Sunday, January 16, 2011

A little spray paint can go a long way...

Brian and I moved into a 4 bedroom house with enough furniture to maybe furnish a one bedroom home. We did not want to spend a lot of money on furniture, and we are very thankful that we did not have to. Brian's parents gave us A LOT of furniture when we moved here, and we have found some great pieces at the local antique mall and at the Nashville flea market. Except for our new couch and chair and a rug for the living room, we haven't spent more then $20 on a piece of furniture for our house. We are very thankful. I have learned when I'm at Goodwill or the antique mall that I can find a pretty ugly yet cheap piece of furniture for our house that will look like new in no time simply with a $5 can of spray paint and a little bit of sanding. I have been asked numerous times how I paint my furniture so here are some of the pieces I painted and a quick tutorial on how you can do it to.

Painting furniture can be done in these few simple steps. I am in no way a pro at this, and I'm sure there are better ways to do it, but this is what I did and I am pretty content with the results.

These are a set of end tables given to us for free by my in-laws. I spray painted them black to match our other bedroom furniture, and they are now being used as bedside tables.Here's what I did....
1. Sand the wood with either an electric sander or you can just use sand paper and do it by hand. I think you can get a sander for around $30, but doing it by hand works fine. It's just more time consuming. Sand the wood until the finish is pretty much removed.

2. Wipe it done with a wet cloth and let the piece dry
3. Prime the wood. For these tables I used gray tinted spray primer. I picked gray because I thought the black spray paint would cover the gray better than white primer. You can brush it on as well... it's just more time consuming. Let the primer completely dry.
4. Spray paint the piece with your choice of color and finish. I used the black satin finish for these tables, but I used a flat finish for the pieces in my living room. The satin is easier to dust/clean, but I like the look of the flat finish when I am going to distress the wood (which I did not do with these tables). I usually do 2 coats of spray paint per piece, sometimes 3 depending on how well the coverage is. Let paint dry.
5. Finish with a can of clear spray paint enamel to provide some protection for the paint. You can get different finishes for this as well. I always use the same finish of enamel that I used for the spray paint, but if you want a glossy look, you can use the high gloss enamel.
This red table is part of the set that came with the end tables I painted black (all free:). For this table, I used a flat spray paint called heritage red made by Rustoleum. After the spray paint dried, I used a dark brown stain and wiped some stain across the top and on the edges and legs using an old wash cloth. You can kind of see the stain in the picture below, but it's definitely more obvious in real life :).

The ladder below I bought at an antique mall in Spring Hill. I painted this one with a brush instead of spray paint. First I painted it with white primer, and then I painted it with Benjamin Moore Jalapeno pepper. I wiped a little bit of brown stain on the edges of the ladder as well to give it a distressed look. I am currently using the ladder as a shelf in the living room.

This next table I bought from the antique mall to use as a coffee table. This table was originally a very ugly color of yellow (I don't have a before picture... sorry!). I painted this table with a flat white spay paint. After the paint dried, I sanded the edges, the legs, and over the flower detail and then wiped stain over the parts I sanded to make it look distressed.

Finally, I bought this lamp at Goodwill for $7. It was originally a light oak color and had a gold base. It was quite hideous... I wish I had a before picture so you could fully understand how ugly the lamp was. I sanded it and then brush painted it with white primer, and then painted it using Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Gray paint (also the color of my kitchen:). I also bought some small tiles from Lowes and spray painted them red to use as coasters. Pretty simple.

Are there any pieces of furniture in your house that could benefit from a little paint?


  1. I LOVE this! Its FAB!!! Come on 'ova and share this at my Linky Par-Tay!



  2. thanks! I just shared my link. Thanks for the invite!

  3. Thank you for linking up this great post last week! {Im a lil behind, eeekk!}

    Its party time AGAIN!!! xoxokara