Design and Decor

The Best Paint For Table And Chairs

If you are wondering how to give your old piece of furniture a new life, a fresh coat of paint will do the trick for you. A fresh cost of paint with some basic paint supplies and a few hours of your time will give your furniture pieces a quick update with a new and unique look. In this article, I will share with you the best paint for table and chairs as well as for a nightstand or any piece of wood furniture that you value the most.

When you start looking on how to paint and what is the right paint for your furniture you will find out that you have various options. However, the most important consideration above all is the type of paint that you are going to use to make your DIY painting project a success. There are regular paints such as acrylic paint, latex and oil paint and there are specialty paints such as milk and chalky. Each type of paint has its own pros and cons depending on the type of projects that you are going to tackle.

Below are different paints that you can choose from for your furniture painting project.


Best Paint For Table And Chairs As Well As Any Specialty Pieces


Latex Paint

best paint for table and chairs

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This type of paint is easy to find at your your local hardware store. It is also considered to be the most popular paint for furniture and is often used because of its affordability and variety of color choices in various paint finishes. Choose Low or No VOC (volatile organic compound) formulas when you are planning to do your painting projects indoor. Vocs are considered to be unstable chemicals which emit harmful gasses into the environment and to people which causes a new paint to smell.

  • Low VOC Paints – Paint with a low VOC contains fewer volatile organic compounds and therefore emits less harmful gas when compared with some other paints. Behr, Farrow & Ball, and Para are brands of paints that offer low VOC paints.
  • No VOC Paints – Paints with No VOC means that these particular paints have no volatile organic compounds but this does not necessarily mean that they do not contain other types of harmful chemicals. AFM Safecoat, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin WIlliams and Behr are paint brands that offers paint with NO VOC.

Latex paint comes in a huge range of colors. You can easily match up the color of your furniture piece or decor by asking the paint counter to make you a custom paint color. However, even though latex paint dries quickly, the curing time takes longer and has a soft finish which is not ideal for table or chairs that are heavily used. The soft finish that is common from latex paint makes the furniture piece prone to scratches and to chips. Therefore, to avoid this from happening, you will need to remove the existing paint through sanding and then follow up by primer application before starting your paint job. In spite of doing all of this prep work however, you will still need to expect to make necessary touch-ups to the future. Below are the different finishes that you can choose from:

  • Semi-gloss Finish – Paint with a semi-gloss finish contains a good amount of resins in the formula which makes it a durable paint for furniture. It reflects light very well and can withstand a lot of use and a lot of washing which makes it the best choice as a paint finish for furniture that will be used frequently.
  • Glossy Finish – If you want a finish that will transform your old furniture into something that catches attention, glossy paint is a great choice for you. A glossy paint finish will definitely add drama and durability to any piece of furniture. High gloss paints reflect much more light and have a high resin content which makes the glossy finish durable and easy to clean. However, the important thing to know is that the shiny surface will highlight any imperfections. Therefore for best results, prep work must be done and make sure that any flaws are fixed.
  • Flat Finish – This type of latex paint does not reflect much light and will have a matte finish with an almost velvety appearance because of the absence of resins in the formula. However, this type of finish cannot withstand a lot of touching, washing and washing and therefore, it is an ideal paint finish for items that will not be subjected to heavy use. However, if you are really set to have a flat finish, consider using chalky paint as these have a more durable flat finish paint.
  • Satin Finish – This type of latex paint reflects a little light and has a glossier surface when compared to an eggshell finish. It is also easy to clean because of the washable formula which makes it ideal for outdoor furniture. So if you would like to have a durable finish and paint that does not reflect much light or has a matte finish effect, a satin paint finish may be the best furniture paint for you.

Milk Paint

best paint for table and chairs

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Milk paint has a thinner consistency and is less expensive than chalk paint but it is not short in providing character just like chalk paint. Its gaining in popularity because it has no chemicals or fumes added and therefore contains only Eco-friendly ingredients. It is also the best paint to use if you want your dining table, chairs or any wooden furniture to have an antiqued, weathered or distressed look.

This type of paint is considered to be a non-toxic paint because it is made from milk protein with lime or borax that serves as an activator. To change the shades of the paint, color pigments are added. This usually comes in powder form and you need to mix the paint with water and then save the remaining for future use.

Milk paint can be used not only on furniture but on many types of surfaces. However, the finish and saturation may not be consistent. If you want to paint your glass and plastic pieces using milk paint, use a bonder for more consistent results and to avoid chipping. The best thing about this type of paint is that it is easy to make the finish look old by using light sanding or leave it as is if you want your furniture to have a matte look and smooth surface. To preserve the finish, it is recommended to apply oil or wax.

Oil Paint

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If you are looking for the types of paint that can withstand a lot of use and cleaning, oil-based paints might be the right products for you. However, they are not available everywhere. Oil paint which is also commonly known as alkyd paint, is often considered as a paint that has a durable finish which makes it the best paint for hardworking furniture. However, the durability that you will get from oil-based paint comes with a price because they are usually pretty expensive, have a long curing time and contain high levels of VOCs. Paint containing high VOCs will require you to have plenty of ventilation and protective gear such as safety glasses, face shield, respirator and possibly other gear as protection from harmful chemicals. You will also need a natural bristle brush and mineral spirits on hand as a paint thinner and as a cleaning agent.

Oil-based paint can be applied to almost any type of furniture surface because it penetrates well into any porous surface making an oil based paint a versatile paint. It is also easy to work with and has a self-leveling affect for easy application. You will need to wait up to 24 hours before the application of another coat but the curing time is shorter.

This is also an ideal paint to use if you are not sure what type of finish that your current furniture has. Oil-based paint can adhere to a surface previously painted with water-based or oil-based paint. But, water-based paint cannot be applied successfully over an oil-based painted surface.

Chalk Paint

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Chalk paint has gained in popularity because it gives a unique look to any piece and has a silky smooth finish. It can also be sanded or distressed to give newer furniture a vintage or an old world charm which makes chalk paint an ideal paint for refinishing antique pieces or having a beautiful matte look finish on your furniture.

This type of paint is a water-based paint with latex as its base but with a thicker consistency plus it has buildable texture. Unlike the latex paint, chalk paint is often only available from specialty retailers, with limited color choices and is a more expensive paint. So if you want to give your coffee table a new look with a vintage, farmhouse or beach chick appearance, the best option and the only good option is to paint your coffee table using a chalky paint.

However, there is a learning curve when using chalk paint for the first time. It dries up faster compared with traditional furniture paints but, if it ever happens that you need to do some touch up in an area that is beginning to dry, your brush strokes will be visible. Practice is the key to familiarize yourself on how to properly apply this type of paint or be at least forgiving with the final product’s look.

Acrylic Paint

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Acrylic paint is an ideal paint for small or accent pieces of furniture like console tables and frames with a light to moderate use. It’s best for items that need a quick touch up because it is usually sold in small containers. This is a water-based paint that is almost like latex paint. It provides a rich color with a smooth finish because the color pigments are suspended in an acrylic polymer that can be applied to many types of surfaces making it a versatile furniture paint.

This type of paint is easy to work with because it has a self-leveling effect and it’s easy to apply. However, primer application is recommended if you want the paint to stick better to the surface. On top of this, it will allow you to apply several coats within a short period of time because the drying times of acrylic paint are shorter compared with other types of paint. However, it has a long curing time which means that you will need to wait longer before you can use the item. The good thing is that once you have totally completed the project, you will be able to enjoy your furniture longer because it is very resilient and does not chip, crack or stain easily. It is also very easy to clean.


How To Choose The Best Paint For Table And Chairs Plus Other Types Of Furniture


Type Of Surface

The type of furniture material is the first thing that you need to consider when choosing a paint for table and chairs and other furniture. The right and the best paint for your furniture is the type of paint that is suited for the type of material that your furniture is made from. So if your furniture has a wooden surface, buy the best paint for wood material.

Furniture Usage

When choosing the best paint for your furniture the next thing that you need to consider is how often you use the item. If you use the furniture a lot and want your paint job to last for a long time, then you need to look for a paint that will give you a durable or hard finish that can withstand a lot of heavy use and cleaning. For example, if you use a paint like latex paint with a flat finish that is prone to chipping easily, it won’t last long.

Paint Finish

The paint finish will dictate the choice of paint that you are going to use because different paints have different finishes as well. If you want a paint sheen that will allow you to easily clean the surface, choose paints such as a semi-gloss, gloss and eggshell paint because chalk, matte and flat paint finishes are difficult to clean.

Required Prep Work

Oil-based and acrylic paint requires a good amount of preparatory work such as deglazing, sanding and priming before you can even start your painting project to ensure that you get the best results. This also means that it will take a much more of your time. You can directly apply chalk paint over furniture that is in good shape without a need to sand or prime which means it will take a shorter time to complete the whole project.

Paint Application

There are 3 paint applications you can choose from:

  1. Spray – If you prefer not to see a visible brush marks, apply your paint through spray application. It delivers even and wide coverage and can even be used when painting furniture with intricate details.
  2. Roller – This type of paint application is ideal for furniture that has a flat surface such as dining tables.
  3. Brush – If you want to have good control during the paint application and want very precise painting, using brush painting is the best method for you.

Outdoor Furniture

For outdoor furniture, choose latex or oil-base paints. If you are living in area with high humidity, you might also want to consider painting your furniture with mold-resistant additives.


How To Make Your Table And Chairs Painting Project A Success


In addition to choosing the right paint, you will also need to use the right application method to make your table and chairs painting project a success. Choose natural or synthetic bristle brushes for water and oil-based paint. Also consider using tack cloth, a sponge or roller for effects and for specialty applications. If you can, use a paint sprayer for big projects like painting a dining room table or kitchen table and or to just avoid having a brush strokes.

The type of applicators you use have an influence on the result of your painting project. Utilizing brushes will provide you with wide coverage and control but most likely it will show the brush strokes especially if you are using a water-based paint. A roller will give you a more even coverage but will give you less control. Cloth or sponges are great painting tools if you want to achieve a unique finish.


List Of Best Paint For Table And Chairs And For All Furniture


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Krylon K05557007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint – This paint works best for furniture with wood, metal, ceramic, most plastics, glass and wicker surfaces. It provides a nice quality coverage because it adheres well to the surface and has a gloss finish which provides a durable finish protecting your indoor and outdoor furniture from rust. The method of application is supper easy, all you need to do is press the button from any angle and you can move up and down to reach hard to reach areas. Aside from that, the curing time only takes 20 minutes.

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Rust-Oleum Brands 285139 Serenity Blue Chalked Ultra Matte Paint – This paint will work well for furniture with wood, metal or ceramic surfaces. It has a low odor and is easy to work with. You can easily sand it to create a distress or vintage look. The drying time is shorter which means you can apply several coats of paint within a short period of time. Most of all, it is easy to clean because it has a latex formula.

best paint for table and chairs

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Chalky Chicks | Blush/Orange Pink Matte Chalk Finish Paint – If you are looking for a paint that is not time-consuming and does not require any huge amount of prep work such as sanding, priming or stripping, this chalk paint may be the perfect paint that you are looking for. You can apply this type of paint to bare wood, brick, metal, cement and gloss laminate. If you want to paint your couch to give your old couch a new look or new color, all you need is to use this chalky chicks paint with water. When applied, it will act as a stain for fabric. However, you may need to seal the paint with clear furniture wax .

Rust-Oleum 1994730 Brush Painter’s Touch Ultra-Cover Multi-Purpose Enamel Paint – This paint works well for furniture with metal, masonry, unglazed plastic, plater and wood surfaces. It is a water-based acrylic paint with a minimal smell and it offers a long lasting glossy finish. The drying time is less than 30 minutes and for best results, apply this paint two times. However, you will be required to sand the surface with 180/200 grit sandpaper, clean with a degreaser and dry it completely before starting your painting project.

best paint for table and chairs

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Hemway Duck Egg Blue Chalk Based Furniture Paint Matt Finish Wall – If you are looking for paint with a decorative matte finish that is suited for any type of woodwork and is without smell, Hemway chalk based paint is for you. You can apply this paint on surfaces without the need for sanding or priming. The best part about this paint is that you may need to only apply one coat to achieve a smooth and matte finish. However, the drying time will take 2 hours if you wish to apply more than one coat of paint.

I hope that my guide on best paint for table and chairs helps you to determine the right paint for your furniture.


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