Painting bedroom furniture

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We have an old waterbed bedroom set. No longer the bed but dresser & night stands. I want to paint them but know they are not all wood but probably veneer as it wasn't an expensive set. Now we are using the pieces in a spare bedroom and I want to paint it antique white & possibly distress it. I will change out the handles as well. I want to also fill in the groves that are cut in the tops for edging. Going to cut the county design off the bottoms & either leave straight or add some wood feet to them. I am sure there must be a certain type of paint to go over veneer.
  12 answers
  • Janis Palma Janis Palma on Feb 15, 2015
    I would go with gloss or semi-gloss interior wall paint.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Feb 15, 2015
    Make sure you get a really good, high-adhesive primer. I use Zinzer 1-2-3.to prime just about anything. Then go with a good quality top coat. Benjamin Moore apparently has an advanced composite paint that is self-levelling and gives the smooth appearance you used to get with the old oil-based paints. I have put off painting woodwork that I did years ago with oil-based paint - so will be trying this. I hate the brush marks you invariably get with most latex paints even with high quality brushes and expensive paint.

  • Ramona Lundrigan Sturge Ramona Lundrigan Sturge on Feb 15, 2015
    yes use 123 bin or zinser primer then you will be all set to paint ...priming veneer is very important to your finish

  • Shari Shari on Feb 15, 2015
    Furniture does not have to be all wood to be successfully painted. You have several choices of paint. I prefer interior latex paint (in a satin or semi-gloss finish) for my painted furniture. As the others said, using a good bonding primer is recommended (and I, too, prefer the Zinsser brand) but if you want to distress the furniture, it is more difficult to distress down to the wood since the primer's purpose is to make the paint adhere well. Distressing over latex primer and paint is not impossible but definitely a little more work. Another option is chalk paint or milk paint. They don't require primer and both of those types of paint distress very easily. The downside to chalk or milk paint (in my opinion) is they need to be either waxed or top-coated to protect the finish and give some luster to the very flat, matte finish of the paint. I would urge you not to even consider using paint from a spray can. Besides the expense of buying enough cans to cover large furniture projects, I find it very difficult to get a nice, even finish. On large surfaces, spray paint from a can seems to come out very splotchy and believe me, splotchy is not pretty or professional looking. I also have not been impressed or pleased with the all-in-one primer and paint combos for furniture painting. Using separate primer and paint products has produced the best results for me.

  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Feb 15, 2015
    Hi! All of the suggestions above will work fine for both wood and veneer. Prime first, then paint. But, I am wondering...if you are planning on painting them, replacing all the hardware, filling in grooves and cutting or replacing the feet...that's a lot of money and time invested. Would it be easier and more economical to sell that set on Craigslist and find something more to your liking?

  • Katie Lloyd Mansfield Katie Lloyd Mansfield on Feb 15, 2015
    For that material, I like chalk paint because it dries very quickly and won't cause the veneer to bubble. I painted a little desk that was paper over particle board. CeCe Caldwell chalk paint comes in several whites. Once you've painted several coats, seal the pieces with Varathane.

  • Cherie Cherie on Feb 15, 2015
    Make your own chalk paint, 1 qt paint, 1 c. plaster of paris and 1/4 to 1/2 c water. Mix up any color you'd like, any sheen and paint away!!! You can wax over the top or not. Easy!!! And MUCH cheaper than CeCe Caldwell or Annie Sloan!!!

  • Tammylrichard Tammylrichard on Feb 16, 2015
    Thank you for all your suggestions. I will look for that primer. I guess I won't have to sand it. I may not be able to distress it though. Sue, I doubt I could sell that set & get much for it. Certainly not enough to buy a new furniture. I see people repurpose things & thought I should be able to do it too. My husband is handy with woodworking so he can take that scroll part off for me. Filling in the trim line (not sure what to call it) with some wood fill may work. If I don't like the look of it after & need to cover it up I can paint a decorative line over it.

  • B. Enne B. Enne on Apr 19, 2015
    I painted over laminate kitchen cupboards years ago, with a high-adhesion primer and latex paint from Home Hardware (not their top-of-the-line either...In 12 years I only had a couple of chips that I touched up.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on May 31, 2021

    I would use chalk paint and wax it on it .. no sanding re1quired

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Sep 29, 2021

    chalk paint is your answer