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How to Paint IKEA Furniture

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Have you recently purchased from IKEA or have some IKEA furniture, such as doors, cabinets, or countertops lying around and you don’t know how to paint it? Don’t worry; I have got the right tips just for you. Continue reading this awesome guide on How to Paint IKEA Furniture.

How to Paint IKEA Furniture: Different Materials

Laminated furniture

First, wipe down the surface with a warm, soft cloth and a little warm water. The vinegar, water, or TSP solution might work better on grease or stains by thoroughly wiping down any chemical cleaner residue.

Carefully sand the whole furniture to ensure that the primer and paint adhere effectively to the laminate but avoid overdoing it. 

Use a primer designed for shiny surfaces if you plan to paint laminate. There is no need to apply two coats, although you can.

?Keep in mind: Your primer will appear uneven or have a bubble-like texture if the primer isn’t bonding correctly to the laminate.

You should only start painting after your primer application is dry and sand between each coat to get a professional finish. Once you’ve finished all your coats of laminate paint, you can apply a protective or sealing finish; this will keep your laminates protected for chipping.

If you want a specific guide on painting laminate cabinets, check out our step-by-step guide.

Wood furniture

Wooden furniture that's ready for painting. For the article, How to Paint IKEA Furniture.

Although several tutorials claim you do not need to sand your wooden furniture, you must sand to create a seamless surface for the paint to adhere to.

⚠️Be Careful: Do not gouge the surface while sanding; you are just looking to get a rough edge.

Now that you’ve finished sanding your surface, be sure to wipe over your wood using a tack cloth. Tack cloths help to remove any dust particles or other types of residues.

?Experts Tip: Do not use a paper towel or decide a lint-free cloth will do the job. A tack cloth is your best bet!

Priming always helps to limit any imperfections, so we recommend that your prime your wood and, it also provides better adherence between the topcoat and the painted surface. 

The same rule applies when painting over a dark hue if you plan to cover it with a lighter color. After that, paint it and seal it with a sealer.

Metal furniture

Make sure your furniture is thoroughly dry after cleaning it. Sand the metal with low-grain sandpaper to remove any burrs- a grit of 60 to 80 is ideal.

?Look Out: Keep an eye out for any rust on your metal, as any rust should be removed during your sanding process.

Wire brushes and sandpaper can help remove tough rust from metals. Be sure to wipe over the surface with a damp cloth to clean it thoroughly. 

Apply a layer of good, sticky, rust-blocking primer to the item before finishing it up. After one or two coats, sand the primer smooth.

You can apply your paint using an air sprayer or paintbrush in whatever color you like. More than one coat may be required.

Whether you’re painting inside or on metal furniture, you’ll need to preserve your work with a protective finish before you begin.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Paint IKEA Furniture:


When painting, you do not need to disassemble every piece of furniture. Bed frames, tables, and modular sofas are examples of furniture that must be dismantled.

The ability to dismantle a wide range of home objects is attainable. However, there is no general guide to disassembling them all simultaneously because no two are identical.


Sanding a piece of furniture is essential when painting IKEA furniture. For article, How to Paint IKEA Furniture

Sanding your furniture can help remove any flaws or imperfections and scuff up surfaces that are too smooth to get the best adhesion levels.

?Hot Tip: Steel wool and sandpaper are the most widely used abrasive materials for this function.

To sand furniture correctly, you need to scuff it up so that the paint can adhere to it.

Furthermore, doing this should take no more than 5 minutes if you aren’t sanding off the old finish. Furniture sanding can be time-consuming and messy if you don’t follow these instructions.


When painting, you should always prime your surfaces. Priming will help to prevent stains from seeping into the new paint. It would be best if you chose a primer that is compatible with the paint you’ve chosen. 

Oil-based or latex paint in a satin or semi-gloss finish works best on furniture. The primer should never be left unpainted.

Before painting, the preparatory coating applied to the wood is a “wood primer.”

As well as increasing the longevity of your paint job, wood primers ensure that your paint adheres more firmly to the surface, and it also protects the wood you are painting.


Time for painting! Apply three thin layers of latex paint with a foam roller for a smooth finish. Allow six to eight hours for drying time between coats.

Sanding between applications is essential if there are any drips or residue on the object. Using the same sandpaper block and a new tack cloth, sand the same area again.

Again use a new tack cloth at this point to remove all lint and dust from the surface before applying the Polycyclic Protective Finish in the following step. As a result, everything is visible. 


The perfect answer for many households is flat-pack furniture, such as at IKEA and other mass-market retailers.

If you’re on a tight budget, this is a great option. The lack of instructions and the complex parts list might be overwhelming, even for experienced DIY-ers.

You can employ a handyperson if you’re having problems putting things together.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do's and Don'ts when painting

DO: Ventilate your Room:

Some paints contain various chemicals that evaporate in the air, potentially causing eye, throat, or lung irritation.

It can cause severe headaches, dizziness, and vision problems, so proper ventilation is paramount. 

However, since chemicals vary depending on the type of paint you choose, those with no volatile organic compounds (known as VOCs) may not have these effects.

?Remember: As well as ventilating your room, consider using protective equipment such as masks and goggles.

DO: Clean Thoroughly Clean the Surface:

It may take a few more minutes to prepare your furniture for painting, but it will save you time and money in the long run. Before painting furniture, remove any drawers, cushions, hardware, knobs, or other removable parts. 

Thanks to this method, hardware is protected from paint, and the prospect of mistakenly painting drawers shut is eliminated, as well as the risk of paint getting onto fabric cushions.

DO: Sand your Furniture:

It’s best to sand the furniture by hand before applying the paint. As a result, the surface will be less likely to chip or peel due to sanding. 

Sanding may not be necessary if you plan to use the same type of paint over an existing layer of paint on furniture.

DO: Apply multiple coats of paint

Applying multiple layers of paint rather than one thick coat of paint will help to prevent any visible clumps of unevenness.

Allow for lengthier brush strokes to guarantee a flawless finish. When observing drying time, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and wait until the previous coat has dried completely before applying the next.

DON’T: Paint until you’ve checked the color. 

For furniture, it’s crucial to match the color scheme to the room you plan to put it before making your choice. 

An 8×10 piece of cardboard primed and painted in the color of your choice is a good way to see how it looks. Choose one piece of cardboard for each of the colors you’re considering.

Tools Required to Paint Your Furniture


Dust masks or respirators are necessary for painting and decorating experts because they are exposed daily to paints, adhesives, and insecticides.

A scraper and a heat gun

Using a heat gun for paint-stripping projects makes it easier to remove the paint. It’s much easier to scrape your hands once they’ve blistered from the heat. On the other hand, heat guns make it easier to remove glazing putty by softening it first.

One of the most effective tools for prepping the surface for a new painting layer is the paint scraper. With the use of a wire brush, you can remove loose and flaking paint from the exterior of your home. On top of all that, it’s safe and inexpensive.

Sandpaper or power sander

When sanding, you remove defects and create a clean surface while also increasing adhesion by forming tiny and irregular surface ridges on which the paint can adhere. This step is critical for an excellent, smooth finish.

Wood filler

Using wood filler is common practice when working with wood before any paint is applied. A smooth surface for painting can be created by mixing wood fillers into the wood. Wood filler may be used quickly and easily before painting.

Tack cloth

When you sand your furniture, you’ll need to clean the area to move dust particles. A tack cloth is a simple and effective tool for removing dust.

It’s like a giant piece of cheesecloth with beeswax smeared all over it. Clean your furniture with a tack cloth, especially any crevices.


An application of primer ensures that the paint sticks to the surface and provides a smooth, clean finish by sealing any imperfections.

Painter’s tape

It’s not only simple to use, but it may also save you much time by keeping you from having to touch up paint splatters in the future. Additionally, the painter’s tape is removable and allows for the simple application and removal of the product.

A high-quality paint roller, paintbrush, or paint sprayer.

You can use air sprayer, paintbrush, or paint roller

A roller’s porous surface contains far more paint than a brush and distributes a uniform layer of paint more quickly and efficiently. Different rollers can produce different results.

To get the best results, use smooth rollers that have no burrs. Using rollers with a thicker or fluffier surface will result in a more textured surface.

A paintbrush is a necessary piece of equipment for amateur and professional painters to paint a home. Sprayers provide a fine mist and overspray that can disguise flaws in exterior walls. 

They may cover a large area of the outer walls with paint in a single motion.


Floetrol removes brush and roller marks with ease. A more polished look can be achieved by enhancing the paint’s flow.

You’ll also be able to work more quickly because of the increased paint flow. As a paint pouring medium, Floetrol can also be utilized.

High-quality paint

High-quality paint, on the other hand, will endure longer. Compared to cheaper paint, it has a smoother, more uniform appearance and lasts twice as long.

The cost of paint will be higher upfront, but in the long run, you’ll save money by not having to re-paint as frequently.


If you’re painting something that will experience a lot of wear and tear, like a table, you should apply a topcoat.

Conclusion: How to Paint IKEA Furniture

Learning how to paint IKEA furniture is a simple task as long as you follow the simple steps set out in this guide. Adding a fresh coat of paint to your furniture can give a rejuvenated look in no time at all.

As with any paint job, whether baseboards, aluminum, or vinyl siding– preparation is essential and demands a significant amount of time.

However, it can leave you with professional-looking furniture that you can admire for years if done correctly.


Do I paint it assembled or disassembled?

To get a genuinely professional makeover on a piece of newly purchased Ikea furniture, you’ll need to paint before you even begin reading the instructions in your handbook.

Is sanding required?

240-grit sandpaper can be used to lightly sand good-condition furniture. Most Ikea furniture is made of laminated wood that might be difficult to work with, but you can make it easier by sanding it beforehand.

Make sure to clean the furniture down after sanding to remove the dust.

Should I use a primer?

When painting over laminate, a good primer is essential. Preparing your laminates is necessary because it’s a smooth and non-porous surface that needs a secured “grip.” The primer is supposed to dry entirely in seven days.

What paint should I use?

For most furniture, satin or semi-gloss paints are the best options. You’ll find a wide selection of sheens for interior and exterior painting, from flat (matte) to eggshell to satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss.

A matte finish, semi-gloss finish, gloss finish, or satin finish are all great options for finishing. Oil-based and water-based paints can be used with Minwax Polycrylic. Pick out a conspicuous area to test your paint before your begin.

Is IKEA furniture laminated?

IKEA products that declare “clear acrylic lacquer” are covered in plastic because they are laminated. Lumber-based particle board is covered with a clear plastic covering, and the result is laminated furniture that resembles natural wood.

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