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    How to prepare and paint pine furniture professionally

    This is the system I use for preparing unpainted pine furniture, regardless of which paint choice you go for. I prefer traditional oil-based paint finishes, but you can have all water-based primers / finishes, or a mix of water-based primer, oil-based finish…

    pine furniture after priming
    First step -
    Remove the knobs; wipe the surface thoroughly with a rag soaked in white spirit, or meths if it is quite dirty; Krudkutter Original.

    (Very waxy surfaces use heavy duty cleaners / wood revivers – see extra tips on how much cleaning to do)

    When surface is dry, sand thoroughly with 120 -180 grade abrasive; vacuum off dust; wipe over with a tack rag.

    Mask off areas you don’t want to paint. I use 3M 2090 or Trimaco Kleenedge 14 day low tack masking tape, which don’t leave the gum behind. This is an example of how I use masking tape on a hand-painted kitchen cabinet.

    Prime with Blackfriars Problem Solving Primer, or 2 coats of Mythic Universal Primer. (Insight into many other products on market that don’t quite match these 2 for usability and / or performance for painting bare pine in the home.)

    Fill obvious dings or unsightly gouges. (This is a very subjective part of the process, as you have to balance old furniture v aesthetics. It is possible to create a perfect surface but is it appropriate to skim and sand old timber to a porcelain finish?)

    Undercoat with oil undercoat tinted to colour of top coats. Sand and remove dust with vacuum / tack rag.

    Oil based eggshell – 2 coats sanding between coats.

    (You can substitute the undercoat for an extra coat of eggshell. Eggshell is self undercoating, but it has a little less body and filling properties than full blown undercoat. So there is the option for one off projects, of swapping oil undercoat for eggshell, and save on an extra tin of paint.)

    Finishing touches
    Remove the masking tape carefully. Have a sharp blade handy to cut the tape if you fear the paint will lift as you pull it off. You just want to use the blade to break the bond between paint and tape.

    Replace knobs and put the drawers back in, but don’t slam them shut tight! I would leave the paint to harden for as long as possible before you put the furniture into operation. Oil paint is touch dry within a day, but takes about 1 month to harden off completely and stand up to wear. Keeping the furniture out of the firing line for somewhere between a day and a month is good.

    If you would rather I painted a piece of furniture for you, just ask. Or contact one of these specialist furniture painters in your area.


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    If the info we've all shared in TP blog articles has given you the confidence to paint kitchen cabinets and furniture yourself, that is great. And in general, we hope that all homeowners, DIY and trade can take away & use our ideas for decorating better, faster or cleaner than the accepted norm.

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    2 comments to “How to prepare and paint pine furniture professionally”

    1. Jane

      Thanks for the info, we are decorating my daughter’s room and she has and old headboard and bedside table in pine, good quality, tongue and groove which I wanted to update. However, not having tackled anything like this before, I didn’t know where to start.

      Googled “How to paint pine furniture” and your site came up!

    2. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      Nice to know google works and that the info on the site was of use too. :) If you think of it, how about you send us a before and after pic, show what is possible from knowing zero? No pressure!

      We are happy to share the info or answer any questions.

      In general, anyone who finds the tips useful, if you get the chance, could you just mention our site to the people you get your paint and kit from, or tell your friends, and help spread the word to others struggling to paint right. Thanks

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