September 06, 2013

Should I Paint That Part......

Have you ever wanted to paint a piece of furniture but had no idea where to start?
Have you painted a dresser and put the drawers back in only to notice there is still unpainted wood? 
Yeah, I've done that!

I thought I would write a post that helps answer the question.....Should I paint that part?

There aren't rules as to what you should and shouldn't paint. That's purely a judgement call. 
Some people paint the back of a dresser and other's don't.

My rule is: If you aren't going to see it, then don't paint it. Just my personal rule though, not right or wrong.

BUT there are parts of a dresser you won't really see that should be painted. 

 You don't see the inside of the dresser but parts of it need to be painted. Old dresser drawers get pushed in and they aren't flush with the front frame which can expose the "unseen" parts. (see 1st picture). 

How much should you paint? 
 Certainly not the whole inside but just enough so when the drawers are closed and pushed all the way in you don't see wood.

I taped off the sides so I would have straight paint lines. Normally, I don't tape but this piece is being sold and it needs to look nice... even if it isn't being seen. 
 I can get away with two coats of paint on the inside. Keep in mind, it doesn't need to be perfect except for along the edges. 

It looks so clean and pretty. 

What about the back? 
I do not paint the back but I do paint the back frame. 

I asked some of my painting girlfriends and they gave me their input on painting the back. Jessica from Dear Emmeline, Cassie from Primitive & Proper and Allison from The Golden Sycamore are all amazing blogger/furniture painters who don't paint the back of pieces either. 

The only exception would be a desk or something where the back is exposed and will be seen. If it won't be seen, save your paint. 
I usually paint the top of the frame but since this top was stained I left it natural.

Drawers fall in the category of not being seen but parts of them need painting too.
There is nothing worse than having a pretty painted piece of furniture only to see over-spray or paint on the side of the drawer when it's opened. If you get paint on the side of a drawer make sure to sand it off! 

I paint the very edge of the drawers and the top of the drawer.

There you have it! 
That's how I do it and a little attention to detail goes a long way. 

Make sure to protect the paint finish with a couple coats of poly or wax. 
Opening and closing drawers can wear the paint off so you want to make sure to protect it. 

Do you have any tips? 


  1. Great tips Helen! I do the same - paint the back frame and those inside parts where the drawers sit. I just wrote a post on how i paint furniture, do you mind if I link to this post?

    1. Yes, link away!!! I loving reading tutorials....I'm gonna check out your post : )

    2. Can someone help me please I have some questions.. Trying to attmit my first piece in repainting it...

  2. Ok, is it horrible to admit that I've never thought of using tape inside the frame to make a straight line? I should have thought of it, because it's brilliant! Mine always just looks sloppy inside, and my excuse is that you don't see it because of the drawers. Super smart!

    1. Kelly, I don't blame you one bit for not taping the inside. If it were my piece (not one for sale) I wouldn't tape. Oh,'s for the birds. LOL
      Congrats on the new house. I love looking at all of your before and after pictures.

  3. great tips thank you I often scratch my head wondering should I or shouldn't I?
    love the draw liners idea too!
    Bec x

  4. I don't pant the backs or anything if I don't have too, I am a lazy painter. Or is that a thrifty painter? Whichever, glad I'm not alone.

    1. Girl, that's a smart painter. I guess that makes me lazy too! Wait, thrifty painter sounds wayyyyy better : )

  5. Is that paper inside the drawer or some other type of liner? Where do you get it? I love that design.

    1. Sue, it's fabric from JoAnn's. I used a spray adhesive to apply it. I'm not sure of the print name but it's in the Home Essentials section.

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  7. Great topic Helen. It's all in the details, and your tips point out a very important detail. Great job! Love your blog!

    Jen Keyser
    The Restoration Studio LLC

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