Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to paint furniture black like a boss

I am delivering this sideboard tonight to the buyer and I'm really hoping she loves it as much as I do.

The sideboard was beautiful when I bought it but big and brown and very scratched on top. But oh the shape had me getting out my money as soon as I spied it. The bow front and those carvings are just beautiful. 

Big and Black is way more beautiful. I think she's pretty classy now. She's slipped on her little black dress and is ready to hit the town! Read below for my tips to achieving a perfect (or as close to perfect) finish when painting furniture black.

This possibly is one of my favourite pieces. The finish is very smooth and even which can be difficult in black when hand painting by brush.  I distressed the edges and details slightly as I love the rich timber showing through.  I left the original handles as it as I love them with the black. I removed them for painting as you get a much better finish not painting around the hardware.

How to paint furniture black

  1. Remove the hardware.
  2. Lightly sand your piece. The smoother the surface, the better you piece will look in the end. I used 400 grit sandpaper to sand this piece down before painting.
  3. Clean your piece well and let it dry.
  4. Avoid using a white primer as it will show through when you distress.
  5. Either choose a paint that has an inbuilt primer (paint/primer in one) or sand extremely well and just use black paint. 
  6. Choose a satin, semi gloss acrylic paint or a chalk paint that has a good flow.
  7. A matte black finish is beautiful but it will show lots of finger marks and wear and it is hard to keep looking nice. Black can be very difficult to get an even waxed finish if you want to go that path.
  8. A gloss black paint will show every imperfection so unless your piece and your painting is ABSOLUTELY perfect and blemish free then avoid high gloss.
  9. Don't paint in hot weather or high humidity as those conditions shorten the drying time and make the brush marks more obvious. 
  10. If you are getting obvious brush marks then use a drying extender such as Floetrol.
  11. Use a good quality synthetic angled brush.
  12. Paint your first coat, painting in the direction of the grain and not overworking your brush strokes.
  13. Wait for the paint to dry.
  14. Lightly sand with a fine sanding pad. Remove dust.
  15. Paint your second coat (and third after drying if required)
  16. Once fully dry lightly distress the edges to bring out the timber on the details. When distressing be careful as you don't want to scratch the painted finish, you only want to remove the paint on the edges. 
  17. if you are using a chalk paint then you will need to top coat with wax or a sealer. It was be very hard to wax and get an even sheen. I have experimented with many different waxes and find that the oilier the wax the easier it is to get a good finish.
  18. Replace hardware.

Just to prove that I'm not all work and play, some sunset shots from playing in the park yesterday evening with the kids and the dog.

I'm looking forward to my competition painting class tomorrow with the winners. I look forward to sharing their efforts with you.



  1. it's stunning! the finish is perfection and the color suits that piece.

  2. It turned out absolutely beautiful, I can only imagine how much she will love the new revived piece...great the detail and so will she..

  3. Gorgeous!! I have the perfect dresser in mind, thank you for the great tips- pinning :)

  4. This was the perfect piece for a classic black finish! Beautiful and sophisticated!

  5. This piece is it!

  6. What a beautiful piece that looks gorgeous in black. Great tips too, thanks for sharing.

  7. Gorgeous! We have a very similar piece that we want to paint black. Can you please tell me what brand/kind of paint you used on this? Thanks so much! Linda

  8. What brand of paint did you use? It is beautiful! Can you explain how you distressed the edges? I love this! Stunning!

  9. It's absolutely gorgeous... what wax do you recommend. I'm having trouble with my wax being patchy not matter how I did it or the weather. It's the bane of my life.

  10. What kind of paint did you use and what is the number of the colour. It’s perfect! Exactly the colour I want for my credenza.

    1. hi Sylvie, im so sorry this is from so many years ago I cant remember but it was a local Australian paint.

  11. Thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward to more post.
    Nice post ! I love its your site after reading ! thanks for sharing. A beautiful piece that looks gorgeous in black. Great tips too, thanks for sharing.
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  12. "Absolutely love this tutorial! Painting furniture black can instantly transform the entire look of a piece, and this guide breaks down the process in such a clear and concise way. From prep work to choosing the right paint and achieving that professional finish, every step is covered with helpful tips and tricks. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned pro, this tutorial is a must-read for anyone looking to elevate their furniture painting game and achieve stunning results. Can't wait to try it out on my next project!"

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  13. "Your step-by-step guide on how to paint furniture black like a pro is an absolute game-changer! From surface preparation to achieving that flawless, professional finish, every detail is meticulously covered. Your expert tips not only ensure a stunning end result but also make the process enjoyable and accessible for DIY enthusiasts of all skill levels. Thanks for sharing your invaluable expertise - I can't wait to transform my own furniture with confidence!"

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  14. wow, your article was very interesting and usefull. thank’s for the information it's broaden my insight
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