How to paint flowers on wood furniture

A floral pattern adds colour and interest to wood furniture. However, it's difficult to freehand paint over a wooden surface, as the surface tends to soak up paint quickly. Furthermore, wood painting requires some extra attention for lasting durability, as latent wood oils can tarnish fresh paint in just a few months. To get good results, you need to use the right materials and painting tactics.

Wash the wooden surface with trisodium phosphate. Trisodium phosphate cuts through latent oil and sap, and it also removes dirt and grime from older wood furniture.

Apply a flower stencil to your wood furniture. Line up the flower where you want it, then tape it down with painter's tape. Stencils are the best choice for most painters. However, if you're a fairly good artist, freehand a flower directly on the wood furniture.

Tape plastic sheeting over the rest of the furniture surface. It's important to cover the entire piece of furniture, no matter how large it is. Spray paints work best with stencils, and spray paint mist can waft onto other portions of the furniture.

Spray stain-blocking primer onto the stencil. Stain-blocking primer will prevent paint discolouration over time. Primer also helps provide a good base surface for paint, allowing you to cover in fewer coats without the wood soaking up too much paint. If you're painting over a pencil outline, use a paintbrush to apply stain-blocking primer to the pencilled area. Wait for the primer to dry before proceeding.

Spray oil-base paint onto the stencil, or use a paintbrush if you are painting by hand.

Apply a second coat of paint if necessary after the first one dries.

Remove the stencil, tape and sheeting after the paint dries.

Things You'll Need

  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Flower stencil
  • Painter's tape
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Stain-blocking primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Oil-base spray paint
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About the Author

Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.