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Painting Dark Furniture White

Painting dark furniture white is one way to get a dramatic transformation and update for a more contemporary look.

There is something about the look of white furniture that I really enjoy! I have learned when painting a dark piece white, that there are certain steps to take to ensure you get a true white finish that lasts.

Clean Thoroughly then Seal the Old Finish

First clean your piece throughly removing all oils and dirt build up. (If you are using a chalk or mineral paint, you won’t need to sand off the old finish just make sure its super clean).

Next I recommend using a stain blocker or primer, to seal in the “old” finish and prevent the wood tannins from coming through your paint later. This is really important to keep your whites “white”.

If you plan to distress your piece use a clear primer, if not you can use a white based primer. There are many good products on the market now just be sure the label says “stain blocker”.

Taking these extra few steps when painting with white will make a big difference in the long run!

After priming , paint with your white paint- sanding between coats with a high grit sandpaper. I use a 280 or higher grit paper. I find with white paint I will do a minimum of two coats for full coverage. When you are finished watch for bleed through of the underlying stain. This can happen even when you have primed. If this happens, go over the area with more primer/stain blocker then paint the affected section again.

When sealing white paint there is a chance of yellowing or more bleed through. For this reason some people prefer to use wax on whites instead of a liquid sealer . If you prefer to use a sealer for durability, look for a non- yellowing product to ensure your whites stay white.