Furniture Painting and Restoring How To's

My furniture painting guide - are you new to furniture painting? a bit nervous before picking up that brush and tackling a project? then this guide is a great start to your painting journey.

How to get a smooth painted Finish
Want a smooth finish with no brush marks - read this

My Guide to Choosing Paint for Furniture (and why I never use white oil based paint). This is my round up of the paint I use with examples of pieces I've painted with each type.  The look you are after will determine which paint you need to choose.

5 Tips for using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

want to update your timber furniture to look like marble? this is a great tutorial that results in a realistic marble finish  

How to Lime wash Furniture
easy instruction to achieving a limed wash finish - a great coastal weathered look.

What to look for when buying second hand or vintage furniture
My guide for what to look for and what to avoid when buying second hand furniture.

Why buy second hand?
Before you buy new furniture why don't you let me persuade you to buy second hand furniture and home wares?

Furniture Top Coats and Waxes - Australian Products - if you are using an acylic flat/matte paint or chalk paint or milk paint then it's always a good idea to top coat or wax your finish for durability and protection. Here's my guide to products available in Australia.

How to strip old finishes off furniture (this is an old one but still good information - I'll update this soon)

Selecting the right brush - a good brush will make all the difference to your finished project. Don't think you can use cheap brushes and throw them away at the end. See my guide for why I recommend good brushes, and which brushes I choose for my furniture painting projects

Solving Paint Problems
Having problems with your paint finish? streaky finishes. gluggy paint, drips etc. Check this list for common problems and practical solutions.

How to clean your paint brush - a great tip to restore old brushes.

Using Chalk Paint but don't want the distressed look. here's my guide for achieving a smooth surface with minimal brush marks

How to "antique" furniture with dark wax
A guide to using dark wax to create the patina of years of use. 

How to antique glaze furniture - A guide to achieving this beautiful effect to simulate the patina of age. In Australia, buying glaze off the shelf is very difficult - this is how to achieve the same look with easily attainable products.

My guide and photos for making your own white wax. I used this on my daughter's vintage French bed to great effect.

Easy Upholstery of a Louis French Chair
A step by step guide to recovering a French chair with lots of photos.

How to upholster a woven French chair: A step by step guide to upholstering a chair like the one below

How to achieve the French look : love a French Provincial or French Country look? Here's my top ten ways to get it on a budget.

French painted furniture inspiration - want some inspiration to get you started?

How I designed my French Kitchen 
(and saved loads of $$)

Dealing with a common problem of vintage furniture - a simple solution.

Hopefully you never need this guide but if you do, I can help


  1. Hi, love your site, you have inspired me !!!

    Is there somewhere in Victoria that I can purchase chalk paint? Cheers . Lisa

  2. Hi Fiona, love your site and seeing what you are working in and the transformations. I have 2 metal 3 drawer filing cabinets and would love to do them over by painting them .... Any suggestions or ideas? Thanks Jenn

  3. Hello Fiona
    this may seem a strange request but here goes anyway. I have original post and rail furniture in my dining room. ( dates from 1980s very solid and chunky).The furniture has always been good and I have both an emotional and practical attachment to it and don't want to get rid of it. However,I would like it to be lighter and more feminine looking was wondering if you thought it could take a makeover with a painted finish as you have done, but of course with much more dainty furniture.

    1. hi - sorry for the delay in responding, yes I think you could definitely paint heavy furniture white and it will still look good. I have painted several solid pieces and they all turn out well
      I hope you see this reply

  4. Noticed on your older pieces a stenciled or hand drawn design of a bird on a branch. I can't draw a stick figure so I'm hoping for a stencil design...could you share?

    1. hi I am sorry but yes they are hand drawn - here's a post i wrote about it. http://www.lilyfieldlife.com/2012/03/my-painted-furniture.html
      cheers Fiona

  5. hello Fiona,
    I am Potou from Greece and I need your help, I've got an old singer sewing machine and I want to give a vintage touch to it's table, you know get rid of that brown wood what do you suggest?
    OH and dont forget to tell me about the black metal base,
    thank you!

    1. hi Potou, Why don't you paint the top white using my painting tips -= the link is above on this page. You can always paint the black metal base or leave as is.
      cheers Fiona

    2. Hi I am rather confused and hoping you can help me. I have a gorgeous old antique dresser that has a shiny wood veneer on top with a hardwood underneath. I would like to paint it a darkish teal type of colour with a shabby chic effect. (I have photos of what I want when I googled it but don’t know how to attached it here!!) When it is completely painted, i wanted to sand the edges back to see the wood.
      But when I went to Bunnings today they said the only way I could get the paint to stick with a wood veneer, I would have use a primer as sanding wouldn’t be enough to keep it sticking. But then they said that the primers have white and colours, but when I sand it back to the wood, I don’t want any white to show through. I like being able to have a bit of washed look in areas. Sure I could buy a colour of the primer to be close to my acrylic, but I want to do more furniture for a hobby and maybe sell them with different colours and don’t want to have to get a primer as close to that colour each time! I have lots of colours in mind! I simply want one colour showing when I sand it back.

      Are there clear primers out there? Bunnings didn’t have any nor know about any available.

      Really sounds confusing, but I am hoping you can help me please!!!


    3. Hi there, I am certain one can colour the primer.I'm just about to do the same to a mahogany dresser and asked to tint the primer a contrasting colour to my top coat. Good luck and let us know how it turned out :)

    4. Try using Annis Sloan chalk paint. You don't have to use primer with it.

    5. Could you please tell me where to buy ASCP in NSW/ACT or online.

  6. Hello Fiona, we got your site from images of lemon trees with a black "crustacean-like" oval pest on the branches. Do you have a remedy for this black pest? I like your site and will be visiting more often, Thanks, Jane from the Gold Coast

  7. Hi Fiona,

    I am planning (for ages) to paint our kids' pine bunk bed white. The guy at Bunnings recommended using only Taubmans Easy Coat Prep (already in white). Is that suitable? Do i still need furniture wax on it afterwards?

    Really appreciate your input on this.


    1. Hi kat I definitely would not do that as it's a primer / prep coat. You should use a proper paint or top coat

  8. HI Fiona,
    My wife and I really like you blogs and tutorials, we want to transform a few furniture and 2 large mirror frame to distressed french style. We want to add molding to the item, Bunnings has a limited selection of molding, where did you get molding from.
    Thank you

    1. thanks Vishal, try a local timber yard such a Fedwood. I'm not sure where you live but any specialty timber yard will have a good range, cheers fiona

  9. Hi Fiona,
    I am keen to paint over my buffet and hutch which currently timber. It has 3 wooden doors on the buffet and the hutch has 4 glass framed doors. What would you suggest I paint it with - chalk paint or porters milk paint. Also I am not sure how much of paint I should use. Thanks Ramya

  10. Hi Fiona, I have a dressing table chevel mirror topper. I is veneered with some small pieces of the veneer missing. How would you paint it and should I remove all the veneer or try to fill and then sand where the missing pieces are. Does it need a primer before painting. The topper is victorian. Thanks BB


Thanks for taking the time to comment! Sorry if you have trouble commenting, you can always email me at lilyfieldlife@bigpond.com