How to Paint Farmhouse Style Furniture

April 28, 2014 2 Comments

How to Paint Farmhouse Style Furniture

I love most types of furniture painting but my personal favorite style is the farmhouse style.  That's why I was thrilled to complete my most recent custom paint job.  I transformed this piece from a warm toned pine hutch into a farmhouse style cabinet in around 3 hours' time and I'm here today to tell you how I did it.


Time (not including dry time): 2 hours, 45 minutes

Supply list:

  1. CeCe Caldwell's Vintage White Paint
  2. CeCe Caldwell's Virginia Chestnut Paint
  3. Minwax Dark Walnut Stain
  4. Note: now I would use CeCe Caldwell's Paints eco-friendly wood stain + finish but they weren't yet available at the time of this post : )
  5. CeCe Caldwell's Endurance Finish
  6. CeCe Caldwell's Waxing Cream
  7. Sandpaper
  8. Mouse Sander and 120 Grit Mouse Sandpaper
  9. Staining Pad
  10. ChalkPro's Medium and Large Easy Paint Brushes
  11. Shop vaccum 
  12. Blue Painter's Tape

The cabinet is made of pine wood and had a warm stain.  The top had a lot of dings and gouges in it so I set out to sand down the top and repaint it.  To sand it down, I used my Mouse Sander and 120 Grit Mouse Sandpaper.  I sanded off all of the old stain and sanded down the gouges with the 120 grit sandpaper on my mouse sander.  Then I vacuumed off the dust with my shop vac and used fine grit (220 grit) sandpaper to smooth it even more.  The wood on the top was so pretty that I asked the owner if she wanted to see how it looked stain and she said yes - yay!  I taped off the top with blue painter's tape and painted the dark coat of Virginia Chestnut on the bottom of the piece before I applied the stain.

I used one sample size *4 oz* of Virginia Chestnut on the cabinet.

I moved the Blue Painter's Tape so that only the top ledge was accessible for the stain.  I dipped my staining pad in Minwax Dark Walnut Stain and gently wiped the stain on the wood, moving my hand around to push the stain around the entire time.  I let the first coat dry overnight then came back and applied another coat.  The key is to not let too much stain sit in one place too long or else it will over-darken the top.  

With two applications of the stain on the top done and the base coat of Virginia Chestnut finished, I painted my first coat of Vintage White on top of the Virginia Chestnut.  I did a thin coat and didn't worry too much about painting a perfectly smooth and even coat.  I like to get one base coat of white on first then go back over it and patch up some of the lightly painted areas.

After I finished the first coat of Vintage White, I waited for the paint to dry and checked out my work.  I liked the dark stain against the white for sure.  The picture below shows the stained top with no clear coat or finish on it.

After the first coat of Vintage White dries, I like to "patch up" any spots where the paint looks bluish from the dark color showing through.  I do not do an entire second coat all over, I simply patch up or paint over areas where the white looks too thin for my taste.  The right side of the chest in the picture below shows what one quick coat of white looks like when it's dry.  You can see some brush strokes and a bluish tint.  On the left side, I have gone back in with a second coat of Vintage White and brushed on white in areas that look to thin and over areas that show brush marks.  This is not a perfectly even second coat, it's more of a touch up coat.

You can see how much of a difference just one second patch up coat makes.

This is what the piece looks like with one coat of Virginia Chestnut, then a quick coat of Vintage White and a patch up coat of Vintage White with no finish or clear coat.  The paint is drying in this picture. 

I didn't paint white into some of the edges and corners of the cabinet so that the brown paint underneath already shows through without having to distress.  Some might want to leave the piece like this and apply the clear coat after the last coat of white dries.  Others, like my customer, wants something even more distressed.  That's when the fun begins. 

With this piece, I used a clean damp rag and rubbed off some areas of white paint.  I also used medium grit sand paper to rub off some of the white.  Be careful!  If you don't want any of the color of the original piece, you need to be careful and not press too hard when distressing or you will take off all of the layers of paint, including Virginia Chestnut and the original wood color will show through.

I always distress a bit, step back and do something else and then come back with a fresh perspective to see if I want to distress more.  When I was happy with the distressing, I applied a coat of Endurance Finish with a staining pad to the bottom of the cabinet.  I used a new, clean staining pad to apply a coat of Endurance to the stained top because I didn't want any pigment transfer from the white paint to get on the stained top.  After the Endurance dried, I applied a coat of Waxing Cream to the top because I like that softer look on stained wood (but I also want the protection of Endurance underneath).

Love! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them!

I am linking up at:

Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday


*affiliate links are used in this post*

2 Responses

Sherry Bumgardner
Sherry Bumgardner

October 10, 2014

Aloha, This is Gorgeous!!
I just ordered from you today, and I have never used CeeCee Caldwell paints.. In fact I’ve never really painted a piece of furniture before and I have all my Mothers Oak Furniture that means the world to me. I live on Kauai, and I was so excited to find you on Oahu!!! I would love to learn more about this amazing Craft of repurposing furniture pieces! I really want to keep the original medium Oak Stain on these pieces, and then paint them white and then age them. Wish me Luck ! I would really love to come over to your Island some day to learn more!


June 02, 2014

Really, really lovely! You did a great job on this piece, and I’m sure your client was very pleased!
It was nice meeting you today at the NEX kiosk.

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