Painting Pine Furniture

This is a repost from July 2009, but it’s one of the most common questions I get asked:: “where did you get your armoire?”


I recently painted my yard sale purchased, pine armoire.


This is how it looked before. I think about 25% percent of houses in my neighborhood have a piece of furniture that looks like this. I love how warm it was and how it was such a great victim to withstood the abuse of 3 boys.

I’ve wanted to paint this piece since I saw Meredith’s painted armoire {here’s her before}. So, naturally, two weeks before we moved, I grabbed a pillow and an oval box for color inspiration and then all my color wheels and found a color I thought would be a good choice.

My goal was to have a robin’s egg blue but not a bright one like Martha leans toward but a dirty, natural feeling blue. Also, since I was painting over pine that had plenty of knots, I wanted to make sure it was a color that would look ok if and when the knots bleed through the paint. Because bleeding always seem to happen with knots.


I have painted raw pine in the past. I’ve used coats of primer and paint and within weeks, yes, WEEKS the knots start to bleed through. This time, I tried Behr Paint and Primer in One. {And wouldn’t it be nice if I were getting a big fat check from Behr since I’m broadcasting how much I love this product? I am not. Behr has no idea what a Nester is.}

So, it’s been almost 6 weeks now and so far, no bleeding. I will tell you if and when I see any signs of knots coming through. And if and when they do come through, I will be ok with that because I picked a color that will look even better with knots.


Here’s how I, the world’s most horrible, impatient painter, painted my armoire. And it turned out great.

1. Put the furniture on movers {those round things} and put plastic on the ground and move the armoire onto the plastic away from the wall. I did this all by myself thankyouverymuch. I think I even left the TV plugged in.

2. Get your professional paint roller holder thing and line it with your professional liner. Cake pan and aluminum foil.


3. Get your paint. Here’s the formula for what I used if you must have it. I think I would have been happy with any of the 20 colors I choose from. Usually, when people try to pick a robin’s egg they go waaaay too turquoise. You almost want a gray. Then, when you put the color next to gray it should look robin’s egg. {216 is the bottom number under the “B”}

I used Sherwin Williams Halcyon Green 6213. But remember, you really cannot tell what paint colors truly look like by looking at a computer screen. And I adjusted this photo so you could read the words so, if you think you would like it please get a sample first. In real life, the color is more greenish grey than what you see in the photo on my computer. Quietude, the one above also looks fantastic. I like the eggshell finish. I don’t like it really shiny so eggshell is a good choice for me. Why did I do a color match? Because I decided to paint this the same day I painted this. I didn’t have a Behr color wheel and I didn’t want to go to Home Depot, grab colors then come home and decide. Which is how you must do it. Never decide a color in a florescent lighted store. You need to choose it in the room where you will be using the color.

And for the record, the color in our front room is Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray.  It’s a more watery, lighter, gray blue than the deeper more intense blue/green Halcyon Green.


4. Start with a brush and do the corners. Or start with a roller and do the sides. I don’t really have a set way. I did wipe down the piece with a damp cloth first too, I guess I should add a number in for that. But other than knocking off the dust, no prep work.


5. I took the drawers out and left them for later. I also removed the handles with pliers because I didn’t want to mess with painting around them. I picked out some I liked better.

6. Decide where you want the paint to stop. You can paint all of the inside or be lazy like me and just do the doors. I simply painted whatever I could with the roller and let it stop at the edges. No brushing meticulously for me. I only used the brush in the tight corners and around the hinges.


7. I admit I didn’t do the best painting job ever to grace the internet. I painted three coats, I waited a few hours between coat one and two and then overnight before I did the third coat. I think it took me maybe 4 hours total from clean room to clean room.


8. I liked the fact that I had big square hinges to work around. I got a little paint on them but so? I’m not expecting the paint police anytime soon. They are busy arresting people who are too afraid to paint, because we all know that is a much bigger offense. And, yes, I left everything inside while I painted it.

9. Why am I still numbering? Here are some close ups, I won’t bore you with my words…




I love that you can still see the wood when you open it up.

Don’t forget to paint the top. I didn’t paint the back.


Where I decided to stop the paint. There’s no wrong.



I didn’t let the paint dry long enough before I shut the doors so there is a little paint that rubbed off. I could fix it but I probably never will. {One year later~still haven’t}



There you have it. I feel like every time I see this piece it thanks me for taking the time for painting it. It was so quick and simple. My only regret? I should have painted it years ago.

Want to paint your own furniture but want to do a little more professional job?  My friend Mandi from Altar’d furniture wrote an ebook that will tell you all the tricks and tools that she uses in her business {she sells painted furniture}.  For $10 you can get her secrets and step by step real, correct processes to paint something that’s nicer than my yard sale armoire.

click that button to find out more

One year later update:: I’m really surprised that NO KNOTS have shown up through the paint.  It’s like a painted pine miracle.  I still love the color and it’s held up great.  Twice, when I’ve had the paint out for anther project, I’ve put a little paint on my finger and touched up a few tiny places where the paint has rubbed off {mostly caused by me moving furniture}.  I still LOVE the color and the piece painted.

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Comments

  1. I just discovered your site. I love it! I feel like when I read your posts I am listening to myself! I can’t tell you how many things I have painted the “wrong way” – and they look great! Good to meet a fellow rule-breaker :)

  2. You are my heaven sent “answer” !! We bought new furniture for our family room but the armoire which it’s just like yours doesn’t quite match and I have been so afraid to mess up my paint job. I love the you sound like most of us who are too impatient for a project like this and we are not quite sure how it will turn out. You have given me a boost of confidence. I am heading to Home Depot as soon as I finished writting this. I have been wanting to paint this armoire for a long time. Thank you!!

  3. Wow! I just found you by doing a Google search, and you may have saved me from getting rid of an armoire that I have falled out of love with. I think some paint (someone else will have to paint it; I have zero painting skills) will do the trick, and I love your idea of leaving the wood exposed inside! Thank you, thank you! :)

  4. The robins egg blue is a beautiful color, i like how versatile pine furniture can be.
    Thanks for posting the article was a nice insight into somebody elses decorating process, which is always refreshing.

  5. Melissa says:

    This is so awesome! I have a piece like this only it’s not real wood. I’m wondering if I could paint ours. hmmmm…

  6. Thank you so much! I’m takign notes and can’t wait to paint my armoire. I’ve been searching for awhile as to how to paint, and now I am inspired! Great website.

  7. Okay — I’m back at this point…again! You inspired me when I first read it to paint my identical pine beast. Yesterday I finally started priming it. I painted pine bookcases last week with Behr P+P and had to do 4 coats…bunk! So this piece I’m trying a solid coat of Kilz and hoping for only 1-2 coats of regular Behr. My pulls are the same as yours, but there is no way they are coming out?!?!? Literally branded into the wood!

    Love your color choice, my bedroom is HC and my master bath Quietude. 6 years later I still love it. My armoire is going to be Plummage, by MS (in behr paint of course) Fingers Crossed! I’m linking yours when I eventually post mine.

    happy friday, n!

  8. I love it! I gave away this same armoire a couple of years ago. That was before I realized you can paint your furniture. :) I’ve regretted it ever since. And seeing this post, makes me regret it even more! Great job! I love the blue.

  9. This post has inspired me to pain my pine bed frame! Would you mind sharing what type of roller you used? Thank you!

  10. Wow! Where did you find the hardware, especially for the drawers? My TV hutch is almost identical, and I just finished it in an heirloom white (shoulda used your blue…sooo beautiful) and I need to replace the hardware. Those pulls play off the squared hinges so well! Help Nester!

  11. Kristy Mince says:

    Hi, thank you so much for the great post. I know you said there was no prep work, but I just bought a pine bedroom set that is all obviously got a stain on it. Do I need to sand it before painting over it, or can I just paint right over the stain?

  12. Thank you! Makes the task seem so much less daunting. Looks great!

  13. Nester, I stumbled on this post from one of your “you might also like” links. I have to say, this is probably one of my favorite posts! I love the “devil may care” tone, and how you just went for it, TV still inside and everything. I’ve often wondered why my husband is so concerned about a pristine paint finish. To me, the ugly orange color of the oak my house is drowning in is way more distracting than a few errant paint drips or blobs! I’m getting out my brush and wall paint! :)

  14. Love your home and your redo’s…also how did you get your plates to stay on the walls?…..lol

    patti

  15. How many coats did you do? Did you have to sand first? Thanks!

  16. I cannot believe I stumbled upon this. I have the EXACT same hutch, which was a hand-me-down, and I’ve been DYING to paint it for years. I was going to attempt it this summer and you’ve just confirmed my decision now that I can see how much more I like it in a different color with different hardware. Thanks for sharing! Hopefully at some point this summer I’ll be posting a before and after, too!.

  17. Really enjoyed this post.Really thank you! Fantastic.

  18. Hi, your armoire looks great. I was a bit perplexed by the bleeding thru of the dark pine knots issue you discovered, so I looked around for solutions and came across this. Hope it helps someone.

    Treat Knots in the Wood Before Painting

    Knots in any type of Pinewood can absorb too much surface paint overtime and cause the wood to darken in the area where knot is located. Therefore, you should treat any knots in the Radiata Pine Wood before you start painting. Take an old rag and cover the knots with a half linseed oil/turpentine solution, and then wipe it off. Allow the solution to soak in and dry overnight before you start painting. This will help to keep the knot from bleeding through and being too dark once the wood has been painted or stained.

    This tip originates at http://www.doityourself.com/stry/7-tips-for-painting-and-staining-pine-lumber.

  19. carol jane says:

    Have you ever used AS chalk paint on pine furniture? I was thinking of trying it on an old pine curio cabinet I have. Also, did you use a foam roller when you painted the cabinet?

    • Allison Hodgdon says:

      Carol… A little late in the response but chalk paint is amazing. No primer needed and nothing special in terms of a purdy o roller. I have old beat up brushes that I use again and again. Not speedy brushes either. Technique isn’t necessary although I’m into distressing but that is the AS attraction. Hope it came out and you had a good experience.

  20. I am up early, found your painting furniture blogs and am super inspired to paint a pine hutch that I have had for years! I am impatient too, so your painting techniques will work perfectly for me. Can’t wait to try it this weekend. It will be my first time painting furniture.

  21. Miss Bridget says:

    LOL. i love how spazzy you are with your painting techniques ( (that’s totally meant as a compliment!!!) I’m the same way. When I get paint-fever I just have to paint THAT VERY DAY! I get all the time that I’m going to “ruin a beautiful piece of furniture!” with my lack-of-painting skills, but you know what I say? I’d rather have a painted piece of furniture that might not be super pro-but that I ACTUALLY LIKE and don’t cringe at every time I see it in my home. Yay for you and your brave-painting attitude!

  22. Stephanie says:

    Gorgeous!
    Do you think the behr paint in an espresso brown would also cover up a raw pine piece of furniture?

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  24. Anonymous says:

    You Rock! Thanks!

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  26. Tricia Saucier says:

    I am about to embark on painting some pine furniture. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your comment about the paint police….now I am stop worrying about them too and just GO FOR IT!!

  27. What happened to Meredith at “likemerchantships” ? You mentioned her in this article and i remember enjoying that blog.

  28. Shellac, knots, allow first coat completely dry, sand and shellac again, light paint, and again allow ample time to dry! No bleed throurgh!

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  1. […] you will see in my home is Sherwin Williams Halcyon Green.  I bought a can and used it for my armiore, shutters and even this dresser.  Ideally, I’d like my pieces to all be a little different […]

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