Painted Furniture

I have never been a huge fan of self painted furniture until recently!  The reason I was never a fan of painting furniture myself was because I do not like seeing brush strokes in furniture, it’s too shabby chic for my home.

Brush stroke free finish

Years ago after my father passed away my mom asked me if I could freshen up her bedroom furniture as the French style furniture they had was starting to yellow.  Even back then I did not like brush strokes left from paint on furniture so I did the only thing I could think of which was to tape off the wood top, put some tarps down and spray paint the bases.  This turned out actually well, no drips!  After my mom passed away, I sold the dresser since it was too large to take with me to my new home, but I kept the matching night stand that I use in my living room as an end table.  This past month I noticed the piece was starting to yellow (not bad considering the last time I spray painted it was about 10 yrs ago).  Begrudgingly, I decided to paint instead of spray painting simply because I had paint in the house and didn’t want to waste money on spray paint.

I am notorious for not taking before photos so I had to scramble to find a before, sorry this was the best I could come up with!
painting furntiure


If you are new here – that would be my sidekick Ryker who likes to jump into photos whenever he can!  Here you can see the end table next to the couch.

I didn’t totally forget the before photo, well I remembered just as I started to paint the top drawer, I put my brush down and grabbed my cell phone to get a somewhat before shot!


painting furniture

🙂 yup that’s me Ms Impatient, I couldn’t even take the handle off the bottom drawer before I started painting.  Nope I did not tape this off, I am too impatient to tape off LOL!

So how did I avoid the brush strokes?  I used regular latex paint in white and I believe the other paint was peppercorn by Sherwin Williams.  The dark blue/gray paint I left as it was since it’s so dark you can’t really see if there are brush strokes but for the white I watered it down big time. I had to do three coats of white but it was worth it.  The top gray/blue drawer got two coats.  While a sponge brush is shown in the photo I actually ended up using a regular brush instead.   I love the smooth factory finish look that was achieved by watering the paint down!  I didn’t even bother putting the white paint into a separate container I just dipped my brush into water before dipping into the paint.

Here is an up close photo, it’s not perfect but nothing I do is 🙂 however it is far better then clumpy brush stroke laden paint!

painting furniture

Here is the table completely painted and put back together!

painted end table


painted night stand
Now that I know I can get the factory finish look I like without having to spray paint I think a lot more painted furniture will be happening around here!  That chair in the first photo, yup that needs an overhaul maybe that will be the next thing to get painted, including painting the fabric!!


Sharing at:  Little Miss Celebration   City Farm House

44 comments for “Painted Furniture

  1. deluiseny
    December 9, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Do you think this would work with chalk paint? I recently painted dining room chairs and there were a couple of major drips I didn’t catch at first and had to sand down, etc. Thanks. Dolores

    • Dria
      December 29, 2015 at 11:19 am

      Hi Dolores, I’ve never used chalk paint so I can’t say for sure. Did you sand just the drips down? If so I’d try to feather in light layers to see if that works before sanding and repainting the whole chair.

  2. May 24, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I just found you and am I ever thrilled!!! I have needed this information for so long. I can’t wait to try it! I have used Flotrol to thin paint but it didn’t work like I expected. It was probably something I did wrong. I don’t know. I can’t thank you enough. Love the table and Ryker too!

    • Dria S
      May 26, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      Aww thank you! I hope your painting comes out fantastic!

  3. Barbara
    April 26, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Fabulous job.. I just finished painting two chairs like yours for a friends cottage. I upholstered the cushions with indoor outdoor print.. They are easy to recover. Just made a loose cushion for the back.. They were a fun project.

    • Dria
      April 28, 2014 at 6:09 am

      That sounds fantastic Barbara! It’s so much fun giving new life to old things isn’t it?

  4. March 18, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    This is extremely helpful for me right now, because I am painting a table and it has brush strokes galore. Super frustrating. I’m going to try this trick tomorrow.

    • Dria
      March 18, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks for stopping by. You may want to sand the brush strokes down before repainting it with the watered down paint!! Good Luck 🙂

  5. March 18, 2014 at 1:42 am

    This is a great tip and I can’t wait to give it a try. Love your photo booming dog. I am always trying to get my dogs into the picture.

    • Dria
      March 18, 2014 at 5:08 am

      Thank you so much Traci! This way of painting furniture really makes it so much easier!

  6. February 22, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    I love how beautiful your furniture looks! Gorgeous paint job! And I absolutely love your sidekick! lol. He’s adorable!

    • Dria
      February 23, 2014 at 7:18 am

      Aww thank you so much Carla! Adding water really does make the finish look so professional and my sidekick is everything to me 🙂

  7. Wilda
    December 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

    FYI, Home Depot sells a conditioner in the paint dept., that extends the drying time on paint. It makes the paint flow better and eliminates the places where the brush stops and starts. Recently, we painted new base board prior to installation. Some lengths were 16 ft long. When we stopped to re-load the brush, the paint just flowed into the place that we had stopped. Drying time is longer but in the end it is worth it.
    Your results are beautiful, I’ve been painting furniture for 35 years. There’s more to it than buying a brush and opening a can of paint. I’ve used the small bottles of acrylic craft paint very successfully. Small price, small bottles, huge variety of colors.

    • Dria
      December 28, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Thanks so much for the tip Wilda! I’ll have to try out that medium!

  8. July 23, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Looks great, Dria! I love the lines of the little table and especially the sentimental value!

    • Dria
      July 23, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Aww 🙂 Thank you Cher!! I am so happy with the result can’t wait to start another painting project!!

  9. July 23, 2013 at 12:02 am

    This turned out great, Dria!!
    Thanks so much for sharing this at our “Best Of The Weekend party”! I have pinned this to our party board and another big board too. We hope to see you again when the party kicks off Friday eve at 8PM EST.
    Have a great week!

    • Dria
      July 23, 2013 at 7:38 am

      🙂 Aww thanks so much Clare!! Next project will definitely be up at your party!

  10. July 20, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    I saw your post on Cooking with Curl’s “Best of the Weekend” and had to see your handy work! I love the way your nightstand came out, and those perfect strokes makes me want to get creative with a desk I have that can use a facelift!

    • Dria
      July 21, 2013 at 6:11 am

      Hi Sandra, I’d love to see your finished project using this technique it really is so easy to get a smooth finish with the water!! Thank so much for dropping by 🙂

  11. July 20, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Great tip! Can’t wait to try it.

    • Dria
      July 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks so much Penny! I look forward to seeing your paint project 🙂

  12. July 18, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Hi Dria,

    What a great tip! Water down the paint to avoid brush strokes – genius!!

    I’ve had a few special pieces I’ve been hesitant to paint because I didn’t want them ruined by brush strokes. Now I’m jazzed to try my hand on them with this new technique!


    • Dria
      July 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      🙂 so can’t wait to see your pieces painted you will love it!!

  13. July 18, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Dria, I LOVE how this table turned out and what great tips! I have been so hesitant to paint furniture simply because I knew I would get horrendous brushstrokes. I am definitely going to have to try this! You did such an amazing job on this piece – thanks so much for sharing! Pinning and sharing on my FB page today. If you have time, would love you to share the this tomorrow night at Best of Weekend. Have an awesome Thursday!

    • Dria
      July 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Cindy! You def have to give this a try I can’t believe how smooth the finish is! 🙂 Would love to join your party, I’ll be there!

  14. July 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I just love how this table turned out!!! Is the top painted the same color as your top drawer or is it natural wood? Love, love!! ~~Ang

    • Dria
      July 17, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      🙂 Hi Angela!! No I left the top of the table as the stained wood it was originally!

  15. July 17, 2013 at 12:51 am

    I feel the same way about brush strokes, but I’ve never tried the water trick. I like working with self leveling paints that help minimize all of the strokes. Honestly, the most amazing self-leveling paint I’ve worked with is the Annie Sloan paint. That’s probably why it’s so popular.

    Love the dual color combo that you went with and the sweet story behind the piece.

    • Dria
      July 17, 2013 at 6:46 am

      🙂 Thanks for stopping by Danielle! I am in the process of using a self leveling paint on my kitchen cabinets I can still see brush strokes in it 🙁 I may or may not do a final coat of watered down paint on them not sure yet!

  16. July 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    So I don’t have to buy the expensive conditioner? I can just dip my brush in water before going in for the paint? I had NO idea!

    P.S. Hi Ryker!

    • Dria
      July 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      🙂 yup save your money, here and there if the paint was too thick I just went over the area with a wet brush (wet with water) it smooths it right out!! 🙂 How’s Baxter liking his new digs?

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