Types of furniture paint
Manufacturers offer various types of furniture paint - either for a delicate refreshening or a whole makeover of the piece. Nonetheless, not every product available is suitable for all surfaces. One has to keep that in mind when shopping for one. If you are wondering what to use to paint furniture, you have to think about the result you’re aiming to achieve.
There are many types of furniture paint available on the market. They differ by ingredients and qualities. Paint for garden furniture is a completely different type of product than paint for children’s furniture. Durability and the contents of potentially harmfful substances are key in here.
If you are wondering how to paint your furniture, pay attention to the fact that e.g. garden furniture made from palets have to be resistant to the weather conditions such as UV lighting and changing temperatures. As for the furniture used in a teen bedroom or a boy’s room, it has to be resistant to scratches, which are easily made during playtime. So furniture paint is of key importance here.
- Acrylic paint - the binding ingredient here is acrylic resin, whereas water is the diluter. Because of that, this kind of furniture paint dries quickly and the smell is relatively faint. It results in either satin, semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. The surface is quite susceptible to physical damage, but it is weatherproof. This type of furniture paint is UV light resistant, therefore, its colour will not change in the future. It is a perfect product for painting objects covered with veneer.
- Oil paint (alkyd paint) - its main ingredients are alkyd resin and oils, which make the paint weatherproof. Surfaces covered with oil furniture paint are resistant to physical damage, water and temperature.
Acrid smell of the fumes is the biggest drawback of oil furniture paint.
- Chalk paint - made of water, chalk powder and some pigment. Thanks to the simplicity of its composition, you can easily make such a product at home. It provides a matte finish, dries quickly and does not smell. Chalk furniture paint is ecological and suitable for children’s bedroom. It is not resistant against physical damage and weather, hence it should be coated with additional layer of varnish or wax. Chalk paint can be used in furniture distressing techniques.
- Stain and varnish - if you want to highlight the wood pattern, varnish and stain are the most suitable products for this purpose. Stain is typically coloured, but it doesn’t cover the natural pattern. Depending on the type of the product, varnishes and stains give matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. A water-based varnish does not smell and dries quickly, but it can be easily damaged. Alternatively, you can use polyurethane varnish. Keep in mind, however, that it might darken in time.
- Renovation paint - such paints are produced specifically for the purpose of furniture renovation. They are suitable for wood, laminate and plywood, as well as ceramic tiles. This type of furniture paint is highly resistant to any kind of damage. The biggest disadvantage of using them is a very long drying time (even 12 hours). They should be applied at least twice.
- Chalkboard paint - surfaces painted with chalkboard paint are suitable for writing with chalk. They can be wiped with dry or wet cloths. Chalkboard furniture paint is a good idea for painting children’s furniture. Table or closet door painted with it makes a great writing surface for a child.
How to paint furniture - before you start
Before starting the renovation, one should prepare everything accordingly. Take out each drawer and unscrew every knob, handle and hinge. All surfaces have to be clean and dry. They should be sanded to ensure that the paint has a proper grip. Use sandpaper or an easier to use sanding sponge.
Before covering the object with furniture paint, check all surfaces for any scratches and dents. Shallow scratches are easy to conceal by sanding. Deep indentations and holes should be filled with wood putty. If left untreated, furniture paint could highlight such defects.
If the surface is smooth, dust it with a damp cloth. Some materials, especially solid wood, require using an undercoat. Certain types of furniture paint, e.g. acrylic paint also requires this product.
Furniture paint techniques - a quick renovation
To paint the furniture, use a short pile roller. To access hard-to-reach places, you can use a small brush. For satisfactory results and a long-lasting surface, make sure to cover each object with minimum two layers of paint. Wait for a some time between painting each layer. You can additionally sand the dried surface a little before putting the next layer - the paint will stick better.
The lifespan of the result depends mainly on the type of the furniture paint. The product should be selected specifically for the given purpose. Furniture such as book cases, shelves, TV stands and dressers are immovable, so you can use less durable furniture paint for them. Acrylic and chalk paint are both good choices. If the renovated objects are going to stand in the garden, kitchen or children’s room, it is recommended to choose a product of a firmer finish. The best furniture paint in such cases is one that is resistant against physical damage.
If the renovated object is going to stand in a children’s room, make sure that the product you are using is safe. Furniture covered with strong smelling paint should be thoroughly aired out before it can be placed back in the room.
Apart from using furniture paint, take care of the details as well. Damaged handles and knobs can be replaced with new ones. Well designed handles or knobs always improve the appearance of the object and serve as an additional decoration. Handles of colour contrasting with the rest of the furniture is an interesting solution. It will energise the whole room.
While choosing the best furniture paint, one should think of the best finish for the interior. Bright, glossy surfaces make the room look bigger, whereas matte furniture is associated with elegance and simplicity.
If the object is made of solid wood, consider preserving its original colour. Just varnish the surface. For an interesting effect, you can also combine two different textures. To do that, paint over only a part of the object and use varnish for the rest, making the original wood pattern visible.
All-purpose furniture paint - white
Old veneer furniture still appears in a number of apartments. Although such pieces are considered oold-fashioned, some of them still have interesting forms. The original colors of such objects range from dark to orange brown. Such shades are heavily outdated, as they tend to overwhelm the whole interior.
For this reason, when renovating your furniture, consider choosing bright colours. White is the most versatile colour - and it’s always trendy. It also make the room look bigger, which is another benefit.
Bright tones fit many designs - for instance currently dominating modern decor style. This type of interior design often combines white and shades of grey.
If the modern interior design seems too bleak to you, you don’t have to give up on this elegant color. Perhaps you can get inspired by much cozier French provincial style. It’s perfect for renovated furniture. Distressing is common for such designs - the effect is easy to recreate with chalk furniture paint.
Keep in mind that even the best furniture paint will not be able to cover the whole surface with just one layer. If you paint dark furniture on a bright color, make sure to put at least three layers of the product. If you put less of the product, the dark colour might break through the bright paint.
If you opt for a weathered look, characteristic for Shabby Chic style, pick a dark colour as the base. The next layers should be brighter. When the paint is completely dry, gently sand the edges to bring out the dark colour.
Painting old furniture is a great way to refresh one’s space. When objects surrounding you become boring, furniture paint comes in handy. It can give your furniture a new look without the necessity to spend money on new pieces. It’s a quick and relatively cheap solution.
📍 Does the furniture always have to be sanded?
Getting rid of the old layers of varnish or paint is necessary for every type of furniture. Only chalk furniture paint may be used without thorough sanding of the surface - but it still needs to be sanded on the surface. Otherwise the paint might not stick properly.
📍 Can I paint every type of furniture?
Irrespective of the type or the colour of the surface, there is a product for each of them. There is a great choice of furniture paint on the market - for every type of furniture. The only thing to keep in mind is the right preparation of the painted surface.
📍 How long will the surface last?
Durability of the surface depends on the type of furniture paint and on how the object is used. For instance, chalk paint should not be used for kitchen furniture. If the paint is by nature less durable, it needs to be secured with an additional layer of varnish.