If a piece of wood furniture has a natural wood finish, can I just paint right over it?

If a piece of wood furniture has a natural wood finish, can I just paint right over it?

Well….Can I?

As crazy as it may sound to some, there are times when someone may want to paint a piece of old furniture to give it an entirely new look.

This may sound odd to people that might consider themselves purists when it comes to their “wood-looking” furniture.

After all, the furniture in question was originally finished this way for a reason, no?

If it were meant to have a painted finish, then it would have had a painted finish.

If it was finished with some type of stain & polyurethane or varnish-type system than it should ALWAYS keep that type of finish associated with it, isn’t that correct?

I am one of these individuals that would be very hard to convince me to paint a piece of natural-finished furniture.

However, if for some reason, someone convinced me to help them paint their natural wood furniture, there is definitely a way that I would recommend doing it…

The most obvious starting point for me would be to make sure the piece of furniture is clean, I recommend cleaning it with mineral spirits first.

Next, I would recommend making sure the existing coating structure is stable and any nicks or peeled areas are sanded/buffed out.


From here, the correct binding primer should be used.

I personally recommend an alcohol-based shellac (‘BIN’ by Zinsser would be my “go-to” product in this situation).




I would then lightly sand the piece and apply (2) coats of a good quality enamel, similar to what one would use if ever painting cabinetry.

There are a number of really good ones on the market.

My preference (at this point in time) is one put out by Benjamin Moore called ‘ADVANCE’.

You would now be able to enjoy your painted piece of furniture.

Although not what I would typically necessarily desire, there is without question people who on occasion love to give natural wood furniture pieces a “painted” makeover.

This can absolutely be done and if done correctly, can actually come out quite nice! – these words emanating from a purist’s keyboard…..



Follow Us on Social Media!

Where is Asbestos Found?

  Asbestos is a natural mineral made up of delicate and flexible fibers that are impervious to heat, electricity, and corrosion. These qualities are what have made asbestos a “go-to” building material prior to society eventually figuring out how harmful it actually was. If your

Read More


Scroll Up