How to paint pine furniture. A thrift store and much-used round dining table gets a quick and simple makeover with white paint for a totally updated and modern style look. Follow my steps to see how I did it.
If you have followed me along you know that it can take me years to finish a project. In my head, I can see the finished project, but getting around to actually doing it can take a lot of time. I have lived in this house for a full two years now and I am still working on basic jobs like painting ceilings and doors and making my thrifted furniture match my new decor. By the way, I have written a whole post on how I find the best furniture at the thrift store.
And yet, I live happily in this house that I love more each day. I do see all the unfinished jobs still surrounding me everywhere, but at the same time, I also see how marvelous it will all look once it is all finished. If only I started doing them and actually finish them too.
I don’t know if these things are related, me forever procrastinating and at the same time visualizing how grand it will all look. Maybe I can see and fantasize the finished outcome so vividly that I trick my brain into thinking I have already done it, hence the lessened urge to actually get on with it.
Today’s project is definitely one of those.
I bought the table for a nickel and a dime right after I received the keys to this house. I had to store it in the garage at that time because the major renovations on this fixer-upper had to happen first before any furniture could be moved in. But I had the vision of how this table was going to look already in my head…
Related Reading: How to Paint Mahogany Wood
Related Reading: How to Choose the Best Wood Furniture Finish
When I actually moved into the house, the table got a quick clean, was dragged in, and started to serve. Looking just as it looked when I brought it home. But I had the vision of how this table was going to look already in my head…
It stayed like that for well over a year. But I had the vision of how this table was going to look already in my head…
One day – literally between finishing the sauce and boiling the pasta – I couldn’t take it any longer and I began the first step of the makeover project. After that first step, it looked like that for almost a year. But I had the vision of how this table was going to look already in my head…
Then on another day when I had something urgent to do, like finishing up quarterly taxes, I couldn’t take it any longer and started the next steps to finish this table. It took me a few weeks to work on it here and there. But I had the vision of how this table was going to look already in my head…
And now she looks exactly like my vision!!!!!
I love it when a plan (finally) comes together.
This thrifted pine table had seen better days. It had served a family with four kids for many years as their kitchen and dining table, and all that hard work was showing. The top had been waxed over and over, but there were still water stains, dings, and scratches everywhere. But that was okay. It had good bones and the solid wood still had many years of good use in it. The pine was pine at its best, or worst. Very orangey and with a lot of knots. I decided that paint was the way to go with this baby.
So when I finally got around to start working on her and bringing her back to life these were the steps I took.
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Supplies Used Painting Pine Furniture
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- Deep cleaner for painting preparation (essential step!)
- Paint brushes for single use (when working with stripper there is no use trying to save the brush)
- Paint stripper that is safe for indoor use and has little to no smell.
- Putty knife
- Shellac primer to prevent bleed through of the yellow wood and the knots.
- Quality brush
- Paint rollers for latex paint
- White Paint in satin finish. I used a Dutch brand in their whitest of white color
- Fusion paint in the color Little Lamb
I avoid sanding heavily whenever I can, and since I did this project right in the middle of my living room, avoiding sand dust everywhere was a big plus.
Read all about properly preparing your wood furniture for paint in this dedicated post.
The top had been so heavily waxed and the stain was so badly messed up that I decided to use a stripper to get most of it off and to give me a good surface to paint. I half hoped that the wood would look so awesome once stripped that I would like to keep it bare. But alas. The wood looked more than okay without the varnish, but the knots in the wood became even more dark and hideous. So back to the ‘painting it white’ plan it was.
When I knew I was going to paint it for sure, that meant that I didn’t have to be too strict about the whole stripping it bare business. As long as the top waxy layer was removed I would be good to go. In the Christmas picture above you can see how imperfectly I had stripped the varnish off.
I love these new strippers that don’t smell like a chemical factory. I had to apply several layers of it, but it went on quickly and easily. I used a throw-away cheap brush for this because I knew it would never be suitable for painting again. I waited a couple of hours for the stripper to do its thing. With a putty knife, I scraped most of the sticky stuff off and then I finished with water and a cloth. Rinse and repeat until I was satisfied that the top would hold the paint well.
I didn’t bother with this process on the legs. I am lazy. Sue me 🙂
On to the next step (after several months of procrastination).
From experience, I know that pine can be tricky to paint. Especially when it is bare wood. The yellow tannins in the wood can easily bleed through. The dark knots are also known for bleeding through. So this time I reached for a shellac-based primer right away. The shellac covers everything and prevents bleed-through of any kind. Bonus with this kind of primer is that it is very thin, and therefore glides on very easily and quickly and it hardly smells. Also, you can paint over it within a couple of hours.
So finally time for the real fun part of the project.
Painting the table white. I always use a satin finish on any furniture projects. I opted to use the white paint that I am using all over the house right now. I will be walking around with paint containers and brushes in exactly this white on more than one occasion for quite some time to come. It means I can add a quick extra layer of paint to the top anytime when I think it needs it. Not that I can’t totally live with imperfect paint jobs. I usually give them the used and weathered look on purpose.
I painted the legs and the side parts of the top first. I used my angled quality brush for that. For the top, I used a roller. Working in quadrants and always carefully overlapping the edges. Painting the top was so quick and easy. The paint glided on like a dream over that bare but primed wood.
I put on three layers of paint. This table will get used a lot and I don’t want it to look banged up too quickly.
After the white paint was fully dry, I painted the bottom part of the legs grey. I used the Fusion Paint I had left from my painted pots project. The grey is little lamb from their Tones for Tots line. I tried taping the legs to get a straight line but that was impossible on these round legs. So I ended up free handing the line. I did a great job of that if I say so myself 😉
I love how the table turned out…..
I originally envisioned using this table as a round table all the time, only adding in one or both of the inserts when guests would come to dine. But I now prefer the oval shape and have at least one insert in use at all times. The table is simply bigger and more usable that way.
One more look for the road.
Gosh, I love it, when there is an end to eternal procrastination and a vision comes to life…..
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What are you painting/tweaking/remodeling these days? Are you an eternal procrastinator too or do you immediately start to work on your projects the moment you bring them home?