Liza Greis

Do-it-yourself projects and Home Decor

How to Get A Smooth Finish When Painting

Temperatures are above freezing (most days), the sun has been peeking out, and we have only been snowed on a couple of times the past couple of weeks, so you know what that means… It’s painting time! I have had this dresser in my basement for an embarrassingly long time. I brought it over from my sister’s house with the promise that I would paint it for her guest room. I finally got around to painting it and thought I would share my tips for how to get a smooth finish when painting. Plus, I have a giveaway so you can start all those projects that you have been procrastinating too!

This post is sponsored by Homeight but all ideas, opinions, and bad Coronavirus jokes are all mine ;) This post contains affiliate links.


This multi-shaded orange beauty was dated and in need of a refresh.



Behold, the power of paint! My sister requested that I paint it the same color as her kitchen island. I think the dark gray was perfect.


How To Get a Smooth Finish When Painting

Proper preparation is a huge part of getting smooth results. This dresser had lots of dings and scratches that needed to be fixed before I could even think about cracking open the paint can.



Step 1: Putty & Sand

Putty any dings, dents, or scratches with a sandable wood putty. Overfill since most putties will shrink a little when drying. Allow it to full dry before sanding. Sand it down until it is flush with the wood surface.

Sand the entire piece. Paint will stick better to a non-shiny surface. Plus, this helps get rid of slight imperfections such as shallow scratches or water marks as well as any dirt or grime. Start out with a 120 grit and then go over it wit a 220. If you sand with a heavy grit sandpaper, it will leave little lines that will become obvious when paint is applied. There’s no need to use a sander. Hand sanding is fine. You are not trying to remove the previous finish. Make sure to sand the same direction as the wood grain.



Step 2:  Clean

Wipe off the dresser and make sure to get all the dust off. Paint sticks much better to a clean surface.


Step 3: Set Up Work Area

Even though the Super Finish Max has very little over spray, you will want to protect your driveway, garage, basement, etc from any paint. If you are working outside, this Spray Shelter also protects your project from getting leaves and such blown onto the wet paint. The set up is fast and easy. It is large enough to hold furniture with room to spare!


Step 4: Paint!

Choose a good quality paint, especially if the piece will get a lot of wear and tear.

Using a paint sprayer is going to be your best bet for a super smooth finish. No matter how talented you are, you can not get this quality of a finish by brushing on paint. If you want a factory finish (or what I like to call baby butt smooth), then you really do need to use a sprayer. I used my Super Finish Max.

It is much better to paint several thin coats of paint rather than one or two thick coats. If you apply it too heavily, you run the risk of the paint running and dripping. Apply the paint in long, even strokes going the same direction.



Once it has dried completely (I like to let mine cure a minimum of 24 hours) you can add the hardware back on. I updated this dresser by getting new hardware.



Can you see that baby butt finish? Aaaahhhh. Love it.



I had to photograph it in my house instead of my sister’s new guest room due to the Coronavirus and the Stay Home order. But I think it looks pretty cute here, don’t you think?



Now for the giveaway!

HomeRight is giving one lucky reader a large Spray Shelter! Now you can paint in your shelter while you “shelter in place”. Too soon? ;)

You must be at least 18 years old to enter. You must be a resident of the USA to enter. The giveaway will go from April 3, 2020 until April 10, 2020. A winner will be chosen by and will be notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. The shipping of the prize is the responsibility of the company, in this case, HomeRight.

Enter below using the Rafflecopter Widget:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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  1. Kathy says

    I paint pieces all the time and am most excited to paint the table/chairs I got couple months ago, waiting for nicer weather. Love your dresser.

  2. A says

    The dresser turned out beautifully. I would be most excited about painting several shoe cubbies we have in both the mud room and in the garage.

  3. Lilly Thomas says

    Looks so pretty!! What a huge change… from old to elegant.
    I have quite a few jobs waiting for me to paint them. Love that HomeRight shelter!!!

  4. Erin Prohaska says

    The dresser turned out great! I have an IKEA step stool that would be so cute sprayed green and then a little cabinet across the kitchen that I’d paint to match it (and swap out the hardware on). Thanks for the opportunity! ❤️

  5. Janina says

    Great paint job. The shelter is a wonderful idea.We are moving soon and l have a bedroom set l want to paint.

  6. Melissa Storms says

    I have had plans to paint my son’s bedroom set for a long time. I am planing to put a dark gray stain on the drawer fronts and painting the body black.

  7. Karen says

    Your dresser looks great, it’s amazing the difference some paint and new hardware can make. I paint a lot of furniture and this would be a big help!

  8. Rosa L. Garrett says

    I can’t wait to paint my outside furniture. Thanks for the chance to win. The chest looks great! Such a dramatic change.

  9. Cindy says

    I am just excited thinking I will soon be able to paint outside and paint and buffet I’ve had for years in the basement.

  10. Kristin Howard says

    I would love to have one of these spray painters. I recently stripped the hatch of a boat (with a sandblaster) and would love to have a spray painter to finish it. The nooks and crannies would be impossible w/out one. My soon to be coffee table would certainly benefit from a spraryer!

  11. Christine E-E says

    Oh my gosh. I have a list of items to paint. My dining room table would be my first project. I bought it 20+ years ago when I was first divorced & furnishing my condo. It’s seen a lot of use (meals, crafting, card games, jigsaw puzzles, cookie making etc) & would look great in a gray-blue paint color.

  12. Jan says

    I’m redecorating my living room and my budget requires I repurpose some of my furniture which I will paint! This “tent” would come in so handy and make the job easier!
    Your sister’s chest turned out gorgeous!

  13. Amber Hawkins says

    That turned out awesome and seems I need to up my game! Much faster than brush painting and looks so much nicer too, I’ll have to invest in a sprayer. Now here’s hoping I win that tent!

  14. Susan Tompkins says

    I have an entertainment Center that would be a lot easier to paint if I had a shelter and supermax sprayer ! I never thought of that technique while dreading the work involved using a paintbrush , wow!

  15. Linda Waugh says

    I would be very appreciable if I were the special winner of this sprayer. I would certainly put it to good use with many painting projects. This sprayer would be just perfect for getting the smooth finishes I was unable to get on my pain projects in the past. Thanks so much for this opportunity!

  16. Stacey says

    I have my grandma’s dining room set…….table, six chairs, china hutch and buffet that NEED to be painted. They are waaaayyy outdated. Great giveaway!!

  17. Michelle says

    I have a couple of dressers to paint myself…I have wanted one of these paint shelters for a couple of years! Thank you for the giveaway.

  18. Danalin says

    I have several quarantine projects that this would be awesome for! :) Love the color you chose for the dresser!

  19. Jackie Burrell says

    I am really excited to get my patio chairs painted and also the doors and drawers of my kitchen cabinets.

  20. Allison Hyde says

    I want to get brave enough to paint my kitchen table, but I’m just not there yet!! That dresser looks so good though!

  21. Linda C Johnston says

    I’m thinking you should negotiate your sister for this piece! lol Looks amazing! Thanks for all the valuable information. Sure would love to win this super prize!

  22. Sue Gnacinski says

    You refinished/painted that drawer set to perfection!
    The updated hardware made it amazing…I actually have drawers with the same older type…LOL
    I am ALWAYS looking for a way to paint without the overspray mess…today was one of those days.

    • Sue Gnacinski says

      Sorry, I didn’t answer the question…LOL
      I want to repaint 2 metal plant stands that got all crappy.

  23. grace says

    Wow, Liza that dresser is gorgeous .. thank you for sharing us the process. We have similar dresser that I have been wanting to paint over – maybe I can try with your process – hoping the spray shelter would be handy ;-) Thank you for the chance!

  24. Tina says

    This spray shelter looks awesome! I can see so many uses for it besides just painting with a sprayer. Wow!

  25. Camille says

    You have the greatest ideas and most pleasant approach. Thank you for opening my mind to possibilities…

    • Camille says

      I’m most excited to paint my kitchen cabinets. They are medium brown and make the room dark. I’m doing that as soon as TN “stay at home” mandate is lifted!

  26. Tammie says

    I would love to paint a couple of bookcases in the spray shelter. Spray painting them in the shelter would make the job go so much faster!

  27. Lane Reynolds says

    I love you finished piece. I would paint a three drawer dresser that I have. Also, I have a framed mirror I would like to paint.

  28. Kristin C says

    I have a console table. I bought a sprayer but I am afraid to use it without something to block the wind and guard other stuff. This will be perfect! Thank you!

  29. Mary Kaiser says

    Wow that turned out so good!! Tell sister she may not get it back as it looks so good where you have it, LOL! I need to find a piece like that for my house.

  30. Carol Freeman says

    I received the sprayer for Christmas. I have some bedroom furniture that’s needs painted. I’m looking forward to trying it out once the weather warms up some. Thanks for the instructions.

  31. Sandy Stevens says

    I wish I had seen this before I had painted an old tv cabinet that I had. It would’ve turned out so much better! Oh well, next time I’ll do better! My next victim is our kitchen table!

  32. Cassie Coleman says

    I have a dresser much like the project you show here that has needed repainted for years. I love the gray color you used.

  33. Lindsie says

    The best part of this post is the shoes you are wearing while painting. Your feet are all dressed up lol!

  34. Amy B Reed says

    I have several painting projects that are on my to-do list including painting a set of end tables and repainting my interior doors and trim.

  35. Celeste Herrin says

    I am most excited to paint my coffee table! I have been putting it off, but with a spray shelter I would do it in a heartbeat!