Furniture Painting

Q&A’s Bonus Episode- Furniture Painting 101

I compiled a list of the most asked questions, during the Furniture Painting 101 video series, and thought it would be helpful to provide the answers to you in a blog post. I hope these answers help, and if you have any other questions, just ask in the comments. I will be happy to help, and share anything that I know.  -Terri

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) What is the Pantone color of the year and why does it matter?

History: It comes from the Pantone Color Institute, which was created in 1963. This is a color matching system. Every color in the spectrum of the rainbow is there. Each one has its own number. Those numbers are used by paint companies, textiles,  fabric, plastics, fashion marketing,  jewelry, logos and so much more. This helps keep consistency, whenever you are using a color, by using the same number. For instance your logo, and brand colors. This year’s color of the year is PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri, a beautiful periwinkle.

In 2000 Pantone started the “color of the year”. This is a trendsetting color. THE color that will be popular for that year. It can be used in make-up, car colors, furniture, design and decor colors, fashion color, etc. Some companies have their logo changed anually, to the trendsetting color for the season, or for the year.

The PMS, Pantone Matching System. that is the red, green, and blue, hex code. These are the numbers used in photoshop to make sure colors are always the same. The people at the institute study color trends.


2) When starting a Furniture business, how do you know what is trending in your area?

My best recommendation for this is to go to small boutique stores and furniture stores. They will usually be a season ahead of the trends. That will tell you what will be trending in your area in the near future, whether it is bright and bold, or neutral and calm. These types of places will help you discover the trends in your area.


3) Is Furniture Flipping Profitable?

This really depends upon if you are working it like a business, or as a hobby. Most often, what you put into it is what you will get out of it.  It takes some planning, and some accounting for all of your expenses, and your time. You can learn more about that in episode 8 Pricing for Profit:

4) How do you know which furniture to flip?

Start with what you love. In my experience, Facebook Marketplace, is the best place to start looking. If you find a piece of furniture that you think is gorgeous, and you think, “I wish it was blue to match my living room”, that would be a good piece to start with! Make sure the price is good, in order for you to put work into it, and still make a profit.  If you are inspired by a furniture artist, you can find something similar to their work to mimic. Find a piece that is similar to the one you loved. If you duplicate it, make sure to give them credit for having the original idea by tagging them on social media.

5) What is the most popular color for painted furniture?

Industry-wide it is:

  1. white
  2. black
  3. gray
  4. blue/teal

Any other colors may take a little longer to sell. If you want to sell 2 pieces a week or as fast as you can, paint it white, black, or gray.

6) How do you coordinate paint colors on furniture?

The first thing you can do is look for inspiration. That can be found on Pinterest,  and other design websites and apps, including clothing and homegoods. I have actually painted an entire bedroom, with a floral comforter being the inspiration piece. Old doors, pottery, clothing trends that match, lampshades, canvas art painting, amything that draws your eye. If colors coordinate well on fabric, they will do well on furniture.

7) How long does it take to flip a piece of furniture?

That’s really up to you, and how fast you work. Depending upon the work that needs to be done to clean and prep the furniture, there are many different variations on how much time it will take to complete a piece. That can be the amount of repair work that needs to go into it, along with how much time set aside for it. If it is a pretty simple piece, you can theoretically flip it in about four hours. That includes cleaning, 2 coats of paint, and a topcoat, along with the initial dry-to-the-touch time.

Most of the time, there are more things to consider. How long does it take the paint to dry, (most chalky and clay paints dry in about 30 minutes), and what type of techniques, embellishments, and special finishes you may be using.

8) How do I get started with shipping?

This will be better explained in a video, which I am linking below, or on the shipping episode. Basically, hire a professional, get the shipping address, get a quote, add insurance, and schedule pickup and delivery. The shipping episode’s blog post lists recommended shippers and supplies, listing places, and the ever-important disclaimer. U-Ship is definitely the number one resource.

Click here to watch my video on shipping with UShip:


9) Is it really “no prep” with chalk paint?

This, too,  really depends upon the piece. If you have a wood piece that is really clean, no damage, and does not have a slick finish on it, then absolutely yes.  You can just start painting it right away.

However, most of the furniture is not real wood anymore. This most often has a thick varnish-type topcoat on it. It will need to be to be scuff sanded, or use an adhesion primer like Slick Stick. It must be cleaned. White lighting is perfect for this. It deglazes and this helps with adhesion. If it is laminate, metal or glass, an adhesion primer is also recommended.

10) What Happens if I don’t seal a piece that I have painted?

For this question, it really depends on what paint was used. If you use a clay based paint like DIY, until this paint is fully cured, if it gets wet it can wipe right off. I recommend Big Top to seal the pores on this type of paint. It needs sealing, no matter what.

Dixie Belle has an acrylic binder built in. This paint can be used without a sealer. Silk all-in-one has a primer and a topcoat built in, so it is not necessary to add a topcoat.

Watch the entire Furniture Painting series


Here is the link to the Q&A video:

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