Furniture Painting for Beginners: What you Need to Know Before you Paint
Furniture Painting for Beginners: What you Need to Know Before you Paint

Furniture Painting for Beginners: What you Need to Know Before you Paint

Painting furniture for the first time doesn’t have to be a scary thing! In fact, furniture painting for beginners can be a whole lot of fun. As long as you are armed with the information you need to make your painting project a success!

Laying that first bit of paint on a piece of furniture you are refurbishing is exciting and satisfying. But there are a few important things that need to happen before we get to the fun part of the process. As great as it is to dive right into a paint project, taking a little time at the beginning to prepare the piece will make all the difference in the end.

We want to share the knowledge we have gained through years of trial and error. That way, as a beginning furniture painter, you can save some of the time, supplies, and heartache that we went through. And just jump to the good stuff! So grab your favorite Pop of Color Shock Paints, and let’s learn how to paint furniture the right way!

Furniture Painting for Beginners: What you Need to Know Before you Paint

Our Shock Paints are pretty flipping amazing. Obviously we are a smidge biased but we hear it from our artists all the time too. The fabulous coverage and flawless finish are definitely rave worthy. And Shock Paint will give you those quality results on just about any surface. Technically, you could just open your can of paint and get started.

But when you are painting furniture, why not give your piece every advantage? Properly prepping your pieces before painting (sorry about all the Ps, I couldn’t resist!) will give you the high quality results that you are looking for. And it will ensure that your paint job will last far into the future. Even for those high traffic pieces! To get to a fabulous end result, we start the whole process off right.

Start by Cleaning the Furniture with Ready Prep

Furniture painting for begginers

The first step in making sure you get great results in your furniture painting is to clean it. Most of the time we are working with second hand pieces that may have been sitting for quite sometime. And with who-knows-what on them. It is important to remove any dust and grime before getting started on the paint process. And we have the perfect cleaner for that.

Ready Prep is a top-quality cleaner and degreaser that will help remove any tough gunk or oils that your old furniture pieces might have.

Ready Prep furniture cleaner and degreaser are used as the first step to starting your furniture makeover projects! Simply apply it to a cleaning cloth and start wiping down your piece. And, just like that, you’re ready to paint!

Giving your furniture piece a good scrub will ensure that you are starting with an even surface. And one that isn’t covered in grime that will repel paint or cause it to crack and peel later on. It can be tempting to jump right into sanding to save time. But you don’t want to smear any residue around or work it into the wood by trying to sand it. So, as boring as it is, we clean each furniture piece before we start.

To clean your furniture, an all purpose cleaner usually works great. Just spray it on and wipe it with a wet rag, just like you would clean anything else. If the furniture you are painting as a little extra dirt and gunk, go for a degreaser. That will help break down anything that doesn’t easily wipe off.

Once your furniture is clean, let it dry well and then you are ready for the next step!

Check for Imperfections in the Furniture

While you were cleaning your piece, you likely spotted any areas that may need minor repair. Deep gouges or pits can often be seen in pieces that were well loved and used. To fix these areas, all you need is a little wood filler and a spackle tool. Smooth the filler into any areas you need to. Then use the tool to scrape off any excess wood filler. This will make the surface smoother.

Also check for any spots where pieces are loose or falling off. You will want to use some wood glue to repair these spots. Add the glue where you need to and use clamps to keep the wood together while the glue dries.

Finally, be sure that any hardware is in good working condition. If it needs to be cleaned or repaired you want to do that before painting. If you are replacing any hardware you can do that after painting.

Time to Sand

Our Shock Paints will happily adhere to any furniture piece whether it is sanded or not. But when you are refinishing furniture for everyday use, you want to give it a good sand first. Especially if you had to use wood filler to fix damaged areas. Use 150 grit sandpaper and start with a light sand until you get the feel for it. You want to smooth out any rough areas and around the spots that you repaired. But you don’t want to sand down too far.

Once you’ve smoothed out the rough spots, just lightly scuff the surface of the rest of your piece. That will make it so your paint will adhere evenly to the whole piece.

After your sanding is done, use a tack cloth to clean it again. Tack cloth has a stickiness to it that will collect all those fine grains of sand from your furniture. It will make sure that you get the surface totally clean and prevent imperfections that can be caused by particles that are left behind.

Now for the Furniture Refinishing Paint!

Enough work for one day! You’ve cleaned, repaired, and sanded. Now it’s time for the fun part! Open those paint cans, give them a good stir and dive into the painting. The painting techniques you use will depend on the piece you are working with and the look you are going for. Our paints give amazing coverage so just straight up furniture painting will give you beautiful results.

To do this, all you need are your furniture paint brushes and one color of paint. A flat or oval brush are great for painting the large areas of a piece of furniture. The angled brush is great for getting into little nooks and crannies. And for edges and curved areas of your piece. If you want to learn more about How to Know Which Paint Brush is Perfect for your Project, we have a post for that too!

For basic furniture painting, don’t over think it! Simply dip your brush into the paint and start brushing it onto the furniture. You are going for a nice even coat. So continue to brush the paint you applied until you have an even layer and then go back for more. You will naturally learn how much to put on your brush once you see how much it takes to cover a certain area. A little practice and you’ll be a pro in no time!

Once you have painted your piece with the flat or oval brush, go back in with the angled brush and make sure you get in all the crevices and crannies.

Protect your Furniture Piece

If your finished creation is going to get a lot of love and use you have a couple of options for sealants. Your choice will depend on the overall look you are going for.

Our “Finish” it Wax goes on beautifully and gives a warm finish that is smooth and inviting to the touch. Wax gives a piece character and beauty. It is durable without being completely unmoving. The buff and polish involved in using furniture wax also allows you to have more control over the finished look of your piece.

Our Pop Coat is a clear, water-based acrylic topcoat that creates a durable matte finish for your furniture refurbishing needs. Pop Coat is used as a varnish and sealant for your Pop of Color painted projects. This sealant is as durable as it gets! Slap it on pieces like your kitchen chairs with confidence. It will stand up to boots, buttons, and lots of bottoms!

The Finishing Touches

Once you’ve painted your first piece of furniture you are bound to be hooked! You will start seeing inspiration and furniture pieces everywhere. As you gain confidence in your skills you will be ready to take on new methods and techniques. And we are here to help! We have live tutorials every week on our … And we have other great tutorials here on the blog! Like our Farmhouse Style Table Makeover and How to Dry Brush Paint with Furniture Refinishing Paint.

The possibilities are endless and we can’t wait to see what you create! Thanks for letting us be a part of your artistic journey. Happy painting, Pop Stars!

Pop of Color Shock Paints are sold exclusively at Counter Culture DIY. So now you have even more reasons to stop by!

You can find awesome video tutorials on our YouTube channel!

Be sure to follow us on Pinterest so you can stay on top of everything that’s new and never miss a blog post!

If you want more inspiration and information we have a Facebook group for that. Join us in Counter Culture DIY Artist Support where we, and other artists, offer ideas, answer questions, and support each other!

Do you have an art project using any of our products that you want to share? Send it to us at, and we can feature them here!

Share this post

Start typing and press Enter to search

Shopping Cart

No products in the cart.