How to paint over pine

Got a boring pine dresser or table. Give it a new look … we show you how.

Most homes will have a piece of pine furniture – perhaps a bedside table or a whole chest of drawers. This orange pine – often varnished or waxed – can be particularly hard to paint over, especially if you’re working with a pale paint colour. Your secret weapon? Chalk Pain. With its incredible sticking power, this unique furniture paint can be applied to almost any surface without sanding or priming. So you don’t have to worry about your colour choice. Even pale paint colours will cover pine beautifully.


Traditional furniture paints require a lot of prep work before you can start painting pine. To create a lasting finish, these paints won’t work well on pine unless the surface has been sanded and primed first. If you’re looking for the best paint to upcycle pine furniture, look no further than Chalk Paint. Annie Sloan first developed this brand of furniture paint in 1990 specifically to go over surfaces like varnished pine without the need for priming first. It’s the perfect solution for people who don’t have the time (or patience!) to spend on prep. It means you can jump straight into the fun bit!

Watch how to upcycle pine furniture using Chalk Paint here.


The first thing you need to upcycle pine furniture is Chalk Paint. If you’re painting a small piece, like a bedside table, a project pot size will be sufficient. If you’re unsure about quantities, check out our handy Chalk Paint™  Coverage Guide.

The larger the brush, the more you’ll be able to work quickly. Remember to paint in every direction – this will make the paint application faster and help you achieve a lovely textured finish. If you prefer a smooth finish, choose a Flat Brush and feather the paint to minimise brush marks.

Finally, you will need Chalk Paint Wax to seal your paintwork. You can apply this with a  Wax Brush or a lint-free cloth if you prefer. It’s good to have a few rags handy anyway to help remove any excess wax when you’re done.


  1. Choose your piece of furniture. As ever, there’s no need to sand or prime.
  2. Using a Chalk Paint Brush, paint your chosen colour onto the wood – painting in every direction. Leave to dry.
  3. Apply a second a coat if necessary, to achieve full coverage. Leave to dry.
  4. Use a  Chalk Paint Wax Brush or a lint-free cloth to apply Clear Chalk Paint  Wax all over the piece. Make sure you cover all of the painted surface, getting into the nooks and crannies.
  5. Remove any excess wax using a lint-free cloth.
  6. Treat your finished piece with extra care while the wax cures and hardens – this can take between 5 – 21 days.

So there you have it! Gone are the days of worrying about painting over varnished pine. And what if you change your mind about the colour? You can always paint right over it again. No sweat.


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