Resource Center

Painters Essentials 

Just getting started painting? The tools and products you’ll need depends on how much you want to get into it. Here is a list of the essentials to get you started.

  • White Lightening Cleaner
  • BOSS or Wise Owl stain-blocking primer 
  • Slick Stick bonding primer
  • At least one Zibra 2" brush 
  • One Dixie Belle Oval Medium brush  OR one Cling-on medium-sized oval brush 
  • At least one Blue Sponge
  • Clear Coat or Varnish
  • Dixie Belle or Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis paint in your choice of colors



Learn to Paint Furniture

This video series covers all the basics, from choosing your painting tools, to cleaning and prepping your piece, to painting, sealing, and using wax and glaze. Choose individual lessons or watch the whole series. 

How to Apply a Transfer

How to Seal a Transfer


Product Checklist Many of the products I use in my Learn to Paint Furniture video series. 
Cleaning Dixie Belle White Lightening

Dixie Belle BOSS. For preventing wood tannins, nicotine, and stains from bleeding through the paint, and for blocking odors. Choose white or clear depending on whether or not you want a white base color.

Dixie Belle Slick Stick. A bonding primer for painting very slick surfaces like laminate or tile. Helps the paint adhere. Comes only in white, so it creates a white base coat. 


I use Dixie Belle paints


Dixie Belle clear wax

Dixie Belle colored waxes


Dixie Belle Clear Coat. This product is super easy to use, is predictable, and rarely streaks. Comes in flat, satin and gloss. The glossier the topcoat, the more durable it is. However, I personally rarely use gloss. I use flat and satin. 

Dixie Belle Gator Hide. This topcoat offers our highest level of durability. It's a must-have for the tops of buffets, tables, and dressers, and high-use pieces. I find it takes a little more practice than the Clear Coat, and can sometimes streak a little, especially on dark surfaces. Adding a few drops of your paint color to the Gator Hide can help with that. 


Dixie Belle glazes


Dixie Belle brushes

Wax brush

Applicator sponge


This page contains affiliate links that may earn me a small commission when used for a purchase. I wouldn't recommend these products if I didn't use and love them myself. Thank you for supporting independent artists!

Little Green Upholstery Cleaning Machine by Bissell


Peffect for chairs and couches, and also your car seats and carpets and pet stains. 



I like to get size large so they're easy to get on and off. This brand is a nice, thick quality and a good value dollar-for-dollar. 
Shop towels Great multi-purpose shop rags. I go through a lot of them. These are affordable enough to use and toss. I don't wash my shop towels. I don't find that to be cost-effective.
Liquid Sander/Deglosser If a surface is just a little shiny, I sometimes use this product. After cleaning, apply with a rag. It knocks down some of the shine just a little to help the paint adhere. 
Black & Decker Mouse Sander

One of my favorite tools. Perfect for so many light or heavy sanding projects. I love that the sandpaper attaches with Velcro. So easy. 

Be sure and pick up some extra sanding sheets. I love this pack because it comes in different grits and they're all one piece, meaning the tip won't come off when it's worn out. 

Milwaukee Compact Drill & Driver I love my Milwaukee drill! It's small but powerful. You can control the power - light and easy for those antique flathead screws, or a lot when you're driving in a wood screw. I have two drills but I reach for this one every time. 
Drill & Screwdriver Bits You don't have to match your bits to the drill. I like these DeWalt drill bits and screwdriver bits, and they're very reasonably priced. 
Lysol Cleaning Wipes I've loved these for years for light-duty furniture cleaning, wet-distressing, cleaning off tools, and so many other uses. Plus they just came out with a new formula that's free from harsh chemicals or residue. 

Daddy Van’s Orange Oil

Wonderful for cleaning and reviving wooden furniture
Artists Paint Brushes You can never have too many of these. Perfect for touch-ups, detail work, and even applying glue. They're cheap, so you can toss them when you need to.
Cabinet drawer drilling template This little gadget is worth its weight in gold. When you need to "fill and drill" holes, this will guide you to correct hole placement, and you can even drill right through the holes in the template. 
E6000 Glue/Adhesive Great stuff. If you've ever used 2-part epoxy, you know what a pain that is. This is similar to epoxy but it's a one-part formula. Just squeeze. I use it to apply moulds to furniture but it has a thousand uses.
Photography lighting for staging After using LED lights, I'll never go back to light bulbs again. Standard light-bulb tripods tip over and the bulbs shatter. These are much more foolproof and the tripod is easier to use than most tripods.