Everyone has some version of this story: you received an old piece of furniture as a hand-me-down or you found a really good deal at a thrift store or a garage sale. Either way, you end up with furniture that has maybe seen some better days. Is it possible to give it new life? Is it possible to turn an old wardrobe you found on the curb into something beautiful once more? Whether it’s a headboard, an end table, or a buffet, I promise that you can transform old furniture into functional art for your home! All you need is some good paint, a little water, a trusty brush, and your own two hands! In this tutorial, I’ll teach you how to paint furniture without brush strokes for a timeless, artistic finish.
How to Paint Furniture Without Brush Strokes
The key to painting furniture without brush strokes is to use a high quality paint and a little bit of water. Here is what I use:
Furniture Painting Supply List
- DIY Paint & Wax
- Watergirl Continuous Spray Bottle
- Paint Pixie VIP Brush
- My hands!
I’ve been an artist for thirteen years now, but it wasn’t until I started using DIY Paint that I really fell in love with finger painting. Because DIY Paint is made from clay using only nine ingredients, I feel safe using it with my hands indoors because I know that there are no harmful chemicals that might impact me or my family. DIY Paint has five times the pigments of any other paint I’ve used, so I know that I can get incredible coverage and beautiful results without having to go through gallons.
I started by sanding the piece down with 80 grit sandpaper, moving on to 120 grit and then finished with a 220 grit. With DIY paint, I don’t actually need to sand the piece but I did it anyway. The piece had a lacquer finish that I didn’t love and I really wanted to give the paint something to adhere to so that I could add lots of layers and color.
The Trick to Painting Furniture Without Brush Strokes
In order to paint furniture without a lot of brush strokes, I first spray the wood with a bit of water. This is done with the continuous spray bottle, which is perfect because it gives large, even coverage with a very fine mist of water. Next, I dip my large brush into the paint I’ve chosen for the base coat and make sure to really load the brush with paint. The little bit of water on the furniture allows the paint to really glide over the wood. The paint is made with porous clay, which soaks up the water and allows for that smooth, even finish. The paint dries quickly but is easily reactivated with water if necessary! That means you can take a break and come back to a piece without it looking streaky.
Once the base coat is finished, you can seal your piece and call it good! But, if you’re like me and you like a little something extra on your furniture, keep following my tutorial to learn how to finger paint tulips on your furniture. I first fell in love with finger painting five years ago on a livestream I hosted with a friend of mine. For the first time ever, I finger painted some bright florals over a dark background and the canvas sold before the livestream had even ended! That tiny bit of validation ignited a spark in me, and I’ve been finger painting ever since.
How to Finger Paint on Furniture (Without Brush Strokes!)
For this piece, I took my inspiration from a painting that I did of some bright tulips and decided to create a garden of tulips across the buffet. After I painted the base coat, I took the piece outside and used some spray paint to give a super light mist of bright green to add some depth. One of the things I loved about my inspiration painting was the beautiful wash of color in the background. To achieve that color wash, I watered down some Water Lily Paint and applied it so that it could drip. I took the spray bottle to water it down further and encourage some more drips of paint, which add interest and texture.
After adding the color wash, I dipped my fingers into some gold paint and began applying it to the front of the buffet. Using water and my fingertips, I diffused the edges of the gold paint so that it blurred and dripped to create a sort of glowing, halo effect.
Then I dipped my fingers into Kissing Booth, a rich pink color, and applied it with both hands by pressing and tapping the paint onto the buffet, instead of spreading, in order to create the shape I wanted for the tulip blossoms. I love the airy, impressionist style that this method gives to the flowers. I built up from the darkest color to the lightest, adding layers upon layers. Whenever I felt like there were too many edges, lines, or marks I simply sprayed a fine mist of water and POOF! Those “brush” strokes would disappear as the pigments gently blended together.
Once I finished painting the flowers, it was time to add some lowlights and highlights. I used a product called “Dark & Decrepit,” which is a liquid patina from DIY Paint. It’s similar to a stain that can be used to antique a piece, but I chose to water it down and use a sponge brush to apply it to the areas on the piece that I wanted to look a little darker, like where a shadow should be! This adds more depth and interest to the piece.
To finish the piece, I added some Golden Ticket to the hardware! I used a very light touch when adding these golden highlights, only hitting the high points, because I wanted some of the dark metal to remain underneath for added depth. I also added some watered down Dark & Decrepit to the top of the piece to seal it and give it a nice finish. Finally, I added a clear wax from DIY Paint and allowed it to cure for 24 hours before buffing it!
Is this process of spraying water and building layers a bit messy? YEP! But it’s what pushes a piece from “painted” to “art.” More importantly, it allows you to paint furniture without brush strokes for an elevated, elegant finish that will be cherished for generations to come.
I painted this piece as a special project for the MadeTV Network! As a contributing maker, I feel so lucky to be a part of a network dedicated to putting makers and creators in the spotlight. If you want to see this entire tutorial (and SO MANY MORE!!!) make sure to subscribe to MadeTV now. New members have access to a limited time offer for a lifetime membership.