How to Paint Furniture Black or Brown

Written by julie hampton
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How to Paint Furniture Black or Brown
Paint furniture various shades of brown for a neutral look. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Altering a piece of old furniture may be as simple as adding a new colour of paint. Still, painting furniture brown or black takes several steps, and patience is required. Visit your local paint store to choose the correct shade of black or brown. Although these colours may seem basic, they actually have many variations. Don't forget to switch hardware, such as doorknobs, pulls and hinges, when transforming your furniture.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Cotton swabs
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Towels
  • Medium-grit sanding block
  • Tinted primer
  • Paint tray
  • Mini foam roller
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Latex paint

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  1. 1

    Take off all doors and remove all drawers. Unscrew all hardware. Scrub down the furniture with a soft-bristle brush to remove dirt. Use toothpicks and cotton swabs to clean out dirt build-up in corners and hard-to-reach areas. Use all-purpose cleaner for stubborn stains. Pat the furniture dry with a towel.

  2. 2

    Sand the entire piece of furniture to prepare the surface for a bonding primer, using a medium-grit sanding block. The primer will adhere better if the surface has some grit. Rub the sanding block along the grain of the wood. Wipe down the furniture with a damp towel to remove all sanding dust.

  3. 3

    Pour a tinted primer into a paint tray. The primer should be tinted as close as possible to your final topcoat colour. Ask your paint store representative for assistance with tinting the primer. Roll the primer onto the furniture's surface with a mini foam roller. Apply the primer in the direction of the wood grain. Even, smooth strokes are required. More than one coat of primer may be necessary if the paint is quickly absorbed. Allow the primer to dry for about four to six hours.

  4. 4

    Sand the primed surface with a very fine piece of sandpaper. Wipe away all primer dust with a damp rag.

  5. 5

    Pour the final latex paint colour into the paint tray. Using the mini foam roller, begin to roll the paint onto the furniture's surface. Be aware that more than one coat of black or brown paint may be required. Allow the paint to dry for four to six hours between coats.

  6. 6

    Reinstall the drawers, doors and any hardware. Do not clean or wash the newly painted surface for 30 days while the paint bonds to the surface.

Tips and warnings

  • If you would like to change the hardware, choose hardware that fits the holes and hinges already existing in the furniture. Otherwise, fill the holes with wood putty and allow it to dry. Sand the wood putty and remove the sanding dust. Add additional wood putty and repeat the process until the area is completely filled in. Drill new holes for new hardware.
  • Choose satin or eggshell paint for extra durability and to make cleaning furniture easier.
  • Wear a mask when sanding wood to avoid inhaling small particles.
  • Always open all the windows and allow for adequate airflow when painting.

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