How to Paint Cherry Wood Furniture

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Things You'll Need

  • Latex paint

  • Polyurethane

  • Foam brushes (3 and 4 inch)

  • Electric hand sander

  • 220 grit sandpaper

  • Tack cloth


You can also use a paint sprayer or roller brush to apply the paint.

It is not necessary to remove the existing finish.

Cherry wood is used for many different types of home furnishings, such as kitchen cabinets, dining-room sets, bedroom furniture and occasional tables. Cherry wood is very durable and dense, which means it is very long-lasting. If you want a new look for your cherry wood furniture or if your wood is chipped or damaged in some way, painting is always an option.


Step 1

Prepare a well-ventilated area for this painting project. Garages and unfinished basements with large windows are good options. If you will be painting kitchen cabinets, keep all windows open for fresh air flow.

Step 2

Wash your furniture well so that there is no dirt or grime on the surface. This is especially important if you are refinishing kitchen cabinets, since they often get sticky.

Step 3

Remove all doors from cabinets or drawers from dressers, along with knobs and hinges. Place the doors and drawers on a separate worktable.

Step 4

Sand the surface of the existing finish using a hand sander and 220 grit sandpaper so the paint will adhere well. Always sand in the direction of the grain; going against the grain will scratch the wood, which will show even under paint.

Step 5

Wipe away all dust from the sanding with a tack cloth. Dust left on the furniture can result in a bumpy finish.

Priming and Painting

Step 1

Apply one coat of a stain-blocking primer using a 3- or 4-inch foam brush. Paint in the direction of the grain. Allow the primer to dry completely (two to three hours on average). The primer will keep the old finish from seeping through as well as prevent knots from showing through.

Step 2

Apply your first coat of latex paint using a foam brush. Allow the paint to dry and cure for three to five hours.

Step 3

Buff your furniture after the first coat of paint is dry. Wipe down with a tack cloth.

Step 4

Apply a second coat of paint. Allow to dry three to five hours.

Step 5

Add a third coat of paint if you are using a white or light-color paint, if needed. Darker colors tend to cover with fewer coats. Using primer usually alleviates the need for a third coat.

Top Coat

Step 1

Apply a coat of polyurethane (oil- or water-based) to your furniture using a foam brush. Polyurethane is very difficult to fix once it has dried, so apply a thin coat to cut back on the drips. Allow it to dry for 24 hours.

Step 2

Apply a second coat of polyurethane. Allow it to dry for 24 hours.

Step 3

Replace all hinges and knobs. Hang doors back on cabinets and replace drawers.

references & resources

Kelly Nuttall

Kelly Nuttall is a student at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. She is set to graduate in the spring of 2011 with her bachelor's degree in technical communications. She has been writing for various websites since March of 2009.