How to Paint Unfinished Wood Furniture

Hello amazing friends! I’m here today with my Furniture Fixer Upper gal pals bringing you a brand new furniture makeover! Be sure to look for five more awesome makeovers from my friends at the bottom.

My Dad used to make these wood tables back in the day when he, my Mom, and I did several craft markets each year:

My Mom would paint scenes on them and they sold like hotcakes.

They had a few leftover, and I painted one a couple of years ago and shared it HERE.

My Mom has been sick for most of November and thank goodness she is on the mend now, but it’s going to be a while before she’s back to her old energetic go go go self. So I decided to surprise my parents this past weekend by decorating their house for Christmas for them while they were out of town.  It was so fun to play with all her decorations! She was so surprised and so grateful as I knew she would be.

(You can see the surprise makeover I did on some of my parents’ furniture while they were out of town a couple of years ago HERE!)

Anyway, when I was rootin around in their storage room, I came across three more of these unfinished tables. My Mom keeps telling me to take them so I finally did.

I thought this was a great chance to share how I paint unfinished pieces just in case someone out there has never tackled one before.

First, let’s see how this one turned out, shall we?

How to Paint Unfinished Wood from

Cute, right?

How to Paint Unfinished Wood from

I’m really in Christmas mode at the moment and I wanted to paint this red so badly, but I was afraid it would just sit in my booth. Then I remembered I had this pretty green from Country Chic Paint called Happy Hour! Find their products online HERE or find a retailer near you HERE.

They reached out to me to see if I wanted some products and of course I rarely turn down free paint. I am not obligated to share my thoughts on their products at all, but it did great!

You might remember I used their black paint that I had in my stash from several years ago on this bench and even after several years, it went on great.

This is a beautiful soft green and has kind of a coastal vibe to it.

How to Paint Unfinished Wood from

Now let’s back up a bit and see how I got to this point.  I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I use.

Always start unfinished wood projects with a good sanding. I use 220 grit sandpaper that I buy in sheets and cut into fours. Then I can easily wrap the sandpaper around an old foam sanding block:

As you can see I also filled in a few nailgun holes and imperfections using this wood filler.

Then I used my shop vac to vacuum all the dust, and a soft cloth to wipe it down once more.

Next I busted out my primer. I’ve been really spoiled by chalk paint in that there is rarely a need to prime, but raw wood really soaks up the paint, so primer is a must.

Prime raw wood.

I used this brand HERE that was left over from painting my kitchen cabinets.

One coat is plenty, and then it’s time for paint.

This table only needed one coat of paint since I was going for a coastal feel and didn’t mind if some of the white primer showed through…

But I wasn’t done here…I decided to add something fun to the top!

It may feel like Winter outside, but I snuck in some coastal!  “What happens at the beach…stays at the beach.” I thought this could be cute for a beach rental, and there are several of those around here.

To add the graphics, I first created them in Photoshop Elements. You could also use Word or Pic Monkey. (I used Bickham Script font and Felix Titling font.) Then I opened my graphic in my Silhouette Cameo software and created a stencil out of contact paper:

If you make a lot of signs, you might want to add a Silhouette Cameo to your Christmas wishlist!  I also used my favorite Frog Tape to create a border.

I painted everything in using my Bit of Sugar DIY chalk paint (Recipe HERE) and a small brush, brushing away from the edges as much as possible. Regular acrylic craft paint would work great too.

Then I peeled off the contact paper and tape as soon as I added the second coat.

Use a silhouette cameo to create stencils!

I gave everything a fine sanding with 220 grit sand paper as soon as the graphic was dry. Then I sealed with the clear coat from Country Chic Paint, using this brush, my favorite for applying sealers.


How to Paint Unfinished Wood from

I dressed up the drawer with a few stripes and a pretty glass knob:

How to Paint Unfinished Wood from

The inside got primed and painted as well…

How to Paint Unfinished Wood from


How to Paint Unfinished Wood from

It was fun to deck it out for the Holidays!

My first wrapped presents of the year…

How to Paint Unfinished Wood from

Ok that should be singular: present, since one of them is fake ha ha.

How to Paint Unfinished Wood from


How to Paint Unfinished Wood from

I hope you enjoyed this simple redo. I don’t use green too often, but it was fun to play it up with some of my Christmas decor!

There are five more furniture flips for you to see! Follow the links below the image to see the afters. I can’t wait to check them out myself!

1.  Interior Frugalista

2.  Petticoat JUNKtion

3.  Prodigal Pieces

4.  Girl in the Garage

5.  Just the Woods

Want even more painted furniture inspiration? Visit all of my Furniture Fixer Upper makeovers in one place HERE!

I’ll be back on Tuesday sharing some of my Christmas decor!  Have an awesome weekend! 🙂

UPDATE: Check out Christmas in our kitchen HERE now! 




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  1. Love that shade of blue – it looks so sweet, and I like your styling with the little Christmas tree in the bucket 😀 It’s 35 degrees celcius here in sunny Queensland – always far too hot at Christmas time – very hard for us to feel “Christmas’y” and eat a hot meal but Aussies seem to struggle through with the traditions!!!

    • Thank you, Petra! I have pictures of myself st four years old in my bikini in front of our Christmas tree when we lived on the NW cape of Australia when I was a kid. I think I would miss cold Christmases as an adult though. Hang in there ha ha! XOXO

  2. Mary Kaiser says

    That turned out beautiful. I wish I had a table that size, I could fit that one in somewhere. It will sell quickly I am sure. You even wrap gifs beautifully!

  3. You are an awesome daughter. Plus, your table makeover rocks! So beautiful, Christy.

  4. Christina in SW FL says

    How incredibly thoughtful and sweet of you, Christy, to decorate your mom & dad’s house! I hope your mom feels 100% better quickly.
    Great to get those beautiful tables! This one turned out so sweet! It really is such a soft green. With that fun graphic, it will go quickly in your booth.
    Say, what settings do you use to cut contact paper? I realize my results may vary, yet I would appreciate a starting point. 🙂
    Enjoy and have a great weekend!

    • Thank you, Christina! I appreciate the well-wishes for my Mom. It’s been hard to see her down, and this was just the pick-me-up she needed. And I thought this graphic was fun for this table! I use the same settings as you would for vinyl. XOXO

  5. That little table is a real cutie, and I like the soft green. I hope you keep one of your dad’s tables–that’s a family heirloom in the making ;-). (Best wishes to your mom and hope she’s feeling well again very soon.)

    • Thank you, Susan! My Dad made all kinds of things, and I did keep a few favorite pieces. Thank you for the well-wishes for my Mom! XOXO

  6. That is so cute and I have that paint too and have not used it. I have a table JUST WAITING for it, so thanks for the inspiration!!!

  7. What a sweet daughter you are! Judging by your decorating talents in your own home, I bet your parent’s place looks amazing. Love love the coastal sentiment on the top of this table. The color is so pretty too. I’m a big fan of Country Chic Paint because they are a Canadian company and I’ve met the owners! I’ve asked Santa again this year for a silhouette (my 3rd year of begging) and if it isn’t under the tree Christmas morning, he and I are going to have some very strong words! lol

    • Aww thanks, Marie! It’s been hard to see my mom down because she is always on the go, so it was fun to be able to do this for her. How cool that you’ve met the owners of country chic paint! They sent me a ton of products when they first started out, then reached out again a few weeks ago. I rarely turn down free paint! Crossing my fingers for ya that Santa gets it right this year! XOXO

  8. Debbie in TX says

    I am so in love with the color of this table and the way it turned out. It’s simply beautiful. Glad to hear your Mom’s feeling better. By the way, where did you get the beautiful wrapping paper?

    • Thank you, Debbie! This color of paint really is beautiful. I found this paper at Hobby Lobby in a couple of years ago. XOXO

  9. Great work! Beautiful color. The stripes are the perfect touch.

  10. this is so pretty! I love the coastal vibe (especially since the cold wind is howling outside lol)

  11. Love it! So perfect for my boyfriends beachhouse. You always make such wonderful things!

  12. Ah, now I know where you get all that talent! Beautiful makeover Christy. 🙂

  13. Karen Moore says

    So cute! Love the color and the graphics.

  14. Christy, this turned out so super cute! And I’m impressed that your dad used to make these tables! It’s so funny that our projects are similar in style – and I considered adding words to the top of mine, ha! XO

    • Thanks, Jen! My dad had a huge workshop. He made lamps, tables, wall shelves, night tables… You name it! If my mom could draw it, my dad could build it. They made a great team! And yes, we were in sync this week! Have a great weekend! XOXO

  15. Looks fabulous! Thanks for the great info and sharing! Leticia

  16. Love that green color! And the quote on the top is super cute! 😉

  17. This table looks like a perfect DIY project. Do you have plans available?

  18. What a great piece. Your makeovers are always designer worthy. Love the beach saying. I think stripes are your signature!

  19. Marcie Lovett says

    Minty fresh! That would be a great entry table, with the little drawer. What a talented family (and what a good daughter, to take on the decorating for them).

    • Thank you, Marcie! This would make a perfect entry table! And I has a blast decorating for my parents with all their cute stuff! XOXO

  20. Your christmas page link takes me to a blank oage?

  21. In a perfect world, every furniture piece I paint would have a dark brown stain to start


  1. […] Inspired Red Empire Dresser – The Interior Frugalista Kids Play Table – Prodigal Pieces How To Paint Unfinished Wood Furniture – Confessions Of A Serial Diyer French Striped Table Makeover – Girl In The Garage […]

  2. […] Just the Woods 2. Confessions of a Serial DIYer 3. The Interior Frugalista 4. Prodigal Pieces 5. Petticoat […]

  3. […] This green makeover is also from a fellow Furniture Fixer Upper buddy. Christy gives such a soft beachy feel to all of her projects. This pretty table gets one in a soft beachy green with a coastal touch. You can see her whole makeover here: How to Paint Unfinished Wood Furniture. […]

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