How to Paint Furniture {The Easy Way}

by | Aug 17, 2018

The best way to paint furniture!

Learn how to chalk paint a large piece of furniture…FASTER & EASIER!!

This hutch was given to us by one of our neighbors.  My hubby helped them load their moving truck and when they got to this piece, they were worn out!

I quickly volunteered to unburden them from having to move it!!  Mark, on the other hand knew that meant he was going to have to move it (most likely several times) and just didn’t see it’s potential.

I’ll give it to him…it was kinda hard to get past the mirrors and outdated wood grain which is probably why they were willing to let it go.  BUT…I know the power of paint and beadboard, and I had the perfect spot in mind!

Learn how to chalk paint - THE EASY WAY!

Let’s get this hutch prepped for painting…

We took all of the hardware off and put it in labeled baggies.  I used separate bags for the hinges on the top doors and the bottom.  Trust me…you will be thankful for this tip when your hubby tries to help put everything back together!

If there is glass, I always put it in a safe place which in our home means far away from our three boys.

The mirrors in this hutch just had to go!  We took the whole back off since I wanted to replace it with beadboard.

This made it easier to get to the side mirrors.  We taped them with masking tape and used a putty knife and hammer to pry them out.

Demo for a hutch makeover

This left behind a glue residue that I knew would show through the paint.  After trying several things, we ended up using blades for a boxcutter to scrape the glue off.

After all of the doors and drawers were removed, we gave it a light sanding.  This should only take a couple of minutes…you are really just trying to scuff it up a little.  We cleaned the dust up with a damp rag.

We measured the back piece that we removed and had the beadboard cut to size at our local hardware store.

Ready to paint…

I have been chalk painting furniture for years, and have tried MANY methods and recipes.  When I am painting a large piece like this, I ALWAYS use a sprayer.

It saves a LOT of time and energy!

Ladies…DO NOT be scared of using a power tool.  You can totally do this!!

This is the sprayer I use.  It is affordable and super simple to operate!  I have had the same one for about 5 years now and have painted at least 100 pieces with it.

This sprayer has painted LOTS of furniture!

When using a sprayer, it is vital that you make your own chalk paint since you will waste a lot with overspray.  This actually works out WAY cheaper than most brands you purchase.

See this post for How to Make Your Own Chalk Paint.  I have been using this recipe for years and have painted countless pieces with it!

You definitely want to spray your furniture outside.  Make sure to lay out plenty of painting clothes so you don’t mark your driveway up like I have.  Shhh…don’t tell Mark.

You have to work quickly with a sprayer because the chalk paint dries really fast.  You will want to make sure you have everything prepped before you load the paint into the sprayer.

I keep an old rag in my hand when I’m spraying.  Every couple of minutes, I wipe the nozzle to keep it clean.

I also make sure to have a long extension cord, so that I can maneuver around all of the pieces.  Oh…and make sure to keep your extra paint close by.

Start on one side and finish it before moving to the next.  I try to use long, even strokes.  I spray from top to bottom…move over a couple of inches and spray back up to the top.

Tip:  If your sprayer is splattering or if the paint isn’t coming out evenly, just add a little more water.  I just add it right into the jar and stir it with a disposable spoon.

I always use two coats of paint.  Since this paint dries so quickly, I was able to start the second coat as soon as I finished the first.

I almost forgot to share the paint color…it is Glidden Elegant Charcoal.

Distressing and an extra touch…

Distressing is probably my favorite step.  I cannot imagine chalk painting a piece of furniture and then not distressing it.

This part usually makes most people nervous.  Trust yourself…you really can’t mess this up!

Take a sanding block and wrap a piece of fine sandpaper around it.  (You don’t want to have to buy a new sanding block every time you paint a piece of furniture…they are pricey!)

Scuff up any raised places, corners, and edges.  I usually sand the edges of the drawers and doors.  Skip around.  This doesn’t need to be uniform.  You want it to look like it could naturally get scuffed up in these areas.

How to Distress Painted Furniture

To add a little dimension to the back, I dry brushed some white chalk paint to the beadboard.

To dry brush, simply add a little paint to the tips of a dry brush.  I usually pour a little paint onto a paper plate.  I get a little paint on the tip of the brush, and then tap it several times onto a clean section of the plate.  Lightly brush it across the beadboard until you get the desired coverage.

Add a little dimension with a white wash!

Updating the hardware…

I really liked the hardware, but we wanted the finish to match the rest of our decor.  We laid it all out onto our drop clothes and sprayed them with two coats of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze in a metallic finish.

To paint the screws, it is easier if you lightly hammer them into an old board and then spray.

Time to wax…

We usually move the furniture back indoors for this step.  It also allows me to work at my own pace and not worry about the weather.

Some people prefer to use a wipe on poly, but I prefer wax.  When I first started chalk painting furniture, I used expensive, name brand waxes.  Now I use this paste finishing wax by Minwax.  You get twice as much product for 1/3 of the cost, and it works great!

What I use to wax painted furniture!

I cut up an old tee shirt into small pieces.  Apply the wax in circular motions and then smooth it out in long, even strokes.

You want a light coat!  You can always apply a second coat if you prefer, but if you apply too much, it will leave streaks.

This wax dries quickly, so by the time you finish all of the pieces, you can buff it with a clean cloth.  To do that, simply fold your cloth into fourths so it is thicker, and then gently wipe over all surfaces.  This helps to create a soft sheen.

And there you have it…another furniture piece that we LOVE!

We would have easily paid $1,000 for a new hutch.  Instead we spent less than $50 on the makeover, and we have a story to go along with it!

Psalm 118 24 This is the day the Lord has made

Chalk Paint Furniture with a sprayer
Painting furniture the faster and easier way!

I’m Melinda, and I am thrilled you are here!  I’m a wife, mother to 3 energetic boys, DIY enthusiast, and lover of all things creative.  Make This Day Count is my place to share my love for projects, family life, and natural living.



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