I have refinished furniture with paint, and I have refinished furniture using stain. I decided I wanted to try refinishing a piece of furniture with spray paint to see how it turned out.
It all started with a little table that I got last year for $15 at the thrift store. It kinda scratched up, but I loved the shape, so I bought it anyway. It’s been sitting in my garage for months. I decided it was time to dust it off and give it a makeover. Here are the instructions in case you want to try it yourself. (You do, you want to try it. It’s easy. Promise.)
Refinishing Furniture with Spray Paint
1-Start with an old piece of furniture. When you’re shopping, ignore color. Just look for design or shape that you like. I started with this table.
2-Fill any holes or scratches in the furniture with putty or spackling. I used this stuff:
3-After the spackling dries, you want to sand the entire piece. Roughing up the surface helps the paint stick better, so make sure you sand everything. You don’t have to sand it down to the bare wood, a light sanding is just fine. When you are done sanding, make sure you wipe off all the dust. Tack cloth works best, but baby wipes or slightly damp rags will work in a pinch.
4-Primer. This step is optional, especially if you are painting a piece of furniture a dark color. If you are painting a dark piece of furniture a lighter color, you will definitely want to use primer. It will cut down on your coats of paint A LOT. I did it on this piece just to be safe. I haven’t had great luck with spray paint primer, so I used Kilz primer and brushed it on. I just did one coat and it worked fine.
5-After your primer has dried for at least 24 hours, you are ready to paint. I used Krylon satin black spray paint. Make sure you use light coats so you don’t get drips. Several light coats is way better than a couple thick coats. Follow the instructions on the can so you know how long the paint should dry between coats.
Here’s my table after several light coats of paint:
6-After your piece of furniture is thoroughly dry, you can distress the edges if you like. I like distressing, because if you have kids, everything ends up “distressed” anyway, so you might as well make it look like you did it on purpose. 😉
For pieces like this that have small details, I think it is easier to sand by hand than to use my palm sander. A large nail file works great for getting into small spaces. (How sad is it that I wear out more nail files on wood than I do on my actual nails?) When you are done distressing, carefully wipe off all the dust.
7-At this point you can be done. But with four boys, I wanted an extra layer of protection. I decided to add a coat of polyurethane. I used this stuff:
It’s really easy, you just pour it on a rag and wipe it on. I used two coats. The directions said to sand in between coats, but I thought that was waaay to much work. So I just applied one, let it dry, and applied another one. It seemed to turn out fine. Fabulous actually!