by Niki

Furniture Painting 101

Step 1) Prepare your project

     Most of the time you don’t have to do a lot of prep before you start painting, but a little prep work can help you get great results every time. I just use a mild detergent in warm water with a rag and wipe it all down to remove any dust and grime. ALL wax, sticky adhesive, pen or jiffy marker stains must be removed with either mineral spirits or by sanding. Paint will not adhere to wax or sticky surfaces and pen or marker will just keep reappearing through the paint. Always clean off any mildew and loose or scaling paint as well. ** When painting kitchen cabinets they must be washed with TSP or Krud Cutter (found in painting section) and rinsed well or wiped down with mineral spirits to remove the grease build up that happens in kitchens.**


     If your piece has doors or hardware you may decide to leave it all on and just paint over it or you can remove it and put it back on after. If you are planning to change it you need to see if the new hardware will fit the holes of the original hardware and if not you will want to fill the original holes prior to painting. To fill holes use wood filler or drywall compound (found at all hardware stores) using a putty knife than allow to dry and sand smooth wiping away all dust after.

     If your piece has a glossy surface or is glass, we recommend sanding it lightly with 120 grit sandpaper or our Country Chic Clear Primer, and letting it dry longer between coats for better adhesion.

     It’s important to keep in mind that certain surfaces, such as oak, mahogany, pine and stained surfaces, may bleed and should be primed with a stain blocking primer first (I use General Finishes white Stain Blocking primer or use Shellac if you want clear), these products can also be used to eliminate odours. I recommend this step on the doors of all oak kitchen cabinets. 


 Step 2) Getting the paint and brushes ready

     Before opening your paint can, turn it upside down and shake it well; the pigments sink to the bottom, so it’s important that you mix them in with the rest of the paint. Open up the can and stir well for about 1-2 minutes. Country Chic Paint click here to order on line.

We recommend using the Country Chic brushes, however, another high quality brush with synthetic bristles would also work to create a smooth finish free of brush strokes. If you wish to achieve an old world finish with lots of brush strokes and texture that the waxes and glazes will grab then using a natural bristle brush can be used.

Step 3) Now you’re ready to paint!

     Dip in your paint brush so that you’re covering half way up the bristles. Apply an even coat of paint to the surface. Make sure you are not being too stingy while avoiding getting drips; I prefer to or three thinner coats as opposed to one thick coat with the exception of glass or shinny surfaces then a thicker coat with a longer drying time is better.

     Allow your first coat to dry for at least 2 hours. For best results, we recommend drying the piece overnight.

Step 4) Applying the second coat

     Once the first coat has properly dried, it’s time to put on a second coat if you need it. This is where the real fun begins.

     If you want to create that time-worn, shabby chic look, then you may want to use a different color as your top coat. Get creative and experiment with different color combinations!

If you’re sticking with just one color, apply the second coat just like you did the first and allow your piece to dry.

     No sanding is needed between coats.

Step 5) Creating the distressed look

     If you do want to distress your piece and create that aged look, then let the second paint coat dry for about 1/2 - 1 hour (or until it’s fully dry to the touch) before you distress it. We recommend you use a wet, lint-free cloth as this is the easiest way to get a beautiful shabby chic look. Just soak your cloth in water and start rubbing the paint off gently. Don’t forget to take away the paint that you rubbed off, as it may be covering up the distressed area. Start gently and experiment with how much pressure to apply. Have fun and play around while you give your piece a truly personal touch!

     You can also distress using fine-grit sandpaper, or even a kitchen scrubby. In the end it is a personal choice, so just try different techniques until you find the one you like best!

     The longer you wait to distress your piece, the trickier it will be as the paint will cure over time. Although our paint has a 30 day total curing time, after a day it is quite hard so we recommend putting the second coat on and distressing within about an hour.

Step 6) Waxing or Glazing - adding that final touch

     Once your project has dried for 24 to 48 hours, I recommend applying a sealant. My favourite is our Natural clear wax followed by one of our colored waxes to really take it up a notch, one of our glazes or metallic creams or if you just want to leave it as is I apply General Finishes High Performance top coat. By sealing your piece, it’ll last longer and have a more professional finish.


     Use a wax brush and apply a coat of the Natural wax to the entire piece first and then wipe access off. Then with a smaller wax brush or stencil brush apply small amounts of the colored wax of your choice just to specific areas and wipe. You MUST apply the NATURAL wax first in order to keep your paint color from getting muddy and to give you better control of the application of colored wax. If you find you have to much colored wax and you can't wipe enough off then add some Natural wax to your rag and rub over top to remove it. When you are done, your piece will feel silky smooth and you will enjoy it for years to come!


     Before you open the jar, give it a good shake for about 1 minute. Then you can open the jar and stir it for another minute to make sure the ingredients are mixed well (glaze only).


      Take your paint brush and apply glaze onto your piece. For this piece. When applying the glaze, be sure to really push it into all the nooks and crannies, and anywhere else wear and tear would naturally occur. Apply it in small sections, as you want to make sure it stays workable so you can remove excess glaze later.

     Immediately after applying your glaze, you’ll take a damp cloth and wipe away as much glaze as you want in order to create the look you’re after.

     If you realize you’ve taken off too much of the glaze, you can simply go over it again with another coat of glaze and wipe it off again to build up your coverage in layers.

Metallic cream

     When applying the Metallic Cream to a large flat surface, we would recommend using a sponge. However, you may also use a lint-free cloth, or a paint brush. Use a thin coat. If needed, you can add a second coat after the first coast has dried.

     Metallic Cream dries very quickly, especially when applied in thin layers. Be sure to work with small sections of your piece at a time so you can remove any unwanted cream immediately before it dries.

     If you want to add more depth to your finish, try adding a second metallic cream color to your piece. On this headboard, Rosanne used Trigger topped with a coat of Silver Bullet to achieve a stunning metallic finish!

     For the second coat, we would recommend using a paint brush to apply the Metallic Cream sparingly. Then use a lint-free rag to smooth out the cream and to leave a wash behind.

    There is no need to seal after glaze or metallic cream has been applied unless you want to add more durability or shine. I recommend sealing with my General Finishes High Performance in Flat or Satin finish.