Touch Interior Alkyd Enamel Undercoater (about $40, for store locations).
  • One gallon Behr High-Gloss latex (shown in Citrus Blast; $24, for store locations).
  • Regular or foam paintbrush (prices vary, at hardware stores).
  • One pack 100-grit or 220-grit sandpaper (about $4 each at hardware stores).

How to Do It

Step 1: If the paint is peeling or uneven as a result of multiple coats, give the entire surface a light once-over with 100-grit sandpaper to smooth rough edges and create a uniform surface. If the old paint is in good condition, with no flaking or bumps, use 220-grit sandpaper to rough up the smooth finish a bit so the new paint will stick. Vacuum up all the residual grit, or wipe it off with a clean cloth.

 Step 2: Apply a single, uniform coat of primer with either a regular or foam paintbrush and let dry. Many brands recommend waiting up to 24 hours before painting.

 Step 3: When the primer is dry, use a clean brush to apply the first coat of paint. Let it dry for at least two hours, then apply a second coat and let it dry (two coats are generally the minimum needed for a nice, even finish). For furniture with intricate carving or thin spindles, consider using a spray primer and a high-gloss spray paint after sanding (for the technique, see Step 2 of Coffee Table).