How to Paint Cherry Wood Furniture? Quick Tips

How to Paint Cherry Wood Furniture? Quick Tips

Cherry wood furniture is renowned for its rich, warm tones and smooth grain, which exude a classic elegance that enhances any room. However, there are times when painting cherry wood furniture becomes necessary to either match a new décor style or restore an old piece. This guide will take you through the meticulous process of how to paint cherry wood furniture, ensuring a professional and durable finish.

The Beauty of Cherry Wood Furniture

Cherry wood’s natural beauty lies in its reddish-brown hue and fine, straight grain, which deepens and darkens over time. This timeless aesthetic is cherished in both traditional and modern interiors. Painting cherry wood furniture with a rich brown paint, when done correctly, can complement its natural charm while giving it a new lease on life.

Why Paint Cherry Wood Furniture?

Cherry wood is a beautiful material for furniture, but there are several reasons why someone might choose to paint it:

  • Update the Look: A fresh coat of paint can completely transform a piece of furniture, giving it a more modern or trendy look. This can be especially helpful if the cherry wood has gone out of style or if it clashes with the rest of the decor.
  • Cover Up Damage: Paint can hide scratches, dents, and other imperfections in the wood. This can be a great way to revive a piece of furniture that would otherwise be unusable.
  • Match a Color Scheme: If you have a specific color scheme in mind for your room, painting your cherry wood furniture can help you achieve that look.
  • Personal Preference: Some people simply prefer the look of painted furniture to the look of natural wood.

Preparation to Paint Cherry Wood Furniture

Before you begin, assess the condition of your cherry wood furniture. Look for any signs of damage, such as scratches, dents, or loose joints. Addressing these issues beforehand will ensure a smooth painting process and a professional-looking finish.

Gathering Necessary Supplies

For a successful painting project, gather all the necessary supplies, including:

  • High-quality paint and primer
  • Sandpaper (various grits)
  • Tack cloth
  • Paintbrushes and rollers
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloths
  • Protective gear (gloves, mask)

Safety should always come first. Ensure you are working in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes. Wear protective gear, such as gloves and a mask, to protect your skin and respiratory system from dust and chemicals.

Cleaning and Sanding

Begin by cleaning the furniture thoroughly. Use a mild detergent and water to remove any dirt and grime. For stubborn residues, a mixture of vinegar and water can be effective. Once clean, allow the furniture to dry completely.

Sanding Techniques for Cherry Wood

Sanding is crucial to create a smooth surface for painting. Start with medium-grit sandpaper to remove the old finish, and then progress to finer grits for a smooth, even surface. Always sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid scratches.

Priming the Furniture

Priming is essential for ensuring the paint adheres well to the wood and for blocking any stains or tannins from bleeding through the paint. It also provides a uniform surface that enhances the final color.

Choosing the Right Primer

Select a high-quality primer suitable for cherry wood. Shellac-based primers are often recommended for their excellent adhesion and stain-blocking properties.

Applying Primer to Cherry Wood

Apply the primer using a brush or roller, following the wood grain. Ensure even coverage and allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding to the next step. Depending on the primer and the condition of the wood, you might need to apply a second coat.

Painting Techniques

Selecting the Right Paint

Choosing the right paint is critical for a durable and attractive finish. Acrylic latex paint is a popular choice for furniture due to its durability and ease of use. For a high-gloss, professional look, you can opt for enamel paint.

Tools for a Smooth Finish

Invest in high-quality brushes and rollers to achieve a smooth, streak-free finish. Foam rollers are excellent for large surfaces, while angled brushes are ideal for edges and detailed areas.

Painting Methods: Brushing vs. Spraying

Both brushing and spraying have their advantages. Brushing offers more control and is ideal for small or intricate pieces, while spraying provides a smooth, even finish and is faster for larger surfaces. Whichever method you choose, ensure even application and avoid overloading the brush or sprayer.

Achieving an Even Coat

Apply the paint in thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. This helps prevent drips and ensures a smooth, durable finish. Lightly sand between coats to remove any imperfections.

Drying and Curing

Proper drying is crucial to avoid smudges and ensure a hard, durable finish. Allow the painted furniture to dry in a dust-free, well-ventilated area. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying times.

Common mistakes include rushing the drying process, applying too thick coats, or not allowing adequate time between coats. Patience is key to achieving a flawless finish. Incorporating ideas to decorate with paintings can greatly enhance the aesthetic appeal of your space.

Finishing Touches

Once the final coat of paint is dry, apply a clear sealant to protect the finish. Polyurethane is a durable option that adds a protective layer, ensuring the paint stays intact for years to come.

Reattach any hardware, such as knobs and handles, or replace them with new ones for a fresh look. Consider adding felt pads to the bottom of the furniture to protect floors and enhance durability.

Maintaining Painted Cherry Wood Furniture

Painted cherry wood furniture can add a beautiful touch to your home, but it requires a slightly different cleaning routine than natural cherry wood. Here’s how to keep it looking its best:


  • Regularly dust with a soft, lint-free cloth. Microfiber cloths are great for this purpose.
  • Avoid using abrasive cloths or sponges, as they can scratch the paint.


  • For light cleaning, use a damp (not soaking wet) cloth with a mild soap solution. Opt for a gentle dish soap or a wood furniture cleaner.
  • Always test the solution on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t discolor the paint.
  • Wring out the cloth thoroughly so it’s barely damp. Excess moisture can damage the wood.
  • Wipe the furniture clean and then follow up with a dry cloth to remove any residue.

Protecting the Paint:

  • Use coasters, placemats, and table runners to prevent scratches, spills, and heat marks.
  • Avoid placing hot items directly on the furniture.
  • Keep the furniture out of direct sunlight as prolonged exposure can fade the paint.

Additional Tips:

  • For stubborn grime, consider using a baking soda paste. Make a paste with a little water and baking soda, apply it to the furniture, let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
  • Reapply a coat of wax or sealant every few years to protect the paint and add a nice shine. Paste wax offers the best protection but has a strong odor. Consider odorless alternatives for indoor use.

Important Note

If your painted cherry wood furniture is valuable or antique, consult a professional furniture restoration specialist before attempting any cleaning or refinishing techniques.

Repairing Chips and Scratches

Over time, minor chips and scratches may occur. Touch them up with leftover paint and a small brush to keep your furniture looking pristine. Here’s a breakdown of methods for different damage levels:

Minor Scratches:

  • Walnut Trick: This age-old method utilizes the natural oils in walnuts. Rub a halved walnut firmly over the scratch. The oils can sometimes fill the scratch and create a slight sheen, blending it in.
  • Furniture Touch-Up Marker: Find a marker specifically designed for furniture touch-up in a shade that closely matches your cherry paint. Apply light strokes following the grain to fill the scratch.

Moderate Scratches and Small Chips:

  • Wood Filler: For deeper scratches or small chips, use a wood filler that matches the paint color. Apply a small amount with a putty knife, smoothing it over the damage. Let it dry completely, then sand lightly with fine-grit sandpaper (around 220 grit) to create a smooth surface. Apply touch-up paint if needed.

Deep Gouges and Large Chips:

  • Matching Paint and Clear Coat: For extensive damage, this method offers a more permanent solution. You’ll need matching paint and a clear topcoat. Here’s a general process:
    1. Clean the damaged area.
    2. If necessary, lightly sand the area to create a smooth base.
    3. Apply a thin layer of matching paint with a small brush.
    4. Let the paint dry completely (refer to drying time on the paint can).
    5. Apply a light coat of clear topcoat to protect the paint and create a finished look.

Five types of paint to paint the house


Painting cherry wood furniture is a rewarding project that can transform old pieces into stunning focal points. By following these detailed steps on how to paint cherry wood furniture, from preparation to finishing touches, you can achieve a professional and durable finish. Whether you’re refreshing an antique or updating a modern piece, painting cherry wood furniture offers endless possibilities for creativity and personalization.


Post Comment