Do you want to get the most perfect finish on your white painted furniture? This is a how to guide for the best method to paint furniture white!
How To Perfectly Paint Furniture White
If you have followed me for some time then you know I don’t normally CHOOSE to paint furniture white. However I have painted with white for customs and in the start of my business I did because well, white sells. I am far from those days and now let my artist freedom go wild. Every so often though, there is a piece of furniture that I know belongs clothed in white, the non color!
Because I understand that white is important in this business even if not all of us use it all of the time, for example if you are going to do custom work or ever teach. Knowing the steps to properly painting white is important. Also did you know A LOT of artists charge extra for white? Why? Because PREP is crucial and normally white paint doesn’t have the best coverage so it takes many more coats than your other colors. However, I will show you how to perfectly paint furniture white, in such a way that you wont hate it 🙂 Also the best whitest if the white paint that has excellent coverage, even for white!
- Dixie Belle B.O.S.S in white (Blocking Primer)
- Dixie Belle Paint in Cotton
- 2- Dixie Belle Synthetic Brush (your choice, one for paint the other for top coat)
- Dixie Belle Sanding Sponge or 220 Grit Sandpaper
- Dixie Belle Finishing Pad
- Dixie Belle Satin Top Coat
- Dixie Belle White Lightning
- Small bowl for mixing paint and topcoat
- Stir Stick
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Let’s Paint Furniture White!
P-R-E-P, that four letter word that we dread lol. Prep is key for all furniture painting but it is crucial when you paint furniture white. Doing the proper prep will save you a lot of heartache later, trust me. This piece had a furniture transfer and was previously painted a darker color, so I removed the transfer by sanding. Sanding will open up a whole flood gate of bleed through. After removing the transfer I also cleaned the piece really well with Dixie Belle’s White Lightning. Because I did sand the finish and it was dark prior, I blocked it with my white BOSS. BOSS will prevent bleed through, it also lays down a few layers of a lighter color so painting white doesn’t seem so daunting.
White paint doesn’t always have the best coverage, but Dixie Belle’s Cotton is not only the whitest white I have EVER used but it also has the best coverage of any white paint I have used. Pair those things with the fact that we will lay down a few layers of the white BOSS and boom, it makes the process to paint furniture white much less painful.
Applying Blocking Primer
When you are painting a piece white and it is made of real wood, you NEED to use a blocking primer. I have seen woods from golden oak all the way to the infamous bleeders of cherry and mahogany. When you sand you also open up a whole world of for sure 100% going to happen bleed through. This piece I did was painted in Palmetto (a dark green) and it had an adhesive transfer. I sanded the transfer off first and then lightly sanded and cleaned the entire piece. I concentrated on the areas I had sanded like a mad man first because I KNEW they were going to need extra prep and love.
First Steps To Paint Furniture White
I focused first on the heavily sanded panels, this piece is mahogany. Enough said. I can gauge how bad my bleed through will be and how many coats I will need by applying my white BOSS and allowing it to properly dry in between coats.
I knew this was going to take more than a few coats. Patience is key when it comes to painting white. The panels took three coats.
Finishing Up With The Blocking Primer
The panels that were sanded took 3 coats of BOSS, the rest of the piece only took 2. After I finished applying the BOSS I let it dry for 24 hours because sometimes those sneaky tannins and bleed through take time to show up. Once I knew we were safe, I started to paint my piece.
Painting Your Piece
When you are painting white, every little thing shows up. Thin and even coats are very important here. I have showed you how much paint you should typically have on your brush. I let each coat dry an hour or two and then I lightly sand with 220 grit sandpaper just to knock down any lint or minimize brushstrokes. After you do that make sure you are wiping the debris and dust away.
Sanding in between coats of white gives you a smooth and debris free finish.
Once I am completely done painting, I use my finishing pad to go over the entire piece carefully just for one more chance to make this a buttery smooth finish. When I topcoat after I paint furniture white, I always mix my paint with my choice of topcoat.
How I Topcoat When I Paint Furniture White
When I topcoat white furniture I always mix my paint and topcoat. I feel like it gives it that one last coat of a thin white and protects at the same time. WIN-WIN! For this process I do a 1 for 1 mixture, for example if you need 1 Cup of paint you will also put 1 Cup of your topcoat. This recipe may change per piece and it’s size. I always mix it very well with a stir stick.
I like to use one of my Dixie Belle Synthetic Brushes for my topcoat with whites, this mixture will be a little thinner than your actual paint. the same concept applies here, thin even coats. Do not glob your paint or topcoats on. Once I have applied it all evenly I let it dry. This piece will fully cure in 30 days, so if you are painting it for a custom or to resell make sure you are very clear with your care instructions to your clients.
Look at how beautiful this piece turned out? I call her BOHO CINDERELLA!!