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

    Kyeager table paint makeover how to bob vila 1

    Lark Nest Design

    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.

  2. Applying Paint Deglosser

    Kyeager degloser table paint makeover how to 2

    Lark Nest Design

    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.

  3. Hand Sanding

    Kyeager table paint makeover sander how to

    Lark Nest Design

    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.

  4. First Coat

    Kyeager paint make over accent table bob vila 5

    Lark Nest Design

    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.

  5. Drybrushing

    Kyeager paint make over accent table bob vila 6

    Lark Nest Design

    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.

  6. See the House of the Week


    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!