Furniture Painting Tutorial

by Chris on March 3, 2010

**Please see the updated post on how to paint furniture. The paint I mention is no longer available, and you can find the replacement for that here.

The #1 e-mail inquiry I get is from people wanting to know the specifics about how I paint furniture.  I tend to giggle at this because I certainly don’t consider myself an expert.  I’ve been lucky that (knock on wood) I haven’t had any disasters yet.  If that makes me “in the know”, then so be it.

how to paint furniture

#1.  Clean it!

I make sure that I use a cleaner to get all the grit and grime off any piece of furniture that I paint.  TSP works best for me, and it can be found at Lowes, Home Depot, etc.  You’ll be amazed at how much sickness you’ll get off the furniture by using this.


#2.  Prime it!

A lot of people ask me about primer, but I don’t have a set kind that I use.  AND I don’t necessarily use a primer on everything (see below).  The primer below is what I use if I don’t want to do a lot of sanding.  Speak with your paint guy.  What?  You don’t have a paint guy?  Get one!



#3.  Choose great paint!

My love.  My passion.  My life’s desire.  Benjamin Moore Metal and Wood paint.  BM doesn’t pay me for this promotion, but they should.  You hearin’ me, Ben?  It’s that good.  Beautiful coverage, smooth finish, and gorgeous look.  I’m sure everyone has “their paint choice”, and this is most definitely mine. Edit: This paint is no longer available. Click here to see what Benjamin Moore has replaced it with. 


#4.  TOOLS!

A lot of people wonder about the paint brush.  I ONLY use a roller on furniture.  I use little foam brushes to get into crevices and trim work, but I NEVER use a brush on the flat pieces.  I truly believe this is the difference between a piece looking nice or spectacular.  Ideally, I would have a paint gun, but I don’t.  Instead, I have a $2.o0 foam roller from Wal Mart.



I might continue to get some questions about when to sand, how much to sand, or words that rhyme with sand.  However, I don’t have a definitive answer for you.  I generally sand enough to rough up the surface.


I sanded the heck out of these barstools, and it was completely unnecessary.  Lesson learned.


And finally, I don’t seal my pieces with anything.  I pay a little more for my paint than other brands, and that’s one of the many reasons why.  It doesn’t need to be sealed after painting it.  Perhaps that’s wrong, but keep in mind I’m not the expert here.  I just play one on this blog.



Keana C. March 3, 2010 at 3:30 am

Can you come to Washington and paint my furniture please? =)

Ansley @ Fabulousfied May 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I live in WA – I’ll paint your furniture! :)

**** April **** March 3, 2010 at 3:32 am

I love your honesty… and your humor! You cracked me up with "… I just play one on this blog." I think you do what works for you and if someone wants to give it a go — hey… they should! :) I appreciate what you do. It's pure awesomeness! One of these days I'll take the time to tackle somethign like it. Until then, I have you to live vicariously through! :)

Stephen and Tiffany Seston March 3, 2010 at 3:38 am

I used your advice (you've posted some before right?!?) and it worked perfectly on a desk I redid that I was not willing to sand because it would have taken me the rest of my life…anyway, all of the products you suggested are Perfect! Thank you!

♥Amber Filkins♥ March 3, 2010 at 3:50 am

I definitely think I need to take my paint up a notch. I tend to buy cheapy paint. E.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g you paint looks fabulous!!

♥ Amber

Andrea March 3, 2010 at 3:58 am

I got that Benjamin Moore paint after you recommended it and I wanted to THANK YOU! It truly is wonderful paint that went on super easy–so very much worth the $65 price!

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest March 3, 2010 at 3:59 am

Thanks, this is awesome! I'm writing down that paint recommendation for sure!! Hoping to find a lovely sideboard to re-do for the dining room at our local flea market this weekend :)!

Pam @ Design Fanatic March 3, 2010 at 3:59 am

Great post. Thanks for posting your experience with painting. When you paint a table top with the Benjamin Moore paint, how long do you let it dry before putting something on it? Most latex paints tend to be perpetually sticky on table tops. Do you have this problem with the paint you use?

Sarah Sarniak March 3, 2010 at 4:13 am

Thanks for sharing your tips. I'll have to give the TSP and the Benjamin Moore paint a try.

~ Sarah @

Kansas Amy March 3, 2010 at 4:40 am

Great advice. And now I need to go buy me some Benjamin Moore! ;)

The Mac Fam March 3, 2010 at 4:47 am

Have you painted any pieces that have a laminate top? I have a dresser that I want to redo but I'm not sure how the paint will stick to the laminate? Any help will be greatly appreciated :) Thanks!

Magic Brush March 3, 2010 at 4:49 am

I am singing right now! Finally…. another Metal and Wood lover! I mention it all the time! Benny Moore should pay me also!!!!!!! We are using it today on furniture piece mixed to the SW color "Sawdust"….. it's a gem!

The Reynolds Family March 3, 2010 at 5:14 am

I found your blog on my friends, and I love everything you do! Thanks so much for the tips, I am getting ready to tackle a hope chest for my little sister in law that is graduating high school. I am going to use your product recommendations… I know it will turn out great!!

Carrie March 3, 2010 at 5:19 am

PERFECT timing.. I'm getting ready to paint my first thrift store treasures this weekend! THANKS!

Holly March 3, 2010 at 5:46 am

I hesitate so much when it comes to painting furniture…but I have quite a few pieces that NEED it. This is great…simply put…good photos…who knows maybe I'll paint something this weekend. I will be following you too! So excited!
504 Main

Kristen March 3, 2010 at 6:40 am

I would like a tutorial on how to paint a piece of furniture with helpful 7 and 5 year old boys and a 2 year old girl who doesn't understand no.

THEN I'll know how amazing you REALLY are. Because the thought of trying to make something look that pretty with my kids around me just about brings me to tears.

melissa * 320 Sycamore March 3, 2010 at 11:35 am

Chris~Thank you for all these tips! I'm thinking the iron clad paint would be great for kitchen cabinets??

duchess March 3, 2010 at 12:38 pm

My motto is – whatever works.
Your process definitely works – thanks for the info.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! March 3, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Good tips! That'll work. I have a credenza to paint!

Jennifer Juniper March 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I have that exact rug that is under your table :)

I agree with the sanding, I think the cleaning is what you usually need the most. Great job laying it all out for us!

Julia @ Hooked on Houses March 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm

What a helpful post! You made it sound so simple. Maybe one of these days I'll get up the courage to try it. Thanks! :)

Wendy March 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm

When I came across your blog some months ago I saved it mainly because of the painting tips. I have wanted to paint my master bedroom furniture but didn't know the best way to go about it until i saw how in your blog…thanks so much for sharing your tips…I followed all of them. Me and hubby are super happy with how our master is coming all the furnture painting is done. I will be posting pictures in my blog soon.

Tammy@InStitches March 3, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I'm a big fan of BM paint, next time I am going to try the wood and metal paint because your stuff looks so good !

1 Funky Woman March 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Thank you for all your tips. I've been thinking of painting my dining room table black and now after looking at some of your pieces and what you use, I am so inspired to do it, thanks!

Laura Ingalls Gunn March 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I have a recently completed video I made of painting my bathroom cabinets. It was fun to see that you use foam rollers and brushes too.

Irene March 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm

All of your projects looks professionally done so I think you know what you are doing, well enough to be considered an expert.

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia March 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Thanks Chris for all the wonderful tips! Your furniture looks like it was done by a pro!!
Take care-

Jen Gallacher March 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Had to comment on your previous post–I don't have pierced ears either and sometimes I feel like I'm the only person the planet. LOL! Thanks for the great furniture painting tips!

Michelle Hoad March 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm

My brown eyes have just turned green with envy over your gorgeous side board. I covet it.

foxy March 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Hahahahaha…. guess I wasn't the only one then! You are an excellent resource – thanks for sharing all of your mad furniture painting/refinishing skillz with us! :)

Richella March 3, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Benjamin Moore paints are the best. I am so with you on that. And for heaven's sake, if I am going to put my precious time into painting something, I do not want to use bad paint. It's not worth the few dollars of savings.

Ben really should pay you!

emptynest4two March 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm

If I can get a piece to come out like your F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S dresser…I will do whatever you say! That thing is GORG!

Kelly A. March 3, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Thanks for sharing!! Just one more quick question–how many coats on black paint do you use??

Angry Julie Monday March 3, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Great post. I love the step by step process. I'm highlighting you on my Spotlight Saturday this week with this post.

Cathie March 3, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I was just the other day telling my husband that I wanted to paint our purchased-dirt-cheap-on-Craigslist dining room furniture just like your buffet. It is GORGEOUS! I just have to save up for the good paint! I'm thinking about frosting the glass in the hutch. Just need time and money.

Ruth March 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm

These pieces look spectacular. Painting my dining table and chairs is on my definitely must do list this spring. I can't wait and I'll definitely be looking to get some of that Benjamin Moore paint.


Lisa March 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Hi Chris-
I work at Benjamin Moore and we liked your post so much that we had to share it with all of our fans on Facebook. Perhaps they will become your fans, too. :)

Check it out at:

Tausha March 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Great info friend! I think that i would consider you an expert. No bad painting problems to tell about it? I am jealous-I have had more than a few-mostly because I am impatient. Shocker right? I didn't know that about benjamin moore-thanks for the tip!!

ColorWhisperer March 3, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Chris, you are adorable. Thank you! Plus, your work is lovely! :)
Keep painting!

Anonymous March 4, 2010 at 12:26 am

The Benjamin Moore product used here is excellent for these projects. It is one of my favorite Ben Moore products to sell.

Carol March 4, 2010 at 1:16 am

Okay, am I the only one who laughs a little on the inside when I read "BM paint"?

Echoing what everyone else here has said, thank you so much for demystifying the paint process – it's incredible how paint can completely change things.

And nice job getting the 'BM' (laughing myself silly) people to recognize you.


kermiefrg March 4, 2010 at 2:40 am

Great tips! I agree, the roller works much better than a paintbrush and the end result is so much cleaner.

Popcorn Served Daily March 4, 2010 at 3:47 am

Of course, without you, I wouldn't have even attempted to paint my hutch white. Thanks for sharing your tips.


Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick March 4, 2010 at 5:39 am

That black buffet is like butta, seriously. I still can't get over it. I may have to try this magic paint you speak of. It's all FANTASTIC!!

Pendant lighting March 4, 2010 at 5:42 am

You are so talented!

Nancy Alwin March 4, 2010 at 5:48 am

Like Buttar indeed! HA! I love it, you guys are making all the BenMoore (not BM) reps drool!
All their paint products are top notch, try em and see.
As a BenMoore professional color specialist I have also become a total paint NERD! Aura and Natura interior paints are fantastic and GREEN, not just the color either!
Feel free to visit my blog; for more nerdishness…

Miss Obara March 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Your pieces turn out great every time. I like the look…now i know your secret!

truthteller2222 March 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm

The finish is beautiful on that black piece. It looks just glossy enough. Did you sand that one? How many coats of paint? Any advice about technique? Your blog is great!

pam March 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Thanks for sharing your great tips!

harmony March 4, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I NEED those nickel pulls. Where did you get them? I too am a fellow BM convert. I've never tried the metal/wood paint. Can't wait. I love a foam roller.

Chevy_Chick95 March 4, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Thank you for a step by step guide. I'm terrified to paint my rolling kitchen island! Maybe I can try it now :)

Melanie March 5, 2010 at 12:39 am

That black looks beautiful and so sleek! Thanks for all the tips.

Miss Mustard Seed March 5, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Wow! You've been a busy girl. Everything looks great and I love the barstools.

Different Things March 7, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I absolutely love the cabinet. The black is perfect. I want!!!! Great job on all your projects.

Jamie March 9, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Just found you…Can't remember how! Anyway, GREAT paint tips.
I have painted a lot, but I must say, I think you are a bit smarter than I! You've figured some things out that have always annoyed me.
I will definitely try your paint recommendation. Everything looks beautiful!

Pam Faulkner, CIR, IRIS March 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Love how color can give new life to otherwise "dated" furniture. In my interior redesign business I often repurpose furnishings and advise clients to update their decor on a budget by recycling this way. I'm going to refer them to your blog so they can see and read for themselves what you have done. Wonderfully well written!

Anonymous March 10, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I work at Benjamin moore and found out that the low lustre metal & wood latex has been gone off the market for years now, so what kind of finish do you use now?

Chris March 10, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Hi Anon,

Not sure what to tell you. I purchased the quart in that picture just a couple of months ago. Hmmm… :)

Pete March 16, 2010 at 6:37 pm

How do you get the foam roller pattern out of the finish coat? I hate the little "holes" that come with a rolled on finish. A little tip – the next time you paint with a dark paint color, have your primer tinted gray. Makes painting so much easier. Best!

Sunshine of Seven March 30, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Your dresser is GORGEOUS!! And thanks for the tips!

Jerri-Lea June 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Hi, hope the year end procedures at school are going well. Did you ever paint the chairs and table to match the top piece on this post? I have the same set and really want to paint it all but wondering how the table held up? I have a 2 year old that would be testing the durability of the paint job :)

paperballet June 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm

i love the black. it's SO creamy and rich. you done good, girl!

David James July 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Thanx for sharing your tips..
Double Bathroom Vanities

Anonymous August 9, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I just bought the paint in June 10. I am hard at work painting. :)

Sixty-Fifth Avenue September 9, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Love the black buffet!
I use the same paint for my furniture because someone told me it would work good in my sprayer. I love it too. Have you tried not priming and just using the paint alone? I have just sanded and painted and so far so good.

Bosch Family October 22, 2010 at 1:48 am

I want to thank you for posting this! I was able to print off the whole entry and take it to Lowes to find everything that we needed to refinish this: Your blog is an absolute inspiration!!

Angela March 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Good paint tips, especially the one about your choice in paint. I new to your blog and totally needed these tips a few weeks ago. I love that you also mentioned how dirty used furniture can be at times because I totally agree.

ArtZenFlowers Color and Design March 26, 2011 at 1:35 am

Chris, I love you for posting this non expert expert blog! I am getting up steam to attack a whole bedroom suite that is still quietly speaking the language of 1973 "Far Out Man!" But in a traditional, "we came with a matching water bed dude!" kinda way and this is precisely the info I required! Mahalo! Gracias! and Thanks a whole bunch! Nancy

Kitchen April 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm

When I came across your weblog some months ago I saved it chiefly because of the painting tips. I have desired to paint my master bedroom furniture but didn't know the best way to go about it until i saw how in your weblog.thanks a lot for sharing your tips.I followed all of them.

Fitted kitchen April 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I love everything you do! Thanks a lot for the tips, I am preparing to tackle a hope chest for my tiny sister in law that is graduating high school. I am going to make use of your product recommendations.

Punk N Pie Couture May 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm

This project turned out wonderful. I have been wanting to paint my hutch and dining room table black for some time. DH says NO! Of course I had to google to find someone who did the same and your hutch looks great! Hopefully this will convince him.

Barbara May 17, 2011 at 3:56 am

do you have any tips on painted already crackled furniture. My daughter's bedroom set is gorgeous, but being a 14 year old girl, we don't exactly share the same taste in home decor. she wants to redo her bedroom, beginning with painting her furniture black. it is currently an ivory crackle finish…and we would love it to be have a nice smooth finish like the item you posted here. any suggestions on how to get rid of the crackle????

Master Shake July 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm

The only way to properly achieve a smooth finish would be to strip the crackle finish, sand and clean the surface, and repaint it. Try using Citrus Stripper, as it is an easy, low odor approach to finish/paint removal.

beds mattresses June 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I really love every tutorial you do. All of your projects come out really well. I am coming back for more!

Brandy July 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Your furniture looks awesome. How many coats of primer and paint do you usually use on a piece? I’m going to attempt to paint my son’s dresser.

Loni July 15, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Hi, Thank you so much for inspiring me to paint a piece of furniture! I love your blog! Check it out:

Thank you for your help!


Katie Baker July 19, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I was wondering what is the name of the color of the Ben Moore paint used on the black buffet. Um…could it be as simple as “black” or is it some other fancy color?

Also, Do you sand after priming or before priming? Thanks!

Christina July 29, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Hi, thanks I love the detail with the pictures of the painting products! My question to you is, I have a bedroom set that I painted white and the dang wood knots show through. I primed and painted the piece with several coats. Those knots are driving me nuts!!!

Chris July 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm

It might be the primer you used. However, if it’s the texture of the knots you’re worried about, those won’t necessarily go away. You could use wood filler to hide them a little better. Otherwise, I might look into a better primer that will disguise them. Good luck!

Liz August 31, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Ok- Your BFF is so lucky! I love your web page. UR 2 cute! Thanks for sharing all the tricks of our trade. I have done a lot of restoration and the paint is the key. Oh, and sprayers are really hard to get an even surface unless your sprayer cost $800. Then you might as well buy new furniture- am I right?

Michele September 13, 2011 at 11:22 am

hi Chris, Because of your post, I’ve been inspired to paint my dining room set. I began the project yesterday – a table and six chairs. I cleaned the entire set with TSP and have primed the table and three of the chairs. My husband has me paranoid because he noticed I was applying the primer with the foam ‘brush’ rather than the foam roller. Will brush strokes show through once I apply the Benjamin Moore paint? I’m wondering if I should start all over with the primer, except using the foam roller instead. Of course I’d like to NOT do that, but will since it’s early enough in the project to correct. Please let me know what you think.
Thank you!

Chris September 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Hi Michele!

Can you see the brush strokes now? If so, just try sanding it a bit before you apply your paint. I would definitely apply it with a roller in the future, but since you haven’t applied the paint yet, you might still be able to get away with it. Just sand it down some. Should work ok. Good luck!

LR September 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Hi! I followed all the steps on this post exactly- from the type of paint and primer to application, etc… It turned out great for my first piece. I have a question though- it was a wood table, which I primed {2 coats} and painted white {2 coats}, however, I decided that I want to paint it navy instead. Do I need to paint it and prime it again or can I just paint navy over the white? Sorry if that is a silly question- I’m a newbie painter! :)

Chris September 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm

You can definitely paint it again! Just do a light sanding over it to rough up the surface, and you should be good to go. Good luck!

The Smithocracy October 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Wow! I did not know that kind of finish was even possible! I am definitely going to change the way I approach my furniture makeovers. Thanks for discovering this!

Beth C. November 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I love your blog and found your painting tutorial very helpful. I went to the Ben Moore dealer here – the one that is the dealership – with the helpful know how paint guy – (they sell it at all kinds of places but they don’t have the helpful paint guy).
I asked about the low lustre iron clad latex enamel. What they sell here now is called ‘Super Spec HP® D.T.M. Acrylic Low Lustre (P25)’
I got the black p25 80 Negro. He said unless I wanted a specific black that this would be the best choice. He said that this would be the same as what you posted originally – just a different name.

Annia Huff February 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I have been wanting to try this at home and was wondering how the Super Spec HP low lustre paint in the black worked out for you ? Please email me at .


Janet G November 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm


I love your paint jobs and am already to do the same – however!! Looking at the BM sites in Canada and the U.S. they no longer show the low lustre Metal & Wood Enamel. What they are showing is Impervex Latex High Glass Enamel 309. Is this the same paint that you used, but with a different name? Also, I noticed that your paint says that it is a pastel base and when I went to BM this a.m. they said that they can’t make pastel base into black. What tint did you use to make it black. Really appreciate your help. I’ve got it all TSP’d down, primer ready to start, but now am just unsure what to do about the paint. Just noticed that another person was basically asking the same question.

Debbie November 11, 2011 at 11:47 am

Love your site..and boy do I ever need help. I need to paint two dressers, kitchen, and bathroom cabinets, just for a start. You mentioned using a paint sprayer, would you use the BM metal and wood paint in the sprayer and do you need to adapt the paint in any way (thin with a substance)? Is the Super Spec HP® D.T.M. Acrylic Low Lustre (P25)’ actually the same at the metal and wood paint that you spoke of?

Monica November 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Great post. I usually like to do the painting in my house and my husband always say to get someone to do the job, but after I finish one thing at a time, he takes it back. Now I want to do the doors and some chairs… He’ll love them. Thanks for shearing.

Holly November 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Thanks for the Benjamin Moore tip. I paint kitchen cabinets and rich people’s furniture professionally and sometimes they have accounts at BM. Sometimes Home Depot credit cards, sometimes Lowes. I like to accommodate them as much as possible. And since they pay for all the supplies . . . So it’s good to know which of the many types of paint to get while shopping at BM!

However, the lack of a top coat scares me a little. I might try ‘no top coat’ on something of my own, but for my customers, I want to make sure it’s as durable as possible. People are generally rough on stuff they didn’t do themselves having no idea the work that went into it.

Chris November 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I agree with you, Holly. That is the only piece that doesn’t have a top coat. I have since done the top coat just to be safe. However, I will say that the original buffet doesn’t have a single scratch or nick in it. Kinda cool! Thanks for stopping by!

Julie December 17, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Can you tell us what product you use as a top coat and how you apply it? Thanks for sharing all your know-how and experience with us. It is so helpful and gives me the courage to do these projects on my own.

Tasha December 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I’m in the process of using this technique step by step, product by product! The problem I’m having is, the finish isn’t as smooth as what yours seems to be!!!!!!! I’m expecting a baby boy in Feb 2012 and I’m trying to use my daughters old nursery furniture. I’m almost positive it’s not all “real” wood………..would that make a difference???? When I roll the paint on with the foam roller, it leaves (while wet) a finish that looks textured, like little bitty bubbles has splattered all over!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even after it’s dried, it still doesn’t look smooth!!! I’m wondering if I should sand in between the black coats, or if that would even make a difference! I’m getting scared since now it’s Dec 2011 already and I still don’t have the nursery furniture done, that I am gonna be out some major money having to buy another set! Please help me asap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks, Tasha

Mary December 6, 2011 at 10:11 am

I’m having the same problem as Tasha. I bought all the products. Am painting a white buffet. After using the foam roller I see roller marks, and the texture to the top of the buffet is rough. Last night I tried using some steel wool to soften it a bit, with no success. I’m worried. Do I try the roller again over this? I’m wondering if I didn’t have enough paint on the roller or something….I’m with Tasha…. Please help ASAP. Thx. Mary

Chris December 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Hi Mary,

I wish I could understand why you’re seeing the roller marks. If you’re using all the same products, it should come out super smooth. I would say the only thing is that you’re rolling it too hard. I roll it, and as I continue to roll, I make sure to apply it lighter and lighter with each stroke. It might just be in the technique. This is where a “hands on” lesson would be great, eh? I hope that helps!

furniture castors December 7, 2011 at 6:23 am

Painting your furniture, cabinets and dresser makes them looks new. We choose our favorite color or depends on our mood.

Chris McN December 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I too was inspired by all this and so I’m in the process of painting a maple bed (head/foot boards) in the low lustre black (BM P-25) I’ve done everything accordingly but I’m having difficulty too. I think part of the problem is my lousy technique. I’ve had to sand/repaint because of drips, etc. and the bed has spindles which are a pain to paint. With the lastest coat, however, I noticed that I was getting roller marks, too. I think painting in 2 directions (back/forth / up/down) may alleviate this but I also think it was the temperature that was starting to affect the paint. I had to do the painting in my unheated garage (we have a tiny half-basement and no room there to do anything) and it was starting to get cold (I live in CT). The roller began to “stick” and “drag” leaving roller marks and bubbles. So I re-sanded and I’m waiting for when I have more time and for the weather to break which will probably be around April! It’s a good excuse to clean out the basement to carve a space to finish!

Glenn December 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm

According to my local BM dealer, the paint above has been discontinued. Have you experienced the same thing? If so, any suggestions for a brand of paint?

Chris December 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Hi Glenn, I know that some other commenters have made some suggestions based on their paint store. I have not spoken to mine yet, but I’ll get back to you when I do!

Chandra January 8, 2012 at 7:43 pm

While doing a search on painting furniture I found your blog post & advice. Thank you for sharing!! I am definitely checking out the Benjamin Moore and trying it on my next project. Yay!

Sabrina January 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Hi Chris. I’m in the process of revamping our dining room (as in gutted to the bones) and I was wondering … do you have a mix of white, creamy white, black & cherry in your dining area? I noticed your dining table and chairs look like a cream color with cherry finished tops and then the black bar stools … did the white china cabinet make it in there as well? I like all 4 color pallets (for lack of a better word) but I’m afraid to put it all together for fear of it not looking right.

Karen January 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm

So disappointed Wanted to follow your directions to the very last detail. Only to find that B Moore has “reformulated” the paint you so loved. They tell me it is now called “Super Spec”. I am at best a rookie at this. Have you tried the reformulated version? Hoping not to botch this job!!

joann wetzel January 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm

thanks for making the how to so easy to understand having the pictures to see exactly what you bought was great I have started to refinish a dresser, I’ll let you know how it comes out so far so good

Debbie January 25, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Thank you so much ,I’m painting my cabinets in bath and this was so helpful THANKS AGAIN DEB

Paula Howard February 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I love everything you have done!! I am going to paint my kitchen table black with the products you have shown. How does the paint hold up to spills, cleaning and 5 year olds? Thank you for your time.

Sheila March 10, 2012 at 11:15 am

I love your site. Its amazing that so much can be done with so little. My wife loves to go to resale shops and find furniture or nick nacks she can recreate, I will share your site with her for sure. Very informative.

Debbie F March 13, 2012 at 12:56 am

I’m in the process of painting my kitchen cabinets that has a layer of paint on them already. Imma look for that sealer/primer and pick a paint color…I was thinking of sanding, but I could do without the dust and the double work!!

By the way, I’m painting my bedroom furniture BLACK and this tutorial came in right on time!!


patty bruce April 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I have sanded a corner cabinet and then painted it black with black all surface paint from sherwin williams. it is acrylic laten satin. i have put on two coats and I am so dissappointed in the piece. I have stopped.

I wanted it to be pretty black with a nice not shine but a pretty shen….should I resand it now? What do I do next. I am lost and it is a beautiful corner cabinet. Now it is just sitting there looking all ugly and dissappointly sad…HELP What To Do?
patty bruce

Cheer Wood April 9, 2012 at 2:48 am

Good Post, that paint which you use in it is it easily available? or some thing unique??

Overall post is ow-some really like that..
Thanks for sharing..

painting contractors Denver CO April 27, 2012 at 4:34 am

Old furniture needs to be repainted in order for it to look new. This guide that you have shared in doing so are very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

leather beds May 4, 2012 at 7:16 am

Well i want to paint my kitchen table brown with the products you have shown. How does the paint hold up to spills, cleaning and 5 year old , I really appreciated your efforts .

Ana May 4, 2012 at 11:44 am

Omg! I’m speechless and if u know me that NEVeR happens. Lol Found this link on Pintrest. I so want to do my aunts old buffet for over 2 yrs now any thoughts on how to do an antique white???? Please please please
Ana Ct

Alicia Swedberg May 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Thanks so much for your post! I was about to refinish a vintage vanity and wasn’t sure how to get the best results. I bought everything just as you suggested and it turned out beautiful. I had to go with the Zinsser water-based primer since my store didn’t sell the oil-based version and it seems to be holding up okay so far. I also asked my local Benjamin Moore dealer if I could get the contractor price on the paint and he gave me a significant discount- 40 dollars for the gallon of enamel. Here are a few pics!

Chris May 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Oh. my. LORD, Alicia!! This turned out beautifully!! Would you mind if I show this off to my readers next week? They totally need to see it!

Alicia May 10, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Of course not! Let me know if you need me to take better pictures… These were just with my iPhone. :) aliciaswedberg@

Alicia Swedberg May 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm
Alicia Swedberg May 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Of course you can use it! Let me know if you need better pics since these were just taken with my iphone. :0)

Janet May 13, 2012 at 9:30 am

So glad I found this today. I was going to go by another brand to paint a coffee table tomorrow. Thanks!

Dona May 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Home is the most important place for all of us.Furnitures give your house a touch of sophistication and style to your home.The four major selections of furnitures include quality,style,selection,services.Wooden and glass furnitures also make your dream house come true.

Janet May 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I went to several stores and the paint has been discontinued:-(

Caty June 17, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Now it’s called Super Spec…same stuff.

SH@NNON May 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Hey Chris,

I’m so excited to have found your blog! Thanks for the inspiration! I’m on my way to pick up some paint now. I am wondering about your choice for a top coat. I bought an old pedestal table for next to nothing and I feel like I better coat it since it’s gonna be used & abused :-) Let me know your favorite product and I’ll give it a whirl!


Brandy June 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm


I followed your instructions to a T and I’m getting holes from the foam brush? I’ve only put one coat on but it looks textured and not nearly as smooth as yours. What am I doing wrong? I need to get this dresser in my daughters room. Thank you!!

Chris June 8, 2012 at 11:19 pm

The only thing I can think is that perhaps it will dry more smooth? I have bubbles at times as I apply it, but they settle out. I also make sure to go over it several times (lighter and lighter with each pass), so perhaps that will help? You’re also using the Ben Moore paint? That would definitely make a difference. I hope this helps!

Brandy June 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Hi Chris,
I have followed your instructions to a T & I have bubbles from the foam roller as others have mentioned. I’ve only applied one coat. What am I doing wrong? I need to get this on my little girls room soon. Thanks!

Stephanie June 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I tried painting a bench black, it looked horrible when I went over it with a foam roller. It left thousands of little tiny bubbles after each roll. When I rolled over the same spot a few times the most of the bubbles would eventually pop but it still left a very rough texture. What in the world am I doing wrong? Also your pieces look amazing!

Chris June 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm

I’m so sorry, Stephanie. I don’t have problems with it. However, I always use ONLY Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams paint. I know that a quality paint will level itself out better than others. Also, make sure that your roller has been through your paint thoroughly. Sometimes it’s more “bubbly” in the beginning. I hope this helps!

Judy June 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Hi Chris
This paint is not available where I live due to environmental codes. Can you suggest a good alternative?

Love your posts!

Caty June 17, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Hi Chris –
I am also wondering about bubbles. I have painted with foam rollers in the past, resulting in bubbles… How do you avoid this? What’s the trick???


Chris June 25, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Try a couple of coats before panicking. That seems to be the biggest issue. Make sure your foam roller is fully coated and worked out before applying. I find that some bubbles appear when you’re first using the roller. Otherwise, just go over it lightly after getting your coat on. I’ve never had issues. Hope this helps!

Chris June 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I am going to get some paint and try this . I am redoing a dresser for my doll house to sit in top.
I hope I have the same results as you this is great!!
Thanks for the information!!

Chris June 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm

question was it just a regular foam roller??

Chris June 25, 2012 at 11:27 pm

It was, Chris. Just make sure it has a rounded edge. It works much better!

Chris June 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm

you can go to my blog for now and see the before, the way I bought it then stripped, soon to be painted!!

Shelia June 30, 2012 at 9:54 am

Have you done laminate cabinets before? I want to paint my kitchen cabinets so bad but they are like that slick kind of cabinets….. I have read a lot of different advice, but i am afraid to try it!!! Any advice?

Barbara June 30, 2012 at 11:43 am

Thanks a million for your insight. I’ve been painting furniture for about a year and am always learning. I’m going to give this a whirl! Wish me luck! (Haven was fantastic!)

Joanie July 2, 2012 at 11:41 pm

I am getting ready to paint a 35 year old dining table and chairs. I was wondering how you applied the TSP (sponge or cloth) and if you wiped or washed it off with water? Also, would you recommend a top coat for the top of the table? I’m sending it to college with my daughter for her first apartment. Please advise soon if you can, I need to get on this soon! Thanks! (BTW…love your work!)

Chris July 10, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Hi Joanie! I just wipe it on with some paper towel (should probably use a rag of some sort). I don’t wipe it down afterwards, but you certainly could. And yes, I do recommend a top coat. I would use some polycrylic if you’re doing a lighter color. That way it won’t yellow. Good luck!

Jessica July 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Hello, what would you use on original brass gold handles if you were wanting to keep them for the detail, but not the color? Would you prime and then paint or would you sand?? I need a little help!

Emily C July 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Did you ask for this to be removed from Pinterest? I had it linked and now Pinterest has it as inappropriate or spam and I had to re-search it. Love the tips!

Chris July 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm

WHA??? No, I did not, Emily! Thank you for letting me know–I’ll look into it.

Emily C July 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Hi There! Emily again… trying not to be a pain… it looks like your paint has been discontinued :( Have you had any luck finding a new favorite substitute?

The Dump Furniture Store July 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Hello, i would just like to say that i found this post very informative. For someone like me who has never painted anything in his life, this is very valuable. I need to try to put this into practice asap. Got a new desk on a deal, from The Dump Furniture Store and would love to spruce it up. I will tell you how it went!

Judy Y July 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Love your site, you have so many amazing and creative ideas. Just love it ! I was at the Benjamin Moore store todaylooking for the paint, but it appears to have been discontinued. I saw you recommended Ben Moore Super Spec in DVM, I couldn’t find that, they have different finishes as well..can you let us know exactly what you found as a replacement that you posted a picture of product you used..Wonderful site..spent hours on it already..thanks so much !

Chris July 14, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Thank you, Judy! The Ben Moore Super Spec in DVM is EXACTLY what purchase now. I always use the low lustre. I plan on posting about it soon so you can see if there’s a difference. Good luck!

Lisa July 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm

I had a wild hair yesterday and decided to paint my kitchen table! I followed your directions exactly. I even have a paint guy now :) Considering before this project the most complicated thing I’d ever painted was my fingernails, I am ecstatic about the way it turned out!

Chris July 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Oh, Lisa it looks fantastic!! I’m so glad you dove in and I could offer some confidence boost for you!! Good job!

Celeste Austin July 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Thank you it is so nice to have someone who will share advice with all of us newbies to the refinishing world. :) Really appreciate your stories, even if you’re not an expert the stuff looks great so there you go!

Chris July 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Thank you so much, Celeste! I’m glad I can help!

Vanessa August 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Have you ever tried Chalk Paint? What do you think?

Vanessa August 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Hello, I love this info, thank you! Have you ever tried chalk paint? I can decide if I want to use chalk paint w wax on my dining table or go,the BM route? Any tips will be much appreciated!

Chris August 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I wish I could help you on that one, Vanessa. Unfortunately, I’ve never tried chalk paint. Gasp! I know. ;) I know people love it, though!!

Whitney August 22, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Hi Chris,

I still am not clear on what type of paint you are using currently now that the iron clad metal and wood paint is off the market. Could you be more specific? It seems like the type of paint really matters. I am currently attempting to paint a chest of drawers and dresser and I want them to turn out as beautiful as your work!! Another question…does the primer you use make the surface rough, and if so do you sand after you prime to regain a smooth surface? Any timps would be appreciated!

Matbord August 23, 2012 at 8:23 am

I am looking for some more designs please share if you have..


Whitney August 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I also read in some of you other responses that you sometimes use sherman Williams paint. Have you found a particular paint at sherman williams that you like?

Rexine Cardin September 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Your instructions for painting are as refreshing as looking at the finished pieces. Thanks, I love it and will purchase these paints for my next project. Blessings.

Chris September 2, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Thank you, Rexine! I think that might be the compliment of the day. :)

Susan Adams September 12, 2012 at 10:54 am

Hey Chris,
I also use BM Metal and Wood enamel but went in to store to buy some last week and they said it is no longer being made! Is that true? Have you tried to buy recently? I am freaking because I have no idea what to use now!! Any help would be very much appreciated. I am going to paint my black kitchen stools a bluish gray.

yvy_cano November 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Did you ever find the paint or a substitute that worked as well? I too am having problems finding it, seems like they no longer make it

Dee September 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm

wonderful ideas and incorporation of timeless pieces that have been revitalized. Can I ask where did you find the numberic address stencil for your door? Thank You for sharing.

Chris September 16, 2012 at 11:44 am

I ordered it through Wonderfully Wordy (some time ago). I know Etsy has many shops that sell vinyl things too. Thanks!

Oil Painting October 4, 2012 at 10:22 am

I read and really impressed form your blog.I liked the Oil Painting related to your working.
Thanks for sharing…

Liz November 8, 2012 at 8:25 am

I had that same buffet! I got it out of the garbage, I sold it about 5 yrs ago for $50. It served it’s served me well for yrs. I never painted it, now I wish I would have! I have a hard time bringing myself to paint natural wood. You just changed my mind on that. Thank you!

jz November 18, 2012 at 12:24 am

Nice furniture!

Hate to be a pill, but I used Benj Moore paint for my house exterior 3 years ago and it is already peeling off in shreds. In 2009, it was the exact same low lustre paint that you so love. It was a very poor choice I made, was not at all suitable for exterior despite the clear labeling. There are plenty of good paints, try another brand… any other company but them!

Previous post:

Next post: