Best Paint For Furniture

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If you want to refresh your beloved furniture, then the type of paint you use is important. There are many factors one would consider including the type of paint, the type of furniture, the material the furniture is made of, and their budget. If you’re embarking on the journey of DIY furniture repainting, then this blog post is for you. This blog includes a range of paint types and brands that you can use on a variety of furniture from dressers, chairs, and tables.

Types Of Furniture Paint


There are dozens of types of paint used for a variety of uses in the world like exteriors, floors, cars, and art. The best paint for furniture has specific properties including the right finish for heavily used furniture, self-leveling, and elasticity. The main types are latex, acrylic, milky, and oil-based.



Latex paint, a water-based paint, is one of the best options if you want to paint furniture. We recommend using latex paint with a satin or semigloss finish. One great thing about latex paint is how easy it is to find it at your local hardware stores. It comes in a variety of different colors, sizes, and finishes. With this many options, you can even have a custom shade mixed up to suit your furniture and decor. 


Another benefit of latex paint is the availability of low or no-VOC formulas, which are recommended for indoor painting projects. VOC or volatile organic compounds are compounds that have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility. The main purpose of VOCs in solvent-based paints is to act as the medium to transfer the paint from the can to the surface and aid the paint’s flow. Long-term exposure to indoor VOCs will cause liver or kidney damage and even cancer.


Latex paint dries quickly, but it takes a long time to cure and it retains a soft finish. A soft finish isn’t ideal for furniture because of how much it will be used.

Acrylic Paint


Acrylic paint, another water-based paint relatively similar to latex paint, is a good paint for furniture. Acrylic paint works by color particles being suspended in the acrylic polymer. Acrylic paint offers rich color and a smooth finish. Acrylic paint is usually sold in smaller containers making it a better option for smaller pieces of furniture and accent pieces like picture frames. 


Some great benefits of acrylic paint are:

  • Its self-leveling properties make it easy to work with.
  • Drying times for acrylic paint so you can apply several coats in a short period of time.
  • Since acrylic paint is water-based, it’s easy to clean up with just soap and water.
  • Acrylic paint has more elasticity to resist chipping or cracking. 

Milky Paint

Milky paint is a non-toxic paint made from milk protein with an activator, typically lime, clay or borax. Color pigments are added to change the tint of the paint. Milk paint is eco-friendly with no chemicals or added fumes. It’s also sold in powder form, just needed water. Milk paint is good for furniture that you want to appear antiqued, weathered, or distressed.

Things To Consider When Choosing Furniture Paint


The surface of the furniture can determine what kind of paint you use. Oil-based paint is the best for painting metal furniture. We recommend latex paint for painting laminate and wood furniture.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Use

For indoor furniture, the best type of paint is latex or oil-based paint. Latex paint has more color options so we tend to lean towards that option. Acrylic paint is best for outdoor furniture in humid environments because of its glossy sheen. This can help to prevent blistering, flaking, and cracking.


Paint sheen is a measure of the reflected light from a paint. Sheen is important when painting furniture because the higher the sheen, the more enamel contained in the paint. This makes it more durable, scratch/scuff resistant, and easier to clean. Lower sheens like matte and eggshell may be easier on the eyes, but they have the opposite effect in terms of durability.

What you need to know is this: Sheen = Shine = Durability

Oil and water based paints offer matte, satin, semi-gloss and gloss finishes. When thinking of high sheen paint, think of car paint, appliance paint, or industrial paint that is super tough, shiny, and hard. Below gloss on the totem pole comes semi-gloss, which is durable making it great for high-use areas like trim or kitchens that get a lot fo moisture, drips, and grease.

There is just one thing you have to consider before running off with the highest sheen paint.

The higher the sheen, the more imperfections your paint is going to show. This is why we don’t always recommend gloss or semi-gloss. Instead, we’d op for satin paint because it’s velvety, but has just enough reflection to be durable.

Application Method

The last thing we’d consider is the application method. Brushes are best for hand-painted furniture that you want to be detailed with. Roller’s are less time-consuming and ideal for painting large, flat surfaces like tabletops. Spray delivers even coverage on furniture with spindles or rungs.

Final Thoughts

Restoring vintage or highly-used furniture is both fulfilling and affordable. A quart of acrylic paint between $20 to $40. Other additions to your project will be a paint application tool like a roller or brush, primer, a sander, and painter’s tape.