Painting Pine Furniture

In our main bedroom we have a pine bedroom suite.

It was quite expensive, very well made and fits perfectly and still looks like new.

However like much pine it has darkened over the years and has an orange tint to it.

Painted furniture seems popular and we do like some of it which has got us (me!) thinking whether painting the existing furniture is viable, either diy or having it professionally done.

The Annie Sloan chalk paint looks interesting, no preparation required and you wax it afterwards. It appears that you can do kitchens with it which makes me think that it is durable.

Does anyone have any experience of doing this?. We’re not into a shabby chic look, that feels like an excuse for poor workmanship! We would want a pretty perfect smooth finish.

Yes, I’ve done this before. The key is preparation; you’ll need to rub down every surface in order to get the primer to key nicely. Then lots of dilute coats; first of primer, then fine sand, then more, then thin coats of top coat. I used an eggshell finish which looks great. The better you thin the coats, the smoother and more professional it will look.


You could be talking yourself into another job😉

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Thanks Richard

That sounds like a lot of work given I have 2 wardrobes, 3 very large chest of drawers, 2 bedside cabinets and a trunk to do!

The paint I was looking at (Annie Sloan) doesn’t seem to need the preparation and I’m curious what the end result would look like and how robust it would be. There are people using this paint for a living which gives some confidence and the results in photographs look spectacular.

Maybe I buy some sample pots and an old pine bedside cabinet from a charity shop and do a test run.

Try it out, definitely. However, my experience is that there’s no substitute for preparation and lots of thin coats if best finish is what you want to achieve.

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I’ve looked at the Annie Sloan website and it certainly says that you can just slap it on. My worry would be that if the furniture has been polished with wax or silicone then the paint won’t stick as well as it should. It may be that a good blast with a power sander is all that’s required. As one who had ten doors replaced, which despite being pre-primed took four coats of oil based eggshell to give a finish I was happy with, doing all that furniture with primer and top coat, and all the sanding, is a huge undertaking.

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There are companies that offer a spray painting service for furniture and kitchen cabinets. Probably not the cheapest option but it would save a lot of time and effort and would give the sort of finish you are looking for.

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And no going back!

Quite. I’d get an Annie Sloan sample pot and try a bit on the floor of one of the wardrobes. Do a bit with no prep and an another bit after a good rub down. A 6” square of each will suffice. Let it dry and then scrape it with a fingernail, bash it with a shoe, etc, and see if the rubbing down actually helps with the adhesion.

A friend of ours painted her kitchen doors. It looks nice but a little homespun. You’ll never get the finish achieved by the spray techniques used by the manufacturer. It depends how fussy you are I suppose. It certainly seems a shame to chuck out good solid furniture and replace it with something made of compressed sawdust.

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You can go back.

I made my living in the 1970’s by stripping paint off old pine furniture (put stripper on your cv and you always get an interview!) - just sling it in a bath of hot caustic soda and all the paint will come off leaving a lovely honey colour. Until the next twirl of the fashion merry-go-round…


Thanks, it would certainly make for an entertaining afternoon trying to fit a 3 door wardrobe into the bath!

My daughter bought some Annie Sloan paint, and we tried it on a couple of pieces of furniture. To me, it looks absolutely dreadful, and is suited only to people who are too lazy to do a proper job, and are therefore happy with a ‘shabby chic’, look. Or just shabby, in fact. It has a dull finish with brush marks showing, and I would never use it, although it does seem quite durable.
If you want a better looking finish, there is no substitute for thorough preparation, and good quality paint applied with a good brush.

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Thanks for the insight, just what I needed to know!

I think we’ll probably end up biding our time with the existing furniture until we see exactly what we want. It’s a slightly difficult room as there are some height constraints caused by a sloping ceiling which limits our choice somewhat, we may even go down a part fitted route at some point if necessary.

I would keep it all as it is. Nothing wrong with pine.

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Have a look at a website called which has quite a lot of good info if you’re going to DIY it. They also have a directory of professional painters who specialise in interior woodwork. I can’t vouch for any of them, but maybe a good starting point.

Thanks, yes that does look interesting. We’re still mulling over what to do, keep, paint or replace. I suspect we will still be in the same position in a year’s time!

If you liked the original pine before it darkened, another option would be to re-finish it. Stripping off the old finish and sanding it will remove the darkened top layer, and then you can use wood bleach if you want to lighten it further.
Then if you re-finish it with an oil or varnish that contains a UV filter, there should be little or no darkening in future.


My thoughts as well.

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I’ve used Annie Sloane. Like all these things there is no substitute for proper preparation. Annie Sloane is ok for a shabby chic look (i.e. used to create a distressed finish). The OP’s situation is different and with orange pine it needs to be stripped, sanded and primed before finishing with an eggshell paint finish.

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