Painting furniture white can be challenging. Learn how to keep the bleed from happening using less coats of paint.

White desk and chair

There are always challenges when painting furniture white. Repairs, prepping and bleed through from the oils in the original wood. It can be very frustrating. If done correctly from the beginning, you could avoid all the frustrations along the way to the finish. This chair for example, is mahogany. Probably the toughest lesson one could learn is from this wood. Lots of bleed if you don’t prep properly.

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white furniture

This desk wasn’t too much of a hassle. I actually painted it a gray base, which acts as a primer base for light or white colors. A great idea to help avoid painting so many layers of painting white. As you can see here, only the drawers are white to give a bit of elegance to a less than interesting desk. With some distressing using 220 grit sandpaper on the desk top and body as well as the original hardware that I just painted over. This could be used for a boys desk or a girls vanity.

White desk

Painting A Mahogany Chair

Mahogany Chair

Prepping & Painting Steps

  1. Removing the seat, I cleaned this chair with my go-to cleaner of vinegar and Dawn platinum dishwashing liquid.
  2. I didn’t want to sand this piece and stir up any tannins or oils, so I covered this chair with 2 coats of primer in white.
  3. Using two coats of white chalky paint, covered this perfectly.
  4. At this point, I was able to distress the chair slightly without worry of any mahogany oils coming through.
  5. I reupholstered the seat with a gray and white fabric that brought this chair together with the white desk.
  6. With a final top coat protector of a chalky matte finish, it was perfect.


How to use chalk paint

I gave the chair and desk small stencil accents for a final touch!

White ChairWhite desk accents

So there you have it! Painting furniture white and giving a simple piece of furniture some elegance. I hope this information helps you in painting your next white and gray furniture! What do you think of this final project?

Share with me your white projects!

gray and white

Do it with purpose!

“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares!”