DIY- How to Repaint Furniture- Before & After

How to Repaint Furniture Before and After

For about a year I stared at this huge green ‘beast’ as I lovingly refer to this piece of furniture in it’s green and floral glory.  We bought a house and the very generous previous owners were so kind to leave many, many things for us…including this huge piece of furniture in our two story family room.

For months, I came up with every possible scenario of what to do with it…I was going to take it apart and just use the base…I was going to remove it altogether….I was going to leave it as is….but I just could not figure out how to decorate the room with this piece.

While it was lovely, it just didn’t seem to be able to fit with my style.  But, because the room has a large scale, being an open two story room, it is on a huge plain wall and fits beautifully in the spot.  So, I finally decided to attempt to paint it.

I had a toddler and a 3 month old at the time, but thankfully I had a mother-in-law who was willing to jump on board when I said, “I think I’d like to paint this,” shortly after they arrived for a visit.  So…off to Lowe’s we went.  If you have trouble making decisions on things like paint colors and hardware, I suggest taking a toddler and a baby with you…nothing will make you say “Final Answer!” faster than that, lol!

How to Repaint Furniture Before

Time to get started!

  • Looking at all the curves and tiny grooves, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into…I thought it might be a disaster, to be honest.  I know chalk paint is wildly popular in furniture refinishing, but I chose to go another route.  I wanted to use a paint that I knew would have a really hard finish.  Also, I didn’t want the finish to be as flat in regards to the sheen that chalk paint is.
  • I started with doing a light sanding of the entire piece.  You just want to make sure to cover the entire surface with a light sanding to help give the primer a more porous surface to adhere to.
  • After sanding, go over the entire surface with a damp cloth to remove the dust and give a clean surface to start painting.
  • Before priming we also filled in the drawer pull holes, as I wanted to use a different style pull and would need new holes drilled into the drawer fronts.

How to Repaint Furniture Before and After Primer and Paint to Use

  • In my opinion, the next step is the most important for a good result to a project like this one.  That is priming.  I used Zinsser Bulls Eye 2 Multi-Purpose Primer & Sealer.  I strongly encourage you to consider using a primer similar to this one for a painting project like this.  It went on easily and did a wonderful job covering the previous paint, as well as giving a great base for the top coat to go on top of.
  • One tip for a project like this is to be sure to read the labels to see what the recommended drying time is for both the primer and the top coat you are planning to use.  This will help you plan what time you want to work on your project and when you can plan to start the next coat.  I also recommend making a small investment on a good paint brush.  It really will help the project to more smoothly (no pun intended).  I used an angled 2 inch brush.

How to Repaint Furniture Before and After Primer

  • You can see above that we did not remove the piece from the room…it was just too huge and heavy to attempt that. So, we used some cardboard to protect the floor.  Also, you can see we didn’t even remove the drawers and doors to do the painting.  This may seem like a mistake at first, but in this case, it ended up working  beautifully.  The doors on this piece have hinges that open and then open again, so they were really able to swing out away from the piece to make it easy to get into all the nooks and crannies to paint. Depending on your particular piece, you may need to remove the doors to be able to access all areas needing paint.


How to Repaint Furniture Before and After Primer

  • After following the recommended drying time, we started painting the piece with the Olympic One paint.  I chose the color Sherwin-Williams Dover White.  While this color shows quite a bit of yellow in it, in the lighting in our room it shows as a soft white.  You really don’t see any yellow tone to it.
  • I definitely recommend comparing a few colors if you are looking at whites.  And, be sure to look at different times of day, as well.  I actually started by thinking I would use Sherwin-Williams Alabaster because I know that has been THE farmhouse white of choice.  I took some swatches of it home and it just did not work in my room.  We did two coats of the Dover White allowing recommended drying time in between coats.

How to Repaint Furniture Before and After

To finish off the look, I added rubbed bronze cup drawer pulls and knobs and am really pleased with how they really complete the look of the dresser beautifully!

Thanks for reading and I hope you will go for it and tackle that painting project that you have had on your mind.  If you have questions, leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

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Check out this piece I just redid with paint, wallpaper, new hardware, and new legs. I’ve loving the new look!

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Tara Foster

Hi! I'm Tara, half of the Growit Buildit duo. I am a frugal DIY enthusiast!! My professional background is in education and counseling, but have spent the last few years as a stay at home mom, which has given me the opportunity to explore my passions that have been put aside for so long. I gravitate towards what I'd consider modern farmhouse style, with a little boho mixed in. I have planned remodels for larger projects, like our kitchen, as well as many smaller DIY projects around our house. In addition, I create a lot of smaller craft projects. I am currently a maker for a local retail boutique in our area called 6ix North. I hope my posts provide you with some useful information for your DIY projects.

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