When it comes to furniture, people are a little more hesitant to experiment and it’s understandable. I’m often asked ‘Can I paint a dresser with acrylic paint’, and I’m happy to report that you certainly can. If you want to paint a dresser with acrylics, this is going to require sanding, priming, painting, and then re-sealing it. The sanding and priming are vital, so that your acrylic paint will hold and the seal protects it afterwards.
Today I’ll tell you how it’s done and go over some basic questions that I’ve received the most on the subject. I’ll give you a hint: It’s easier than you think!
Painting wood furniture with acrylics
You can find some additional painting options for furniture at this 3rd party link here if you don’t want to use acrylics, but if acrylic paints are your paints of choice then I hope that you’ll stay for this little tutorial.
There’s a trick or two here that’s in it for you if you do!
While it seems daunting, painting wood furniture with acrylics is just like any other medium. With furniture, you’ve just got to deal with the already treated surface. A 140 – 180 grit fine sandpaper will literally wipe this problem away, but we’re not done just yet.
Using a quality brush (no cheap brushes if you can avoid it, because we want this to apply well and smoothly), you’ll want to apply a wood primer layer so that the furniture is going hold our paint. I’d go with a spray primer to apply the first thin coat and then let it dry completely.
After that, you can layer more on as you like, just keep in mind that more is better when it comes to primer. It makes a huge difference in how your work stands out and how professional it looks when you are done.
It’s worth the extra effort to layer on that primer, just be sure to let it dry before recoating by using the time listed on your label. After that, take advantage of our tips for transferring your desired image and take a look at a few painting ideas here to get your creative juices flowing.
Once that primer dries, you are ready to get busy doing what you do best – your art! Once you’ve put everything in place, give it a coat or 2 of the seal of your choice and you are done!
Does acrylic paint take longer to dry on furniture?
While acrylic paints on a canvas tend to dry quickly, wood is going to be a little different. It depends mostly on the type of wood that you are using. For best results, you can always let it dry in a well-ventilated area that is as dust-free as you can find, so that you don’t get bits of dust in your drying paint or in the sealant later when you are finishing up.
Give it a period of 24 hours to be on the safe side if you aren’t certain what kind of wood that you are painting and you should be just fine.
You can find a little more about painting on wood with acrylics in our article ‘Can you use acrylic paint on wood’ if you’d like a little more information on some different tips and tricks that you might find useful.
Can I skip applying the primer before painting with acrylic paints?
This is not recommended and the biggest reason is that wood is a tricky medium if you don’t treat it right (pun completely intended). A good sanding and primer is always going to be necessary with wood, as otherwise it simply will not hold your acrylic paint properly and you run the chance of strange effects in the finished work if the wood happens to be very porous.
So, hedge your bets and take that extra time to prepare. It makes all of the difference in the world.
Some closing words
Today we’ve answered the question ‘can I paint a dresser with acrylic paint’ and the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Dressers and other furniture in the house can certainly be enhanced with some well-placed paints, just be sure to prepare the surface properly and to remember that more primer is going to lead you to a better finished piece. Seal it after that and you are golden!
A little patience, a lot of primer, and your acrylics are going to look like they were always meant to be there in the first place!