Painting Stained Furniture

Last time, I showed you the Before and After of the my Jade Green End table.  This post has all the details, in case you want to find something in your home and give it a makeover.

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I painted this end table inside, as you can see from the pictures.  I chose to paint it inside because I waited a day in between most steps.  Yes, I could have painted it outside or in the garage with oil-based paint, but with the unpredictable weather and bugs landing in the paint…no thanks.  This process took 10 days, but each day was a short time commitment.

Most of the materials I used I purchased at Home Depot or Lowes, but any exceptions include links.

This table is from Nadeau in Rice Village.  I picked it up there about a year ago.  Their furniture is priced very reasonable, and the inventory is always changing.

Day 1:  1 hour

I used TSP (directions on the side of the bag) to clean the wood. TSP helps get rid of any grease and dirt, as well as build up of furniture polish.


Next, I used wood filler to fill all the gouges and scrapes that were all over the table.  This wood filler comes in different stain colors in case you are repairing a piece of furniture.


Day 2:  20 minutes

The next day, I pulled out the most amazical (my word…coined a few years back and still waiting for it to take hold) primer.  Why amazical?  Well, my friends, this primer keeps you from having to strip and sand the stain BEFORE you paint!  It is also “odorless” which is key to using it indoors, and it is ready to recoat or topcoat in 1 hour!  I used a throw-away foam brush to apply the primer.  IMG_0364

I could have waited an hour then moved onto the next step, but most of the time I was completing each step in the evenings when I had a few minutes to spare.

Day 3:  45 minutes + 1 hour of wait time

With the primer dry, I brought the table outside on the balcony and used a block sander to smooth out any rough edges.  Since my paint was a high gloss, it would show every imperfection.


As you can see from the pictures, I had to sand off most of the primer on some parts to get a smooth surface.  This led to those areas requiring a fresh coat of primer.  You might want to skip this step, but remember that the primer is what keeps the stain from coming through the paint.  How do I know this?  Pre-blog disaster experiment epic fail.

During this process, I noticed one of the legs was missing part of it’s foot?  It looked like someone or something gnawed on it.


After waiting an hour, I pulled the table back inside and put on the first coat of Benjamin Moore Advance Jade Green!  I used a foam roller to apply this paint.  Many bloggers swear by these foam rollers when painting furniture as they eliminate brush marks, and I concur.  Just make sure your coats are thin!

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Day 4 and Day 5:  10 minutes/day

Here is what to expect after one coat of paint.


You can see the stain peeking through, but after three thin coats the primer did its job.

Benjamin Moore Advance recommends a 16 hour dry time between coats.  Spray paint has a much shorter dry time between coats, but that requires you to paint outside.  Not to mention, your colors are limited.

Day 6:  30 minutes

In order to address the damaged foot and give the top of the table a bit of character, I added the border using some Rub’nBuff and green painter’s tape.


Rub’nBuff comes in many different colors.  Texas Art Supply has a great selection, for which I have a a handful of different colors.  You can also find this stuff online at   After I taped the border, I used this to decide which gold to use.


Once I chose the European Gold, I applied it to the top.  Rub’nBuff comes in a small tube and a little bit goes a long way.  It is the consistency of peanut butter without the stickiness.  I use my finger to apply it, and warm soap and water will remove it from your fingers.  I also addressed the feet!


After I did the feet, I returned to the top and peeled off the tape.  I try to remove tape when the paint is almost dry.  I always hold my breath when I peel off painter’s tape, do you?


Day 7, 8 & 9:  10 minutes/day

The last three days were the most difficult, because the table looked like it was complete.  The final step of adding the clear coat and letting it really cure before using the table is the key to the longevity.  I swear by this water-based clear coat that I purchased at Rockler here in Houston.  It’s low-odor which means I can use it inside.


We’ve been using the table for a few weeks now, and it has held up great!  Yes, it was a 10-day process, but for the most part, the time commitment each day is minimal and can be done while watching TV in the evening.


I can’t wait for all the pillows to arrive so I can see my vision come together of moving to a more colorful living space.  I’ll be sure to share when they come.  Plus, other projects are wrapping up and I’ll post about them soon.



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