Can You Use Wall Paint on Furniture? — Other Interior Paint Uses

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

Share It

Breathing new life into an old piece of furniture can be a satisfying endeavor. But what if all you have on hand is some leftover wall paint from your last room makeover? Can that be used on your furniture?

If you’re unsure if leftover wall paint will work for your piece’s restoration, we’re here to help! In this guide, I’ll discuss if you can use wall paint on furniture.

What Happens if You Apply Wall Paint on Your Furniture?

The result of using wall paint on furniture will not be as good as wood-specific paint. The finish won’t be as durable as satin or gloss wood paint.

white paint

If you want to paint your furniture, you can use latex or acrylic paint that are specifically designed for use on wood. You can also choose a color that complements your walls or other furniture in your home. 

You can purchase premixed latex or acrylic paints from any home improvement store.

Is Interior Paint Good for Furniture?

Painting your furniture with interior paint could be a good strategy for ensuring it goes well with the walls and the ceiling. However, interior paint may not be durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of furniture usage.

I’d recommend advanced interior paint because it provides a long-lasting, furniture-like finish that is simple to use and easy to maintain.

pouring paint

Interior paint and wall paint are designed for different purposes and have different properties that make them better suited for different applications.

Does Wall Paint Work on Wood Furniture?

Wall paint can work on wood furniture, but as I mentioned, it will not be as long-lasting as paint options specific for wood. An oil-based varnish or stain is the best way to paint wood furniture. This can be applied with a brush or roller, depending on your desired finish [1]. 

You can also use latex paints for wood, but only if it’s in an area where it won’t get wet often, like underneath a kitchen sink or inside an entertainment center cabinet door.

Comparing Wood Furniture and Wall Paint

Wall Paint

Wall paint is typically used for painting walls and other surfaces inside the home. It comes in a wide range of colors, including reds, blues, greens, browns, etc., as well as other shades such as black or white. But you need to know about the right number of paint coats on your wall.

man painting wall

Wall paint does not require any special preparation before being applied to furniture but you should make sure that your surface is clean before applying any coatings of any kind to it.

Furniture Paint

Furniture paint differs from wall paint in several key ways; firstly it’s usually a lot thicker than wall paint so it won’t drip. Secondly, it usually has an odor that’s stronger than that of wall paint. 

Finally, furniture paints don’t come in as many shades as wall paints do but they do come in a few different finishes such as gloss and semi-gloss (which are both very shiny).

How to Use Wall Paint for Furniture Pieces

Tools and Materials You'll Need

Step #1: Make Sure that the Furniture is Clean

painting materials and tools

Before applying your wall paint on your furniture, get rid of any dust or dirt from the surface first. This will help prevent any problems with sticking or peeling later when it is time for refinishing.

Step #2: Remove the Old Paint by Gently Scraping

The next step in painting furniture is removing all the old paint. Start by gently scraping off as much as you can. If there are any deep scratches or gouges in the wood, smooth them out with sandpaper before scraping until all of the paint is gone.

Step #3: Start Sanding

Sanding the wood can be done with either a hand sander or an electric sander. Start with the coarsest grain of sandpaper and move up to finer grains as needed. Using a hand sander, you’ll want to work in small areas simultaneously, keeping your movements smooth and even. 

person holding sanding block

Step #4: Fill in Sparse Areas and Cracks

If you have bare spots or cracks on your wood furniture piece, fill them in with paint. This will make it look better and more uniform overall. 

The trick here is to choose a color that matches the rest of the piece as closely as possible. This ensures no visible differences between these areas and those appropriately painted. 

Step #5: Sand Again

After filling any sparse areas or cracks with paint, sand again until smooth and debris-free. This will ensure that your surface is smooth enough for painting purposes so that your final product looks nice and polished even after years of use. 

Step #6: Prime the Surface

Now that your piece is ready for paint, you have the option of applying a primer. A primer acts as an adhesive [1] between layers of paint so that they adhere better to each other and last longer without chipping or cracking as quickly.

paint primer

Step #7: Spread the Paint With Your Preferred Tool (Brush or Roller)

The next step in painting your furniture is spreading the paint evenly over the surface of your piece. You can do this using either a brush or a roller, depending on which tool you prefer and the size of your furniture piece. 

In addition, to achieve a uniform paint application on all surfaces of your piece, begin painting from one side and continue working your way around until you reach the opposite side.

Step #8: Sand Before Applying Another Coat

Sanding is an essential step in the painting process. It removes the grit and peeling surface of the piece, making it smooth for painting. It also exposes any flaws in the wood that you may have missed during your inspection.

Step #9: Apply Another Coat

Once the first coat dries, apply another layer using the same technique. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time before applying another coat. When using a brand-new can of paint, note that it may take longer than usual for it to dry completely. 

spray painting cabinet

However, if you’re using an older can and want to speed up the process, turn on your stovetop and place it on top of one burner set at low heat. This will help warm up your paint, so it dries faster when applied.

Step #10: Sand Again and Apply Another Coat, if Needed

If you’ve applied two coats of stain but still feel like some areas need more coverage or blending, apply another coat after waiting about 10 minutes for the first one to dry (or follow the instructions on the can).

Don’t expect it to look perfect right away! Paint takes time to dry and settle into its final appearance after application.

Can You Use Any Type of Paint on Furniture? + Types of Paint to Use

For paint furniture, I typically recommend using a satin or semigloss finish, regardless of whether the paint is oil- or latex-based.

You may be tempted to use oil-based paints that were used for painting your walls on your furniture. But I do not recommend this because water-based paints dry slower. 

furniture painted with latex

If you decide to use latex paint, a latex primer is a fantastic option for most applications. It is simple to apply, prevents most stains from setting in, and does not smell like an oil-based primer.

See more articles: 


Whether you’re looking to give a room a quick facelift or just looking for an exciting way to use unused paint, furniture painting could benefit your situation. 

You can use wall paint on furniture, but you need to make certain preparations for it to work. Once done, it’s now time for you to start painting. 

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You've probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.
Robert Johnson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles
Join our community on facebook and get 3 woodworking plans for free!

Join Our Woodworking Community on Facebook And Get 3 Woodworking Plans for Free!