Best Paint for Furniture for a New and Attractive Look

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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You can give any piece of furniture a new look and use the best paint for furniture painting. Painting your furniture does not need a lot of time or tools; it is a simple DIY project to complete well and get the best results.

The best thing about painting your furniture by yourself is that it will help you save some money. For example, instead of buying a new patio chair, you decide to paint the old one; there, you will have used only a fraction of what you would use to buy a new one. Also, painting your furniture enables you to explore and be creative and customize your furniture to your desired design. You can also use the remaining paint to paint the kitchen cabinets, so nothing goes to waste.

There are different paint options that you may consider, such as oil and acrylic/latex paints. Besides that, there are also other paints, including chalky paint, spray, and milk paint. All these types of paints are different and suitable for different surfaces.

What are the Types of Paint?

Let's get to the point.

(1). Oil Based Paints

Oil-based paint is also called alkyd paint and is very durable. However, durability does come at a price as it takes more time to dry, is more expensive, and needs a lot of ventilation as they contain many VOCs-Volatile Organic Compound.

Oil-based furniture is the best paint for furniture to use if you don't know the last finish used on a certain piece of furniture. It is also the most suitable if you want a resilient finish that does not scratch or chip easily. You can apply oil paint over most surfaces, and it will adhere well.

(2). Water-Based Paints

Water-based paint is further divided into two, namely;

a). Latex Paint

Latex paint is water-based made from acrylic resin. It is popular, and this is due to its accessibility and availability in almost every color. In addition, latex paints have low levels of VOC or no VOC at all, which makes them the best for using indoors.

Another great feature is that they dry pretty fast. One of the major disadvantages of this paint is that it takes a long time to cure and retains a soft finish. It has various finishes, which are;

i). Flat/Matte

This has no resins and therefore does not reflect much light, and has a velvety appearance. It is not durable and not suitable for furniture that will undergo heavy use.

ii). Semi-gloss

The semi-gloss finish reflects a lot of light, and you can wash it without causing damage as it has higher concentrations of resins, making it more durable.

iii). High-gloss

The high-gloss finish provides the most durability but needs the most prep; they also reflect a lot of light, and the higher concentrations of resins make them withstand a lot of use and cleaning.

iv). Satin

This finish reflects the minimal amount of light. As a result, it looks more matte but is more durable.

b). Acrylic Paint

This is also a water-based furniture paint with color particles suspended in n acrylic polymer and offers a smooth finish. It is versatile but sold in small containers. Acrylic paint is self-leveling and easy to work with, and it also takes a short time to dry. In addition, it is more resistant to chipping than most water-based paints.

Other Forms of Paint

a). Chalk Paint

This paint is also water-based but has latex as its base and delivers a thicker and buildable texture. Its unique look and silky smooth finish make it likable but expensive. It dries fast but needs a little practice before achieving the best results.

b). Milk Paint

Milk paint offers a more natural finish with a thinner texture than chalk paint. In addition, it is non-toxic as it is made from protein with activator and color pigments added. It is sold in powder form. It is also less expensive, but you may need a coat of wax or oil to preserve the finish.

I believe that now you know everything you need to know about paint for furniture. Therefore, we shall discuss the best five.

1. Rust-Oleum, Serenity Blue Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint

Rust-Oleum, Serenity Blue 285139 Ultra Matte Interior...
  • Use on a variety of interior surfaces like wood, metal, ceramic,...
  • Low-odor, latex formula allows for easy clean up with soap and...
  • Dries to the touch in just 30 minutes and covers up to 150 sq....
  • Excellent adhesion and easy application with minimal prep
  • Dries to an ultra-matte velvety, smooth finish

This Rust-Oleum watercolor is suitable for various surfaces like wood, ceramic, metal, and even canvas. It easily distresses to create a vintage look, making your furniture have a great vintage finish for customization and added style.

This paint for furniture is low odor, so you can work with it well and with ease. The latex formula makes it easy to clean with soap and water, and it dries within a short time, approximately 30 minutes, making it less time-consuming during application. That is because you can apply several coats within short periods.

Rust-Oleum furniture paint needs minimal prep during the application, and this also makes it less time-consuming. This paint covers a large area of about 150sq. Ft. One coat cover lets you finish painting furniture easily.


  • Suitable for many surfaces
  • No strong smell
  • Minimal prep required


  • It is not stain resistant
  • Forms a yellow hue

2. Krylon ColorMaxx Spray Paint and Primer

Krylon K05557007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer for...
  • SPRAY PAINT AND PRIMER – Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint and...
  • INDOOR/OUTDOOR RUST PROTECTION – Whether your spray paint...
  • SATIN BLACK SPRAY PAINT – Color changes everything – from a...
  • EASY USE – The easy push big button spray tip on this...
  • AMERICA’S FIRST SPRAY COATING – Krylon spray paint has been...

If you want the best paint for furniture, Krylon colormaxx spray paint qualifies for the position. It is suitable for use on wood, wicker, metal, most plastics, ceramic, and glass, among others, and it delivers premium coverage with adhesion and durability. In addition, it is a gloss paint that protects furniture from indoor and outdoor rust.

The black satin finish makes your painted furniture look classic and fresh, making it suitable for many DIY projects. You will be happy with your work when you see the sleek look of the newly painted piece of furniture.

Its method of application makes it super easy to use. All you need to do is push the button from any angle, even upside down, ensuring that the paint reaches even the hard-to-reach places. In addition, it takes less than 20 minutes to dry to the touch so that you can cover a huge space within a short time. Also, a little goes a long way; you can paint up to 25sq ft with 12oz of this spray paint.


  • Needs less time to dry to the touch
  • It is easy to apply
  • Does not run or drip


  • Needs more time to dry before you add a second coat
  • The colors may be misleading.

3. Chalky Chicks Furniture Paint

Chalky Chicks | Chalk Finish Paint | Perfect For...
  • High quality chalk finish paint that typically covers in 1 to 2...
  • Adheres to stained wood, raw wood, laminate, glass, resin, metal,...
  • Ultra low VOC, kid and indoor friendly. Seal with a clear...
  • 1 QT will cover up to 150 SQ feet, depending upon technique used...

This Chalky paint may be the best if you need the perfect paint for your furniture and other DIY projects. Applying it is easy and less time-consuming as it does not require any sanding, primer, or stripping, so it requires minimal prep.

You can apply Chalky Chicks paint to raw wood, gloss laminate, brick, metal, cement, and the good news is that you can also paint your couch. Furthermore, when you mix this furniture paint with water, it acts as a stain for fabric, making it suitable for painting even the couch if you want to.

This chalk paint has minimal levels of VOC, making it child-friendly and also suitable for indoor use. You may need to seal it with a clear furniture w or polyacrylic to protect the finish on the furniture. If it is an outdoor project, seal with an exterior polyacrylic.

It is available in over 50 colors, and you can apply it with a paintbrush or spray gun directly from the jar! That's simple. 1QT can cover up to 150 sq. ft.


  • It is easy to clean
  • Smooth finish
  • Minimal prep needed
  • Contains minimum levels of VOC
  • You can use a paintbrush or spray gun to apply


  • Telling the colors is difficult

4. Hemway Duck Egg Chalk-Based Furniture Paint

Hemway Duck Egg Blue Chalk Based Furniture Paint Matt...
  • ✅ Simple & Easy to use Can be used on Walls, Furniture,...
  • ✅ No.1 Premium Chalk Paint available on the market We use the...
  • ✅ No Priming or Sanding necessary ✅ Can be painted straight...
  • ✅ Coverage & Drying time ✅ Up to 15m2 per litre of matte...
  • ✅ 100% GUARANTEED ✅ We want you to love our product. If you...

Hemway chalk-based furniture paint is easy to use, and you can apply it on furniture, walls, any woodwork, or on accessories for a decorative matte finish. You can apply just one coat, and that will be enough. It also does not have any smell.

You can apply Hemway chalk paint on surfaces without sanding or priming, making it easy to use. It results in a smooth and flat finish. You can apply directly to walls, furniture, stone, wood, brick, plastic, metal, or plaster, and it is suitable for use with a stencil or masking tape to create shapes.

This chalk paint can cover up to 15 m2 per liter, depending on the nature and porosity of the surface. It takes approximately two hours to dry before you can apply another coat.


  • Minimum odor
  • Safe for indoor use
  • Minimum prep needed before its application
  • Suitable for painting different surfaces


  • It is plane
  • It chips off

5. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra-Cover Enamel Paint

Rust-Oleum 1994730 Painter's Touch Ultra-Cover...
  • Use for a variety of indoor and outdoor project surfaces...
  • Water-based acrylic formula is low odor, resist chips and...
  • Covers up to 30 sq ft and dries to touch in 30 minutes for quick...
  • Gloss finish provides a fresh new look for surfaces, goes on...
  • Prior to application sand surfaces with 180/200 grit sandpaper,...

To get the best paint for furniture, you only need to search well, and you will find a variety to choose from, including this Rust-Oleum furniture paint. You can use it on several surfaces, including metal, plaster, wood, masonry, or unglazed plastic.

It is a water-based acrylic paint with a low odor and provides long-lasting protection to the painted surfaces. In addition, it provides a glossy finish which gives your surfaces a new look. This furniture paint dries in less than 30 minutes to the touch so you can complete your projects quickly, and for the best outcome, you need to apply two coats of this paint.

Before painting furniture, sand the surface with 180/200 grit sandpaper, wash with a degreaser, and dry. A 236ml can of this furniture paint covers up to 30 sq ft, and it resists fading, so your furniture stays with the new look.


  • A small amount goes a long way
  • Low odor levels
  • Suitable for various surfaces


  • It is pricey

What Should You Consider When Selecting the Best Paint for Furniture?

What should you look for when buying the best furniture paint? You need to put many factors in mind when you want to give your wood furniture or the metal ones a new look. Some of the factors to consider are the following;

a). Type of Furniture

Paints offer different levels of durability and before you buy the paint, ask yourself, what do you want to paint? If the piece of furniture involves heavy-duty use, it is better to get a more durable paint. If you use paint that easily chips off, like chalk paint, on heavily used furniture, it will not last. However, if you want to apply the paint on a rarely used item, even the chalk paints will last for quite a while.

b). Finish

What finish do you want your furniture to have? This will highly determine the type of paint you choose. Different paints offer different finishes; therefore, first, be sure with the finish you want, then buy paint that will give that finish. For example, semi-gloss, gloss, and eggshell paints are easier to clean. On the other hand, chalk, flat and matte finishes are not easy to clean. Therefore, be sure to get the type of finish you want before buying the paint.

c). Prep Needed

If you are planning to paint a piece of furniture that is in good shape, you may have to buy chalk paint as they do not require you to sand or prime the furniture first. Using chalk paint does not require a lot of prep and will take the least of your time.

Other paints like acrylic and oil-based have to carry out all the processes like deglazing, sanding, and priming before furniture painting.

d). Surface

What is the material of your furniture? If you are planning to paint wood furniture, buy the best paint for that material. If it is metal, the same applies.

e). Method of Application

There are three different methods of paint application. The methods include;

  • Spray- spray delivers even coverage of the whole surface without leaving brush marks. This method is easy to use to paint furniture with spindles.
  • Roller-this method is faster and most suitable for painting furniture with large flat surfaces like tabletops.
  • Brush-brush painting creates a hand-painted and textured effect. It is the best method to use for precise painting.

f). Indoor Vs. Outdoor Use

The best paint to use when painting outdoor furniture is latex or oil-based. When painting furniture exposed to high humidity, you can prep the mold-infested surfaces by washing with a water and bleach solution, in the ratio 4:1, respectively. Also, you can paint such furniture with paint with mold-resistant additives.

Painting your furniture is the best way to avoid spending money when you don't have to. For example, instead of buying a new patio chair because the paint in the old one has faded, simply buy oil-based paint and brush then you are good to go. Just like that, you can improve the overall appearance of any furniture.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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