How to Paint Furniture

Tips and Tricks to paint furniture the RIGHT way!

Use the right primer to paint your furniture
My secret weapon to painting furniture – KILZⓇ Primer

This post is sponsored by KILZ®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Spring is here! Which makes it the perfect time to tackle that furniture refresh you’ve been putting off, and I am going to help you!

Painting furniture can be difficult to do correctly, and you may even want to put it off because it seems like such a daunting task. With the tips and tricks I will be sharing in this post, you’ll wonder why you put it off for so long!

In this post I am going to highlight specific tricks to help paint that pesky IKEA furniture, or any furniture that may have a similar finishing. Although I am focusing on IKEA furniture, the tips I am about to share can be very useful when refinishing any type of furniture.

Save this post now so you can refer back to it whenever you decide to tackle a new furniture refresh project and then let’s get started!

IKEA Kallax Shelf

If you have ever owned or dealt with or even seen a piece of IKEA furniture, you know it has that specific finishing that gives it a glossy sort of feel. That finishing is your biggest enemy when you decide to paint it.

If you try to throw some paint on this finish without prepping the furniture first, the paint is just going to peel right off. This is why most people don’t attempt to paint this type of furniture or tell you not to. I am here to tell you though that it is absolutely possible as long as you have the right tools!

The first thing you’re going to want to do is lightly sand the furniture with 120 grit sandpaper. I recommend using an orbital sander to do this because it will go much faster, but if you don’t own one you can also do it by hand.

Sand IKEA furniture before you paint it

Once you have lightly sanded the furniture you are going to want to use a primer before you paint. This is the MOST IMPORTANT step to painting IKEA furniture. Using a primer gives your paint something to adhere to so it doesn’t peel up.

Use KILZ Primer before painting IKEA furniture so your paint doesn't peel off

For IKEA furniture specifically I recommend using KILZ 2® All Purpose Primer. KILZⓇ has a variety of different primers to choose from and one for every project! If you head over to the KILZⓇ website, they provide a detailed description for each primer and you will be able to choose which primer works best for whatever project you are tackling!

KILZⓇ primer can be applied a few different ways. If you prefer to apply it by hand, I recommend using a brush and a foam roller. I always use foam rollers when painting furniture because it doesn’t leave a texture behind like a traditional paint roller would.

How to apply KILZ 2 Primer

KILZ 2 All Purpose Primer

If you own a paint sprayer or want to go that route, you can also fill your sprayer with KILZⓇ primer and apply it that way. One of the best things I have noticed about KILZⓇ primers is that they don’t have the harsh chemical smell you get with other primers. This is extremely helpful especially if you are going to use the spray method.

KILZⓇ primers also come in an aerosol spray can like spray paint. This is another option to apply your primer, however I only recommend using this method on smaller pieces, hardware or maybe pieces that have a lot of small details because it will take you a lot of time to get full coverage on your furniture this way.

When I am painting furniture, I also like to lightly sand in between coats of paint and primer (I use 220 grit for this). You don’t want to sand so rough that all of your paint or primer that you just applied comes off. When sanding in between coats the goal is just to get rid of any imperfections that may occur when applying, you paint or primer. Most of the time your paint finish will be a bit bumpy due to your brush or sprayer. Sanding in between each coat will eliminate these imperfections and give you a nice smooth finish.

My rule is: if you can feel it now, you’ll see it later. What I mean by that is, if you apply your primer and have a few bumps, once you apply your paint those bumps will show up more prominent in the finished product.

No matter what method you choose, priming is the number one secret to refinishing your furniture piece the correct way. Once you try priming your furniture before painting, you will realize that is really all it takes to get a nice new look and wonder why you have been putting it off for so long!

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