5 Easy Steps to a Successful Paint Makeover

Follow these easy paint makeover tips to transform an old piece of furniture into one that's fresh and new!

  1. The Original Table

    The Original Table

    This square mahogany table has a beautiful shape and fretwork sides, but someone painted it avocado green. The finish is uneven and there are visible brush marks. In short, a table in need of a paint makeover.

    Lark Nest Design

  2. Applying Paint Deglosser

    Applying Paint Deglosser

    Begin by using a paint deglosser—sometimes referred to as liquid sandpaper—to dull the original finish.  Wipe it on with a clean towel and let it do the work.  A nice alternative to sandpaper when appropriate.

    Lark Nest Design

  3. Hand Sanding

    Hand Sanding

    Depending on the finish, you may need to use a sander to remove stubborn problems (like the brush grooves and globs of paint left by the prior makeover artist on this piece).  A quick turn with a hand sander should ready the piece for painting.  You don't need to go down to the bare wood; just enough to create a smooth surface for painting.

    Lark Nest Design

  4. First Coat

    First Coat

    If you are just painting the piece a single color, put on a thin first coat and then (after 24 hours) apply a thin second coat.  This will help prevent drips and visible brush strokes. For this table, I decided to add a hint of another color through drybrushing.  What is drybrushing?  Glad you asked—next.

    Lark Nest Design

  5. Drybrushing


    Drybrushing—basically using a brush with only traces of paint on it—is something you can do to add a hint of color to any painted piece.  It may take some experimenting to master, but the key is to have only a hint of paint on the brush.  After dipping the tip of the brush in the can, tap it on a dry scrap of wood to remove most of the paint. Then lighting brush the piece to create a hint of color. Sand lighting and seal with a wipe-on poly and your old table is new again.  For more of my tips on paint makeovers, click here.

    Lark Nest Design

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