How to paint pine furniture

Updated February 21, 2017

While many DIY enthusiasts choose to slather their pine furniture with stain, others prefer to infuse colour by applying a coat of paint. Unfortunately, many amateurs bypass important preparation steps critical to creating a long-lasting finish. If you plan to paint pine furniture, you need to know both the proper preparation techniques that contribute to durability and the proper application process for overall aesthetics.

Spread out a heavy-duty fabric dust sheet and lay the pine furniture on top.

Use 80 to 120 grit sandpaper to smooth any splintered areas or rough edges. Skip this step if the pine furniture is new or in good condition.

Wipe down the pine furniture with a tack cloth to remove dust. Do not skip this step or you may have problems with adhesion.

Cover hardware or any other areas you do not want painted with painter's masking tape.

Use the largest latex paintbrush to apply primer to larger areas of the pine furniture. Brush from left to right. Use only slight pressure to avoid embedding unattractive brush marks in your final coat. Be especially careful to smooth out any runs or drips as you apply the primer.

Use a smaller latex paintbrush to apply primer to smaller, more detailed areas of the pine furniture. Apply the primer in the same manner as before to avoid creating brush marks in your final coat.

Allow 2 hours for the latex primer to dry.

Use warm water to wash latex primer from the paintbrushes. Use your fingers to work the water deep into the bristles. Shake the paintbrushes vigorously to remove excess water. Dry bristle side up.

Repeat the earlier steps using latex paint instead of latex primer. Add more coats of latex paint if necessary.


Avoid applying thick coats when painting pine furniture as this can lead to drips, runs and brush strokes in the finish. It is far better to apply several thin coats as this generally gives you the most attractive results.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty fabric dust sheet
  • Tack cloth
  • Masking tape
  • 80 to 120 grit sandpaper
  • Wooden stir stick
  • Roller frame
  • 2 cm, 4 cm and 6 cm latex paintbrushes
  • Latex primer
  • Latex paint
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About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.