Painted Furniture Ideas
Jan 17, 2013

How to Get a Smooth Paint Finish

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You have an old furniture piece ready to bring to new life.  You picked out the perfect color and have your brushes and rollers ready to go.  Now what?  How do you get your furniture piece to end up looking professional and not a rushed DIY project?  Get smooth paint finish with these tips.

Here are a few steps you can take to create a smooth finish when painting.
1. Use a Paint Sprayer or Spray Paint

– Paint sprayers produce the best, sleekest finish I have seen.  Although, as I will explain in the next step, there are ways you can come close using a brush, by doing lots of sanding with fine grit sandpaper.


To create a sleek finish with a paint sprayer, the key is to make sure the piece is smooth after the first coat.  Sand with 320 or 400 grit sandpaper.

Make sure you have already filled all holes and nicks, if you want a perfectly smooth finish.  After the 1st coat, sand with the fine grit sand paper and then clean off thoroughly with a washcloth.  The whole surface should now be smooth to the touch.

2. Sanding

If you don’t own a paint sprayer, aren’t ready to make that jump or prefer to use a brush, then the next best thing is to do a lot of sanding, especially with fine grit sandpaper.

Sand the piece well with 220 sandpaper and then with 320 grit sandpaper.  Then, I would use 320 grit sandpaper to sand after priming, painting and then after the 2nd coat of paint.  Then, use 600 grit sandpaper after the last coat until the surface is perfectly smooth.

Then, spray on a coat or two of Polycrylic, Polyurethane or wipe on some Johnson’s furniture wax.  The surface will be amazing!


When I’m not using the orbital sander for the large surface areas, I prefer this little hand sander for finishing.  The edges of the foam pad on the bottom is great for getting in those little nooks and crannies and going over rounded edges.

Little hand sanders like this are usually only $6-8 and can be picked up at any Lowe’s, Home Depot or any other hardware store.

hand sander

Most people know about 220, 320 and even 400 grit sandpaper, but many don’t realize that the grits get much more fine. There is also 600 grit, 1200 and 1500 grit sandpaper. These grits are actually designed as a finish. For example, 600 grit is considered a matte finish, 1200 satin and 1500 high gloss.

smooth dresser

These sandpaper packs are usually found in the area by sanding tools, not paint supplies. Sometimes they are hard to find and not every hardware store carries them.  You can check your local auto supply shop since this fine of sandpaper is used on the body of cars.

It will give you that ultimate smooth finish though, so prepare to have them on hand.  
fine sandpaper

If you DIY project is around your home, check out these helpful articles: The 4 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Painting Their Kitchen Table , 3 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Furniture Makeover

Take a minute to learn how to get a beautifully smooth finish to your DIY paint home improvement project!
Learn how to get a smooth finish on any paint job you have.
Take your DIY paint project to professional levels with these tips to achieve a smooth paint finish.
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