How to paint wooden furniture
Upcycling a piece of furniture is one of the easiest ways to create a focal point in a decor. Opt for bold colors to create an eye-catching piece, or choose complementary shades for a harmonious overall look.
Use your favorite Little Greene colors to reinvent existing indoor wooden furniture and transform it into bespoke pieces.
Include strong tones
Furniture offers the perfect opportunity to use some bold tones alongside a neutral color palette on walls and wood paneling. Contrast neutral shades from the family "French Grey" with an accent color like "Tuscan Red".
Consider colors that complement your scheme
When choosing a color for wood furniture, consider how it will complement other hues in your scheme.
Emphasize the tea tones in Carlton House Terrace - Pompon with Tea with Florence on a desk. This historic blue-green furniture color creates a tonal office scheme that complements the surrounding accessories.
What Type of Paint Should You Use on Wood Furniture?
Once you have decided on a color, you need to choose a suitable paint finish.
For interior woodwork we recommend our Intelligent Satinwood finish. If your furniture is unpainted or particularly worn, we recommend our Intelligent Primer ASP (All Surface Primer), which is tinted in a slightly lighter shade. When you use primer and paint together, you achieve maximum depth of color.
Intelligent Satinwood is:
- Available in all colors of the Little Greene palette
- Ideal for painting interior woodwork including kitchen cabinets and furniture such as chairs, tables, cupboards and trim.
- Fully washable and scrubbable
- Virtually odorless to use
- Quick drying (dries in 1-2 hours)
- Environmentally friendly
- Available in 1l or 2.5l cans for smaller projects and 5l cans for larger projects
- Child safe
- Low gloss - around 30-35% gloss level
- Very durable
A Guide to Painting Indoor Wood Furniture:
LITTLE GREENE's in-house decorator has created this step-by-step guide to painting interior furniture, depending on whether your furniture is unpainted or already painted.
A Guide to Painting Already Painted Wooden Furniture:
1. Before you start painting, make sure the surface is clean, dry and free of grease. Use sugar soap to remove any loose and peeling paint. Then rinse the surface with clean water. Sand the surface with medium-duty sandpaper, feathering the areas where the paint was removed.
2. If there is a significant color change, e.g. E.g. from dark to light, apply a coat of "Intelligent ASP" (all surface primer) to maintain color depth. Allow to dry for at least two hours.
3. Stir the paint thoroughly before use as the paint may settle over time. Apply the first coat of "Intelligent Satinwood" evenly and allow it to dry for four hours.
4. After four hours, apply a second coat of “Smart Satinwood.” We recommend two full coats of 'Intelligent Satinwood' to achieve the full depth of color on previously painted wood. Your furniture will be surface dry within 1-2 hours.
A Guide to Painting Bare or New Wood Furniture:
1. Clean and treat the surface of your wooden furniture before painting.
2. Seal your furniture with aluminum wood primer or knot filler. Apply the sealer to all knots if your furniture is made of softwood. For hardwoods, seal the entire piece of furniture.
3. Apply a coat of Primer with Intelligent ASP (15% v/v with water to allow penetration into the substrate). Make sure the surface is completely dry before continuing.
4. Stir the Intelligent Satinwood paint thoroughly before use. Apply the first coat evenly and allow it to dry for four hours.
5. After four hours, apply a second coat of Intelligent Satinwood. We recommend two full coats of Intelligent Satinwood to achieve full color depth on previously unpainted wood. Your piece will be surface dry within one to two hours.
Our final tips for painting wooden furniture
Make sure you use the right brush
There are two types of brushes - synthetic and natural. These brushes behave very differently with different coatings.
Synthetic bristles are very durable and have good bristle and shape retention. Typically, a high-quality brush with synthetic bristles will last up to five times longer than a brush with natural bristles. When applying a water-based paint such as Intelligent Satinwood, you should use a high-quality brush with synthetic bristles for best results.
Natural bristles are structured so that they can absorb and hold the color. Natural brushes are ideal for applying traditional, solvent-based paints.
Give the furniture enough time to dry completely
Wooden furniture is dry to the touch after two hours and ready for a second coat after two hours. However, we recommend allowing furniture to dry completely for seven days before moving or using it.