Painting old furniture has become a great money-saving trend in the design world. It's much more convenient and thrifty to salvage a piece or breathe new life into one you already own than it is to spend time searching for the perfect new piece that fits your budget. In just a few short steps, you can have a brand new, custom piece of furniture that fits in seamlessly with the rest of your decor.

Step 1
Remove the hardware and clean the piece of furniture well, especially if you rescued it from a junk heap, yard sale, or thrift store. Use damp paper towels or a rag to remove any dust or dirty spots. Pay close attention to corners, where dirt and sawdust can gather.

Step 2
Decide on the perfect paint color and finish. Think about the room this piece of furniture will live in. Sleek, modern decor begs for a shiny, polished piece, while a seaside cottage style might require something matte.

Step 3
If you're working with stained wood, give it a light sanding. Don't sand too hard, or you could damage the wood. If you're painting over laminate, there's no need to sand. In fact, it could damage the surface and make your paint job look messy.

Step 4
Clean it again! Use paper towels or a soft rag to clear away any grit left over from sanding.

Step 5
Prime your surface. Don't skip this step! Priming will help the paint adhere and last and keeps you from having to apply multiple coats of color. If your piece is laminate, a primer that's made for adhesion is absolutely necessary. No ifs, ands, or buts. Use a foam roller to get a thin, even coat.

Step 6
Once the primer is dry, it's time to add some color. Use another foam roller to paint the piece. If there are small crevices, apply paint with an angled brush and then smooth it over with the foam roller. Allow to dry for at least a few hours before you apply a second coat.

Step 7
Give the piece a coat of polycrylic to finish it. This step is optional, of course, but it will help keep the piece durable and looking great. Polycrylic is low-odor and won't yellow over time.

Step 8
Change the hardware. This is optional as well, but a new look deserves new accessories! Choose something modern or browse antique or salvage shops and websites for older options. You can customize them with a quick coat of spray paint.

Painted furniture can change the look of a room completely, giving it the perfect pop of color you didn't know you'd been missing. Of course there are purists who cannot fathom the thought of covering a mid-century mod stereo cabinet or antique hutch, for example, in aqua paint. But listen to your own needs and tastes and do what's best for you. What's your opinion on painting old furniture? Tell us in the comments section below!

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