Your Guide to Painting Furniture

Give furniture a facelift with a fresh coat of paint. We'll show you how.

Hi, I'm Wendy. With just a few coats of paint, you can create a beautiful piece of furniture you'll treasure for years. When buying unfinished furniture, it's generally ready to paint or stain right away, but if it's not smooth, you wanna sand out any nicks or scratches. Be sure to sand in the direction of the grain. After you have all the imperfections sanded out, finish with a fine sandpaper like 220 grit to get a silky smooth surface. After sanding, remove the dust. If you're going to use an oil-based paint, use a tack cloth. If you're going to use a latex paint, use a damp cloth. Now, it's time to paint. Paint sticks better to primer than it does to raw wood so be sure to put on a primer coat first and let it dry, or use Glidden Brilliance Collection paint, it's a paint and primer in one. As with sanding, brush primer in the direction of the wood's grain. After the primer has dried, sand it lightly and wipe off any dust, then add your coat of paint, again painting in the direction of the grain. When painting furniture, it's best to use a semi-gloss paint. Semi-gloss is a harder finish and will stand up better to any nicks or scratches. A few simple steps and you have a gorgeous piece. After the paint has dried, you can add any decorative touches you want, like freehand designs, stencil patterns, or decals that stick without any adhesive. For more painting tips, visit