painting furniture with wall paint or interior paints

Can You Paint Furniture With Wall Paint?

In Tips by Jamie P.

Are you painting furniture? And are you wondering if you can paint furniture with wall paint?

Yes, you can paint furniture with wall paint. The best wall paint to use on furniture makeovers is an interior satin paint and primer. Satin is the most durable sheen to apply on furniture. 

Paints can help protect wooden furniture from termites and slow down rot. However, wall paints differ from each other by their composition which makes them better for certain materials. Wall paints are recommended for inside  If you are considering painting exterior wood I would recommend checking out this article on TheBackyardPros.com called “How to Treat Untreated Wood For Outdoor Use“. It shows the best products to use on exterior wood projects to make it last a long time.

Anyways, in this article, you will read about different wall paint types, paint finishes, and the top coats required for the best protection on your furniture project. First, let’s get this question out of the way.


Types of wall paint that can be used on wooden furniture?

Oil-based paints
Even though removing this paint from a surface takes more than just a thinner, paints that are oil-based are known to be durable and could last longer than ordinary paints. They take longer to dry at room temperature but will dry faster in an area with a warm atmosphere. I have personally used oil-based paint on a rotting end table 5 years ago. I have skipped sanding and adding primer, but with paint alone and it’s still perfectly painted to this day.

Water-based paints
For furniture that will be painted and used indoors, water-based paints are ideal since they do not leave a lingering smell and toxic fumes like oil-based paints. They require a layer of coat first before being applied as they bind with the coat. A durable topcoat finish, such as lacquer, is needed to add a protective layer to the paint.

Latex paints
This type of paint is like a universal paint as it works with concrete, metal, and even wooden surfaces. It is commonly used in homes because of how quickly it dries. It also lasts a long time and stains are easily cleaned with soap and water. Latex paints are often used painting furniture because they dry fast, but without properly preparing the furniture before they are painted, the grains of wood can swell up and would need to be sanded for a smooth final product.


Types of interior paint finishes:

Satin
This finish reflects more light than glossy types of paint, but less light than a matte finish. It is also less prone to molding. Satin finishes are said to have a low-sheen finish.

Semi-gloss and high-gloss
Gloss finishes are proven to be durable and easy to clean. They are also resistant to moisture buildup. They are shiny and have a glossy appearance.

Matte
Matte paints have little sheen look. The feel is the opposite of a gloss, it has a texture feeling. Little reflection in matte paint finishes.

Flat Paint
If the surface you are trying to paint has a lot of open pores and imperfections, flat paint would help you not only give them a brand-new color but also cover the blemishes. Flat finish is often used on ceilings and walls with little traffic. However, they are prone to dirt and are known to be difficult to clean.

Eggshell
This finish will give you a bright result that does not look too shiny and moist. They are commonly used for surfaces that often get splashed with water. However, retouching could be a little challenging as the new layer or a spot of touch-up may become visible and lighter than the older layer.


Best Topcoats to Use Over Wall Paint on Furniture:

A topcoat is a clear layer you can brush or spray on to protect the piece.  There are many options but popular choices are :

Polyurethane
Commonly used on wooden surfaces, they protect the surface from water damage and gives the wood a longer life. This finish can give a glossy look and a smooth look, depending on the finish chosen. Polyurethane is a very popular topcoat choice for many furniture refinishers. Polyurethane can give a yellow look to light-colored paints.

Lacquer
If you want to give your wooden surface a glossy AND hard layer while retaining the desired color of paint, lacquer is your best option. The types of lacquer finishes range from ultra matte to high-gloss, you choose your desired look!

Wax
Using wax on wood has been practiced for centuries and some homeowners prefer to do this. They enhance the shine of your wooden surface and protects them from stains. Once applied, they give a silky feel and adds protection from splash.

Many topcoat sprays!
Using topcoat spray on a surface is the fastest way to get the paint set and ready to be displayed. In at least 30 minutes, they can dry depending on how many layers need to be sprayed on.


Can you paint wood with wall paint?

I mainly refinish furniture, however, the steps are the same for other wooden projects too! So if you were wondering if you can paint wood with wall paint, you can!

Wall paint can be used on wood, however, it may need some primer and multiple coats so you don’t have any bleeding. Wall paints come in various types and finishes, some work better on wood than others. I also recommend a top coat so you don’t see chips in the wood.

How to paint furniture with wall paint?

Just like the usual process of repainting furniture, it needs to be sanded, primed, and then painted. However, the durability of the piece painted with wall paint is uncertain as the paint used is designed to last on wall type surfaces.

Depending on the project, you have different options. Wall paints come in different types and finishes that are better options for various projects. For example, if you are choosing to glaze a piece of furniture you would avoid gloss finishes and go with a satin. Anyways, I describe each paint type better below.

What if my furniture is rotting?

If you would like to give your furniture a paint job because it has rotten, it has to be restored before being repainted. A wood hardener would also be needed to prevent further rotting, and a primer to make sure the wall paint will stick to the wooden surface. Primer and then a topcoat finish would be required to prevent them from chipping and wear.


Final Thoughts

Finally, now we know wall paints can be used to paint a wooden surface, whatever kind it may be. A primer is always recommended before you start painting them, just to make sure there is a layer of protection between the surface and the paint. When you are sure that the paint has dried completely, apply a finish of your choice.

Make sure to observe caution when painting and applying finish to your wooden surface because some of them release toxic fumes known as VOCs that take a long time to dry and is not safe to let dry indoors. Be aware of these fumes and take proper precautions and your furniture painting will go perfect!

Good luck with any of your furniture projects and please ask any questions you may have below!