Best Paints to use for Custom Painting Furniture

16th Nov 2021, author: AdelaTheCraftsWoman


You’d be surprised how fun it is to shop for paint.  The fact that when I go to Home Depot, that I can choose from 52 shades of white, is astonishing to me.

The best furniture paint for your job will depend on what the piece is made of, your skill level (and patience), and the look you’re going for.

In general, there a few different paint types available for furniture.

Chalk paint is a water-based paint with a matte finish that’s ideal for custom painting wood furniture pieces. It’s beloved by DIYers because it’s incredibly easy to use: chalk paint requires no sanding or prep work before use, and because it’s low or no-VOC, you can DIY indoors. Chalk paint can also be easily distressed, so if often used by those who want an antique finish. At the same time, because it’s water based, chalk-paint is only suited for indoor projects, and if you plan to use it in a high-touch situation (like a dresser) you’ll likely want to seal it with a polyurethane or wax before use.

Spray paint is another easy-to-use furniture paint, but it’s more durable than chalk paint. Spray paint will adhere to nearly any surface: metal, wood, plastic, ceramic, glass, and more, and there are varieties suited to indoor and outdoor use. It’s also inexpensive, and the easiest paint to use if you want a smooth look with no brushstrokes. The one drawback to spray paint is that it produces a lot of fumes, so it needs to be used outside and with a respirator and goggles. Spray painted pieces can also smell like chemicals for a few days, so you’ll want to give them some time to offgas before bringing them indoors.  You can buy a pretty inexpensive sprayer these days, I call mine “Santiago” The Sprayer.

Latex furniture paint can also be used to paint a range of surfaces, including wood furniture, cabinet doors, metal, masonry, plaster, and unglazed ceramic. It’s more durable than chalk paint, but also requires more prep work and dry time between coats. You’ll need to sand down and prime old wood furniture that already has a finish or coat of paint on it. If you’re working with unfinished wood, you’ll need a coat or two of primer before painting. If you want a lasting finish, or are planning to use your furniture outdoors, go for a latex paint, followed up by a few coats of polyurethane.

For more tips on how to choose the best furniture paint, you can most likely see me in the paint buying process on my instagram story