How To Paint A Wooden Chair? Easy Step-by-step Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
17 min read

Painting a wooden chair is a lot simpler than you might think. Even if you don’t have a knack for design, you can still rearrange your furniture to your heart’s content. In this essay, we will show you how to easily decorate your wooden chair.

5 Benefits of Painting The Wood Furniture

No 1  To protect wood.

The wood used in the construction of solid wood furniture is notoriously difficult to work with, and it suffers significant damage from prolonged exposure to the elements. Furniture can be properly safeguarded after painting.

No 2  Control the moisture content of furniture and prevent wood deformation.

How stable a piece of wood is is greatly affected by its moisture level. When you paint the wood, you seal it from the elements and prevent the wood’s own moisture from evaporating too quickly, making the wood more resistant to warping.

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No 3  After painting the furniture hand feel is thinner and smoother, and it is easier to clean and maintain.

Wooden pipes, no matter how carefully polished, will always be porous and difficult to keep clean. The catheter was filled with saline solution after painting, and any lingering paint can be wiped away with a damp towel.

No 4  Make the furniture more fresh and shiny as it is used.

Logs that are left out in the open are susceptible to oxidation and corrosion, and can lose their original color in the process. Because it is protected from air after being painted, the wood will always look how it did when it was first installed.

No 5  It is more beautiful.

There will be color variation even if the wood is the same species. Painstaking painters can give furniture a uniform finish, much like applying cosmetics.

Painting Your Wooden Chair

Step #1. Preparation

It’s possible that your chairs have been in constant use or have been stored away for a long time in the basement. Clean your furniture with a damp cloth and some soap. Get rid of the dust, filth, and other particles that may be hidden in your seat.

The next step is to sand the wood so that the surface is ready for painting. Wood putty can be used in place of sandpaper if the damage is too great to be repaired by sanding. That said, if you’re comfortable with the glide of your chair as is, you can skip this step.

After that, you can start the real painting process. Don’t forget to protect your floor against paint spills by placing an old cloth or newspaper under your chair.

Step #2. Painting

For starters, it’s important to choose on a color scheme. After that, prime the entire chair. Avoid leaving any gaps in coverage.

Apply the paint of your choice as soon as it dries. Applying a thick layer is unnecessary; many thin layers should be used instead. Applying a clear coat as the final step in a project ensures its durability.

Can you paint furniture without sanding?

Preparing wood for painting is a multi-step process, and sanding is a major one. It’s not just tedious; it’s also a huge pain in the rear to clean up after. But do you think there aren’t less laborious options to this problem?

You might also use chalk paint as an alternative to regular wood stain. The effectiveness of chalk paints means that they can be used on any piece of furniture that hasn’t been sanded. Because it requires so little of your time to be ready to use, this paint is also a fan favorite.

If you want to avoid sanding, mineral paint is another option. Similar to chalk paint in appearance. In addition to being stain- and water-resistant, it clings to any surface.

Milk-based paints are another good option. Make a combination of the paint and a glue. You’d have a coating that’s simple to apply and maintain.

Bonding primers are also an efficient method. You should only invest in primers that have been tried and tested. Your product will retain its paintwork if you did.

Finally, the usage of deglosser is a lesser-known option. The application process is simple and requires only brushing, although the chemical smell means it’s better done outside.

What Type of Paint Do You Use For A Wooden Chair?

Knowing what kind of paint to use is helpful once you’ve mastered the painting process. You should keep in mind that the paint is what gives the furniture its full vivacity. You must therefore become quite careful and delicate when selecting the appropriate paint for your wooden chair.

Latex, oil, and acrylic paints are the three options to consider. There are good points and bad points to every variety. The differences between these paint varieties will become more clear as you read on.

One of the best paints to use is latex. You may find this kind in any local hardware store or home improvement center. Additionally, it provides a large palette of colors in a variety of intensities.

A hallmark of oil paint is its durability. It may be applied to practically any surface and resists scratches. However, the hefty cost reflects the high quality of these features.

To put it simply, acrylic paint dries quickly. It is versatile and may be used in a variety of mediums, from water to oil paint. Acrylic paint, in contrast to latex paint, is only available in miniature sizes.

Should I Use A Brush Or Roller When Painting?

Knowing the right material to paint and furnish with might help you get the most out of your investment. To that end, when it comes to painting, do you side with the brush camp or the roller crowd?

First, you can think about how a distinct approach to painting is necessary for a certain piece of furniture. Home furnishings come in a wide range of sizes, materials, and shapes. So, you need to be sure that the paint you use goes well with your furnishings.

Numerous sizes of brushes are available. They are typically placed in the edges or corners, where mobility is required. Painting furniture with plenty of intricate details should be done with brushes.

Applying a flat coat with a roller guarantees uniform coverage. Given how efficiently paint is distributed while using a roller, you can save money. It’s also a hit when applied to some particularly hefty pieces of furniture.

The Best Type of Paint for Furniture

Latex Paint

The widespread availability of latex paint makes it a popular choice for painting furniture. Latex paint comes in a wide range of colors and sheens, and may be purchased by the pint or gallon at any home improvement store. Formulas with minimal or no volatile organic compound emissions are available and are strongly advised for interior painting. Even after a considerable period of curing, the finish remains rather “soft,” making it unsuitable for heavily worn furniture.

How to: revamp an old wooden chair | Painted wooden chairs, Old wooden chairs, Wooden chair

The variety of colors that may be achieved using latex paint for furniture is one of its main benefits. You can either select a color from the available paint chip samples, or have the paint counter create a custom color that is tailored to your needs. With so many options, it’s simple to pick the perfect paint color for any space. In addition to oil-based paints, latex paints come in a wide variety of sheens. Depending on the desired effect, your project can be completed in a flat (matte), satin, semi-glossy, or glossy finish.

Without resins in the mix, latex paint will have a flat, almost velvety finish since it will not reflect much light. If your product is going to be subjected to frequent bumping, touching, and washing, you should probably choose a different finish. Chalky paint is another option if you want a long-lasting matte finish.

Paints having a satin finish don’t reflect much light (eggshell is a closely related finish). Satin paint may be the ideal option if you want the look of matte paint but require a more long-lasting paint for furniture. If you go with a washable version, maintenance is a breeze.

With its high reflectivity and ability to withstand repeated washings and heavy use, semi-gloss paint is a top contender for the title of best paint finish for furniture. Painting furniture in a semi-gloss finish, with its higher resin content, is a better choice for pieces that will see regular use. The glossy finish is very popular.

The most dramatic and long-lasting effect can be achieved with a glossy paint finish, but it requires the most preparation. High-gloss paints are able to resist heavy use and cleaning because of their high light reflectance and high resin content. Be wary, though; a surface with this much gloss will highlight any flaws. You must ensure that the furniture has been properly prepared for painting and that any flaws have been fixed before using this type of paint.

Understand that heavy use can cause latex paint to chip or scratch. However, unlike oil-based paint, which soaks into porous surfaces, latex paint adheres to the surface layer of furniture. Therefore, this paint coat is vulnerable to damage. Preparing the surface with sandpaper and primer will yield better results, but you should expect to perform some touch-up work in the future.

When cost is the most important consideration, this type of furniture is ideal for occasional use pieces that won’t be moved often.


  • Available in a rainbow of hues and in plentiful supply.
  • Clean up in a snap with just soap and water.
  • Distinct sheens are readily accessible.


  • Not durable enough for everyday use
  • Not all varieties are machine-washable.

Chalky Paint

Reclaiming vintage furniture or giving newer pieces old-world charm has led to a rise in popularity for chalky paint. This water-based paint typically has latex as its base, but delivers a thicker, buildable texture.

Reclaiming vintage furniture or giving newer pieces old-world charm has led to a rise in popularity for chalky paint. This water-based paint typically has latex as its base, but delivers a thicker, buildable texture.

Whether it’s for refinishing old pieces or giving brand-new furniture an antique look, chalky paint has become increasingly fashionable in recent years. This water-based paint, which commonly utilizes latex as its foundation, provides a thicker, buildable texture.

Perfect for giving everyday furniture a luxurious matte finish or restoring vintage treasures.


  • Stays put on many different materials.
  • Quick dry time
  • Silky smoothness


  • Possible brush stokes
  • Any scratches or marks will show up on the finish.
  • Cons: high price and few available hues

Milk Paint

Milk paint may be the appropriate choice if you’re looking for a natural paint for furniture that has a thinner texture than chalky paint but still lots of personality. Milk protein and an activator (usually lime or Borax) are the main ingredients in this non-toxic paint. Adding different pigments to paint causes it to take on a new hue.

Milk paint is widely used because it is made with natural components and produces no harmful byproducts. Prior to the widespread availability of commercial paint, this particular paint was commonly used for decorating homes and furniture. Despite its versatility, the finish may not always be uniform in terms of saturation, even when applied to the same surface repeatedly. Milk paint is water-based, so it’s best to apply a bonder for more reliable results (and less chipping). This also applies to glass and plastic, where it is crucial to avoid scratches.

Milk paint is distinct since it is often sold in powder form. Just add water to the amount of paint you’ll use, and you may save the excess for touch-ups or future projects. It’s a cheaper alternative to chalky paint that looks just as good. It may be essential to apply a protective wax or oil to the surface.

To achieve an aged, weathered, or distressed look on furniture. You can easily give milk paint an aged effect by sanding the edges and corners, or you can leave it as is for a smooth, matte surface.


  • Powder form that doesn’t contain anything harmful
  • Rapidly dries
  • Useful for a wide variety of surfaces.


  • Hard to maintain a constant level of saturation.
  • In the absence of a protective sealant, surfaces are susceptible to damage.
  • The need for a bonder might arise in a variety of situations.

Acrylic Paint

The use of acrylic paint, another water-based form of paint for furniture, is similar to that of latex paint. Acrylic polymer with color particles suspended in it provides a burst of intense color and a silky feel. It is a versatile paint for furniture because it can be used on many different surfaces, but its typically smaller containers make it more suitable for use on accent items such as picture frames and side tables.

Acrylic paint is user-friendly since it is self-leveling and spreads out evenly. To improve paint adhesion, however, a primer is recommended. As a result of acrylic paint’s quick drying time, multiple coats can be applied in a short amount of time, but the paint still needs a long period of time to cure once the last coat is applied. Since it is a water-based paint, cleanup is simple, too. Acrylic paint, while more flexible than other water-based paints in its resistance to chipping and cracking, is still best reserved for items that will see only light to moderate wear.

Recommended Use: Touching up small pieces of furniture or accent pieces with a fresh coat of paint.


  • Self-leveling and simple to use.
  • Durable, stain-proof coating
  • Deep hues


  • It would be preferable to start with a primer.
  • Usually packaged in discrete units for sale
  • Slow healing time

Oil Paint

Furniture painted with oil-based paint, often known as alkyd paint, is designed to last a long time. This endurance, however, comes at a cost, as oil-based paints are typically more expensive, take longer to cure, and contain significant levels of VOCs that necessitate extensive ventilation.

Even so, oil paint is a viable option if you’re looking for a durable finish that won’t chip or scratch easily. You’ll need a brush with natural bristles and paint thinner (mineral spirits or turpentine) for this project. Because it saturates any porous surface and is self-leveling, oil paint is advantageous for furniture because it can be applied over most surfaces and adheres well. While it takes up to 24 hours to dry between layers, it cures far faster than water-based paints.

If you are unsure of the type of finish already on a piece of furniture, oil-based paint may be a good option. Unlike water-based paints, which struggle to stick to surfaces previously painted with oil paint, this type of paint can be put successfully over either water-based or oil-based paint.

However, oil paint requires ventilation during and after the painting process due to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) it emits. The sale of oil-based paint has been outright prohibited in some jurisdictions. Unfortunately, oil-based paint for furniture isn’t carried by many big-box hardware stores.

Ideal for: Anything that will get a lot of wear and requires a long-lasting finish; however, be aware that the drying time and fumes associated with this paint can be quite lengthy.


  • Consistently strong coating
  • Automatic adjustment formula
  • Useful for a wide variety of surfaces.


  • Volatile organic compound concentrations that are too high
  • Wet between coats, and it takes forever to dry
  • It’s not available in all states.

How to upcycle a wooden chair with chalk paint

Application Tips

  • If you want your furniture to look great, you need to do more than just pick the proper paint. You can use brushes made of natural or synthetic bristles, or cloths, rollers, or sponges for more specialized tasks and effects while painting with oil or water-based paint, respectively.
  • What kind of stroke and final result you get from your brush or other applicator is entirely up to you. A brush can cover a lot of ground quickly, but its stokes may be more visible than you’d like (especially with water-based paint). A roller may be less precise, but it provides uniform application. For a one-of-a-kind, textured look, a cloth or sponge application is ideal.


Old furniture can always be given a second chance. One way to get there is to learn how to paint wood furniture. Keep in mind that every component has its designated function.

While working, remember to enjoy yourself as much as possible.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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