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How to Paint My Wooden Furniture in High-Gloss White

Updated April 17, 2017

For high-gloss furniture to be reflective, thorough sanding is essential. The furniture must be sanded more than once before it gets a base coat and more than once while base coats are applied. Sanding is the most important part of the painting process and needs to be patiently done for the best results.

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High-gloss furniture shows dust and fingerprints and will require daily cleaning.

  1. Put on old clothes, a mask, goggles and gloves. Cover any objects with newspaper that you want to protect. Have plenty of ventilation; working outside is ideal.

  2. Remove any handles or decorations that you do not want to paint white. Set them aside.

  3. Sand the furniture with medium-grade sandpaper. Sand every part, leaving a smooth finish. Use a paintbrush to brush off dust.

  4. Sand the furniture again, using a fine-grit sandpaper. Brush off the dust with a soft, dry paintbrush.

  5. Shake the can of white spray paint primer or base-coat spray paint for 30 seconds. Spray it directly on the furniture in even strokes either up and down or side to side, using short, controlled bursts. Cover the entire piece of furniture with paint, and allow it to dry completely.

  6. Sand the base coat with medium-grade sand paper. Don't worry if you sand down to the original wood. Sand away all bumps and imperfections.

  7. Reapply the base coat paint, and repeat the process. After the base coat paint is dry, go over it with fine-grade sandpaper. The surface should be very smooth.

  8. Shake the can of white gloss spray paint. Apply it to the entire piece of furniture, spraying in even strokes and going the same direction. Allow it to dry. Check to see if there are any bumps that need to be lightly sanded with fine sandpaper.

  9. Apply two to three more coats of gloss white spray paint to make sure the entire piece is covered. Change the direction you spray with each new coat. Allow each layer of paint to dry completely before continuing with a new coat of paint.

  10. Spray on a glossy clear lacquer finish to give the furniture a final coat of shine. One coat should work, but apply two if you feel it is necessary. Clear topcoat auto acrylic spray is recommended for a mirror-like glossy surface.

  11. Reattach any hardware, handles or decorations on the dried piece of furniture.

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Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Safety goggles
  • Ventilation mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • Old clothes
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • White primer/ base coat spray paint for wood
  • White high-gloss spray paint
  • Acrylic polyurethane spray
  • Screwdriver
  • Soft paintbrush

About the Author

Ellen Dean is a visual artist and painting teacher. She has been teaching and writing articles on art since 2001, and has been a professional artist since 1999, (ChadwickandSpector.com), after studying sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is an NYFA Fellow and was nominated by the Sovereign Art Award/Sotheby's Hong Kong, two years in a row.

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