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

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
16 min read

By staining them, wooden chairs won’t be so dull and uninteresting to have around the house. Learn how to make old wooden chairs appear like new by spray painting them with this guide.

Painting wooden chairs may be an intimidating task for most people. Worrying about the supplies, workplace, and specific guidelines is brain-scattering, right? That’s why we’re here to back you up.

For some, painting wooden chairs could be a daunting process. It’s distracting to have to think about things like supplies, the office, and the rules and regulations, right? That’s why we’ll be standing by to support you.

Spray Painting A Wooden Chair

Reviving wooden chairs is a breeze with a can of spray paint. It gets the job done more quickly than traditional methods like brushes and rollers. Spray paint eliminates the problem of brush strokes.

Collect your preferred spray paint and some spare newspapers. Sandpaper and other cleaning supplies are also essential.

Step #1. Prepare workplace

There are toxic chemicals in spray paint, therefore it’s important to work in locations with adequate ventilation. Those wooden chairs over there need to be moved. This task is best accomplished in the garage or on the terrace.

How to Spray Paint Wood Furniture - This Old House

Spread newspapers all over the workspace, and especially under the chair. By doing so, you won’t be leaving your workspace in a shambles after completing the assignment. An alternative to newspapers is a fresh colored cloth.

If there are specific components of the chairs you don’t want to paint, you can always cover them up. If you have a specific aesthetic in mind, this is a must-have.

Step #2. Sand the wooden chair

Check to see if there are any lingering stains or paint on your chair. Scrub it down with 60-100 grit medium sandpaper.

In order to make your chair look new again, sand it when you’re done cleaning. Keep inserting it into the cracks until the entire surface is leveled.

Step #3. Clean chair’s surface

After sanding a chair, there will be dust and other debris left behind. Your chair needs to be cleaned so that germs don’t have a chance to multiply on it, and now is the time to do it.

Put some soap, detergent, or anything you like into the hot water and stir it around. You can remove grime and grease from your chair with a brush or a dry, clean cloth.

When cleaning, always use gloves. Afterward, you can let the chair air dry.

Step #4. Inspect and repair

After a thorough cleaning, your chair will finally reveal its full beauty. Check the feet and edges to see whether they require fixing. It would be best if you took care of these issues before you painted your chair.

You can either seek professional assistance or fix it yourself. Carry on with your own judgment.

Step #5. Apply primer

You have the option of getting help from a professional or attempting the repair yourself. Go ahead and use your own discretion.

No matter what your situation, you don’t have to have a primer if you don’t want one. Yet, without a priming, painted wooden chairs are more likely to show signs of rot and wear and tear over time.

A single coat of paint would look great on that wooden chair. Make sure it’s totally dry before moving on to the next phase.

Step #6. Paint

Your chairs need new paint! Once you hear the ball rolling, you can get thrilled, but not before shaking the spray can for a full minute.

Maintain a distance of 30 cm, minimum, between the can and the seat. The spray should be constant in both directions.

Keep rolling that can along at all times. Keep things moving along.

It’s best to wait for the chair to dry completely between coats of paint. Within a matter of minutes, you can spray on several thin layers.

After an hour, apply a protective coating and leave it to dry for a full day. Once you’ve done this, your wooden chair is ready for use or exhibition.

How To Spray Paint Using Spray Gun

Spray painting isn’t the only way to get the job done. A spray gun is an alternative to utilizing prepackaged spray paint. Just make sure to take the proper precautions and equip yourself before using this machinery.

For this technique, latex paint is recommended. Your coloring strainer and spray pistol will be ready to go after you’ve settled onto your chair. A wooden chair needs to be sprayed, so go ahead and turn on the spray gun.

Can I Paint A Wooden Chair Without Sanding?

Sanding a wooden chair is done primarily to get rid of any remaining paints or stains. The surface of the chair is also improved. To be honest, though, sanding your wooden chair before painting is a lot of work.

It’s a tedious and filthy operation that involves polishing the edges of everything. This is the step that even experts dread the most.

Sanding is typically thought of as a prerequisite before painting, but in reality, it’s not always required. It’s possible to paint furniture without first sanding it down in a number of ways.

Spray painting can be avoided in some ways, but it’s easy to cover up with primer. Your chair can be painted with any number of stain-resistant, smooth-finish paints.

However, a liquid sand glosser can be used if you’d rather not deal with the dust. This substance prevents mess but has a slight odor; therefore, it should be used in an area with adequate ventilation.

Basic Wood Chair Maintenance

  1. Clear the dust from your eyes and take a look around. You may tick off two tasks at once by giving each chair a periodic dusting. To begin, you may give your chairs that “like-new” appearance by cleaning them thoroughly. You’ll be able to single out the seats that require more than just a quick dusting because of this feature, too.
  2. Surfaces made of wood should be wiped down. After dusting, if the wood is still dusty, you can apply a liquid cleaning or a wax-polish mixture. Tough stains can be removed with mineral spirits. In other words, with use of either cleaner or Mineral Spirits, you may find that you need a mildly abrasive pad. We have included the “Magic Eraser” with your kit.
  3. Wooden furniture and floors should be wiped down. If the woodwork is still unclean after dusting, try a liquid cleaning or a wax-polish hybrid. For more tenacious stains, try using some Mineral Spirits. You may discover that a little abrasive pad is necessary when using cleaning or Mineral Spirits. The “Magic Eraser” is part of the package we’ve sent you.
  4. Touch-up work. Above all, some touch up work require a little more attention. Dings and Scratches can be taken care of with various items we have included in our Touch-Up Kit. These items include Mohawk Products Fil Sticks, stain markers, and Old English wood scratch cover.

The Best Type of Paint for Furniture

Latex Paint

Final polishing. For the most part, though, some finishing touches need a bit more focus. Our Touch-Up Kit includes a variety of tools for repairing dents and scratches. Products like stain markers and Old English wood scratch cover from Mohawk are included.

Vinyl and Spray Paint Wood Chair Makeover - Silhouette School

Modifications and improvements. More time and care must be given to some finishing touches. Our Touch-Up Kit includes a variety of tools for repairing dents and scuffs. Among these are stain markers from Mohawk, Old English wood scratch cover, and Fil Sticks from Mohawk.

When it comes to light reflection, satin-finished paint is among the worst (eggshell is a closely related finish). Satin paint may be the ideal option if you want the appearance of matte paint but require a more long-lasting paint for furniture. A formula that can be washed will be more convenient in this regard.

When it comes to furniture, semi-gloss paint may be the ideal option because it withstands frequent washing and the wear and tear that comes with heavy use. In order to paint furniture that will be used frequently, it’s best to use a semi-gloss finish, which has a higher resin content. The glossy finish is very popular.

High-gloss: A glossy paint finish will give your pieces the most drama and durability—but demands the most prep. High-gloss paints reflect a lot of light and their increased concentration of resins makes them able to withstand a lot of use and cleaning. However, keep in mind that a shiny surface may highlight any flaws. So if you opt for this type of paint for furniture, you’ll need to make sure it’s prepped and ready and any imperfections have been remedied.

Glossy paint provides the most visual impact and longevity for your furniture, but it requires the most maintenance in the lead-up to the final coat. High-gloss paints are able to resist heavy use and cleaning due to their high light reflectance and high resin content. Be wary, though, because a highly reflective surface may highlight any flaws. If you decide to use this paint on your furniture, you’ll need to get rid of any blemishes first.

Glossy: A glossy paint finish adds the most drama and durability to your works, but it also requires the most preparation. A high concentration of resins in high-gloss paints makes it reflective of light and durable enough to resist frequent cleaning. Be wary, though, because a shiny surface will draw attention to flaws. This sort of paint requires careful preparation and the removal of any flaws in the surface before it can be applied, so take your time if you plan to use it on furniture.


  • Easily accessible, with a rainbow of color choices
  • A simple wash with soap and water can restore its shine.
  • Finishes vary and are readily available


  • Not durable enough for everyday use
  • Not all of them can be cleaned in the washing machine.

Chalky Paint

Chalky paint has become increasingly popular as a means of revitalizing older pieces of furniture or giving newer ones an antique appearance. This type of latex-based water-based paint has a thicker, more buildable texture than standard latex paint.

Chalky paint is now only widely available, but can be found at a growing number of niche merchants. The greatest and most consistent results come from purchasing a commercially available mix, but some people have found success manufacturing their own chalky paint. It costs more than regular latex paint, but its luxurious feel and sophisticated appearance make it well worth the investment.

There is typically more of a “learning curve” associated with using chalky paint than there is with using more traditional furniture paint. Fast drying time is a benefit, but it also means that brush strokes will be visible if you go back over an area for touch-ups after the paint has dried. Be willing to put in some practice time, or accept some variation in the final product’s appearance. Even the learning process can become a fun and gratifying hobby, as chalk painting furniture has grown increasingly popular in recent years. Since chalky paint may be sanded or damaged to provide a weathered appearance, it is often purchased by those aiming for a “vintage” or “shabby chic” aesthetic.

This finish is ideal for giving antique furniture a new lease on life or giving everyday pieces a luxurious, matte feel.


  • Sticks well to many different materials.
  • Swift drying time
  • An easy-to-understand conclusion


  • Brush strokes may be visible
  • It’s possible to make out the artist’s brushstrokes
  • Not many color choices and high price tag.

Milk Paint

Milk paint is a natural alternative to chalky paint that has a somewhat thinner consistency while still imparting a lot of personality to furniture. Milk protein and an activator, like lime or Borax, create this non-toxic paint. The paint’s hue is altered by the addition of various color pigments.

Milk paint is widely used because it is made with natural components and produces no harmful byproducts. In fact, this paint has a long history of use for painting furniture, houses, and more before commercial paint was widely available. It can be used on a wide variety of surfaces, but you should know that the finish can vary and sometimes is inconsistent in terms of saturation. To ensure more consistent results (and less chipping, since this is a water-based paint), it’s recommend that you use a bonder with milk paint. This is also important on smooth surfaces like glass or plastic.

Milk paint is commonly used on furniture since it is non-toxic and uses no harmful chemicals. Prior to the widespread availability of commercial paint, this particular paint was commonly used for painting furniture, houses, and other objects. While it’s versatile, you should realize that the final result isn’t always uniform in terms of saturation, even when applied to the same surface. It is recommended that a bonder be used in conjunction with milk paint to provide more uniform results (and less chipping, as this is a water-based paint). This also holds true for flat, smooth surfaces like glass and plastic.

It’s ideal for pieces that need to have an aged, worn, or distressed look. You may make milk paint look older by sanding off the finish on the edges and corners, or you can leave it as-is for a smooth, matte appearance.


  • Recipe for a Powder that isn’t Poisonous
  • Rapidly dries
  • works on a wide variety of substrates


  • Hard to maintain a state of saturation
  • Not sealed and so vulnerable to chips and scratches
  • Oftentimes, a bonder is necessary.

Acrylic Paint

Similar to latex paint, acrylic is another water-based option for painting furniture. A smooth, vibrant color is offered by pigment particles suspended in an acrylic polymer. Even though it’s a great all-purpose furniture paint, chalk paint is typically only available in smaller pots, so it’s best for smaller tasks like console tables, picture frames, and accent pieces.

Easy to work with due to its even coverage and self-leveling properties, acrylic paint is a popular choice. However, if improved paint adhesion is a priority, a primer is recommended. Since acrylic paint dries quickly, you can quickly apply multiple coats, but you’ll need to wait for each to fully cure before moving on to the next step. Due to the paint’s water-based composition, it may be easily cleaned with soap and water. Acrylic paint is more flexible and resistant to chipping and cracking than other types of water-based paint; nonetheless, it is still best suited for items that will see only light to moderate use.

Ideal for giving a quick, low-cost update to smaller pieces of furniture or accent pieces.


  • Simple to implement; adjusts on its own
  • A tough coating that is not easily damaged by spills and stains.
  • Deep hues


  • Required a starting point for optimal performance.
  • Usually packaged in discrete units
  • Extended resting periods

Oil Paint

Some furniture is best painted using oil-based paint, often known as alkyd paint, because of its durability. Nonetheless, oil-based paints are more expensive, take longer to cure, and emit high quantities of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), necessitating extensive ventilation, because of their endurance.

Even so, oil paint is a viable option if you’re looking for a durable finish that won’t chip or scratch easily. You should also have some mineral spirits or turpentine on hand to use as paint thinner and to clean up with. Oil paint sticks well to furniture because it saturates any porous surface and is self-leveling for convenience. Although it takes up to 24 hours to dry between layers, it cures far faster than water-based paints.

When you can’t be sure of the type of finish already on a piece of furniture, oil-based paint is a good option. This paint can be put successfully over either water-based or oil-based paint, whereas water-based paints will have a hard time adhering to a surface that has already been painted with oil paint.

However, some people are worried about the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that oil paint releases during and after the painting process and think ventilation is necessary. There are even states that have outright outlawed the selling of oil-based paint. Since oil-based paint for furniture isn’t commonly stocked in big-box home improvement stores, this makes it more difficult to track down.

Sale > best way to paint wooden chairs > in stock

Ideal for high-traffic pieces that must withstand wear and tear, but be aware that the lengthy drying time and fumes associated with this paint make it less than ideal for smaller projects.


  • Remains looking good for a long time
  • Dynamic formula for equalization
  • works on a wide variety of substrates


  • Concentrations of volatile organic compounds
  • Taking a long time for each coat to dry
  • Not available in all states


Inaccessible in some states

Spray painting your wooden chair can become a recreational home chore. Simply giving it a go will do the trick.

It’s possible that spray painting your wooden chair may become a fun hobby you can do at home. If you give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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