Let’s talk about spray painting on wood furniture. You’re probably wondering the best spray paint for wood furniture? What the best techniques are? CAN You spray paint on wood? We will be exploring all of that in this post.
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How To Spray Paint Wood Furniture
Spray painting is pretty easy and super beginner friendly!
Today I’m working on spray painting some windsor style chairs that I picked up at the thrift store. I had some similar style chairs and I wanted to paint them to look like a set.
These chairs were previously refinished last year, but I never sealed them. To be honest, they have lived outside in the garage because we didn’t use them. I couldn’t wait to give them a makeover with spray paint so we could put them to use!
Before you get to painting, there is always the prep work. Yes, the dreaded prep work that takes a while, but does make all the difference. If you don’t properly prep your piece, you can have peeling paint, a non smooth finish, dust in your paint, and a poor job overall.
Materials Needed To Spray Paint Furniture
Here are the items needed to complete spray painting on wood furniture:
- Spray paint (obviously)
- Spray paint handle (I can’t find mine, yay for me)
- TSP (optional)
- Deglosser (optional)
- Plastic drop cloth
- Painting Tent (don’t buy it for this project, but if you have it, use it!)
- Primer (as needed)
- Wood filler (as needed)
Here are the steps you need for spraying paint on wood furniture:
Step 1-Clean Your Wood Furniture Piece
First step in spraying paint on wood furniture is to make sure the surface is squeaky clean. This is especially important if you have gotten your wood furniture from a thrift shop or your garage.
I use a sponge and some warm sudsy water to give it a good scrub. If your furniture is really disgusting, you might want a degreaser like TSP or Krud Kutter to clean with as well.
Step 2-Lightly Sand The Wood Furniture
Next, we need to deal with that glossy finish or top coat. Most likely, your wood furniture is sealed with some kind of lacquer or top coat that is shiny. Take 220 grit sandpaper and lightly sand the furniture.
The goal is to remove the glossy texture and scuff sand the surface of your wood furniture so that the paint will have something to stick to. You can also use a deglosser like liquid sandpaper.
Step 3-Make Repairs And Prime
This is the time to make any repairs that may need to be done before spraying paint on the wood furniture. If you need to fill in some holes for whatever reason, I like to use wood filler.
If you need to glue something back on, wood glue works great as well. Fortunately, I didn’t have any repairs to make so I could skip this step. I also had previously stained and painted my chair so I didn’t need to prime, but that is recommended for the best coverage, finish, and longevity.
Onto the next!
Step 4-Wipe Your Piece Clean
Next, clean the sanded surfaces of your wood furniture. You want them to be dust and debris free so that you don’t get any in your paint. If there is any left on the furniture, it will show up in your paint finish.
Step 5-Prep An Area For Painting
The thing about spray paint is it is MESSY! There is overspray that goes everywhere and you want to have a space that you can also have good ventilation because it can get stinky too depending on how many coats are required.
If you are doing it inside a garage, I recommend getting a spray tent that you can set up. I chose to spray my wood chairs outside. The only thing I did was put down some plastic so I wouldn’t get any overspray on my driveway.
Funny story, when my husband was spray painting some doors a few months ago, he did not set up a proper painting environment and got white paint all over our black rod iron fence. So I figured any overspray in that direction wouldn’t hurt.
Step 6- Finally, We Can Paint!
Once again, spraying outdoors is the most ideal, or at least in your garage with an open door. You want to have lots of ventilation.
I like to use this spray paint handle to try and keep my hands from getting super messy. It can also help with my fingers getting sore from pushing the button. If I do get some paint on my hands, here’s how to get spray paint off your hands.
Remember to do several light coats and long bursts of paint. You want to keep the paint moving so it doesn’t have too much time to drip or pool in one place.
Pro Tip: Turn chairs upside down and spray paint the bottom first to more easily paint the legs and feet.
Let your wood furniture cure for 24 hours before use. You did it!
FAQ About Spray Painting Wood Furniture
Here are some frequently asked questions about spraying paint on wood:
Is It Ok To Spray Paint Wood Funiture?
Short answer, YES! It is ok to spray paint wood furniture. It can yield some really beautiful results, but you have to consider many things about spray paint:
- Better for smaller projects
- needs to be done in a well ventilated area
- has lots of overspray
- has to cure for a long time
- needs several light coats and not fewer heavy ones
- can be hard to get off your hands
- Better with bare wood or going from a lighter color paint to darker color
How Much Spray Paint Do I Need?
This majorly depends on the project. If you have a small project, you can probably get away with one can of spray paint. Always get more than you need, it’s such a pain to have to stop in the middle of a project and go get more supplies (ask me how I know).
You will need significantly more if you have a bigger project or are going from a darker to lighter color. If your furniture piece is bigger than a chair or a small side table, I would consider a different method for painting.
What Is The Best Spray Paint For Wood Furniture?
I have always had great success with rustoleum spray paint. On this project, I used specifically this spray paint. I started using Behr Spray Paint, but it didn’t last very long and was more expensive so I went back to an old faithful.
What If I Have A Drip?
If you get a drip, DON’T PANIC! The good thing is if you get a blemish, drip, or imperfection in the spray paint, it is fixable.
Wait until your spray paint has fully cured according to the spray paint’s directions and then lightly sand the area with the imperfection until smooth.
Wipe away the debris, and apply another coat of spray paint. Assess the spot after the new coat has fully dried. You may need a few more light coats.
Is It Better To Roll Or Spray Paint Furniture?
For smaller furniture pieces, spray paint can get the job done. I was able to completely spray my two chairs with about a can and a half of black spray paint. If you had a bigger piece of wood furniture to paint, you could spray the paint on, but I recommend a paint sprayer.
Can You Spray Over Wood Without Sanding?
Yes, you can. Technically you can do whatever you want. But you are researching this topic for the best results. For the best results, you want to sand your piece, prime it, and spray paint multiple coats for the smoothest finish.
Do You Need To Sand Wood Furniture Before Painting?
If there is a glossy top coat on the wood, yes you need to sand this off before spray painting on wood. The paint will not stick as well to the wood furniture if there is a top coat in between the wood and the paint. If your piece is raw wood, then continue to painting.
Can You Spray Paint Wood That Is Already Painted?
Yes! Again, whether there is paint, a top coat, raw wood, etc, you want to prep your surface before painting. If the finish is smooth, you might only need a light sanding before applying a new layer of spray paint.
Why Should You Spray Paint Furniture?
I use spray paint to update or change the style of many different things. This was my first time spray painting on wood furniture. I had these vintage chairs that I wanted to update.
You may recognize them as the wood chairs I bleached. That look wasn’t my style anymore and I wanted something different. Here is what I learned:
- I like spraying paint on wood because wood furniture is made solidly. It is easy to paint small pieces of furniture this way.
- Because I was painting chairs, spraying the wood with the paint was the easiest way to paint them for a smooth finish because of all the intricate details.
- Spray paint is CHEAP and it went a long way.
- Look past the size and shape of things and focus on the size and shape. The color can be updated so easily with paint.
- If you are wanting to flip a piece of furniture, look for something in good condition. No peeling veneer or lacquer.
Things To Remember About Spray Painting + Tips:
- Prep is key! Sanding off any top coats and scuff sanding the surface
- Fill in imperfections to maintain smooth surface. I like wood filler for this
- Prime your wood furniture if necessary
- Spray paint in long strokes and several light coats. Keep the paint moving.
- Hold the can far enough away, but not too close. There is a happy medium.
- Let fully cure according to the instructions on your spray can.
- Rustoleum spray paint is the best and the cheapest!
Spray painting on wood furniture is new to me, but dare I say a success! I really like how quick the process is and super beginner friendly. It is pretty budget friendly too! I think I paid about $7 per can and didn’t use all of the second one, so around $10 and I have a brand new furniture pieces!
This is definitely worth a try as an easy update to small pieces of thrifted furniture or second hand items. I hope you found this tutorial helpful and full of useful info!