How to prep before painting wood furniture.

Reasons To Prep Before Painting Wood Furniture

Painting wood furniture can be fun and rewarding when you do it the right way. The last thing you want is to have your finish fail, because you missed a crucial step in the prep work. I have a few simple steps that I want to share with you so that you will have peace of mind and be confident in your furniture painting.

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Painting Wood Furniture Prep 101

Reasons To Prep Before Painting Wood Furniture


Here are the products that I keep on hand for my prep before painting wood furniture.


Reasons To Prep Before Painting Wood Furniture


These two products are a furniture painters best friend! For a simple clean project, I use a 1:1 mixture of the denatured alcohol and water in a spray bottle. I lightly mist the wood surface and wipe down with paper towels. Sometimes I used recycled t-shirts that I get from garage sales. This will remove oils and any dirt on the surface. The alcohol in the mixture will cause the wood to dry quickly, so you can go ahead and proceed to the next step.

If my wood furniture is REALLY dirty (which is usually the case), I use Krud Kutter. I follow the directions on the bottle depending on the of amount cleaning that is needed. I use a mixture of water and degreaser in a spray bottle or use it in the concentrated form. The application is the same as the water and alcohol mixture above. After cleaning with the Krud Kutter, I always wipe down the furniture with a cotton cloth dampened with water to remove any residual degreaser from the surface.


Protective Gear To Use When Prepping Furniture

Protective gear is a must when prepping to paint wood furniture.


The main reason to wear a dust mask is to  reduce your chances of developing respiratory problems or certain types of cancer of the respiratory system later in life. This is serious business.

Use protective eyewear when using the sander. The sander can cause flying particles and sometimes small chips of wood to break away from dry brittle wood. Please, protect your eyes.


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Reasons To Prep Before Painting Wood Furniture


Once the wood furniture is clean and free of dirt and or oils, I scuff up or lightly sand the wood to create a slightly rough surface. This will give the paint/primer something to hold on to. Slick surfaces do not hold paint well.

Using a hand orbital sander can make sanding quick and easy. I use the hand sander on the tops and larger areas like the sides.  The drawers and hard to get into areas are a little more delicate, so I hand sand those with a sanding block or sandpaper.

After sanding, I use a water dampened cloth to remove any residual dust from the wood. Once it is dry, it’s ready to paint.


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Here’s a quick video describing the steps in prepping before painting wood furniture.


Following these few steps can lessen your risks in a failed finish on your painted wood furniture. Trust me when I say I have learned the hard way. The peace of mind is worth the extra steps. If you would like to see more wood furniture makeovers, CLICK HERE to see a veneer nightmare makeover! 


Until the next project… xo, Do