I made this Step-by-Step Guide to show you how to flip a piece of furniture from start to finish. Plus, I’ve posted a link to my Video Tutorial at the end of this blog, where I’ll walk you through each phase of repairing, priming, painting, and staining a piece of furniture.

You will see bold colored text in the product list, those are links to each product so that you can locate the products easily if you are wanting to purchase them. I do get a thank you credit for purchases made through those text links, but it doesn’t cost you anymore…. it just helps with providing you with free tutorials. Your support is greatly appreciated. I’ve posted at the bottom of the page, and save it as a handy reference for repairing, priming, painting, and staining a piece of furniture.

I’m going to walk you through:

  • How To Fix Broken Veneer
  • How to Paint & Prime a Piece of Furniture
  • The Basics of Painting Furniture
  • How to Get Best Results when you have Hinges & Hardware
  • How to Use Slick Stick
  • How to Tint Slick Stick
  • How to Stain the Top of Furniture

To demonstrate, I’m using this Vintage 1960’s Drexel Credenza that my customer wants updated.

First, we need to fix issues with the veneer. There was a small chip in the veneer, so I made sure to pull away any loose pieces. Otherwise, it could loosen up after it’s painted.

To fill in the missing veneer, I used Dixie Belle Mud in Brown with a flat tip spatula. Dixie Belle Mud is great for doing raised stencils, besides filling in hardware holes, chips and missing veneer.

Step #1: How to Fill in Missing Veneer:

When you open the container of Dixie Belle Mud, give it a really good stir. After you’re done using it, be sure to refrigerate. It will last a long time if you stir it up every now and then.

Make sure to overfill the spot with the Mud, because it may shrink. Once it’s dried for 24 hours, sand it down to a smooth finish with 180 or 220 grit sandpaper. Then, wipe down the whole piece of furniture to remove any sanding dust. You want a clean surface for the next step.

The Mud is porous when it’s dried, so I seal it with a coat of Dixie Belle Satin Clear Coat to create an even surface to paint on. To do this, I use a small craft brush to apply a thin coat of the clear coat ONLY where the Mud is applied. You don’t need to do the entire piece of furniture, only the spot that you’re filling in.

Step #2  How to Sand & Stain Furniture

Before painting, I gently sanded the Top & Drawers so that I could stain them later on.  When working with Wood Veneer, it’s important to be gentle while sanding, otherwise you can risk burning through it. I started with 60 grit sandpaper, then 80, then 120, finishing with 220 grit.

You will want to WEAR GLOVES for this step, or it will stain your fingers. I used Dixie Belles No Pain Gel Stain in Walnut, an oil-based stain, and a Dixie Belle Applicator Pad to apply the stain.

Stir up the stain really well before you start using it. Dip an end of the applicator pad into the container, starting with just a small amount. It’s easier to add more than lightening it up.

Going with the grain, smooth it onto the wood and rub it in while you go. Do the entire surface area, working quickly, to avoid start and stop marks. TIP: If it does look too dark, you can put mineral spirits onto a sponge, and wipe off some of the stain to lighten it.

Wait 24 hours to dry before applying another coat of stain. While waiting for the first coat of stain to dry, put your applicator pad back into the plastic bag it came in. Then it will stay fresh, and ready to use for the next coat.

After 3-5 days of drying, you can seal it with either Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide, Satin, or water based Clear Coat. Since this stain is oil-based, do not use Hemp Oil or Big Momma’s Butta to seal it. An oil will reactivate the stain and move it around.

Step #3: How to Tint & Use Dixie Belle Slick Stick (Bonding Primer)

Before painting a piece of furniture, it’s important to clean it first. I use Dixie Belle White Lightning, and rinse with water and rag to get it all the residue cleaned off. Since we’re working on a slick and shiny surface, it needs to be primed for the paint to properly adhere. Otherwise, it could scratch off once it’s done. Dixie Belle Slick Stick is a bonding primer which turns any slippery surface into a paintable surface, so that’s what we’ll be using today.

Since I’m using a dark color to paint with, and Slick Stick is White, I’ll be tinting it with a dab of Dixie Belle’s “Caviar” to give it a gray tint. I add just a small amount of slick Stick to a Small Plate or Bowl, then a small dab of Caviar, and mix it up really well.

TIP: Be sure not to add too much paint to the tint, or you risk changing the formulation. A little bit is all you need.

I apply 2 coats of Slick Stick using Dixie Belle’s Synthetic Brush waiting 2 hours to dry between coats. Every coat matters, so keeping each coat neat will give you a perfect surface for painting. After the second coat, it’s important to wait 24 hours to dry before you start painting.

Stage #3 How to Start Painting, plus How to Paint Around Hardware Holes & Hinges

I’m using Dixie Belle’s “In the Navy”, with the Dixie Belle Mini Synthetic Brush. I use this brush for almost everything, if you haven’t noticed! I also use a FIFO Bottle to hold my paint, that way I can pour out a small amount of paint onto a plate and close it back up.

(TIP: Don’t start at hinges or hardware holes. Otherwise it will clog up your hinges or cause drips where the paint accumulates. Start away from the edges, and gently feather over the holes or hinges last, with the slightest amount of paint on your brush.)

If you feel like the paint is drying while you’re painting, spray your brush with a water mister bottle. This will thin it out and help the paint to self-level for a smooth finish. Plus, you’ll use a lot less paint, saving you money in the end.

Let the paint dry for at least an hour before applying a second coat.

So there you have it, from staining the top to painting the body and all the prep you need to get started on painting a piece of furniture. Doing a simple finish like this will have you selling pieces of furniture like hot cakes! I hope you enjoyed my tutorial, and feel inspired to try something new. You can find all the products I used, and the links to purchase them below.

You can watch along while I paint each step each on my Free Video Tutorial by clicking on this link:

Step By Step Furniture Painting for Beginners – YouTube

Dixie Belle Mud in Brown

Dixie Belle White Lightning,

Dixie Belle Satin Clear

Dixie Belles No Pain Gel Stain in Walnut

Dixie Belle Applicator Pad

Dixie Belle’s Caviar

Dixie Belle Slick Stick

Dixie Belles Mini Synthetic Brush

Dixie Belle’s In the Navy