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November 22, 2022

If your bedroom furniture isn’t quite matching the rest of your décor, and you feel like it could use an update, then painting might be your best option.

Whether you buy a new piece to paint, or choose to refresh an existing item in your home, this is a cost-effective way to transform any piece of furniture.

Finding Bedroom Furniture to Paint

While you may want to paint and refresh your own existing furniture, another great option is to buy a piece of second-hand furniture at a great deal and paint it yourself. This will save you money and allow you to breathe fresh life into an old piece of furniture. Plus, you will get to customize this furniture to be the exact color or finish that you want.

Where are some of the best places to find this type of bedroom furniture?

  • Thrift stores
  • Facebook marketplace
  • Garage sales
  • NextDoor
  • Estate sales
  • Craigslist

These are all great sources for finding a good deal on used furniture. Just make sure to inspect any used piece of furniture you buy to make certain it’s in good condition and that you will be able to paint it. Light scuffs and marks can be sanded or covered with paint, but large gouges or peeling lead paint are more problematic when it comes to repainting pieces.

You should also think about what you want the finished product to look like and whether you want it entirely painted or want to expose the wood in certain areas. Make sure to pay close attention to the actual wood as well.

If you are dealing with MDF, composite or IKEA furniture, then it doesn’t mean youcan’tpaint that furniture, but you should be aware that painting will take a little more effort and some extra primer for the paint to stick, so keep that in mind.

How Long Does It Take to Paint Bedroom Furniture?

Typically, most standard pieces of bedroom furniture will take between 3-5 days. However, there are a few factors that could make the painting process take longer. The most common factor that adds to overall project time is the preparation and waiting for layers of paint to dry between coats. With something such as furniture, it is best to make sure you don’t rush the process.

Rushing with prep or not allowing the paint to dry between coats may cause the paint to chip or impact the overall quality of the finish. With this in mind, don’t expect to get your entire project done from start to finish over a long weekend, preparing for five days instead is always a smart choice.

You’ll also need to take into account moving the furniture, installing new hardware and any other additional projects such as new furniture feet or drawer liners that may be included in the process.

What Type of Paint Can I Use?

Perhaps the biggest question that DIY-ers tend to have when it comes to painting or repainting furniture has to do with thetypeof paint. Technically speaking, if you use a great primer, you can use almost any type of household paint. However, there are two primary types of paints that work best for furniture—especially furniture that will be used regularly. These two paints are: latex paint and chalk paint.

Latex paint is the type of paint that you use for walls and other surfaces in the home and can come in a number of finishes ranging from matte to stain, eggshell and even high gloss. This allows for more customization in how your final piece will look.

Another popular option for painting your furniture is chalk paint. As the name suggests, this particular type of paint is made with actual chalk in it. This gives the paint a thick and very matte texture. This paint is easy-to-use and requires very little prep, which is why it’s so popular. It also notoriously goes on smoothly. However, chalk paint only comes in one finish.

Do I Need a Top Coat? 

Top coats go on after the actual painting occurs, but do you really need a top coat for your bedroom furniture? This all depends on the individual piece. If you have a heavy-use piece on your hand, then you will want to add a top coat.

This adds an extra layer of protection to the item and will not only prevent unnecessary chipping—but will help prevent stains and things like water rings showing up on your painted wood furniture.

Top coats, while not necessary, are entirely up to you and your intended use for your wood furniture. If you do decide on a top coat, you can determine which type of finish, whether matte or gloss you want to put on top of your painted furniture.

How Many Coats of Primer and Paint Do I Need? 

Before you start with the actual painting process, you need to have a plan on how many coats of primer and paint you need so you can plan accordingly with your process. Keep in mind youalwaysneed a primer when painting furniture.

For the best results, experts typically recommend two coats of primer and three thin coats of paint. When you purchase your primer, make sure to look and see how long that particular primer takes to dry. There are some fast-drying primers that will work quickly and may only mean you need your primer to dry for 30-60 minutes. Just make sure that you check the drying instructions first.

Painting Bedroom Furniture

Now that you’re up to date with all of the tips and tricks involved with painting bedroom furniture, it’s time to get to work with the actual process. Here’s how it works.

Supplies Needed

  • Clorox Wipes
  • Wood filler
  •  Medium (80) Grit SandPaper or Sanding Block
  • Fine (120) Grit Sanding Block
  • Tack Cloth
  •  Cleaning Cloth or Old T-Shirt
  • Respirator or Mask
  • Newspaper
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Tarp or Drop Cloths for Your Floor
  • 1-Quart of Latex Primer
  • 1-Quart of Latex Paint
  • Paint Sprayer OR paint roller, Brush, and Tray
  • Hardware (optional)

Prep Work Before Painting

Clean your furniture piece thoroughly by vacuuming dust and debris from the exterior, underneath and drawers of the furniture. Use Lysol or cleaning wipes to clean down all of the surfaces and remove any dirt or oils. Make sure to let the furniture dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Remove all of the hardware from the furniture. If you want to keep the hardware, clean it with mild soap and warm water. If you plan on replacing the hardware, make sure that you take precise measurements so you can order new hardware that will work.

You should also remove the drawers so that you can work on them individually. Make sure to tape off any areas you don’t want painted and to tape off the sides of your drawers so that they don’t stick when you use them.

Priming a Furniture Piece

Priming is such an important step in the painting process, and a step that shouldn’t be skipped. Make sure to mix or stir your primer before you start priming. Do not shake, this put air bubbles in your paint. Use a paint sprayer or a foam roller to provide a thin and even coat of primer to your furniture. Make sure the primer layer is completely dry before applying the second layer.

Once you are done priming, use a fine grit sanding block to gently sand your furniture until the furniture feels smooth to the touch. A Smooth layer of primer is the key to a smooth finish. Make sure there aren’t any lumps or drips before moving on to the next step and wipe the primer layer clean of any dust from sanding.

Painting Bedroom Furniture

Once the furniture is primed and free from sanding dust, use a foam roller or paint sprayer to apply the first layer of thin paint to your furniture. You may need to use a brush to get into small spaces. Roll in one direction to avoid roller marks and make sure to keep an eye out for edges or drips.

Apply 2-3 light, thin coats of paint to get a full coverage and durable finish. You should always wait at least 2-4 hours between coats, although some experts recommend waiting overnight in order for the paint to cure as this will help deliver a smoother finish. 

If you are using a top coat, allow the paint to try for at least 12 hours first.

Painting Bedroom Furniture

Once you are done and have double checked to make sure you aren’t missing any spot in the furniture. Remove all of your painters tape and remember to clean up your brushes and rollers so you can use them again or use them for touch ups. Paint brushes can be cleaned using mild soap and warm water. Allowing the paint to dry on the brushes can ruin them.

Finally, once the furniture is completely painted and covered with a top coat for at least 48 hours, you can install your hardware and put your drawers back in place to start using your furniture.

That’s it—you’re done and ready to enjoy your newly painted and fabulous looking furniture.

Ben Schorr
Ben Schorr

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