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!

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  1. The Original Table

    Kyeager table paint makeover how to bob vila 1

    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

    Kyeager degloser table paint makeover how to 2

    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

    Kyeager table paint makeover sander how to

    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

    Kyeager paint make over accent table bob vila 5

    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

    Kyeager paint make over accent table bob vila 6

    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