How to Paint Old Furniture

There are many reasons to paint an antique furniture. For many of us, some pieces of furniture have a sentimental value. On the other hand, maybe you want to decorate your home interior in retro style. A vintage furniture is perfect for this purpose. However, regardless of style, a piece of old wood furniture, well maintained, is suitable for any room.

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Over time, a piece of antique furniture loses its impeccable appearance, may lose its color, defects begin to appear on its surface, in a word, it begins to decay. Painting can make this piece of furniture to revive, to be again a masterpiece that beautifies your home interior.

However, before you start, make sure the furniture is not an antique value. It would be a shame, to paint a value antique piece that only an expert can recondition it. Over time, the surface of many valuable antique furniture pieces darken, creating so-called “Patina”. In fact, much of the piece value is this “Patina”. Therefore, if you have doubts regarding the authenticity of a piece of furniture is a good idea to visit an antique dealer, and getting his advice.

But, let us return to our theme. If your old furniture needs a paint job, please follow the following tips for having good results.

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Materials & Tools

Wood Strippers; Drop Cloths; Paint Brushes; Paint; steel Wool;
Sand Paper (rough and smooth); Tools (for dis-assembly and reassembly of furniture); Clean Cloths;


1. Prepare your furniture for painting. Remove carefully all the drawers, doors and other components.

2. Apply wood strippers on each part of your furniture. If your furniture is varnished old furniture wood stripper is not efficient. More appropriate is the use of steel wool. In fact, sanding the furniture with steel wool it is recommended by all furniture manufacturers. Instead of steel wool you can use also, sand paper.

3. Thoroughly clean all parts of the furniture from dust. Wipe each component in part. Make sure there are not blemishes or other types of damages. If you see blemishes on your furniture then you should apply again wood strippers, and of course, you have to wipe the dust again.

4. Make sure the room is dry and warm. Cover the surrounding floor with a drop cloth to prevent any splashing. You need a bright light when working.

5. Use proper paint brushes according  to the size of the furniture components. Generally, a size of 2 inches (5 cm) is the best for painting furniture components. Paintbrushes should be soft and angled.

6. Use large movements, do not push the brush. You do not want any blemishes on the furniture surface. Do not stop in the middle movement. Start at one edge and continue until the opposite edge. Do not use too much paint on your brush. Use a thinner for your paint. This will allow the paint to dry better and of course, adhere better to the surface.

7. When you finish the first coat, allow paint to dry. It is best to paint in thin coats. However, a few paint thin coats will look much better than a single one coat.

8. Assembly the furniture pieces back. Be careful not to scratch the fresh paint. Your job is done.