Painting wooden furniture can give old pieces a new look, as well as give a nice color and sheen to unfinished furniture. When the paint is applied well, the process will enhance the natural beauty of the wood and add color and character to the furniture. The process differs slightly according to the type of wood to be treated.
Method 1 of 2: Soft Wood
Touch Up Defects If Using Soft Wood
Before treating soft woods such as pine or other evergreen trees, touch up any holes and imperfections in the wood. If you are dealing with hardwoods, or those that come from deciduous plants such as oak, fix protruding nails, but apply the stain before applying the putty of the mordant shade.
Step 1. Purchase wood filler that matches the surface of the wood
Step 2. Inspect the surface of the wood
Look for knots, protrusions, nails, small cracks and holes left by insects. Also, you need to take into account the condition of the edges of the wood. If the edges are uneven, you will need to use putty to make them even.
Step 3. Place the smaller end of a punch over the protruding nails
Use the hammer on the widest part of the punch to push the protruding nails below the surface.
Step 4. If you are working with softwood, put a small amount of putty on the edge of a putty knife
Use the putty knife to apply the putty on the imperfections, smoothing the surface with the edge after filling with the putty.
Step 5. Continue adding putty until it is smooth and level with the wood surface
Allow the grout to dry before sanding the wood.
Sand the Surfaces by Hand
Small furniture with complicated corners and designs, as well as the edges of large furniture, need to be sanded by hand. Use a special block to smooth the wood edges and work evenly over the entire surface.
Step 1. Attach 100 grit sandpaper to the sanding pad
Sand the edges of the wood until the surfaces are smooth. Set the pad aside when you are done with the edges.
Step 2. Hold a piece of 100 grit sandpaper in your hand so that the back is in contact with your palm and fingers
Sand any hard-to-reach areas or curved surfaces by rubbing the sandpaper along the surface with your hand in the direction of the wood grain.
Step 3. Clean the smooth surface with a tea towel or paper towel soaked in white spirit
Step 4. Repeat the process using 150 grit sandpaper to sand the surface
Step 5. After you have cleaned the smoothed surface again with a rag or white spirit, repeat the process a third time with 220 grit sandpaper
Apply the Dye to the Soft Wood
Brushes with synthetic bristles are best for water-based dyes, while those with natural bristles are best for oil-based ones. Use brushes for large, flat surfaces. You will need to use a cloth for complicated and carved surfaces, which are difficult to treat with the brush.
Step 1. Thoroughly clean the wood and work surface with a soft, lint-free cloth (not a cloth)
This will ensure that no dirt, debris or sawdust remains on the finished counter.
Step 2. Dip the tip of the brush in the paint and apply a thin layer to the surface of the wood
Use the brush in the direction of the veins, using long, even lines. Work on one portion of the wood at a time rather than trying to paint the entire piece of furniture.
Step 3. Examine the surface
If you see any blotchy areas or areas where the brushstrokes haven't blended well together, use a soft, lint-free cloth to scrub the dye until it appears more even.
Step 4. Switch to another section of the wood and apply the paint with the brush
Step 5. Use a cloth to smooth the color and blend the edges between the strokes
Step 6. Repeat the process, continuing to work on one portion at a time until the piece is finished
Step 7. Allow the dye to dry overnight
If the color is not as intense as you would like, apply more coats of dye until you get the desired result. Make sure you let each layer dry completely before adding a new one.
Method 2 of 2: Hardwood
Fixing Irregularities in Hardwood
If you are working with hardwood, you should fix the defects in the hardwood before applying the finish. Make sure you choose a wood filler that matches the color of the dye rather than one that matches the original unfinished wood color.
Step 1. Put a small amount of putty on a putty knife
Apply the putty to the cracks, knots and nail holes until the surface of the putty is equal to that of the wood. Use the putty knife to smooth the grout.
Step 2. Gently sand the grout after it dries to make sure the surface is flush with the wood
Do your best not to damage the surface you have already dyed on.
Apply the Finish to Hardwood
Most people choose a polyurethane finish for furniture that has been stained. Polyurethane is sold matte, satin and with a quality high gloss finish, so you should choose the right product based on how you want your furniture to shine. The finish also protects the surface of the furniture from water and other materials.
Step 1. Apply a coat of polyurethane to the stained wood using a 5cm paintbrush
Spread the product using long brush strokes and work in the direction of the wood grain. Work on sections of 15 to 30 cm.
Step 2. Complete the brush strokes between the sections by lightly brushing the intersections
When you're done, the sections should blend seamlessly.
Step 3. Allow the first layer of polyurethane to dry overnight
Sand the next day using 280 grit or finer sandpaper.
Step 4. Apply a second coat of polyurethane and let it dry overnight
You don't have to sand the final layer.
Sand the softwood surface with an electric sander
Preparation is the most important step in coloring because it determines the quality of the finished product. Use an electric sander for large pieces of furniture or any large flat wood surface. An electric sander will save you time - and effort - when preparing larger portions of furniture.
Step 1. Wrap 100 grit sandpaper around the work surface of the electric sander
Attach the paper firmly, making sure the work surface is taut so the sandpaper doesn't peel off or come loose.
Step 2. Plug the sander into an electrical outlet
Step 3. Grab the back of the sander with your dominant hand
Turn on your device and place it on your work surface.
Step 4. Move the electric sander back and forth in the direction of the wood grain until you have sanded the entire surface
Never sand across the grain; you would leave scratches that will become evident with the coloring.
Step 5. When finished, turn off the sander, detach it and set it aside
Step 6. Clean the surface of the wood with a tea towel or paper towel soaked in white spirit
Step 7. Remove the used 100 grit sandpaper from the sander and discard it
Step 8. Attach 150-grit sandpaper to the electric sander
Step 9. Repeat the sanding process along the grain and clean the surface
Step 10. Remove the 150 grit sandpaper and repeat the procedure again with 220 grit paper
If you are working with hardwood, clean the surface with a damp cloth before sanding with 220 grit sandpaper. This will improve the grain of the wood and create a very smooth surface
- Just as you can buy a sealant combined with the mordant, you can also buy a mordant with the finish. This will save you the extra steps for finishing the stained wood layers.
- When choosing a mordant, get a product that also includes sealant. This will prevent the dye from soaking the wood too much.
- To paint hard-to-reach areas or finely carved wood, dip a soft cloth in the stain and scrub the surface of the wood with the cloth. Use a second clean cloth to even out the color and blend the edges.
- If you have rough or unsightly edges on the hardwood, cover the edges with a metal profile that matches the final paint finish rather than trying to smooth the edges with a sealant compound.