What is the Best Black Paint for Wood Furniture? (2023)

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Searching for a true black paint that will endure regular usage can be a challenge. Most options do not give a rich black shade, and some even turn grey and dull over time!

To help you find one with legit pigment, our pro woodworkers will break down the best black paints for wood furniture they’ve been using for years—great for furniture makeover or new pieces. 

Premium Option
Fusion Mineral Paint Coal Black
Editor’s Choice
General Finishes Water Based Milk Paint
Budget Option
Country Chic Paint - Chalk Style All in One Paint
Fusion Mineral Paint Coal Black
General Finishes Water Based Milk Paint
Country Chic Paint - Chalk Style All in One Paint
• Easy to apply and self-leveling
• 100% acrylic
• Non-toxic
• Matte finish type
• Lead-free
• 500ml Covers up to 75sq ft
• High-adhesion
• Zero VOC colorants
• Flat, low-luster sheen and premixed
• Self-sealing
• Extremely durable premium paint
• Satin finish
• Built in primer and top coat
• Chalky Matte Finish
• Easy to distress
• No harsh chemicals
• Safe for children’s furniture
Premium Option
Fusion Mineral Paint Coal Black
Fusion Mineral Paint Coal Black
• Easy to apply and self-leveling
• 100% acrylic
• Non-toxic
• Matte finish type
• Lead-free
• 500ml Covers up to 75sq ft
Editor’s Choice
General Finishes Water Based Milk Paint
General Finishes Water Based Milk Paint
• High-adhesion
• Zero VOC colorants
• Flat, low-luster sheen and premixed
• Self-sealing
• Extremely durable premium paint
• Satin finish
Budget Option
Country Chic Paint - Chalk Style All in One Paint
Country Chic Paint - Chalk Style All in One Paint
• Built in primer and top coat
• Chalky Matte Finish
• Easy to distress
• No harsh chemicals
• Safe for children’s furniture

Reviews of the Top Black Paints for Furniture

1. General Finishes Water-Based Milk Paint in Lamp Black

The durability of this water-based milk paint is commendable. The paint is self-sealing and can handle spills and mild dents. 

Despite being budget-friendly, the General Finishes Water-Based Milk Paint in Lamp Black still maintains its premium quality, which you can use both indoors and outdoors, including on raw wood, not just for furniture refinishing and upcycling. 

You can apply this paint using various methods, such as roller, brush, or spray, to achieve great results, with a low-luster sheen that lasts. The low odor and lack of VOCs make it safe for kids and pets, and it has self-leveling properties.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. Fusion Mineral Paint Coal Black

The Fusion Mineral Paint Coal Black is a great option if you want a darker shade. It is an all-in-one paint that’s easy to use— suitable for both professional and amateur painters. 

This 100% acrylic paint is self-leveling. But it requires a wet brush and sanding between coats for a smooth finish. It’s non-toxic and lead-free, with low VOCs. No strong odor, making it a kid-friendly option. 

As we use it, Fusion Mineral covers well, requiring only two coats. It has a long-lasting effect, but it takes three weeks to cure, which is typical for water-based paints.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. Country Chic Paint Chalk Style All in One Paint in Liquorice

This Country Chic Paint Chalk Style All in One Paint in Liquorice provides a rustic, sharp look. It’s an all-in-one solution with built-in primer and topcoat suitable for a variety of surfaces. We recommend this paint if you want to paint furniture black while achieving a luster finish. 

This particular paint is marketed towards artistic mothers and is certified toy-safe by European toy safety standards. No harsh chemicals are present, with a mild, pleasant smell.  

The only downside here is the price. But it’s worth it, given the included primer and topcoat. However, the paint may not be as durable as water-based polyurethane and may still require a final finish.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. Retique It Chalk Furniture Paint by Renaissance DIY in 08 Midnight Black

The Retique It Chalk Furniture Paint by Renaissance DIY in 08 Midnight Black is perfect for DIY enthusiasts as it’s easy to use. Ideal for cabinets, and indoor and outdoor furniture, it dries to midnight black in just 30 minutes. It requires only a wax coating; no primer is necessary. 

The single coat application allows for distressing if desired, and cleanup is a breeze with just water and soap. You can use this acrylic paint with a chalk finish on any surface, which provides a thick, even coat for a complete furniture transformation.

It’s eco-friendly with low VOCs and low odor, hypoallergenic and safe for kids. We like the versatility of this paint, which we recommend for art and craft projects.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. General Finishes Water-Based Enduro Black Poly

The General Finishes Water-Based Enduro Black Poly is a top-notch combination of faux paint and polyurethane, resulting in a durable and stunning black finish. 

It’s suitable for millwork and cabinets, and no topcoat is necessary due to its urethane blend, providing protection against water damage, scratches, and chemical spills. Unlike similar products, Enduro black poly delivers on its promises. 

No primer is needed, and only two coats are required. Besides, it dries quickly, but we recommend sanding with fine-grit sandpaper between coats for better results. Although packaged in a plastic jug, the quality of the finish isn’t compromised and results in a smooth, low-gloss surface.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. Krylon K02754007 Fusion All-in-One Spray Paint, Black

The Krylon K02754007 Fusion All-in-One Black Spray Paint in Black highlights the ease of use and smooth finish. We like how this spray paint provides superior adhesion, suitable for a variety of projects and materials. Besides, it dries quickly. 

The matte black furniture paint and the finish do not drip or run, which you can use on various projects indoors and outdoors. It’s a reliable paint for refinishing furniture and rust protection.   

However, the coverage is limited to 25 sq ft per can, and it’s a solvent-based spray. It requires well-ventilated areas and must be kept away from children and pets.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. Shabby Chic Chalked Furniture Paint in Black Liquorice

The Shabby Chic Black Liquorice Chalked Furniture Paint is perfect for those who appreciate unique design and art. With a vintage look in mind, this paint is popular for creating a distressed furniture appearance. 

Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, it’s water-based, providing good coverage. We like that it’s eco-friendly with low VOCs, low odor, and free from harmful substances like phthalates, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and solvents. 

This versatile paint can be used on so many furniture and surfaces, including plastic, wood, metal, and stone. It only requires two coats without the need for primer. Brush strokes are a part of the design, so sanding is not necessary. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

8. Dixie Belle Paint Company Chalk Finish Furniture Paints in Caviar

We simply love the Dixie Belle Paint Company Chalk Finish Furniture Paint in Caviar for its ease of use. This chalk-based paint is a favorite among newbies and DIYers for its straightforward application. 

No primer or sanding between coats is needed, with one coat enough, given that the paint surface is dark and properly cleaned. The only requirement is wax must be applied, which may take up to three coats. 

It’s non-toxic, dries rapidly, releases no VOCs, and offers good coverage. An 8 oz jar covers 38 sq ft, which is 20% more than average. Also, we like its matte finish that is easy to distress.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

9. Rust-Oleum 1974730-6PK Painter's Touch Latex

This is a well-respected household paint brand. Despite its affordability, it is a reliable choice. Its water-based acrylic formula can be used on different surfaces, including wood and unglazed ceramics, even without a primer. 

Simply sand, degrease, and paint the surface, and you’re done! Also, this latex paint offers good protection and resists chipping without a topcoat. A small can cover 30 sq ft, making it ideal for multiple pieces of furniture.

Drying time is quick, with a touch-dry time of 30 minutes, and the project can be completed quickly with the right conditions.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Black Paints for Wood Furniture: Buyer’s Guide

Before purchasing the best black paint for wood furniture to give it a fresh and respectable appearance and finish, it’s important to consider the following factors:


Painting furniture can be difficult due to poor adhesion, but it’s not necessary to use a primer if the paint has good adhesion. The paints listed have high adhesion and don’t require a primer or topcoat, but you can still use one to reduce the number of paint coats needed.


When searching for black furniture paints, the appearance you desire for your wooden furniture should be the first consideration. The paints on the list come in different sheen levels, and some, like the Shabby Chic, provide a weathered look. 

For a modern feel, a chalk mineral paint finish is often desired for cabinets and vanities, and for this, the Shabby Chic or Fusion paint can be used. For a more classic appearance, General Finishes is a good choice as it offers extra durability.


Painting pieces of furniture indoors often leads to exposure to harmful chemicals such as toxic fumes, VOCs that have a satin finish, solvents and phthalates which can be carcinogenic [1] and cause respiratory issues, skin and eye irritation, and dizziness. 

To protect homes with young kids, it’s best to use non-toxic interior paint. The black chalk-based paint options on the list are all safe and non-toxic. The Krylon paint sprayer and Enduro Poly should be avoided, but they are safe once dry. 

If you’re planning to use the paint for toys, Country Chic is the right paint.

Application Method

When painting black furniture, there are different methods of application to choose from. A brush is typically the preferred method, especially for simple designs. However, for faster results, using a paint sprayer is the way to go and eliminates the risk of brush strokes. 

If you prefer to see some paintbrush strokes in your black chalk paint, any of the options listed are suitable. For those who desire a perfectly smooth finish and plan to work on multiple projects, a sprayable option like Enduro Poly might be the best black paint choice.


Using price as the primary factor when choosing coal black paint for furniture can be misleading. A better way to compare is by looking at the great coverage area. 

For instance, an 8 oz jar of Rust-Oleum can cover an area of 30 square feet, whereas the equivalent amount of Dixie Belle paint can cover 38 square feet.

It’s also important to consider additional tools that may be required, as in the case of Dixie Bell, which requires clear wax as a topcoat. With Rust-Oleum, a topcoat is not necessary. 

Hence, the price should not be the most crucial factor when choosing paint but only be considered when comparing two identical products. However, with high-end paints like gold paint for wooden furniture, the quality often matches the price.

Preparing Your Furniture for Painting

Proper preparation is key to a successful wood restoration project. Neglecting to prepare the furniture properly can result in issues such as peeling paint, clumping, damage from underlying dirt and debris, and more. 

To ensure a flawless application, it is important to follow the necessary steps of preparation.

1. Detach the doors, drawers, or any hardware

For a professional, store-bought finish, it is important to put in extra effort during the preparation stage. This includes removing doors, drawers, hinges, and doorknobs so that every surface of the furniture can be thoroughly cleaned and painted, rather than just the front.

2. Clean the Furniture

Before painting your furniture, it is necessary to determine the current finish and take the appropriate steps to prepare the surface. If your furniture has an old stain, it only needs to be degreased. 

cleaning cabinet top

To do so, combine a gallon of warm water and ¼ cup of TSP thoroughly clean the entire furniture piece, including areas not being painted, with a sponge. Note that TSP is a potent substance, so it’s crucial to wear gloves and goggles while applying it. 

For painted surfaces, generously apply a paint stripper, then carefully scrape off the paint until the underlying wood is exposed. If there is any remaining paint, you may need to use steel wool to scrub it off. 

After stripping or degreasing, wipe the surfaces with water and dry them with a lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth, then allow them to air dry completely.

3. Apply Wood Fillers, If Needed

After your furniture project or a DIY project has completely dried, inspect it for any holes and fill them using wood filler. Allow the wood filler to dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Sand the Furniture

Sanding furniture is a favorite step in woodworking. Before starting, make sure the furniture is completely dry. Use 150-220 grit sandpaper for general sanding, or if you want to remove any residual finish, use 80-120 grit sandpaper.

5. Tidy Up the Surface

sanding wood surface

To ensure a flawless finish, it is important to clean the furniture thoroughly one last time before painting. Start by using an efficient shop vac to remove any small dust particles. Then, use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface to ensure no dust is left behind. 

Our skilled painters recommended being meticulous in this step, as black paint for furniture tends to hide blemishes and dust, unlike other paints. Once the cleaning is done, you can proceed to gather the tools needed for painting the furniture black.

How to Paint Your Wood Furniture Black Like a Pro

Tools You’ll Need

Step #1: Apply a Primer

Paint doesn’t adhere well to wood, so applying primer can be beneficial. The only exception would be if the paint you’ve chosen doesn’t require a primer.

Otherwise, the primer will help seal the wood and minimize the number of coats necessary to achieve the desired result. For the best match with black paint for furniture, use a dark-colored primer.

paint primer

Step #2: Start Sanding the Primer

Our paint experts recommended sanding each coat of protective coating applied on wood for better results. Light sanding of the primer will create a smoother surface for paint adherence and an even surface. 

Use 220-grit sandpaper for gentle sanding, then clean the wood with a vacuum and dry cloth before the next step.

Step #3: Apply the First Paint Coat

Applying black paint with a brush is the optimal method. However, for larger pieces of furniture, a roller or HVLP sprayer may be preferred. If using a brush, transfer the paint to a separate container or tray, or dip the wet brush directly into the paint.

Begin by painting the edges, then proceed to larger areas. For hard-to-reach areas, a brush may still be necessary, even when using a sprayer or roller. Ensure consistent, long strokes following the wood grain for the best outcome.

Using Paint Rollers

When using a paint roller, it’s helpful to also have a small brush to access tight spaces. Begin by covering the larger areas of the furniture before moving to the smaller areas like corners. Starting with the big spaces first is recommended.

Using Rounded Paintbrush

To avoid visible brush strokes in your final product, our highly experienced painters recommend using a premium quality soft bristles round paintbrush. Synthetic and stiff-bristled brushes tend to produce visible lines and streaks in the paint.

Using a Handy Spray

Using a paint sprayer can be a fast process, but if applied to a larger area, it will require more preparation. Moreover, wait for the first thin layer of paint to fully set and dry before sanding. 

Make sure to use fine sandpaper with a 300-grit to avoid damaging the surface. Sanding between coats promotes a smooth application, removes any bubbles or fibers from the first layer, and results in a polished final product.

Step #4: Let the Paint Dry, Then Sand Again

After several hours, the paint should be dry and ready for light sanding with 220 or 300-grit sandpaper (depending on the product used). 

Sand along the grain, smoothing out any blemishes or brush strokes. After sanding, remove any dust with a vacuum cleaner and tack cloth. Paint does not adhere well to dust, so it’s crucial to take care in removing it.

Step #5: Begin Applying the Second Coat

After the surfaces have dried, apply a second coat. For most of the products, this will be the final layer.

If you find that the grain has risen after drying, or there are still brush strokes or uneven areas, sand it down and apply another coat.

Step #6: Allow the Paint to Cure

Allow the paint to cure for a minimum of one day before using it gently. Some products may require a cure time of up to three weeks, so it’s important to consider this before making a decision.

Step #7: Apply Polyurethane

This step is optional, but our skilled painters recommend this step if the furniture is going to endure frequent use or exposure to wear and tear.

For instance, if you are painting dining tables, kitchen cabinets, or furniture for children’s rooms, a clear protective layer will save you money in the long term.

close up view Varathane 200241H Water-Based Ultimate Polyurethane

Applying polyurethane will make the furniture water-resistant, scratch and scuff-resistant, and protect it from chemical spills without changing the paint color.

Step #8: Clean the Wood Furniture and Put Back the Hardware

After sanding the first coat, clean your furniture to remove dust and then apply a second coat, letting it dry completely. If the black color is strong, two coats should suffice. 

For an even better result, some people opt for a third coat, but if you choose to do this, be sure to sand the furniture after the second coat before you apply another coat.

Finishing the Wood

Apply the Top Coat or Sealer

When the paint is fully dry, start to apply a sealer or topcoat. We recommend using lacquer spray paint or oil-based sealer as the top finish. 

Before starting to apply the topcoat, carefully read the instructions, being mindful of its potential toxicity and flammability. For safety, make sure to use protective gear and have proper ventilation in place.

How to Apply the Sealer

When applying your sealer, follow these steps:

  1. Mix clear sealer and black paint for furniture
  2. Pour mixture on a paper plate
  3. Apply the mixture as a top coat for tinting and a glossy finish
  4. Ensure the topcoat matches the furniture piece and replace knobs, hinges, etc.

Distress Your Painted Black Furniture

A shiny, even, and black paint finish can bring an updated and sophisticated appearance to your new or old furniture. But if you prefer a rustic style in your home, you can still give an old table a fresh look by painting it black. Here are some tips to distress black-painted furniture:

  1. Begin by cleaning and smoothing out the surface of the furniture
  2. Then apply a primer layer (optional). 
  3. Finish by applying 2-3 coats of paint.

Before applying the topcoat, use sandpaper with grit between 18 and 220 to distress the paint. Focus on sanding the corners and edges to reveal the wood underneath.

Beware that sanding black paint furniture can result in a chalky appearance that dulls the dark paint shine. To minimize this, dampen the sandpaper before sanding.

The sealer or topcoat will help conceal any sanding issues. After you have distressed the paint, follow the previously mentioned instructions to apply the topcoat.

Black Furniture Pros and Cons

If you’re considering painting your furniture black, you’ll be in good hands with us.

The color black will be a striking contrast in a light and airy room, and it can be a goal for some but a mess for others.

One advantage of painting furniture black is it covers all the unneccesary marks and flaws in furniture. It’s ideal for hiding scuffs, scratches, and dents, giving the piece a new look.

However, like black clothing, black furniture is also prone to showing dirt and stains. It needs more frequent cleaning than other colors, which may be a challenge for those people who are busy cleaning weekly or have pets. 

But it’s manageable for those who regularly clean the furniture surface.

More For You: 


How can I paint my dresser black without sanding?

To paint your dresser black without sanding, use a heavy-duty cleaner to rough up the surface, then apply a high-quality primer designed for glossy surfaces, followed by two coats of black paint. 

Make sure to clean and dry the surface thoroughly before starting.

What black paint doesn't need a primer?

The paint that doesn’t need primer is Fusion Mineral Paint. It’s simple to use and sticks well to surfaces. 

The paint uses natural pigments instead of synthetic ones, making it highly efficient and requiring only one or two coats. This paint’s drying and re-coating time is between 4-8 hours.

Is black paint the same as a black stain?

No, black paint and black stain are not the same. Black paint is a pigmented liquid that forms a protective layer on the surface, creating an opaque and solid black coating.

On the other hand, black stain is designed to penetrate the material, enhancing its natural color while adding a dark tint. This allows the texture and grain of the material to remain visible, giving it a more subtle and translucent black finish. 

Is chalk paint the best choice for painting furniture black?

Not necessarily. Chalk paint can be a good choice for painting furniture black, but it may not be the best black paint choice for every situation. 

The best black paint depends on various factors, such as the material of the furniture, the desired finish, and personal preference. 

Our Top Pick For Black Paint for Wood Furniture: General Finishes Water-Based Milk Paint in Lamp Black

Our experienced painters and woodworkers highly recommend General Finishes Water-Based Milk Paint in Lamp Black as the best black paint for wood furniture makeovers. 

This water-based milk paint is ideal for many due to its low volatile organic compounds, ability to be applied with a brush or spray gun, longevity, and affordability. It can also be applied directly to untreated wood.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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