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Painting techniques: 5 mistakes to avoid when painting wood

Read on for easy painting techniques which will help you avoid common mistakes when painting wood.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

living room with wood furniture

Want to renovate your kitchen cabinets or add some colour to your window frames? Wood can look easy to paint but there are some tricks you should know before reaching for the paint tin. To avoid peeling paint or sticky, uneven surfaces, we’ll share some of the most common mistakes when painting wood furnitureso you can easily avoid them!

Make sure that you keep the area you’re painting in covered up and use good quality products such as Dove  to clean and wash your hands afterward

How to paint wood furniture: 6 simple mistakes you can avoid

Even the best of us need painting tipsevery now and again. Here we’ll show you how to paint woodwhile avoiding 6 of the most common mistakes.

  1. One of the most common mistakes people make is not knowing what paint to use on wood, and so they end up using the wrong type! Here are a few paints we recommend using:

    • Oil-based paint: a durable paint, ideal for furniture. It’s not always easy to use though, so won’t be the best choice for beginners.

    •  Latex paint: is easier to use than oil-based paints but doesn’t last as long, so be prepared to refinish your wood. It’s great for frames – which won’t need too much work in the future as they’re hung and seldom touched. 

    •  Chalk paint: doesn’t need you to remove previous finishes or sand wood down to use it! You will, however, need a top coat. It’s perfect for adding a splash of colour to items for your children.

  2.  Another common mistake people make when painting wood is to try to layer it on. You should always prepare your wood for painting first. This includes:

    •  Removing old finishes, varnish or paint.

    • Using wood putty to fill any deep scratches or holes that can happen over time.

    • Sanding the surface.

    • Cleaning the surface down to remove any debris.

    • Taping any areas that you don’t want to paint.

    • Adding a primer ready to paint.

  3. A third mistake you may make, is to use a cheap paintbrush. The problem with this is you won’t get a good quality finish! Wood is a beautiful material, and you want to make the most of its grain. Make sure you use high-quality brushes to get the best results.

  4. With painting techniques come more common mistakes. Firstly, you may think you don’t want to overload your paint brush but the opposite is true! Fully load up your paint brush with as much paint as it can bear without dripping all over you and the surrounding area. This will ensure you get good coverage on your wood.

  5. Work from the top down. A mistake some people make is to start painting from the corner to which they are nearest. 

    • Ensure you always start at the top and work your way down.

    • Work in the direction of the grain to reduce visible brush strokes.

    • Keep a clean brush nearby – run the tips through the paint to reduce brush stroke visibility even more!

  6. The final mistake people often make is to add a new layer of paint or topcoat too soon. Ensure that the first layer of paint is fully dry before trying to add a second coat or top coat. This will give you a better overall finish!

Now you have some easy wood painting techniquesas well as top tips for avoiding common painting mistakes. With this guide you can give your home, furniture and décor a new lease of life with a few simple licks of paint. And if it’s just a clean that your wooden furniture and surfaces need, then try our article on floor cleaning– covering everything from terracotta to wood.

Originally published