As a great budget-friendly alternative, raw wood furniture is a popular way to get quality furnishings that you can customize with a personal touch and are incredibly versatile.
Getting your unfinished furniture painted or sealed is often a requirement to keep its warranty, protect and extend the life of the furniture, and give it a fresh look at the same time.
This guide offers helpful tips on painting and sealing unfinished furniture to avoid making costly mistakes and achieve a great result on your first try.
1. Paint Or Seal Unfinished Furniture
We highly recommend that you paint or seal all unfinished wood furniture as soon as you get it. Bare wood, when left unfinished, keeps your furniture with a natural wood look but the risk is exposing it to harsh elements, even if it’s indoors, such as light, dust, moisture and water damage, making it more susceptible to stains, warping and cracking. Sealing with natural drying oils like Half & Half will retain the natural aesthetic while protecting the wood.
Painting raw wood furniture provides the protection it needs while giving it a smooth finish and an amazing new look.
2. Get a Flexible Foam Sanding Sponge
If your unfinished furniture does not come sanded, getting the surface to a smooth texture is best. It may be sufficient to sand with 150- to 220-grit sandpaper on an unfinished furniture piece, but consider using sanding sponges instead.
Compared to sandpaper, sanding sponges are more durable and reusable. You can use them on any surface, including flat and contoured ones. All the dust is prevented from clogging abrasive sponges with channels built into their surfaces. Make sure you wear a mask so you don’t inhale any dust.
If you want to avoid the workout, you may want to borrow or purchase an electric sander. With this tool, you can save time and complete a wide variety of woodworking projects with ease.
3. Choose the Right Paint
Painting unfinished furniture can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially since you can select the paint colors that best suit your home.
You may want to consider mixing your own paint to create custom colors. Paint brands such as Real Milk Paint contain no volatile organic compounds (zero VOC), making it one of the safest mixing paints on the market. There are 56 different colors to choose from, ranging from Spearmint for a coastal feel to Soft White for an understated look.
Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through with whatever colors you choose, but make sure the paint you select is safe and long-lasting. If you plan on repainting furniture, getting quality brushes or an electric paint sprayer will make the job easier and give excellent results.
4. Get More Supplies Than You Think You Need
If you’re painting unfinished furniture, make sure you consider the entire piece. After purchasing all the materials, such as sandpaper, tack cloth, brush, stain, primer, and paint, you don’t want to run out and have to return to the paint store to get more.
Some brands of paint recommend applying primer when you paint unfinished wood furniture to improve paint adhesion and durability. When the paint isn’t primed, it peels more easily because it adheres poorly to the furniture underneath. The primer should be brushed in the direction of the grain, and its color should ideally match the paint.
On the other hand, Real Milk Paint does not require a primer when painting raw wood furniture. Its natural formulation means that it adheres best to unfinished surfaces. To avoid the inconvenience, be sure to buy more paint and primer (if needed) than you think you will need since bare wood tends to absorb them.
5. Get a Smooth Surface With Multiple Sandings
You will have to do a lot of sanding, and that’s usually the least favorite task when you decide to paint unfinished furniture. The process may be annoying, but it’s crucial to achieving a smooth finish for your final product.
To get the best look for your furniture, be sure to sand after each coat of paint, including the primer. You should sand evenly and lightly after each coat, using a finer grain of sandpaper with every successive coat.
6. Get A Quality Wax Or Seal
There are several colors of oil finishes The Real Milk Paint Co. offers. They all produce an even color without lap marks or dark spots, yet will remain a matte sheen and retain the texture of the wood.
After finishing, you can leave the surface as is. However, applying the right wax can increase the sheen, create a smooth surface, and make cleaning a breeze. you risk your furniture drying out, cracking, swelling or staining. Keep in mind that waxes periodically need to be reapplied to keep your furniture protected and looking pristine.
For waxes, we recommend using quality carnauba wax, such as the Clear Carnauba Wax by Real Milk Paint, which restores sheen while also protecting wood surfaces. For a soft luster, Clear Soft Wax from Real Milk Paint Co. is another excellent choice.
Carnauba wax, which is called the Queen of Waxes, is a popular finish among woodworkers due to its ease of application and high sheen potential of this finish. Its non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and plant-based properties make it a favorite among many.
7. Patience Is Key
If you want your furniture to look its best, you must take the time to give it the care and love it deserves. Don’t cut corners so you don’t compromise the overall look of your furniture.
Being patient requires waiting for the recommended time between each coat of primer, paint, or sealer to completely dry. You should apply at least a second coat, and sanding each coat is a rough task but extremely rewarding when the final product is as good as it can be.
Hopefully, these tips on how to paint and seal your unfinished furniture, from the first coat to the final finishes, have made your DIY project easier.
For your upcoming woodworking projects, check out the Real Milk Paint online store for great-quality products.