Before you paint, sand the surface of the furniture with a fine grit sandpaper to smooth it out and help the paint bond better. If you’re painting over wood that’s previously been stained or painted, scuffing up the surface with a fine grit sandpaper will ensure your paint doesn’t peel off, revealing the old finish.
Seal unfinished wood by using a wood conditioner, often called a sanding sealer. These products work to ensure the raw wood doesn’t have dry patches or areas that absorb too much. Using a sanding sealer keeps you from having to paint the same side over because the paint keeps soaking into the wood. Since paint has larger molecules than wood stain, this isn’t likely to happen. Very dry wood will absorb much less paint if you treat it with a conditioner to seal the wood before you paint. Since they’re not lacquers or enamels, they won’t keep the paint from sticking.
Paint your furniture just the way you want it. Go wild with a pattern, crazy colors or something serene to match the rest of your décor. Latex wall paint works and is inexpensive. For detail work, acrylic craft paint comes in different sized bottles and adheres well to latex paint.
Spray an aerosol sealer lightly over the surface of your painted furniture after the paint has dried. Aerosol sealers are available in several finishes, from matte to high gloss and work well for small projects and highly detailed carved areas. Allow the spray to dry fully between coats. If you don’t want to use an aerosol spray, move on to the next step, for another way to seal hand-painted furniture.
Use a sponge to apply enamel-based sealers. These may have to cure for more than 24 hours, depending on which one you select. Enamels create a hard and durable surface that wipes clean nicely. They are also available in several finishes. If you decide enamel is not for you, you can use lacquer.
Try spray or brush-on lacquer. The key to working with a lacquer is to allow it plenty of time to dry completely. Wet-sand with extremely fine grit sandpaper to remove dust from the surface.
Choose clip art or graphic image specifically for your hand painted furniture graphics piece. Take artwork to a copy center and have it enlarged as desired.
Lay transfer paper on the furniture and secure with painters tape. Next, lay your pattern on top of the transfer paper and secure it also with painters tape. Note that transfer paper is similar to carbon paper, but it doesn’t rub off on your hands. It makes fully erasable black lines and can be used over and over again.
Trace the pattern onto furniture with a dull pencil until the lines are completely transferred. Paint the image with your individual colors. Let paint dry thoroughly. Dull pencil.
Protect your image with three coats of water-based polycrylic. Let the painted surface of your hand painted furniture graphics piece cure for several days before use. Painted Graphic on Chest.