5 Furniture Painting Tips from a Newbie

Something that I tend to forget in a world of seemingly perfect Instagram and Blog posts is that no one starts out at that level. No one (that I know of) starts out on their journey of design & decor with a HGTV worthy space or Pinterest perfect projects…so if you get discouraged by the way your projects or spaces turn out…don’t! Part of getting to the point were you love the results is the journey along the way filled with trial and error….you aren’t going to love everything that you try to do decor and design wise, but the more that you experiment with different styles and techniques, the more you will learn & grow in your ability to envision and create!

With all that being said, today I decided to put together a quick list of tips that I learned during my first few real furniture painting experiences. Please keep in mind that I am no expert, and that I am still in the early stages of the learning process. But in sharing what I’ve learned, I hope to save you some time in your next DIY!

Tip #1 – Sanding is KEY! In order to have a clean and smooth finish, it is important to have a clean and smooth base on which to paint. I know it can be easy to find a reason to skip sanding, but with my little experience, I would strongly encourage you to do the hard work! I promise that it will be worth it in the end. If you have a large piece of furniture you are trying to paint it, I would definitely recommend buying or borrowing an electric sander — your arms will thank you.


Tip #2 – Always, always prime. This is something I never would have thought necessary before I started my job as a part-time interior painter. (Is “painter” even a real term?… I honestly don’t even know…) After sanding, primer seals any unwanted remnant of old stain or paint from showing through your new paint job. Even if don’t think that there will be anything that shows through, do it anyways….it could save you from having to redo the whole thing or paint a million coats.  (*Personal Experience Testimonial*)


Tip #3 – Use a roller brush for an even application. The first time I ever painted furniture I used a regular paintbrush. It could have just been the result my lack of experience with a brush, but I found it very difficult to get a good, even coat on my piece….the point of paint is to add color, the paint itself should be “invisible” if applied properly. On these stools I just used a 4″ roller and a small foam brush to touch up any spots the roller was having a hard time getting to…and it worked out great!


Tip #4 – Take your time. This could be the most important tip. One of the things I don’t like about painting is all the time that it takes….what seems like a simple task can really take a long time to be done right. Between having to wait for coats to dry and making sure that the surface has a good even coat….it can take hours. I have learned the hard way that being patient is better than skimping over details and “just trying to get it done.” You will be much happier with your product if you take that extra time, rather than going back later and trying to re-do it.


Tip #5 – Don’t skimp on coats. While it might look decent after one coat, I would always recommend doing a second…this will give the piece more durability over use and time.

*this photo was taken solely for staging purposes…my house doesn’t normally look like this 😉

I hope that those tips were helpful for you! Remember to learn to enjoy the journey, not just the final product…and the more work you put into something, the more you will get out of it. You got this!  If you have questions or would like to send me your own tips; I am all ears! Shoot me an email (graceunmeasuredblog@gmail.com) or find me on Facebook or Instagram (@graceunmeasuredblog)! I would love to hear from you!! 🙂

Julia 🙂


Design, Decor, and DIY Blogger since 2015

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