Painting Wood Furniture
The preparation techniques for painting wood furniture vary somewhat, depending on whether the surface is already painted or not. Existing paint must be smooth and have enough tooth for the new paint to adhere. You'll also have to carefully scrape off flaked or damaged paint and sand the edges of the remaining paint so the new coating won't highlight the edges of the old paint.
Unpainted wood also requires sanding to a smooth surface. You can tell when the surface is smooth enough by using cotton gloves. Once you've sanded and dusted the surface to a level you believe is satisfactory (using successively finer sandpaper grits), gently draw a gloved hand across it. If the surface needs more sanding, the cotton glove will catch on the wood fibers.Painting Wood Furniture
For painted wood, wash the surface with a mild detergent to remove dirt and grease. Do not overwet the wood. Let the surface dry and gently scrape away loose paint with a narrow putty knife, taking care not to dent or scratch the wood. Sand the edges of the remaining paint around bare wood so they're as level as possible. Scuff-sand any glossy surfaces.
For new, unfinished wood, start with coarser sandpaper (80 to 100 grit, depending on the surface) and brush off the dust and loose abrasive particles. Using progressively finer grits (up to about 220 or 250), sand with the grain of the wood, not against it. Wipe the dust off the wood using a cloth dampened with mineral spirits
When working with painted wood, prime any bare spots and let them dry. For new wood, prime the entire surface with a spray primer recommended by your paint dealer.
Spray-paint the furniture in the color of your choice, using a high-quality latex acrylic or epoxy paint.