June 22, 2024

Reviving furniture by giving it a coat of paint is an affordable, straightforward way to give it new life and save perfectly good pieces from being dumped into landfills.

Before beginning to sand and paint an object, conduct a lead test (prior to 1978 most paint contained dangerous levels of lead) and then carefully clean your piece to eliminate decades worth of grime and dirt.


Sometimes all it takes to give furniture new life is a light stain. Kevin tried this on an oak table that had lost its finish over time and saw great results. Using a cloth soaked with dark gel stain, he applied and worked it into the surface before wiping off after working it in with some force. While it didn’t cover water stains or bad scratches completely, it definitely revived the appearance of wood while adding color back in.

He used this tip on a piece of reclaimed wood with a wax finish, which must be stripped with mineral spirits before repainting and can easily be identified as it has an oily feel to the touch.

Once built up grime has settled in on your piece, take steps to slowly strip away layers. This will protect its quality while also creating an opportunity to showcase your finished style when creating it.


Paint can transform furniture to give it a brand new look or to give an antique piece a custom hue, creating the focal point in any room. Be sure to sand, clean and prime before starting; this ensures a flawless application and prevents bleed-through of new color.

Before repainting any piece of old furniture, it is wise to conduct a lead test. This is particularly crucial if it was painted prior to 1978 since older paints often contained lead.

To prevent bleed-through, apply several thin coats of paint and allow each one to dry completely before applying another one. Lightly sand between each application of stain or paint in order to minimize brushstrokes. Remember to follow any manufacturer’s guidelines on its specific stain or paint. Moreover, test its hue in its intended environment in order to make sure it blends seamlessly.

Chippy Paste

Chippy paste provides an easy solution for giving furniture that worn, aged look of paint chipping off over time, opening your design palette up to vintage creations that stand the test of time.

Use Real Milk Paint between layers, or on top, for various effects. From subtle mottled designs to thick globs of paste that give distressed designs an aged effect, creating your desired effects is made easier using this medium.

This technique can be beneficial when dealing with high traffic pieces of furniture that must withstand wear and tear, however it should not be applied to older pieces that contain lead-based paint that was banned for consumer use in 1978 but may still contain toxic lead dust – this can pose health risks if consumed, so when handling such objects please use extreme caution.

Finishing Touches

When repainting furniture, no stripping of its existing finish is required if just repainting it. Instead, use a mild detergent such as liquid Ivory soap and water and scrub the surface until all dirt and grime has been removed from decades-old dirt accumulations. Once finished, rinse it using a wet sponge wrung out in fresh water, before leaving it to dry for maximum adhesion of new coat of paint.

If the paint finish on your piece is glossy, lightly roughen its surface with 100-grit sandpaper to help the primer and paint stick better. This will improve their adhesion.

Kevin used a quick tip he learned on an oak table to restore its sheen, camouflaging dark water stains and scratches that had seenped through its finish, and make the piece almost new looking. Do try this technique on an inconspicuous area of furniture first to see how well it works for you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *