What to Know Before Painting Furniture Without Sanding


In some instances, it is perfectly fine to skip the sanding step when re-painting a piece of furniture, but you will want to keep these tips in mind when deciding if sanding would be appropriate or not.

Is the Surface Shiny or Slick? – If the surface is very smooth and shiny, you may want to use sandpaper as the paint or primer could peel off or easily scrap off with a fingernail.  You will want to, at the very least, go over the furniture with 220 or 320 grit sandpaper; this will give the primer, or paint, something to adhere to.

Has the Surface Been Thoroughly Cleaned? Make sure you start by cleaning the surface with some kind of degreaser before you paint or prime.  Paint and primer will not adhere to any type of oils, even those used in cleaning solutions.

Has the Surface Been Waxed? – If you are painting over something that has a wax coating over top, sand the wax off.  Paint and primer will NOT adhere to a waxed surface.

You Can Use a Liquid Sander – You can also wipe the piece down with a liquid sander (available at most hardware stores) instead of using actual sandpaper.  NOTE: read the directions on the back before buying to ensure it will work with your piece, along with the primer, or paint, you intend to use.

Use an Oil Based Primer – If you decide not to sand, you will want to use an oil based primer, or a shellac based primer, as opposed to no primer or a water based primer.  Oil and shellac primers cure faster, reducing the risk of paint peeling or being scratched off within the first 2-4 weeks.

If you read through this list, and still feel it’s fine to paint without sanding, congrats!  You’ve shaved some time off of this project.


Why Spraypainting is a Great Alternative When Painting Furniture

Spray-Paint-FurniturePaint Sprayers can save a great deal of time when you need to paint a lot of items, yet it doesn’t make sense for you to run out and buy an expense machine if you only plan on painting a piece of furniture every once in a while.  As an alternative- spray painting furniture has a lot of benefits.

Time Saved – Spray painting is a lot faster than painting with a brush, and you won’t get nearly as tired from it.  The base coat for a small piece of furniture can take roughly 10-20 minutes when being careful.

No Brush Strokes – Getting in and around beveled edges or designs in the wood with a brush can be difficult to do without showing brush strokes, but spraying the paint on makes it extremely easy!  Do be careful- don’t spray in one area for too long or the paint will to drip down the side of the furniture.

Less Mess – Although you will get a little overspray with spray paint, all that you need to do to protect the ground is lay down some newspaper, a drop cloth, some plastic, etc.  After you are done, you can simply throw the spray paint can away and newspaper, and you’re all done!

More Colors to Choose From Than in The Past – Even though you won’t have quite the same selection for colors with spray paints as with cans of paint, there are many more colors to choose from today than there were just a few years ago, and the list of colors continue to grow!  Chances are, you will be able to find the color you want, or something very similar.

Remember- you will want to paint in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, or in the garage with the big door open.  Should you need a few recommendations for brands, check out Valspar, Krylon, Rustoleum, or visit your local hardware store.

Painting Furniture Without Brush Strokes

Paint Strokes_Smaller

Everyone is different when it comes to the look of their furniture.  Some prefer to go to a thrift shop for an urban “Hipster” look, others prefer a perfectly smooth finish with a touch of elegance, while some like a rustic look as if it were painted in the backyard; the point is everyone is different.  Yet how do you get a perfectly smooth painted finish on that dresser when it’s needing to be repainted?  Follow the tips below.  NOTE- this will require you to put in some time and effort, but you will be proud of your work!

Use a High Quality BrushIt’s simple, higher quality paint brushes don’t show paint stroke as much, where lower quality brushes do, and believe it or not- the type of paint you use can affect the type of brush you should use. If you plan on using a latex paint, you should consider using a nylon or polyester brush; for oil based paints, use a natural bristle brush.  Some great paint brush brands are Purdy & Wooster.

FloetrolFloetrol is an additive you can mix into the paint that will keep your paint from drying as fast, which will give it more time to meld together or self-level and eliminate brush strokes.  Be aware of the conditions that you’re going to be painting in.  If it is a hot day, the paint will be drying quicker, which means that the brush stroke will be harder to hide.  You may want to consider adding Floetrol.

Longer Bristles Are Better – The shorter the bristles, the more the strokes will show… It is that simple.

Try a Roller – Use a roller on the longer, flat surfaces, and a brush for the smaller details.  When using a roller, roll in one direction.  If you roll in different directions, you can end up with roller marks.

Sand – If you do end up with some brush strokes- don’t worry.  Sand down that one area, and paint again.  Be sure that you wait for the paint to dry before you go back to sand or repaint.

What’s great about this technique is that you can use this, even if you want a distressed/antiqued look for your furniture.  But most importantly, remember to have fun!

Things to watch for when refurnishing your Dresser or Nightstand


We use dressers and nightstands every day, and if a child is using one, you can bet that it’s being used and abused.  If your dresser is looking old and worn, you may want to just refurnish it instead of going out any buying a new one; this can save you money, and it’s amazing how a coat of paint can change the entire look!  However, there are a few things you need to look for when you do want to refurnish.

Surface: If the surface of the nightstand has rough grain, or is looking bubbly- beware.  The problem with uneven surfaces is that once you sand and prime them, all of the uneven areas begin to expand- you’re then left with a blotchy surface.  The solution to this is to sand completely past the stain, and down to the actual wood.

Peeling Veneer – It could be a big problem if the veneer is peeling.  If it peels off easily, it won”t be worth your time to repair it.  Yet, if it has only began to peel in a few small areas, it is salvageable with wood glue and wood filler.

Laminate – Laminate is a plastic coating over the wood.  You can paint over it, but that is not ideal.  Painting over it will make the it look… not quite right, and very amateur.  It’s best to stay away from this entirely.

Drawers – Drawers are, of course, the most important part of the dresser or nightstand, so it only makes sense to know if you have something made with quality.  If you do have something of quality, think about whether or not it would be best to get rid of it, or to try and refurnish it. One way to know if you do have quality craftsmanship is by taking the drawer out of the dresser, and looking for Dovetails.  If you see the Dovetails like in the picture below, you know you have something of quality.


Lastly, if the drawers are on metal drawer guides that slide, make sure they slide smoothly.  These guides are difficult to fix and with older dressers, and many of the parts needed to fix them are no longer made.  If there is not a metal guide, and the drawer is wood on wood, you can smooth the sliding a little by wiping furniture wax on the bottom of the drawers and the wood guides underneath.  This will help smooth it out quite a bit.

That’s it!  If you have a dresser or nightstand that seems to be in good standing- go ahead and slap some paint on it to give it a whole new look.  Happy Painting!

Painting Your Front Door

Painted Front Doors_Smaller

A new coat of paint on your front door can breath all new life into your home, and it’s a lot easier than you may think!  Yes, you will have to put in some elbow grease, but it shouldn’t take you more than a day to complete.

Types of Paint

Because your front door is open to the elements outside, you’ll want to use an acrylic latex paint with an oil-based primer; this will cover any old paint left on the door.  However, if you have a brand new door that has never been painted, you are able to use an oil-based paint instead.


When you begin, be sure that it is going to be a nice day (not too humid or cold) because you want the paint to dry fairly quickly… Especially if you’re using an oil-based paint.

You’ll need to take the door off of it’s hinges, and place it where you’ll be painting- make sure it is a well ventilated area (like outside).  You can place some plastic over the doorway to help keep bugs outside, and to prevent people from seeing into your house.

Once the door is ready, remove the handles, and any other hardware left on it.  Thoroughly clean the door by scrubbing the surface with a wet sponge, allow to dry, then sand the surface of the door. Patch any cracks in the door with a quick-drying wood filler, then when it dries, sand the filler to make it smooth. Use a rag to brush off the dust from sanding, and you will be ready to apply the primer.  Cover with painter’s tape any trim, windows, and anything else that you don’t want to get paint on.

Apply the primer to the all surfaces on the door and let it dry completely. Then you are ready to apply the paint. Start by using a brush to paint any raised or depressed panels on the door, or around any crevices. You can then proceed to paint the flat surfaces of the door with a roller. Once the first coat is applied, allow it to dry, and apply a second coat for a beautiful finish.

DIY- Rusted Wood

Rusted Wood Cover

This project is fairly simple to do, it creates an amazing effect, and it can be completed very quickly!  You can make custom crates to store plants, renovate your old bookcase, or wherever your imagination takes you!

For this demo, we’re using pallet-wood; it’s cheap, easy to get, and easier to work with, but remember- all wood and furniture acts differently, and reacts differently to paint and stains.  I do want to add that this may take a couple tries to grasp, and that’s fine- keep playing with it, and every time it will look better and better!

Step 1)  Sand the wood a little before painting to get some of the rough spots off, but not too much as the roughness helps add to the character. For the painting portion, the best effect is from what is called a ‘Chip Brush‘.  These are inexpensive, natural bristle brushes that cost around $1.  They do not cover the wood completely in paint (leaving some bald spots for the natural wood to peek through), and are cheap enough to replace as needed.


Step 2)  Now slap some paint on.  You may want to paint several boards at once, starting with the lightest color of paint you’ll be using.


Step 3)  Do not clean the brush between colors, instead brush it on the plank until most of the color is gone.  HINT: Use a different brush only if you feel the colors will not blend well.  Being that blue and green go very well together, we will continue using the same brush.


Step 4)  Wait a little while as the paint dries… somewhat; it doesn’t need to completely dry before you apply the second color.  You’ll notice that this tutorial does only have 2 colors- you are more than welcome to use more- I’ve even seen some use 5!  The choice is up to you.


Step 5) When the paint is (mostly) dry, sand it.  you can sand it a lot, or very little; remember, this is your creation- have fun.  Depending on the type of wood, 80 grit sandpaper works great, or you can simply use what’s already on the sander.  Whatever wood is exposed through the paint will soak up the stain, and get a bit of a reddish color.


Finished sanding.


You’ll then use a stain to go over the top. Pallet wood takes the stain really dark, so it may be beneficial to use something a little lighter like Early American or Provincial.  For these colors, however, something darker might be nice so we’ll be using Dark Walnut.


Step 6)  Cover the paint/piece of wood completely.  You will want to use a Chip Brush for this as well.  If you would like the brush to last for other stain projects, simply wipe it off with a rag.


Step 7)  After applying the stain, wipe off the stain with a rag (You can even use an old T-shirt you were going to throw out).  NOTE–stain rags should be put in a bucket of water and not reused.  This is a VERY important safety tip as the stain is highly flammable, and can catch fire just from being left in a pile.

After everything has dried, you will have something very unique.  Enjoy!