Paint Children’s Furniture
Bernie Duggan - Bradford, PA

Hardwarian Bernie Duggan

Horns True Value Hardware

Bradford, PA

Paint Children’s Furniture

Level: Experienced

A child's room is his or her special place, so if you're thinking of giving it a facelift, use your imagination to create an inspiring and fun environment for them. While putting a new coat of paint on the walls can work wonders, don't forget about the furniture in the room. Whether it is a table and chair set, rocking chair, bed, desk or dresser, painting your child's furniture is a simple and creative way to give the room a makeover.

Share this project
Project Steps
Project Shopping List
    • Step 1: Think About Color

      Start by thinking about the room's color scheme. If you're painting the room's walls, plan how the room colors and furniture colors will complement each other. If you're leaving the walls as is, you can still add zing with cool, colorful furniture. Just be sure the colors complement or contrast in the right way. Choose colors by knowing how they affect moods and perceptions:

      • Green. The color of nature, green is said to reinforce self-esteem and suggest hope, restfulness and calmness.
      • Blue. Shades of blue, like the ocean and the sky, evoke feelings of calm, tranquility and spirituality, so they're good choices for a restful bedroom.
      • Red. Used as an accent to neutral colors, red can add life to a kid's room.
      • Yellow. Cheerful and dynamic, yellow is a great choice to brighten and warm any room. It's also said to be the color of intellectuals.
      • White. White represents peace, faith, joy, cleanliness and purity. It reflects light, so it can make a room appear bright, cool and spacious. But it's also the hardest room color to keep clean with little ones around.
      • Purple. Various shades of purple evoke different feelings. Children typically respond to the energy of bright purple.
    • Step 2: Find an Appropriate Workspace

      If possible, remove the furniture from the room and work in another space, such as a garage, workshop or similar area. Work in a well-ventilated area since fumes from paint and paint thinner, etc., are toxic and can be very potent in an enclosed area. Working in an open garage or outside offers the best ventilation.

      Safety Alert!

      Never paint near extreme heat or an open flame. Paints, stripping chemicals and stains are highly flammable and can ignite.

    • Step 3: Prepare the Surface

      If you need to do minor repairs to the furniture, do so before you start anything else on the project. All it takes is a little extra attention and elbow grease. Even if you're not very handy, you should be able to repair a dresser or crib with a hammer, a screwdriver, some nails or screws and some wood glue.

      Once repairs have been made, it's time to refinish. Make sure your refinishing area is dry and dust-free — water and dirt can ruin fresh coats of primer and paint. Use masking tape to secure newspaper or a large drop cloth or tarp to the floor or ground to protect it from spills or splashes. Remove drawers, doors and any hardware from the furniture before you start.

    • Step 4: Remove Old Finish

      Remove the old finish by sanding with a medium-low grit sandpaper. Be sure to sand along the grain of the wood — any swirl marks caused by sanding will stand out when you stain.

      Remove all of the finish and smooth out any imperfections in the wood. Sand carefully by hand around decorative details and curved areas.

      To remove finishes quickly from a large item, you may want to use a belt sander — but be careful not to damage the item by sanding too deeply. Finish by smoothing the entire piece down with medium-grit sandpaper.

    • Step 5: Prime It

      Prime the furniture with True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium primer/sealer tinted the same color as the paint you're going to use. This will make it easier because you can use fewer coats of paint. Priming is especially important if the furniture has never been painted or if the piece was poorly finished before you started. Apply the primer with a medium-sized brush or small roller. Let it dry completely. You can skip priming by using True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium latex paint and primer in-one. See next step.

    • Step 6: Start Painting
      paint brushTrue Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium latex paint and primer in-onepainted children's furniture

      Using another medium-sized brush or small roller, apply True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium latex paint and primer in-one onto the furniture using even strokes. Cover the entire surface. Do not apply the paint too thickly or it will run. If you apply too much, wipe off the excess with a clean cloth. It is always better to do several light coats instead of one thick one. Let the paint dry in between coats.

      Helpful Tip

      It's best not to use the furniture for at least a week. The paint will appear dry but can be easily smudged or scratched. Also, don't replace the hardware until after the paint has completely dried.

      If you're painting your furniture, now's the time to be as creative as you want. Because you're creating a nursery, you may want to use bright, fun colors. Or create a calm and comforting space for your little one. It's up to you.

      When painting children's furniture, it's important to choose a low-VOC paint like True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium latex paint and primer in-one.

      These high-quality paint products have reduced amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Compared to traditional latex paints, these products release fewer fumes. Low-VOC primers and paints are applied the same way as conventional paints and primers and cost about the same as most manufacturers' top-of-the-line paints. They can be cleaned and disposed of easily without the use of strong solvents.

      You're done! Take a step back and admire your work.

  • Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project successfully.

    Before you begin, use the shopping list below to uncheck the tools you already have to complete this project.

    Then, print or save your updated list and bring it to your local True Value hardware store, where an expert Hardwarian will give you the remaining tools and expert advice you need to complete this project.

    You can also shop online for these project items at and receive FREE shipping to a participating store.

    60 character limit.
  • How to Caulk a Shower or Bathtub

    How to Caulk a Shower or Bathtub

    Learn how to seal the deal with these caulking tips.
    Learn More

  • Using Wall Space for Plants & Storage

    Using Wall Space for Plants & Storage

    Breathe new life into your walls with plants & storage.

    Watch Video

  • Organic Lawn Care Tips

    Organic Lawn Care Tips

    Learn how to create a naturally thriving yard.

    Learn More

  • How to Change Locks

    How to Change Locks

    Follow these simple steps to install a new lock on just about any door.

    Watch Video

  • Pinterest

    Follow Us On Pinterest

    ​Visit our Pinterest page for great do-it-yourself project advice and home inspiration.

    Learn more