Best Paint for Furniture

Choosing the best paint for furniture can be a daunting task, with numerous options available on the market. The key is to find a product that offers durability, ease of application, and an appealing finish.

In this article, we will discuss 10-15 top-rated paints that have been tried and tested by professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. These recommendations will guide you in selecting the ideal option for your next furniture painting project.

Types of Paint for Furniture

Choosing the right type of paint for your furniture is crucial for getting the desired finish and durability. There are various types of paints available in the market, each with its own set of properties, advantages, and disadvantages. In this section, we will discuss some of the most popular types of paints for furniture, including oil-based paints, water-based paints, acrylic paint, chalk paint, and milk paint.

Oil-Based Paints

Oil-based paints are known for their durability and lustrous finish. They tend to dry slower than water-based paints, but this allows for a smoother, more uniform application. Due to their long-lasting nature, they are often preferred for high-traffic pieces of furniture. However, oil-based paints emit strong odors and require the use of mineral spirits or paint thinner for clean-up.

Water-Based Paints

Water-based paints, also known as latex paints, are popular for their relatively low odor and easy clean-up with soap and water. They are versatile and can be used on a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, and plastic. They dry faster and have a lower VOC (volatile organic compound) content compared to oil-based paints. However, they may not be as durable as their oil-based counterparts.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a type of water-based paint that offers a balance between durability and ease of use. Because they are water-based, they dry quickly and are easy to clean. Acrylic paint provides a smooth, even finish and is available in a wide range of colors. It adheres well to most surfaces, but it may require a primer for better adhesion on certain materials.

Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is a popular choice for furniture projects due to its distinctive matte finish and minimal preparation requirements. It adheres well to various surfaces without the need for sanding or priming, making it a convenient option for DIY enthusiasts. Chalk paint can be easily distressed for a vintage, shabby-chic look, and it is often sealed with wax or a topcoat for added protection.

Milk Paint

Milk paint is an eco-friendly option made from natural ingredients like milk protein, lime, and pigments. It provides a subtle, matte finish and is available in a limited range of colors. Milk paint is known for its natural, aged appearance and is well-suited for projects that require a distressed, farmhouse-style look. However, it requires proper surface preparation, such as the use of a bonding agent, to ensure good adhesion.

Paint Finishes

Choosing the right paint finish for your furniture can make a significant difference in the final appearance and durability of your project. In this section, we will discuss five popular paint finishes: Matte Finish, Satin Finish, Gloss Finish, Semi-Gloss Finish, and Flat Finish.

Matte Finish

Matte finish paint provides a non-reflective, flat surface that effectively conceals minor imperfections. This finish is ideal for furniture pieces that will not be subjected to heavy use or constant handling. The following are some suggested products for matte finishes:

  • Product 1
  • Product 2
  • Product 3

Satin Finish

Satin finish paint offers a soft sheen that is slightly more reflective than matte finishes. It is an excellent choice for furniture pieces that require a subtle luster and added durability. Recommended satin finish products include:

  • Product 4
  • Product 5
  • Product 6

Gloss Finish

Gloss finish paint is characterized by its high shine and reflective properties. This finish is perfect for furniture that is frequently touched or used, as it can withstand regular cleaning and wear. For a glossy finish, consider the following products:

  • Product 7
  • Product 8
  • Product 9

Semi-Gloss Finish

Semi-gloss finish paint strikes a balance between gloss and satin finishes. It provides a moderately reflective surface and is able to withstand regular handling and cleaning. Some top semi-gloss finish paints are:

  • Product 10
  • Product 11
  • Product 12

Flat Finish

Flat finish paint is similar to matte finish, with even less reflectivity. It expertly hides surface imperfections and is generally used for furniture items that do not require frequent cleaning or maintenance. Recommended flat finish paints include:

  • Product 13
  • Product 14
  • Product 15

Preparation and Application

In order to achieve the best results when painting your furniture, it is essential to focus on the preparation and application process. This section will cover topics such as priming, sanding, and selecting the right painting tools.


Applying a primer to your furniture is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth, even finish. Primers help create a solid foundation for the paint, allowing it to adhere better and promoting durability. In addition, the use of a primer can help to conceal any imperfections on the surface of the furniture, providing a more polished look. There are various types of primers on the market, so be sure to choose the appropriate one for your project. Consider factors such as the type of surface you are working with, the color of the paint you will be using, and the intended use of the finished piece.


Sanding is another important step in preparing your furniture for painting. It helps to create a smooth, even surface that is ideal for applying paint. Begin by using a coarse-grit sandpaper, such as 80-grit, to remove any rough spots, paint, or finish. Once the initial sanding is complete, switch to a finer-grit sandpaper, such as 120- or 150-grit, to smooth the surface further. Be sure to clean the surface thoroughly after sanding, removing any dust or debris before moving on to the next step.

Painting Tools

Selecting the right painting tools can make a significant difference in the quality of your finished product. Here are some important tools to consider:

  • Brush: High-quality paint brushes are essential for achieving a smooth, even finish. Look for brushes with synthetic bristles, which tend to produce better results with water-based paints.
  • Roller: A roller can be an excellent choice for larger areas, as it allows you to apply paint more quickly and with a consistent finish. Opt for a small foam roller for the best results on furniture.
  • Spray paint: For a quick and easy application, consider using spray paint. This method provides a smooth finish without the need for brushes or rollers. Be sure to choose a spray paint specifically designed for furniture, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

The key to a successful furniture painting project is taking the time to carefully prepare the surface and select the appropriate tools. With proper planning and attention to detail, you can transform your furniture into a stunning, one-of-a-kind piece.

Top 10-15 Paint Recommendations

Selecting the best paint for furniture can make all the difference in durability, aesthetics, and ease of application. In this section, we will discuss our top recommendations for the best furniture paint, keeping in mind various factors including finish, quality, and ease of use. Here are some of the top paint options for your next furniture project:

Rust-Oleum Chalky Paint

Rust-Oleum Chalky Paint is known for its ultra-matte finish and rich pigmentation. This versatile paint can be used on a variety of surfaces including wood, metal, and ceramic. It adheres well and requires little to no preparation before application, making it a popular choice for DIYers.

Some features of Rust-Oleum Chalky Paint include:

  • Excellent coverage
  • Quick drying time
  • Easy to distress for a vintage look

Rust-Oleum Milk Paint Finish

Milk paint, a traditional furniture paint, can be challenging to source and use, but Rust-Oleum Milk Paint Finish offers an alternative with a premixed, easy-to-apply product. The result is a smooth, velvety finish that adds depth and character to your furniture.

Notable features include:

  • Low odor
  • Water-based, easy to clean up
  • No primer needed when used on porous surfaces

Rust-Oleum Gloss Furniture Paint

This water-based paint gives a high-gloss finish suitable for modern, high-end designs. Rust-Oleum Gloss Furniture Paint is quick-drying and provides outstanding durability, making it ideal for transforming old furniture into contemporary pieces.

Key features:

  • Scratch and scuff resistant
  • UV resistant for outdoor use
  • Long-lasting, high-gloss sheen

Rust-Oleum Metallic Accents Paint

Add a touch of elegance to your furniture projects with Rust-Oleum Metallic Accents Paint. This unique paint offers a shimmering finish and can be applied to various surfaces including wood, metal, and plaster.

Notable features:

  • Excellent adhesion to various surfaces
  • Smooth, brushstroke-free finish
  • Available in a variety of metallic shades

Valspar Furniture Paint

Valspar Furniture Paint is a high-quality, durable paint formulated with excellent adhesion and self-leveling properties. It is perfect for those looking for a smooth finish with minimal brushstrokes.

Some benefits include:

  • No sanding or priming required on most surfaces
  • Low-odor, non-flammable formula
  • Dries to a hard, factory-like finish

Benjamin Moore Advance

A waterborne alkyd paint, Benjamin Moore Advance is designed for excellent leveling and self-priming on most surfaces, making it a popular choice for painting furniture. This durable paint dries to a block-resistant finish and is perfect for doors, trim, and cabinets.

Notable features:

  • Low VOC content
  • Outstanding adhesion and leveling
  • Durable, block-resistant finish

Behr Premium Plus

Behr Premium Plus offers both a paint and primer in one product, simplifying the painting process. With its excellent coverage, stain-blocking properties, and superior durability, it is a reliable option for furniture projects.

Some benefits of Behr Premium Plus include:

  • Paint and primer in one
  • Mildew resistant
  • Low VOC content

Sherwin-Williams All Surface Enamel

A versatile option for furniture painting, Sherwin-Williams All Surface Enamel is specifically formulated for outstanding adhesion and durability. It works well on various surfaces including wood, metal, and even plastic.

Key features:

  • Excellent flow and leveling
  • Resistant to chipping and peeling
  • Quick-drying formula

Glidden Premium

Glidden Premium is a paint and primer combo, offering great coverage and excellent adhesion to most surfaces. This low-VOC paint is ideal for those looking for an eco-friendly option for their furniture projects.

Notable benefits of Glidden Premium include:

  • Low VOC, low odor formula
  • Great hide and coverage
  • Stain-blocking properties

Hemway Chalk Matt Finish Wall and Furniture Paint

Known for its quality and durability, Hemway Chalk Matt Finish Wall and Furniture Paint provides excellent adhesion and a beautiful, smooth finish. This eco-friendly option is perfect for those looking to update their furniture with a stylish matte finish.

Some benefits of Hemway Chalk Matt Finish Paint include:

  • Virtually odorless
  • Non-toxic and child-safe
  • No primer or top coat needed on most surfaces

Factors to Consider

When choosing the best paint for furniture, there are several factors to consider. To ensure you make the right decision for your project, it’s essential to evaluate the durability, color options, eco-friendliness, and application methods of each paint product. These aspects will help you determine the most suitable paint for your specific requirements.


A durable finish is crucial for furniture that experiences frequent use, such as chairs, tables, and cabinets. The best paints should be able to withstand wear and tear, chipping, and fading over time. Consider looking for products specially formulated to provide a long-lasting, durable finish on a variety of materials, such as wood, metal, and fabric.

Color Options

Explore a wide range of color options that suit your personal style and the overall aesthetic of your space. Look for paint brands offering a diverse selection of colors, finishes, and shades. This will allow you to customize your furniture pieces to seamlessly blend with your existing décor or stand out as eye-catching statement pieces.


It is essential to consider the environmental impact of furniture paints, focusing on eco-friendly options that limit the release of harmful chemicals, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Opt for paints with low or no VOCs, which are better for both the environment and human health.

Application Methods

Consider the application method that best suits your project and skill level. Common methods include using a brush, roller, or spray gun. Some paints are easier to apply than others, so choose a product with good coverage and a smooth finish. Additionally, be aware of the drying time and ease of clean-up, as these factors can also impact your overall experience when working with a specific paint product.

Painting Techniques and Styles

There are various painting techniques and styles that can be used to transform your furniture pieces. In this section, we’ll explore three popular styles: Shabby Chic, Vintage Look, and Furniture Makeover. These methods can add character, charm, and beauty to your DIY furniture painting projects.

Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic is a popular style that gives furniture a weathered, aged, and well-loved appearance. To achieve this look, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a paint color that complements the room’s décor.
  2. Apply a layer of primer if the surface is bare wood or if it’s glossy.
  3. Apply two coats of paint, allowing it to dry between applications.
  4. Use a fine-grit sandpaper to gently distress the edges and any raised details on the piece.
  5. Finish by applying a clear wax or topcoat to seal and protect the paint.

Vintage Look

A vintage look can add a touch of history and nostalgia to your furniture. This style often involves using multiple colors and finishes. Follow these steps to create a vintage look:

  1. Select two complementary paint colors. One will be the base color and the other will be used for highlights and accents.
  2. Apply a layer of primer if needed, as mentioned in Shabby Chic.
  3. Paint the entire piece with the base color and let it dry.
  4. Apply the accent color using dry brushing, which involves dipping a dry brush into the paint, wiping off the excess, and lightly brushing it onto the furniture.
  5. Finish by applying a clear wax or topcoat to seal and protect the paint.

Furniture Makeover

Furniture makeovers involve updating and restyling old or tired pieces to give them a fresh new look. This process can include changing the color, hardware, or even the purpose of the item. Here are some steps to consider for a successful furniture makeover:

  1. Assess the furniture piece and determine what changes will enhance its appearance and functionality.
  2. Choose a paint color that works well with the room’s décor and the desired outcome.
  3. Apply a layer of primer if needed, as mentioned in Shabby Chic.
  4. Apply the chosen paint, and make any additional changes, such as replacing hardware or adding stencils or decals.
  5. Finish by applying a clear wax or topcoat to seal and protect the paint.

When undertaking DIY projects, be sure to choose the best paint for furniture that suits your chosen style, and keep safety in mind by working in a well-ventilated area.

Additional Tips and Tricks

When selecting the best paint for your furniture project, there are a few additional factors to consider that will help ensure a professional and long-lasting finish.

Drying Time

Drying time is an important factor to consider when choosing paint for furniture. Different types of paint have different drying times, which can affect your overall project timeline. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended drying time before starting your project.

Generally, water-based paints tend to dry faster than oil-based paints. However, some specialized paints may require additional drying time for the best results. Allowing adequate time for each coat of paint to dry will help prevent issues like peeling or cracking in the future.

Self-Leveling Formula

A self-leveling formula can significantly improve the final appearance of your painted furniture. Self-leveling paints spread evenly on the surface, minimizing visible brush strokes and resulting in a smooth, professional finish.

When searching for a paint with self-leveling properties, look for keywords like “self-leveling” or “smooth finish” on the product label or in the description. Be aware that, although self-leveling paints tend to provide a cleaner look, they may require a bit more finesse during application to avoid drips and runs.

Clean Up

Cleaning up after a furniture painting project is an essential part of the process. Different types of paint require different cleaning methods, and knowing how to clean your tools and workspace is crucial for preventing damage and extending the life of your supplies.

  • Water-based paints: Clean up for water-based paints, like latex and acrylic, is relatively simple. You can use soap and water to clean brushes, rollers, and other tools.
  • Oil-based paints: Cleaning oil-based paints can be a bit more challenging. You will need a solvent like mineral spirits or turpentine to remove the paint from brushes and rollers.

No matter what type of paint you choose, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper cleanup and disposal of used materials.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *