Skip to Content

5 Tips to Paint Furniture a Solid Color

You may get frustrated when you paint furniture one solid color

When you paint furniture a solid color, many would assume it would be simple and far less complicated than a blended paint finish or an ombre or an artistic paint finish. That assumption can tend to be false! Often times when we just try to use one solid color blemishes, drag marks, and other paint imperfections glare at us! They tend to be easier to catch because our eyes arent busied by other characteristics. (This is one of the many tutorials you can find in my Ultimate Guide to Furniture Painting!)

How to paint furniture a solid color
[mailerlite_form form_id=0]

My Top 5 Tips to Paint Furniture a Solid Color

Do I need to Prep before I paint furniture?

Prep your furniture well. It needs to be cleaned. While you clean it you are able to really identify the areas that need a little help. Look for cracks, loose boards, pulling veneer, and evaluate your hardware! You may want to change your hardware out and this can leave holes behind if you change them up. Here is the thing, if there are holes, missing veneer, un-level surfaces, or simply imperfect surfaces, you will not be able to hide them with solid colored paint on furniture. Nothing will be able to camouflage it! If you have un-level areas that need to be filled in and sanded, do it now before you paint! Or you WILL regret it later. If it is noticeable before you paint, the imperfections will be magnified when you paint your furniture!

Do I need to Seal the surface before I paint furniture?

Another part of prepping to paint furniture that you likely don’t want to skip is sealing it. Many will also say “prime” your furniture before you paint. Part of the reason for priming or sealing your furniture before painting is because the paint will soak into the surface differently in areas that are sealed, than in areas that are not sealed. This will cause the paint to show a very different sheen and sometimes even a different coloration. When you seal your piece with a shellac or other furniture priming product, you are given an even surface to paint over.

Imagine baking a cake then removing the top layer (or “skin”) of that cake over half of it. When you begin to ice the cake, your icing will look VERY different on each side! It will tend to be more smooth and consistent on the side that the “skin” has not been removed on!

~Thoughts from Thea

To learn more about how to prep furniture for painting check out “Prep: Everything You Need to Know

Do I use a wet brush or surface when I paint furniture a solid color?

You will hear an infinite number of techniques out there for getting a great painted finish on your furniture and chances are 90% of those recommendations are GREAT- for the RIGHT project. One thing you will even hear me say often is work wet! Spray your surface, wet your brush, etc. However, when painting one solid color this is often times exactly what you DO NOT want to do!

When you wet the surface or wet your brush, you are displacing pigments. When this happens you risk streaking and other color variations in the paint finish.

What can I do to prevent brush marks when I paint furniture?

Ok so I just told you do not wet the surface and do not work with a wet brush, so then how do you prevent the brush marks and texture when painting furniture?

If you want to have a texture free finish

how to paint furniture

Begin with a very thin coat of paint almost drug across offering little in coverage. I call this a crumb coat. Sometimes it can even help if you keep your brush strokes all in one direction. You just want your paint at 100% to grip the surface well and begin to introduce the color. If it’s diluted too much, you will interfere with its ability to form a strong bond. Remember you are not looking for a solid color at this stage, only a strong bond.

Once it has dried well (according to the manufacturers instructions) you can apply another coat that is likely going to provide 100% coverage or close to it. If you notice that you still have texture that you don’t desire, add a little water to your paint and stir well. Remember to be gentle and keep bubbles to a minimum.

If you want a solid brush mark free look

distressed white dresser
Benjamin Moore Advance Paint over Mahogany

Often times even if there is no texture, the paint can appear textured due to the way the pigments and minerals show. To prevent causing this textured appearance be sure to start at one end of an area and bring your brush all the way across. When you start and stop mid stroke, you can cause the minerals and pigments to not lay the same direction. (picture those sequin pillows that you rub your hand across causing the sequins to lay the opposite direction)

If you aren’t able to “make it” from one end to the other you either have to load more paint on to your brush or work with thinner paint. Again, you can add water to your paint to make it more thin (pour out a small batch if you need to instead of pouring directly into you pot/can). Combine the water into the paint carefully but fully. Don’t force air bubbles.

Consider using a sprayer when you paint furniture a solid color

Half of the difficulty in painting one solid color is painting so that everything stays wet as it comes together to create a solid bond covering the surface. When we have really large pieces, or pieces that have large flat surfaces, this task can seem impossible. Spraying your furniture can solve that problem and likely is far easier than you think it may be. You DON’T need an air compressor and set up can simply be in your front yard or driveway. While you pretty well need a brush when layering and blending furniture paints, if you are simply doing one solid color, a sprayer can save you so much time and in that regard also money in the long run if you continue to paint often.

If you would like to see what sprayer I recommend (at only $65!) and how to set it up, be sure to check out Perfectly Sprayed Furniture: Your Number 1 Tip! Where I have recorded taking your through the set up and took reader questions.

If you have comments or questions leave them below! Ill be happy to help you out! Till next time! Happy Creating!

Celinda Cosby

Thursday 28th of May 2020

looking forward to learning. New at this