5 Simple Steps to Paint Veneer Furniture Like a Pro

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  • Date: June 3, 2023
  • Time to read: 18 min.

If you’ve been looking to spruce up your home decor, painting veneer furniture is a great way to add a pop of color and style without breaking the bank. Veneer furniture is often more affordable than solid wood, but it can be tricky to paint because it has a thin layer of real wood over a less expensive material. In this article, we’ll go over the steps to properly prepare and paint your veneer furniture to achieve a beautiful and long-lasting finish.

What is veneer furniture and why paint it?

Veneer furniture is a type of furniture made from a thin layer of wood or other materials that is glued onto a core of some type of cheaper wood. The veneer is then sanded and finished to give it a smooth surface that can be painted or stained. Painting veneer furniture is a popular way to give it a new look or update an old piece. It allows you to customize the piece to your liking and add a personal touch to your home decor. Additionally, painting veneer furniture can hide scratches, dents, and other imperfections in the surface, making it look brand new again. However, before painting veneer furniture, it’s important to properly prepare the surface and use the right type of paint to ensure a long-lasting finish.

FINISH DESCRIPTION PROS CONS
Glossy A high shine finish that is smooth to the touch and reflects light Durable, easy to clean, adds depth and dimension to the wood grain Shows scratches and imperfections more easily, can appear too shiny or formal for some decor styles
Semi-gloss A slightly less shiny finish than glossy, but still reflective and smooth Durable, easy to clean, adds a subtle shine without being too formal Shows scratches and imperfections more easily than matte
Matte A non-reflective finish that has a slightly rough texture to the touch Hides scratches and imperfections well, gives a more natural look to the wood grain Not as durable as glossy or semi-gloss, can be difficult to clean
Satin A low sheen finish that is smooth to the touch Durable, easy to clean, adds a subtle shine without being too formal Shows scratches and imperfections more easily than matte
Oil A finish that penetrates the wood grain and enhances its natural beauty Protects the wood from damage, gives a natural look and feel to the furniture Not as durable as other finishes, can darken or yellow over time
Wax A finish that adds a protective layer to the wood without changing its color or sheen Protects the wood from damage, can be buffed to a shine, gives a natural look to the wood grain Not as durable as other finishes, can attract dust and dirt
Distressed A finish that adds intentional marks and wear to the furniture for a vintage or rustic look Adds character and charm to the furniture, hides scratches and imperfections Not suitable for all decor styles, can appear too casual for some spaces
Chalk paint A matte finish that has a slightly chalky texture to the touch Easy to apply, can be distressed for a vintage look, hides imperfections well Not as durable as other finishes, may require a protective top coat
Milk paint A finish made from milk protein, lime, and pigment that creates a matte, slightly textured finish Environmentally friendly, creates a unique, vintage look, can be distressed easily Not as durable as other finishes, can require multiple coats for full coverage
Spray paint A finish that is applied with a spray can for even coverage and a smooth finish Easy to apply, fast drying, comes in a wide range of colors and finishes Not as durable as other finishes, can be difficult to control the spray for even coverage
Metallic A finish that adds a hint of metallic sheen to the furniture Adds interest and dimension to the furniture, can be used as an accent finish Can appear too shiny or formal for some decor styles, can be difficult to apply evenly
Glaze A finish that is applied over an existing finish to add depth and dimension to the wood grain Adds interest and depth to the furniture, can be used to tone down a too-shiny finish Can be difficult to apply evenly, may require multiple coats for full coverage
Stain A finish that adds color to the wood grain while still allowing the natural texture to show through Adds interest and dimension to the furniture, can be used to match other decor elements Can be difficult to apply evenly, may require multiple coats for full coverage
Polyurethane A finish that creates a durable, protective layer over the wood grain Protects the wood from damage, adds a subtle shine to the finish Can be difficult to apply evenly, can appear too formal for some decor styles
Varnish A finish that creates a hard, protective layer over the wood grain Protects the wood from damage, adds a subtle shine to the finish Can be difficult to apply evenly, can appear too formal for some decor styles

Materials needed for painting veneer furniture

Are you ready to give your old veneer furniture a new look? Before you start, it’s important to know the materials you’ll need for the job. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Sandpaper: You’ll need sandpaper to sand down any rough spots on the furniture. Make sure to choose a fine-grit paper for the best results.
  • Primer: A primer is essential to help the paint adhere to the veneer surface. Look for a primer designed specifically for painting veneer furniture.
  • Paint: There are many different types of paint that can be used on veneer furniture, including acrylic, latex, and oil-based paints. Make sure to choose a paint that is designed for use on furniture surfaces.
  • Paintbrushes: You’ll need a selection of paintbrushes in various sizes to apply the paint to the furniture. Look for brushes made from natural materials for the best results.
  • Protective gear: Painting can be messy, so it’s important to wear protective gear like gloves and goggles to keep yourself safe.

With these materials, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your old veneer furniture into a stunning new piece that will be the envy of all your friends and family!

Step-by-step guide to preparing veneer furniture for painting

Are you tired of the dated look of your veneer furniture? Painting veneer furniture can be a great way to give it new life, but it requires some preparation to ensure the best results. Here is a step-by-step guide to preparing veneer furniture for painting:

  1. Clean the furniture thoroughly: Before starting with any painting project, it is always important to clean the furniture thoroughly. Use a mild detergent and water to get rid of any dirt, grime, or grease. Rinse with clean water and allow the furniture to dry completely. This will help the paint adhere properly to the surface of the veneer.
  2. Sand the furniture: Once the furniture is completely dry, use a fine-grit sandpaper to sand the entire surface of the veneer. This will help remove any gloss or shine and create a rough surface that the paint can stick to. Sanding also helps to remove any scratches or nicks on the surface of the furniture.
  3. Apply a primer: After sanding, it is time to apply a primer to the veneer furniture. A primer helps to create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to and also helps to cover any imperfections on the surface of the veneer. Use a high-quality primer that is specifically designed for use on veneer surfaces and allow it to dry completely before painting.
  4. Paint the furniture: When the primer is dry, it is time to apply the paint. Choose a high-quality paint that is designed for use on veneer surfaces and apply it using a brush or a roller. Apply two or three coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. This will help to ensure a smooth and even finish.

By following these simple steps, you can easily prepare your veneer furniture for painting and give it a fresh new look that will last for years to come.

Choosing the right paint for veneer furniture

Choosing the right paint for veneer furniture can be a daunting task. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to select the one that will work best for your furniture. The first thing to consider when choosing a paint for veneer furniture is the type of veneer you are working with. Different types of veneer require different types of paint. If you are working with a laminate veneer, you will need a paint that is specifically designed for laminate surfaces. If you are working with a wood veneer, you will need a paint that is suitable for wood surfaces. It is important to choose a paint that will adhere well to the veneer surface, and not peel or chip easily. Another factor to consider is the color and finish of the paint. You will want to choose a color and finish that complements the overall style of your furniture. Glossy finishes are great for a modern or contemporary look, while matte finishes are ideal for a more rustic or vintage look. It is also important to consider the durability of the paint. If your furniture will be exposed to a lot of wear and tear, you will want to choose a paint that is durable and resistant to scratches and stains. With these factors in mind, you can choose a paint that will enhance the beauty and durability of your veneer furniture.

PAINT TYPE DURABILITY DRYING TIME APPLICATION
Oil-based paint High 24-48 hours Brush, roller or spray gun
Latex paint Medium 1-2 hours Brush or roller
Chalk paint Low 30 minutes-1 hour Brush or roller
Milk paint Medium 30 minutes-1 hour Brush or spray gun
Spray paint Medium 30 minutes-1 hour Spray can
Polyurethane paint High 4-6 hours Brush or spray gun
Epoxy paint High 24-48 hours Brush or roller
Acrylic paint Medium 30 minutes-1 hour Brush, roller or spray gun
Enamel paint High 4-6 hours Brush or roller
Gel stain Low 24-48 hours Brush or rag
Acetone dye Low 30 minutes-1 hour Brush or rag
Polyester resin High 24-48 hours Brush or roller
Nitrocellulose lacquer Medium 30 minutes-1 hour Spray gun
Shellac Low 30 minutes-1 hour Brush or spray gun
Water-based polyurethane Medium 4-6 hours Brush or roller

Tips for painting veneer furniture without streaks

Are you tired of seeing streaks on your painted veneer furniture? Worry no more! We’ve got some tips for you that will help you paint your furniture like a pro.

First, make sure to clean the surface thoroughly before painting to remove any dirt or debris.

Next, use a high-quality primer to ensure a smooth finish.

It’s also important to choose the right paints, as not all paints are created equal. Opt for a paint that is specifically designed for use on veneer surfaces.

When painting, use long, even strokes to avoid streaking. Additionally, be sure to apply multiple thin coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. This will help you achieve a flawless finish.

Lastly, allow the paint to dry completely before using the furniture. Following these tips will help you achieve a streak-free, professional-looking paint job on your veneer furniture!

TYPE OF PAINT APPLICATION METHOD RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDED THINNERS
Latex Paint Spraying HVLP sprayer Water
Oil-based Paint Brushing Natural bristle brush Mineral spirits
Chalk Paint Rolling Foam roller Water
Milk Paint Brushing Natural bristle brush Water
Spray Paint Spraying Aerosol can or HVLP sprayer N/A
Acrylic Paint Spraying HVLP sprayer Water
Enamel Paint Spraying or Brushing HVLP sprayer or Natural bristle brush Mineral spirits
Urethane Paint Spraying HVLP sprayer Urethane reducer
Epoxy Paint Spraying HVLP sprayer Epoxy reducer
Metallic Paint Rolling or Brushing Foam roller or Natural bristle brush N/A
Gloss Paint Spraying or Brushing HVLP sprayer or Natural bristle brush Mineral spirits
Satin Paint Spraying or Brushing HVLP sprayer or Natural bristle brush Mineral spirits
Matte Paint Rolling or Brushing Foam roller or Natural bristle brush N/A
Primer Spraying or Brushing HVLP sprayer or Natural bristle brush Mineral spirits
Stain Brushing Natural bristle brush N/A

How to properly apply primer to veneer furniture

Before applying primer to your veneer furniture, it is important to properly prepare the surface. Start by cleaning the furniture with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris. Once the surface is clean, you can begin applying the primer. When selecting a primer, make sure to choose one that is specifically designed for use on veneer surfaces. This will ensure that the primer adheres properly and provides the best possible base for your paint.

Begin applying the primer in thin, even coats using a foam roller or a paintbrush. Avoid applying too much primer at once as this can result in drips and uneven coverage. It is better to apply multiple thin coats, allowing each layer to dry completely before applying the next. This will help to ensure that the primer is fully absorbed into the veneer surface and provides a smooth, even base for your paint.

Once you have finished applying the primer, allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step. Depending on the type of primer you are using, this may take anywhere from a few hours to overnight. Once the primer is fully dry, you can begin applying your paint. With a properly applied primer, you can be confident that your paint will adhere properly and provide a beautiful finish that will last for years to come.

STEP MATERIALS NEEDED PREPARATION STEPS APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun Sand the veneer surface, Wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris Apply primer with a paintbrush or spray gun in thin, even coats. Allow the primer to dry according to manufacturer instructions.
Step 2 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun Sand the veneer surface, Wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris Apply a second coat of primer in thin, even coats. Allow the primer to dry according to manufacturer instructions.
Step 3 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun Sand the veneer surface, Wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris Inspect the primed surface for any imperfections. Sand out imperfections if needed. Apply additional coats of primer as needed, allowing each coat to dry according to manufacturer instructions.
Step 4 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun Sand the veneer surface, Wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris Once the surface is properly primed, it is ready to be painted. Follow manufacturer instructions for painting over primer.
Step 5 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun Sand the veneer surface, Wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris Inspect the painted surface for any imperfections. Sand out imperfections if needed. Apply additional coats of paint as needed, allowing each coat to dry according to manufacturer instructions.
Step 6 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun Sand the veneer surface, Wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris Once the final coat of paint is dry, inspect the surface for any imperfections. Touch up as needed.
Step 7 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun Sand the veneer surface, Wipe the surface with a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris Allow the surface to cure completely according to manufacturer instructions before using.
Step 8 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun
Step 9 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun
Step 10 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun
Step 11 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun
Step 12 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun
Step 13 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun
Step 14 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun
Step 15 Sandpaper, Tack cloth, Primer, Paintbrush or spray gun

Techniques for achieving a smooth and even paint job on veneer furniture

Achieving a smooth and even paint job on veneer furniture can be a tricky endeavor, but fear not, there are techniques that can help you achieve a flawless finish. First and foremost, preparation is key. Ensure that the surface of the veneer is clean, free from any dirt, dust or grime. Sanding the surface lightly with a fine-grit sandpaper can also help the paint adhere better to the surface.

Another technique that can help achieve a smooth finish is to use a primer. This not only helps the paint adhere better, but also helps to seal the surface and prevent any bleeding through of stains or discoloration.

When it comes to applying the paint, it’s best to use a high-quality brush or spray gun. Take care to apply the paint in thin, even coats, and avoid overloading the brush or spraying too heavily, as this can lead to drips and uneven application.

Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next, and be sure to sand lightly between coats to ensure a smooth finish. Finally, once the paint has dried completely, consider applying a clear coat or sealer to protect the finish and give the furniture a polished look.

Common mistakes to avoid when painting veneer furniture

Mistakes are common when painting veneer furniture, but some can be avoided with careful preparation and attention to detail. One common mistake is not properly cleaning the surface before painting. Dust, dirt, and grime can prevent the paint from adhering properly, leading to a patchy or uneven finish. Another mistake is using the wrong type of paint. Veneer surfaces are smooth and slick, so it is important to use a paint that is formulated for this type of surface. Using the wrong type of paint can lead to cracking, peeling, and other problems. It is also important to let each coat of paint dry completely before applying the next one. Rushing the process can result in a lumpy or uneven finish. Finally, it is important to use a high-quality paintbrush or roller. Cheaper brushes can shed bristles or leave streaks, ruining the look of the finished piece. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a beautiful and long-lasting finish for your veneer furniture.

How to properly seal and protect your newly painted veneer furniture

Achieving a flawless finish on your newly painted veneer furniture is only half the battle. To ensure that your hard work lasts as long as possible, you need to properly seal and protect the surface. The process can be a bit daunting, but fear not, as we have got you covered with some tips and tricks to help you get the job done right. Start by selecting a high-quality sealant that is specifically formulated for use on painted surfaces. Apply a thin and even layer using a brush or roller, taking care not to leave any streaks or bubbles. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying a second coat. Once the second coat is dry, use a fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface, creating a smooth and even finish. Lastly, apply a protective topcoat to provide an extra layer of durability and longevity. With these steps, you can rest assured that your newly painted veneer furniture will look great and stay protected for years to come.

SEALANT/PROTECTANT FEATURES RECOMMENDED APPLICATION METHOD DRYING TIME
Polyurethane Durable, water-resistant, protects against scratches and stains Brush, roller, or sprayer 24 hours
Wax Natural finish, water-resistant, easy to apply and maintain Cloth or brush 30 minutes
Shellac Fast drying, enhances wood grain, protects against water and mildew Brush or pad 30 minutes
Lacquer Durable, water-resistant, dries quickly Sprayer 30 minutes
Oil Penetrates wood for added protection, enhances natural grain Cloth or brush 24 hours
Varnish Durable, water-resistant, protects against scratches and stains Brush, roller, or sprayer 24 hours
Epoxy Extremely durable, water-resistant, protects against scratches and stains Brush, roller, or sprayer 24 hours
Acrylic Water-resistant, dries clear, easy to apply Brush 1 hour
Silicone Water-resistant, flexible, protects against mildew Caulk gun 24 hours
Acetone Dries quickly, enhances wood grain, protects against water and mildew Brush or pad 30 minutes
Tung oil Penetrates wood for added protection, enhances natural grain Cloth or brush 24 hours
Linseed oil Penetrates wood for added protection, enhances natural grain Cloth or brush 24 hours
Beeswax Natural finish, water-resistant, easy to apply and maintain Cloth or brush 30 minutes
Mineral oil Penetrates wood for added protection, enhances natural grain Cloth or brush 24 hours
Polycrylic Durable, water-resistant, dries clear Brush, roller, or sprayer 2 hours

Creative ideas for upcycling old veneer furniture with paint

Are you tired of looking at your old, dull veneer furniture? Fear not, for with a little bit of creativity and a lot of paint, you can upcycle these pieces into unique works of art! One idea is to paint each drawer in a different color, creating a fun and playful look. Or, try using stencils to add intricate patterns and designs to the surface of the furniture. You could even try painting the furniture in an ombre effect, fading from one color to the next. With so many possibilities, the only limit is your imagination! So grab a paintbrush and get to work transforming your old veneer furniture into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

FINISH DESCRIPTION PROS CONS
Glossy A high shine finish that is smooth to the touch and reflects light Durable, easy to clean, adds depth and dimension to the wood grain Shows scratches and imperfections more easily, can appear too shiny or formal for some decor styles
Semi-gloss A slightly less shiny finish than glossy, but still reflective and smooth Durable, easy to clean, adds a subtle shine without being too formal Shows scratches and imperfections more easily than matte
Matte A non-reflective finish that has a slightly rough texture to the touch Hides scratches and imperfections well, gives a more natural look to the wood grain Not as durable as glossy or semi-gloss, can be difficult to clean
Satin A low sheen finish that is smooth to the touch Durable, easy to clean, adds a subtle shine without being too formal Shows scratches and imperfections more easily than matte
Oil A finish that penetrates the wood grain and enhances its natural beauty Protects the wood from damage, gives a natural look and feel to the furniture Not as durable as other finishes, can darken or yellow over time
Wax A finish that adds a protective layer to the wood without changing its color or sheen Protects the wood from damage, can be buffed to a shine, gives a natural look to the wood grain Not as durable as other finishes, can attract dust and dirt
Distressed A finish that adds intentional marks and wear to the furniture for a vintage or rustic look Adds character and charm to the furniture, hides scratches and imperfections Not suitable for all decor styles, can appear too casual for some spaces
Chalk paint A matte finish that has a slightly chalky texture to the touch Easy to apply, can be distressed for a vintage look, hides imperfections well Not as durable as other finishes, may require a protective top coat
Milk paint A finish made from milk protein, lime, and pigment that creates a matte, slightly textured finish Environmentally friendly, creates a unique, vintage look, can be distressed easily Not as durable as other finishes, can require multiple coats for full coverage
Spray paint A finish that is applied with a spray can for even coverage and a smooth finish Easy to apply, fast drying, comes in a wide range of colors and finishes Not as durable as other finishes, can be difficult to control the spray for even coverage
Metallic A finish that adds a hint of metallic sheen to the furniture Adds interest and dimension to the furniture, can be used as an accent finish Can appear too shiny or formal for some decor styles, can be difficult to apply evenly
Glaze A finish that is applied over an existing finish to add depth and dimension to the wood grain Adds interest and depth to the furniture, can be used to tone down a too-shiny finish Can be difficult to apply evenly, may require multiple coats for full coverage
Stain A finish that adds color to the wood grain while still allowing the natural texture to show through Adds interest and dimension to the furniture, can be used to match other decor elements Can be difficult to apply evenly, may require multiple coats for full coverage
Polyurethane A finish that creates a durable, protective layer over the wood grain Protects the wood from damage, adds a subtle shine to the finish Can be difficult to apply evenly, can appear too formal for some decor styles
Varnish A finish that creates a hard, protective layer over the wood grain Protects the wood from damage, adds a subtle shine to the finish Can be difficult to apply evenly, can appear too formal for some decor styles

What is veneer furniture?

Veneer furniture is made from a thin layer of high-quality wood that is glued onto a base of cheaper wood or particleboard. This gives the furniture the appearance of being made entirely of the expensive wood, while still being affordable.

Can veneer furniture be painted?

Yes, veneer furniture can be painted, but it requires some special preparation to ensure that the paint adheres properly.

What steps should I take to prepare veneer furniture for painting?

The first step is to clean the surface thoroughly with a mild detergent and warm water. Next, sand the surface lightly to create a rough texture that will help the paint adhere. Finally, apply a coat of primer to the surface to create a smooth and even base for the paint.

What type of paint should I use on veneer furniture?

You can use either oil-based or water-based paint on veneer furniture, but it's important to choose a high-quality paint that will adhere well to the surface. Satin or semi-gloss finishes tend to work best for veneer furniture.

Do I need to seal the painted veneer furniture?

It's not strictly necessary to seal painted veneer furniture, but doing so can help to protect the surface and ensure that the paint lasts for a long time. You can use a clear polyurethane sealer to create a durable and waterproof finish.

In conclusion, painting veneer furniture is an easy and inexpensive way to give old or outdated pieces a fresh new look. With the right materials and a little bit of patience, you can transform any piece of furniture into a stunning statement piece. Remember to always properly prepare the surface before painting, use high-quality paint and brushes, and allow ample time for each coat to dry. With these tips in mind, you can confidently tackle any veneer painting project and achieve beautiful results that will last for years to come.

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