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How To Painting Furniture?

How To Painting Furniture?

Many of the paint effects used on woodwork may also be applied to furniture.

Preparing Surfaces: Many pieces of furniture are smaller scale than other wooden surfaces, and their surfaces may include fine details and curves. You may, therefore, need to spend more time preparing the surfaces thoroughly. However, the surface area will not be as extensive.

Making Furniture Ready to Paint

Choose and prepare furniture carefully before painting it.

  • Choosing nonwooden items Prepare and prime wicker or metal .surfaces before painting.
  • Masking vulnerable items With semiupholstered items of furniture, mask the edges between wood and fabric.
  • Testing laminates Do a test patch on laminated items. Many will not accept paint.

Filling Holes

Ensuring smoothness; Use a commercial fine-surface filler for repairs, and apply with the end of one finger. Once sanded, this will produce a smoother finish than all-purpose filler.

Preparing Wood

  • Getting professional help Hand-stripping old painted furniture can be difficult and time consuming, so take items to professional stripping firms where they can be dipped. The expense will be worth it.
  • Sanding Use only fine-grade paper to sand furniture. Heavy sanding can easily distort furniture profiles and moldings.
  • Preparing detailed surfaces Apply several base coats to curved and detailed furniture surfaces before creating effects.


As well as being very expensive, authentic gilding or water-gilding is a highly skilled craft that requires several years of practice. Modern substitutes can reduce gilding costs dramatically and, if you apply an oil-based size, do not require special application skills.

Making Furniture Ready to Paint

Applying Gilding to a Frame

  1. Base-coat a frame and let it dry. Apply gold size evenly all over. Tint the size with a little burnt umber so that you can see which areas have been covered. Allow the surface to dry until it is tacky.
  2. Gently position the sheets of gilt, metal-side down. Fit them around the molding with a soft brush. Remove the backing, leaving the metal. When the size is dry, dust away excess flakes of metal.

Money-saving Tip

Using enamel paint; Produce a gilded effect inexpensively using gold enamel paint. Apply it very sparingly with a brush to the edges of chair moldings.


There are many different ways of making a piece of furniture look old. These techniques are known collectively as distressing, and they involve the use of various decorative materials aimed at creating a look that occurs naturally only after years of continuous wear and tear.

Aging Effectively

  • Using latex Use water- based paints, especially flat latexes, which are much easier to distress than their oil-based equivalents. Their duller finish will give a more realistic impression of age.
  • Knocking around Any piece of furniture with a history will have received the odd knock here and there. Randomly tap a screwdriver or chisel end over a wooden surface to create a well-worn effect.
  • Paying attention to edges Make sure that you distress the edges of the object well, since this is where the most wear would have occurred.
  • Making details consistent Exchange new handles on cupboards and cabinets for old ones. Dent metal door knobs with a hammer, and sand around the edges to imitate years of handling.

Distressing Wooden Door Panels

  • Masking areas to be aged Mask areas that are likely to have been worn with scraps of masking tape. Remove the tape once you have painted.
  • Sanding Use sandpaper to complete a distressed finish. Use flat sandpaper rather than a block so that you can judge how much pressure to apply.
  1. Use petroleum jelly to mask the areas that you wish to distress on a base-coated surface that has dried. Use just enough to resist the paint before painting the top coat.
  2. Remove the paint-covered petroleum jelly using , sandpaper. Sand the surface again to take the wood back to its natural finish, which will add authenticity to the effect.

Antiquing Wood

  • Using wax Brush liquid wax onto a painted or distressed surface, then buff with steel wool. The wax will produce what appears to be a dirt- ingrained finish. Use an old toothbrush to reach into intricate areas such as corners.
  • Applying wood dye Use a soft cloth to apply wood dye (medium or dark oak). It has a similar effect to wax but is more suitable on semigloss, which is oil-based, than water- based paints. Use sparingly.
  • Crackling successfully To maximize the effectiveness of crackle varnish, ensure that the period of time between applying base-coat varnish and top-coat varnish is constant across the entire surface area.

Highlighting Cracks

Using artist’s paint; To accentuate a crackle-varnish finish, rub in a darker artist’s color (such as burnt umber) to make the cracks more obvious. This is essential if you want to produce a good, delicately cracked (craquelure) finish.

Time-saving Tip

Using a hairdryer A hairdryer will speed lip the drying time of paint, allowing you to apply the next coat sooner. It is particularly useful when using crackle varnish, since the heat will also increase the size of the cracks.

Applying Decoupage

Create the impression of a detailed, hand- painted surface without using any paint by applying the simple method of decoupage. This involves cutting out appropriate images from a variety of sources  such as magazines – and attaching them to an object or piece of furniture.

Decoupaging Small Cupboards

  1. Cut out the images of your choice, then stick them down using PVA glue. Brush more PVA over the images to hold them. The thinner the paper used, the greater the impression of painted images.
  2. Once the adhesive has dried, apply acrylic varnish to seal and protect the images. The more varnish you apply, the greater the hand-painted feel. Crackle varnish will emphasize this even more.

Traditional Tip

Sealing with egg tempera; Separate and break the yolk of an egg. Add a teaspoonful of distilled water and the same amount of linseed oil, then mix. Apply with a brush. Once dry, buff with a cotton ball.

Creating Advanced Effects

To produce advanced effects on furniture, you can employ the same basic techniques as you would to create other paint effects. However, you will need to pay more attention to detail and authenticity to mimic natural substances such as marble or tortoiseshell.

Faking Other Surfaces

  • Hand-painting designs Stencil images onto furniture. Create a hand-painted finish by going over the designs with an artist’s brush, varying the detail and color just enough to give it a freehand feel.
  • Graining accurately Have an example of the wood you are imitating in front of you. This will make it easier to color- match and copy the subtle grain variations of the wood.
  • Using decoupage Create the effect of tortoiseshell or marble by finding examples in books or magazines (that are out of copyright) and using a photocopier to enlarge them to the size you want. Apply using decoupage techniques.

Perfecting the Art of Pretense

  • Paying attention to detail Trompe I’oeil effects do not have to be complicated and difficult to execute. You can create just as much impact with small details as large images.
  • Extending trompe I’oeil Do not limit your use of trompe I’oeil effects to walls. With a little imagination, you can apply deceptive images to pieces of furniture, too.

Being practical

Paint a clever trompe I’oeil tablecloth on a garden table, and you will never again need to cover it before you lay the table. This simple yet striking image serves a very useful purpose, but at the same time it does not require a high level of artistic skill.

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