Pinterest Facebook Twitter Choose the right paint for your project! Come learn how to paint furniture in latex, chalk paint, milk paint, spray paint, and oil paint. More Help with Furniture Painting: How to Refinish Wooden Furniture (Stripping Old Finishes) – How to Prevent Liquefaction Tanning – How to Stain Wood of Any Color by Wash Color How to Paint Furniture – 5 Painting Options Sara Ove Sincerely, Sarah D. I’m excited to be with you today at Remodelaholic. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ll draw (almost) anything. Today I’m going to share tips for painting furniture using five different types of paint: latex, chalk, milk, spray, and oil-based. Before you start painting, read our tips for preparing recycled furniture to remove odors and preparing the piece for painting. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Learn more and read our full disclosure policy here. How to paint furniture with latex paint Latex paint (also known as water-based or acrylic paint) is great because it’s inexpensive and easy to clean because it’s water-based. Step 1: Sand Your furniture must be sanded to remove some of the existing finishes while creating a surface that the paint can stick to. Step 2: Cleaning Give your piece a good cleaning. Use a damp cloth to remove dust from the sandpaper and any other dirt or grime. If necessary, wash the piece and use a detergent like Simple Green. Step 3: The initial primer before painting with latex paint takes time, but it is worth it to make sure the latex paint won’t crack or peel off. Step 4: Painting How the paint is applied will determine the look of the paint. Use foam roller for a smoother look. Use a good quality brush where the roller cannot reach. Step 5: Seal the latex paint with a water-based polyurethane protective finish, such as polyacrylic. It is water-based (like latex), and should not yellow over time. How to paint furniture with chalk paint If you take a look at my blog, you will quickly realize that I am a huge fan of any type of chalk paint (or miracle paint as I lovingly call it). Chalk paint requires no stripping, sanding, or preparation! It sticks to almost any surface, dries quickly and cleans easily with soap and water. It even works on bathroom countertops like this or kitchen cabinets like this. For additional information: read Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Cece Caldwell Paint reviews, plus more tips on using chalk paint here. Step 1: Washing To start, I usually wipe a piece to remove any dust or dirt. I personally have never used a foundation with chalk type paint, but I’d suggest it if the piece has a really shiny finish. Step 2: Painting, at least two coats paint the entire piece with paint. I usually use a brush (but a small roller can be used for some pieces like cabinets). You’ll find that a little bit of paint goes a long way, and I always use two coats of paint. Chalk paint dries very quickly, but make sure the first coat is dry before applying the second coat. Step 3: Clean the wax, then the darker, if desired. After the paint is completely dry, apply two coats of wax onto the piece with a wax brush. I don’t wait for the first coat of wax to dry before I apply the second coat. Waxing tip – less is more! Dark wax is optional. Use it if you want to accentuate details and / or like an old-fashioned look. The clear wax must be applied before applying the dark wax. Go easy on dark wax. You won’t need much! Brush the dark wax onto the clear, somewhat dry wax. Remove the excess wax with a lint-free cloth. You are not limited to using wax. For high-use, high-touch pieces like kitchen cabinets, table tops, desktops, floors, and outdoor furniture, I recommend water-based polyurethane protective finishes such as polyacrylic. Step 4: Polish the wax with a lint-free cloth. It’s very easy to see where you missed the wax, so you can easily touch those places with a brush or rub the wax with a cloth. Polishing helps soften and remove excess wax. Step 5: Sand If desired, sand to give the piece an old, worn, and imperfect look. I recommend sanding after applying the wax due to the chalky nature of the paint. It will make a mess if you sand before waxing and then risk mixing particles of paint into the wax. I usually sand the edges and places where normal wear occurs. And that’s it! This is my favorite paint to use on furniture. Chalk paint used to be the go-to for painting furniture without sanding. Now, there are several paint brands that offer a sand-free coating process without the need to use furniture wax to seal off matte chalk coatings. Read Cassity’s experience with the Beyond Paint brand here. How to paint furniture with milk paint I have a love / hate relationship with milk paint. I love it because: it does not require any prep work, it has a beautiful dimension made with natural pigments on raw wood, it is beautiful, it works like a stain on raw wood, and it will absorb, which means great durability I hate it because: it tends to crack if used on a piece with An existing finish, the results can be on a piece with an unpredictable existing finish that makes the consistency of the milk coating difficult to control but all is not lost! If you are painting a piece with an existing finish, you can add a bonding agent. A bonding agent is sold separately from chalk paint and then added to the paint. Chipping can still happen with the binding agent – but not nearly as much as without it. More: Check out Real Milk Paint Company and Old Fashioned Milk Paint reviews, as well as layers of milk paint to create a tired finish. Step 1: Mix Milk comes in powder form, so mixing is required. It has an indefinite shelf life as a powder, however, once the paint is mixed, it should be used fairly quickly. For mixing, you can add 1 part powder to 1 part paint. You can add more powder (or water) to get the consistency you prefer. Allow the paint to sit a little to allow the lumps to absorb the water and help the bubbles to disappear. Keep in mind that sometimes you will need to mix the paint from time to time because the powder will settle to the bottom. Step 2: Paint Milk Paint requires no preparatory work before painting – no sanding or priming! The milk paint is thin and drips off easily. Use quick strokes and keep on top of the drops and wipe them off as quickly as possible. Wait for each layer to dry before adding another. I usually do 3 coats of milk polish. Step 3: Sand After finishing the drawing, you can sand the piece. Sanding is great if you want to soften and smooth the finish (you will notice some lumps of powder). If you have a lot of chipping, you will need to level these areas. Step 4: Apply the final finish: wax, oil, polyacrylic, etc. I use wax on the milky pieces and then smooth the wax using a lint-free cloth. It’s very easy to see where you missed with wax, so you can touch those places with a brush or cloth. Polishing helps soften and remove excess wax. A water-based polyurethane protective finish such as polyacrylic is best for high-use pieces such as cabinets or desks. Oils are also an option. Hemp oil is great because it is food safe. How to paint furniture with spray paint is quick and easy spray paint. Provides brushless coverage and super easy cleaning. Also, since spray paint is usually oil based, it adheres well to most surfaces. Dries quickly and durable. However, it can get expensive if you have a large piece of furniture and need warmer temperatures to function properly. Step 1: Prepare your piece of furniture Clean your piece of furniture well and let it dry completely. Step 2: Prepare your work area and spray paint in a well-ventilated area. I use the garage with the door wide open. Use a large piece of cloth to protect the floor. Wear a paint mask. I also suggest a spray paint attachment to keep your hands clean and reduce muscle cramps. Step 3: Prepare the paint The can can be shaken for several minutes. Often the first spray splashes out of the canister. Point the can away from the object you are painting, press the nozzle down and start spraying. I often “practice” on a piece of cardboard to take out the stains and determine how fast or slow I should move the case. Step 4: First Layer Always start by spraying a little further away from your item. Transfer the paint stream to your item smoothly but very quickly, taking it about 8 inches apart. Move back and forth in a fast, smooth movement, paint a light coat. For multi-dimensional items use short batches of paint, always start further away from your element and finish away from your element. It’s tempting to spray a heavy coat, but that means dripping! Step 3: More Coats Continue painting after the previous one has dried. (Check the box for drying times. Keep in mind that the lighter the layer, the faster the drying time.) I usually spray paint and work on something else for a while. Once the coat is dry, you can add another layer. Do this until you get full coverage. With spray paint, I rarely use a top coat unless there is a certain sheen I am trying to achieve. A top coat will add another layer of durability but spray paint generally tolerates well on its own. How to paint furniture with oil paint Oil paint is very durable due to its hard veneer. Its fine glossy finish adheres well to most surfaces. Oil paint requires chemical cleaning because it is not dependent on water and it takes a long time to dry. I would like to plan 24 hours per coat of paint. That is why I usually find myself choosing other types of paint. Step 1: Sanding before painting helps the paint adhere better. Step 2: Cleaning, clean the piece well. Use a damp cloth to remove dust from the sandpaper and any other dirt or grime. If necessary, wash the piece and use a detergent like Simple Green. Step 3: Primer with oil paint, an oil primer should be used. It will take more time, but I always suggest preparing. Having a piece that is not cracked or peeled will be worth your time and energy. Step 4: Painting How the paint is applied will determine the look of the paint. Use a foam roller for a soft look, and a brush for a more rustic look. Step 5: Stamp the oil-based paint with an oil-based finish. And there you have it! Five Painting Options and a Simple How to Each! Here is a handy table for you to compare and contrast different types of coatings when choosing how to paint furniture: More painting techniques and tips: Please install this for future reference! Originally Posted on 08.09.2017 // Updated 03.30.2021 Pinterest Facebook Twitter Remodelaholic is a participant in Amazon Services LLC Associates, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for sites to earn ad fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Please see our full disclosure here. Publication date: April 12, 2021 File under: Contributor, DIY, How-To, Informer Tagged: Chalk paint, Painting techniques, Coated furniture, Painting, Spray painting, Tips and tricks, Sarah D. Sarah is created to be creative and loves to share her work in hopes of inspiring others. In her DIY tutorial, Sarah shows that anyone can create a beautiful space with little cost and effort while giving others confidence in creativity! Sarah and her husband Steve live in Pendleton, Indiana with their three children, Bryant, Benson and Lena. When she’s not blogging or taking kids to and from sporting and school events, she teaches classes, consults with home décor clients and encourages others to get creative.