How to Paint Furniture for Beginners

Follow these basic steps of furniture painting and NEVER have to repaint your furniture again because of a failed finish!

Today I’m sharing the basics of furniture painting so that you can be sure that when you paint your furniture you are doing everything possible to create a beautiful lasting finish on your furniture. No shortcuts allowed! Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way. Shall we?

Dixie Belle Paint Products:

How To:

Step One:

I start with removing the dirt, grime, food, oils or just anything that can accumulate on furniture and could cause the paint not to adhere properly. I use a product called White Lightning by Dixie Belle Paint Co. It comes in a crystal form. I simply mix it in warm water and add it to my spray bottle.

Then I spray a liberal amount of the solution over the exterior of the furniture. With a soft cotton cloth, I wipe back all the built-up gunk. Even if you think your furniture is clean, I challenge you to try this. It removes the stuff you can’t see and that’s important for a great finish. You may need to repeat this step several times until it is clean.

Next, you will want to remove any residual of White Lightning that is left on the wood with water. I like a spray bottle once again because it’s fast and easy.

Step Two:

Now that your furniture is all clean, now is a good time to inspect the piece. Does it have any rough areas that need to be sanded? This step isn’t necessary if your piece is in good condition. If the finish is old and uneven, use a 220 grit sandpaper to smooth any rough areas and then wipe down with a cotton cloth to remove any leftover dust from the sanding.

Then apply 1-2 coats of a primer, stain blocker. I like BOSS by Dixie Belle Paint Co. It comes in clear and white. Since I’m painting this piece white, it makes more sense to use the white. It will make it easier to cover.

Step Three:

I used two coats of Dixie Belle Paint in Cotton to cover this Mid Century Dresser. That’s it! It’s good to go! The paint will fully cure in 30 days and it is not necessary to use a sealer. That makes it my go-to for quick and easy. It’s smooth, creamy and easy to apply. Even a beginner can master this look!

To learn more about this look, visit Do Dodson’s blog here!

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  1. Diana says:

    I bought the Coffee Bean chalk paint, which from the color chart looks like a really dark mahogany (brown/black). Which matched the color my daughter wanted. I went with chalk paint because the piece is older and isn’t perfect. When I opened it this color was more of a very deeper black.

    Can I add another color to this paint to brighten it up to a little more of a brown.

    1. Dixie Belle Paint Company says:

      Hi Diana, we recommend do a test spot or sample board first to see if you like the color because the paint dries a little bit different than it looks in the container. If it still looks too dark, you can add a little bit of Chocolate. Hope this helps! Happy painting! 🙂

  2. Jenifer says:

    How do I keep from having brush marks?

    1. Dixie Belle Paint Company says:

      Hi Jenifer, one thing many people do to help reduce brush strokes is to use a damp brush and to mist with water as they’re working. This helps smooth the paint out and make it spread further. Be sure to apply thin coats of paint instead of thicker coats as well!

  3. Wendy Wawrzyniak says:

    I don’t like the colors I used together how do I start over. Sand, prime again?

    1. Dixie Belle Paint Company says:


      You do not have to sand to repaint. You can repaint right over the already applied paint! (:

      Thank you!

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