5 Tips for Transforming Furniture with Paint Techniques
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 5 min read


  1. How to prepare your furniture
  2. Dry brushing technique
  3. Distressing technique
  4. Whitewashing technique
  5. Chalk paint technique

Have you ever looked at an old piece of furniture and thought about giving it a new lease on life? Well, the magic of paint can help you do just that. This blog will guide you through how to use painting for a furniture piece, transforming it from drab to fab in simple steps that even a beginner can follow. Let's dive right into it!

How to prepare your furniture

Before you get started with the paintbrush, it's important to prepare your furniture piece. This ensures that the paint adheres properly and gives a smooth finish. Here's how:


First things first—you need to clean your furniture piece. This might sound basic, but it's an important step that you shouldn't skip. Remove any dust or grime using a mild soap and warm water. Make sure you clean those hidden corners too! Once you're done, wipe it dry with a clean cloth.


Next up is sanding. This helps to remove any old paint or finish, making it easier for the new paint to stick. Use a medium-grit sandpaper and rub it over the entire surface of the furniture piece. Remember to always sand in the direction of the wood grain to prevent scratches.


Priming is like laying the foundation for your paint job. It gives the paint something to hold onto and helps to cover any stains or knots in the wood. You can find a variety of primers in the market—just pick one that's suitable for the type of paint you're planning to use.

And there you have it! Your furniture piece is now ready for its makeover. In the next sections, we'll explore different paint techniques that you can use to give your furniture a fresh, new look. Stay tuned!

Dry brushing technique

Now that your furniture is prepped and primed, let's get started with our first paint technique—dry brushing. This technique creates a unique, textured finish, adding depth and character to your furniture piece.

What You'll Need

  • Two contrasting paint colors (one base color and one highlight color)
  • A dry brush (as the name suggests, the brush should be dry and free from any water or oil)
  • A piece of cloth or paper towel

How to do it?

Begin by painting your furniture piece with the base color. Let it dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Next, dip your dry brush lightly into the highlight color. The key here is to have very little paint on your brush. Dab it onto the cloth or paper towel to remove excess paint.

Now, lightly brush over the furniture piece. The paint should hit the high points of the furniture, leaving the base color visible in the lower areas. This creates a distressed, antique-like finish.

Experiment with different colors and pressure to achieve the look you desire. Remember, practice makes perfect. So, don't be disheartened if you don't get it right the first time. With a little patience and creativity, you'll soon master how to use painting for a furniture piece using the dry brushing technique.

Distressing technique

Another beautiful way to bring a vintage charm to your furniture piece is by using the distressing technique. This method involves giving your furniture a weathered look, creating an illusion of age and wear.

What You'll Need

  • Two contrasting paint colors
  • Coarse-grit sandpaper
  • Sealant or wax

How to do it?

Start by painting your furniture piece with your chosen base color. This is going to be the color that peeks through the distressed areas. Once the base coat is dry, apply the second color. This is going to be the main color of your furniture.

After the paint has completely dried, it's time to distress. Using your coarse-grit sandpaper, start sanding the areas where natural wear would occur—think edges, corners, and areas around handles or knobs. The goal is to make the base color visible through the top coat, giving your furniture a naturally aged appearance.

Lastly, to protect your work, apply a coat of sealant or wax. This step also adds a beautiful sheen to your furniture piece.

The distressing technique might sound a bit intimidating, but it's actually quite fun once you get the hang of it! So grab your paint and sandpaper, and discover how to use painting for a furniture piece to create a vintage masterpiece.

Whitewashing technique

Now, let's talk about the whitewashing technique. This painting method is a fantastic way to lighten the look of your furniture while still showcasing the beautiful wood grain beneath. It's the perfect blend of fresh and rustic!

What You'll Need

  • White latex paint
  • Water
  • A paintbrush
  • Lint-free cloth

How to do it?

First, mix equal parts of white latex paint and water in a container. This creates a semi-transparent solution that will give your furniture piece a whitewashed effect.

Next, apply the paint-water mixture onto your furniture with your brush. Don't worry about making it look perfect—part of the charm of whitewashing is its somewhat uneven and streaky appearance.

After you've painted a section, use your lint-free cloth to wipe away some of the paint. This will allow the wood grain to show through. Repeat this process until you've covered your entire furniture piece.

Remember, whitewashing is all about personal preference. If you want a more opaque finish, simply add less water to your paint. If you prefer a more transparent look, add more water. It's all up to you!

So, why not give it a try? You'll be surprised at how easy it is to use painting for a furniture piece transformation with the whitewashing technique.

Chalk paint technique

Ever wonder how to give your furniture a smooth, matte finish? Look no further than the chalk paint technique! Chalk paint is easy to use and results in a soft, velvety texture that adds a touch of vintage charm to any furniture piece.

What You'll Need

  • Chalk paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Wax or topcoat for sealing

How to do it?

Start by applying your chalk paint with a paintbrush. This type of paint is quite thick, so you might find that a little goes a long way. Don't worry about brush strokes or even coverage on your first pass—you'll be adding a second coat later.

Once your first coat is dry, apply your second coat to smooth out any streaks and achieve a more solid color.

After your last coat of paint has dried, you'll want to seal your furniture with a wax or topcoat. This will protect your paint job and give your piece a nice, finished look. Just apply your chosen sealer with a clean brush, let it dry, and voila! You now have a beautifully transformed furniture piece with the chalk paint technique.

So, how's that for learning how to use painting for a furniture piece transformation? Easy, right? With the right tools and techniques, you can create stunning pieces that will be the talk of your home.

If you enjoyed learning about transforming furniture with paint techniques and want to explore more unconventional ways to create amazing art, check out Noah Ennis's workshop, 'Creating Abstract Paintings Using Common Household Items.' This workshop will teach you how to create unique abstract paintings using everyday objects found in your home, giving you even more ways to express your creativity and add a personal touch to your space.