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How to Paint Wood Furniture the Easy Way: Beachy Painted Headboard

Have you ever come across an old piece of furniture and saw the potential but just weren’t totally convinced? Well, the truth is that even we had our doubts over how this refinished headboard would turn out. But thankfully, furniture paint has come a long way and we’ll show you how to paint wood furniture the easiest possible way.

Learn how to paint wood furniture in two simple steps. No sanding, priming or fuss! Full tutorial for this gorgeous upcycled headboard included.

Beachy Painted Headboard

Painting wood furniture is not as labor intensive and time consuming as it once was. With many of the products currently available, you can paint wood furniture with little or no sanding or priming.

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Over the last year we’ve had the opportunity to create and experiment with the DecoArt Americana Decor DIY line of products. Here are a few of the home decor and craft projects we’ve made using this versatile line of paints which include Chalky Finish, Satin Enamels, Metallics, Outdoor Living and more.

We have recently started a makeover of the second bedroom (the Lakeside Room) of our Graystone Beach cottage. You can find some of the before photos and our decorating ideas for the beach-themed bedroom here.

To give new life to an old and dated dark wood headboard in the room, we used DecoArt Americana Decor Satin Enamel paint as described below. If you are interested in learning about using a chalk-style paint, check out our tutorial on how to paint a dresser without sanding.

Supplies Needed for this Upcycled Headboard Project:

How to Paint Wood Furniture the Easy Way:

Read the instructions on the paint jar before starting. You can find additional directions and tips for using the Satin Enamels paint on the DecoArt website.

  1. Wipe down all surfaces with a cloth and warm soapy water to remove any dirt and grime. Make sure the piece is completely dry before moving onto the next step.
    Wood furniture painting the easy way
  2. Paint the surface with Satin Enamel. The shape and style of your headboard will determine which type of paintbrush to use. Our headboard was quite intricate with a lot of detail so we used both flat and angled brushes. Let the paint dry fully and then apply a second coat (if needed).
    How to paint wood furniture the easy way

That’s pretty much it! Although the paint dries within a few hours, it takes a few days to cure to a durable satin finish. Be careful not to scratch the paint until it’s fully cured.

How to paint wood furniture the easy way.

Isn’t the Seaside Blue just a perfect color for our beach-themed bedroom? And if you’re interested, we have the crochet pattern for the throw pillow as well.

The ease of use and durability of the Satin Enamels paint makes it great for high traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms. We recently used this same paint to refinish our bathroom vanity in a gorgeous True Teal color.

Step by step tutorial to give a coastal vibe to your old bathroom vanity.

We really couldn’t be happier with how well this piece turned out. The headboard has been transformed from a dated 80s furniture piece to a fresh and modern beachy headboard…all on a budget.

Do you have any tips on how to paint wood furniture?

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Collage of images demonstrating how to paint a wooden headboard.

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Thursday 7th of July 2022

I'm sorry I asked a question before I realized I would need to buy your paint. So If I use your paint to paint my headboard and footboard, I would still want to use a darker color and then wipe it off to give it an antique look. Would I be able to do that with your paint? How long would I leave on the dark color before I wiped it off? Thank you!


Thursday 7th of July 2022

Hello, I want to paint my headboard and footboard Alabaster (it's a white) and I also want to go over it with a darker color and then wipe it off.....I want to give it a dressy antique look. I want the darker color to get into the groves of the wood and design. I bought flat paint and I will finish it with a satin clear. I guess my question would be.....when I put the dark color long before I wipe it off?

Thank you!


Thursday 7th of July 2022

@Jane and Sonja,

Thank you so much!!!

Jane and Sonja

Thursday 7th of July 2022

Hi Sheri! You can use whichever paint you'd like! There's a couple ways to do it - with just the paint, you should wipe the darker paint off right away. If you let it dry, it will be difficult to get it off the light paint. The second option would be: after painting the piece white, paint over the areas that you want to stay white with a clear wax. Let that dry and then paint over with the gray. It will be much easier to wipe off and won't "stain" the white paint. It would be great to practice on a piece of scrap wood before hand to get a feeling for how the two paints will interact. I hope that helps! -Jane

Rose M Domenech

Friday 22nd of May 2020

Can i paint my wood furniture White? My headboard is Dark Brown I want to paint it White. Please Help Thank You.

Jane and Sonja

Friday 22nd of May 2020

Hi Rose. You absolutely can! I would recommend a stain blocker first to prevent any blead through from the dark wood (we love this one by Decoart: - our Amazon referal link) . Then you might need two coats of the white Satin Enamel ( or the Chalky Finish in Everlasting ( The Chalky Finish gives a really matte result and you should cover with a wax sealer after painting. I hope this helps. Let us know if you have any additional questions. Jane

Valeria Boggs

Thursday 19th of April 2018

Hello! This looks very nice! :) I have a similar bed and looking to refinish it in white. I was wondering how many of the 8oz jars of this DecoArt paint you had to use to paint the entire headboard. Thank you :).

Jane and Sonja

Thursday 19th of April 2018

Hi Valeria! We've found that this paint provides really good coverage so likely one 8oz jar would be enough for two coats on a headboard. If you have the opportunity, you may consider buying two just in case, and then returning the second one if you don't use it. The only other thing we'd suggest is, because you're going with white, maybe try painting the back of the headboard first to see if there's any bleed through of yellow marks through the paint. If so, apply the stain blocker first. We're currently using this same paint for our kitchen cabinets and have applied the stain blocker just to be sure. Let us know if you have any questions! -Jane


Sunday 11th of February 2018

I adore this paint color of the head board. Fabulous!

Jane and Sonja

Friday 30th of March 2018

It is such a fresh and cheery colour. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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