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How to restore a wooden cupboard with a hand painted finish

Listed under Adam Bermingham, Blog, Corona, hand-painted furniture Posted Jul 12 2013

Hand Painted CupboardTraditional Painter in Roscommon, Adam Bermingham provides a detailed description of the process of how to restore a wooden cupboard with a hand painted finish.

Priming, sanding, filling & final top coats all played an important part in achieving the overall finish of this hand painted wooden cupboard. Don’t get it all right and it doesn’t work out so well!

Where I find furniture to restore

I picked this up from a customer a few weeks ago. I had just completed a restoration job on a table for him & he asked if I would be interested in buying some things he no longer had any use for. You never know where the next great piece will come from.

This is what it looked like when we found it out in his shed…

hand painted cupboard

By the standards of some of the pieces that come in to my workshop, this one was in very good condition. I decided to finish this in exactly the same way I would refinish a kitchen cupboard. This is the process…


  1. Remove the door & all fixtures & fittings
  2. Clean the whole piece with meths & wire wool followed by a rinse with warm water
  3. Sand using 240 grit paper
  4. First coat of primer (Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3) applied with short-grip Proform Picasso
  5. Fill any holes or imperfections. This piece needed special attention at the door panel joints. The top was completely filled, a skim fill I call it, to pack the grain & achieve a flawless smooth finish. Then sand again with 240 grit paper, concentrating on the filled areas making sure to remove all residue of filler from the surface .

hand painted cupboard


hand painted cupboardAt this stage, after a good clean down to remove dust from the surface, you are ready to apply 2 top-coats with a light sand between coats.

I use Colortrend, an acrylic, water based eggshell

I applied the paint with a Corona Knight which many of my Traditional Painter colleagues are fond of. (You can actually win one in a draw if you are subscribed to the blog when we hit 500 members.).

Hand Painted Cupboard

For that finishing touch I spray-painted the handle with silver paint & the look was complete…

Hand Painted Cupboard

I hope this post was helpful & gives you all the confidence to give furniture painting a go yourself in the future. Happy Painting.

This piece is available to buy in the Furniture Shop at My Hand Painted Furniture. Click through on the My Hand Painted Furniture display in the sidebar of TP and you can claim 5% off the sale price.

Joseph & Sons kitchen painting furniture painting West IrelandSpecialist painter and decorator, Adam Bermingham, is a member of the Traditional Painter UK network. He is the first port of call for hand painted furniture and kitchens Ireland.

Joseph & Son is Adam & Tom Bermingham, a father & son team with diverse backgrounds covering specialist painting and decorating, antiques and interior design.


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