Everything I have done in my house has pretty much been on a small budget. In my master bedroom, I really wanted to find a very nice piece of practical but beautiful piece of furniture. When I realized that it was all out of my budget, I took to Craig's List and found this beautiful wooden dresser. I scored it for $150. The wood was beautiful so it pained me a little to paint it, but the end result was exactly what I wanted!
I absolutely love the way it turned out.
Thanks mom for teaching me how to paint EVERYTHING!
Step 1: Clean
Unfortunately painting is not as easy as just slapping some paint on. Over time it will chip and peel. So you give it a nice cleaning first. I usually do this with a lightly soaped sponge and water. After make sure you dry it well. During this entire process, all drawers should be removed and done as well.
Step 2: Sand and Tack
Sand your furniture to get it roughed up. You are trying to take off some of the shine so that your paint has a surface to really grab onto. Medium grit sandpaper should be fine. I do use a belt sander for big surfaces like the top of the dresser. You do not need to strip the finish completely or sand it down to bare wood unless you are staining it. And now there are gel stains that are basically like paint! Now, take a slightly damp sponge and wipe down all the surfaces. Then dry it with a dry sponge. Then use a tack cloth to remove all dirt and dust. Oh and since we wanted new hardware on our drawers, we did putty, sand, and tack those holes.
Step 3: Prime (optional)
Most people will kill me for saying that, but I have a brand of paint that works so well, I don't prime before I use it. I used it on my walls without priming and it has held up wonderfully. I even went from darker color to lighter.
Step 4: Sand and Tack (again)
If you do prime, you need to sand again. Very lightly and then tack. You should do this between every layer of paint. It helps it all adhere and give it a nice even feel.
Step 5: Paint
Ah! The main event. For furniture I use semi gloss. On my walls I use flat (unless in the bathroom I use semi gloss) Paint in thin, even coats. This is important. You would rather do more coats than put it on gloppy and uneven. Same basic principle as doing shellac nails! ;-) Oh and between every coat remember to go back to step 4 after you let it dry! I usually wait 12 hours for dry time. I normally paint 2-4 coats.
So bottom line, not a short process, but one well worth it!