/Painting furniture

Painting furniture

Paint is a good way to cheer up or disguise furniture and accessories that are tired, tatty or just the wrong colour or finish. It can transform everything from cheap cupboards, chests of drawers and wardrobes to lamp bases, tables, chairs and filing cabinets.


Aim for a surface free of dust, dirt and grease. Sometimes a quick wipe down is enough but don’t be afraid to give really grubby stuff a good scrub using warm water with a squirt of washing-up liquid. Use scourers and old toothbrushes to get in all the nooks and crannies.

It isn’t necessary to completely strip painted or varnished wooden or melamine furniture (the kind typically found in Ikea), but it is worth rubbing–down surfaces with sandpaper or wire wool – this makes the paint stick better.

Where to paint

Even if you don’t have much spare space, don’t be put off redoing your furniture. Smaller objects such as lamp bases can be done on your kitchen or dining room table – just lay a couple of layers of newspaper down first. Larger pieces can be done in situ. Move it away from any walls, lay dust sheets under it and remove anything stored on or inside it. Keep the area well ventilated while you paint.


Start off with a primer – you might think you can just skip this but it is essential. It gives the paint a decent surface to stick to and gives a much better finish. Use a wood primer or multi-purpose primer/undercoat on wood, and a metal primer for metal.

Next, it’s either another layer of the multi?purpose primer/undercoat if you are using a light-coloured paint, or a layer of an undercoat if it’s a deep colour (check the back of the tin – it should say which type of undercoat to use).

Now to add the colour.

For a hard-wearing finish, use oil?based or water-based gloss or eggshell. These can be used on wood and on metal (the latter providing you have prepared and primed well). You can also go for specialist metallic paints. Two coats is usually enough but some colours require extra coats to get an even cover. Oil-based paint finishes are touch-dry in around 48 hours, but they take a long time to dry thoroughly (months even). For stools, chairs, tables and shelves wait for a week before use.

If you can’t face the bother of eggshell or gloss, you can get a good and surprisingly hard-wearing finish using emulsion paint. Clean and prime as above then paint using emulsion. Apply two or three coats. Allow it to dry thoroughly (a couple of days) then apply a coat of liquid wax or a mix of beeswax, turpentine and linseed to protect.

Source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/