Painting Oak Furniture Black

Whether you have an old piece of oak furniture that you no longer love or are looking for a way to liven up a room, painting oak furniture black is an excellent option that can give your furniture a fresh new look. Black painted furniture is a classic that pairs well with different styles and adds sophistication to any space.

Painting oak furniture isn’t just about brushing some paint onto the surface; it requires the right tools, techniques, and products to achieve the perfect finish. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of painting oak furniture black so you can get the best looking finish.

photo of china cabinet before painting black

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or someone looking to improve your painting skills, follow these steps to transform your oak furniture into a beautiful and elegant piece that matches your style and decor.

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With just a few coats of black paint, your oak furniture can go from outdated to sophisticated in no time.

Imagine how beautiful your dining table, chairs or coffee table will look with a black finish that highlights their unique grains and textures.

Supplies Used for Painting Oak Furniture Black

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Check out the 10 must have painting furniture supplies here!

Preparing Oak Furniture for Paint

Before you start painting your oak furniture, you need to properly prepare the piece of furniture for paint, so that your paint will stick well and that your furniture will look high end when you’re done.

Start by removing any hardware or knobs from the furniture. You can do this by unscrewing them using a screwdriver.

Clean the furniture thoroughly using a degreaser and water. You can use a sponge or cloth to apply the solution and then wipe it off with a clean cloth.

I personally like to use Krud Kutter and a damp rag to cut through any grease or grime that is on the surface. Learn more about how to clean furniture before painting here.

On this oak china cabinet, we also had a tiny bit of chipped oak veneer on the front, so I filled that in as well.

filling in chipped wood with wood filler

I used KwikWood, one of the best wood fillers for furniture, to fill it in. Check out the best wood fillers for furniture here.

When the Kwikwood was dry, I sanded it down so it was completely flat and flush with the wood around it. Learn more about how to use Kwikwood here.

And then the last step for preparing furniture for paint is scuff sanding.

I sanded the entire cabinet, inside and out with 220 grit sandpaper. Enough to remove a little bit of the sheen, but not enough to sand through the finish. Learn more about sanding before painting furniture here.

Check out my guide on how to sand wood by hand here.

Then I vacuumed up the dust and wiped any leftover dust off with a tack cloth.

Priming Oak Furniture

And then I primed the cabinet with a couple of coats of BIN shellac based primer.

The primer helps the paint stick, but it also helps your paint have an even coverage (without primer, your paint could look shiny in some spots, and dull in other spots.)

A good stain blocking primer will also stop stains from coming through paint… an annoying thing that happens when you use waterbased products on wood furniture.

Painting Oak Furniture Black

Now, there are many different paints that you can use to paint furniture black, but this time I chose to use one of the best black paints for furniture.

I used General Finishes Enduro Poly Black. It’s essentially a highly pigmented topcoat that dries to a durable satin finish.

The biggest downside of this paint is that it has to be sprayed on with a paint sprayer. But, the combination of this paint and a paint sprayer, creates a flawless finish.

Check out another post on spray painting a dresser black with enduro poly.

And it’s really easy to do. It’s already thin paint, so you just put it in your sprayer, and then spray on a light, even coat to avoid drips and runs. It is ready to recoat after about an hour, which is so nice!

If you end up dealing with drips, here’s how to fix spray paint drips to ensure you have an even finish.

But in between coats, I like to sand everything with 400 grit sandpaper to make the finish feel buttery smooth. Check out the best sandpaper for furniture painting here.

And then I of course removed the dust with a tack cloth again. It’s recommended to paint on 3 coats of this paint for the best durability.

Then allow the paint to dry completely and cure for at least 24 hours before using the furniture.

That’s it! By following these steps, you can paint your oak furniture black using General Finishes Enduro Poly Black paint.

close up of black painted china cabinet
black painted china cabinet
zoomed side angle of black painted china cabinet

How to Paint Wood Furniture Black Without Sanding

If you don’t want to sand your furniture before or in between coats of paint, you can choose a different paint that sticks better to finished wood.

Heirloom Traditions Paint is my favorite all-in-one paint that sticks really well to furniture, even laminate furniture without the need to scuff sand before painting.

It’s even better than chalk paint (which in my opinion, should never be used without scuff sanding or priming beforehand.)

You can read my Heirloom Traditions All In One Paint review to help you decide if this is the paint to use for your next DIY project. Learn more about the best all-in-one paints for furniture here.

You can also skip sanding if you use a really good primer like we used in this makeover.

BIN shellac based primer has AMAZING bonding abilities and technically will stick to even slick laminate furniture without sanding beforehand. Check out the best primers for painting furniture here.

But, just know that your paint will last longer and hold up better if you scuff sand before priming or painting. Learn all about how to paint wood furniture without sanding or priming in this post.

What Is the Best Black Paint for Furniture?

There are so many different types of black furniture paint, and sifting through all of the options can be a pain.

But, you don’t need to sift through a bunch of options because I have tried a lot of furniture paints, and I know what is the best and what is not worth your time.

Here are some of the very best black paints for furniture!

If you want a matte black finish on your furniture, here are the best black matte paints for furniture.

Do I Need to Strip the Old Finish Off?

When painting oak furniture black, it is not necessary to strip the old finish.

You can scuff sand the surface with 220 grit sandpaper to create a dull surface that will allow the new paint and primer to adhere properly. Make sure to clean off the dust before priming or painting!

How Many Coats of Black Paint Do I Need?

When you paint furniture black, you will usually need about 2 coats of black paint to get full coverage.

Some black paints cover really well, like Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint and might only need 1 coat of paint.

But it’s very typical for black paint to need 2 coats for full coverage. 3 coats are sometimes necessary when painting with thinner paints like General Finishes Lamp Black.

There you have it, now go tackle your project! And don’t forget to have some fun!

Painting Oak Furniture Black

black painted china cabinet

Painting oak furniture black is a great way to give your old furniture a fresh new look while still keeping it classic.


  1. Prepare your oak furniture by removing old hardware then cleaning it thoroughly with Krud Kutter and a damp rag. For any chipped oak veneers, fill them in with wood filler. Scuff sand the entire cabinet, inside and out, with 220 grit sandpaper. Then clean all the dust with vacuum and tack cloth.
  2. Apply a couple of coats of primer to help paint stick and to help paint have even coverage. Priming will also stop stains from coming through the paint.
  3. Spray light even coats of black paint onto the cabinet. You can sand everything with 400 grit sandpaper between coats to make the finish feel buttery smooth. Paint 3 coats of paint for the best durability.
  4. Let the paint dry and cure for at least 24 hours.
  5. Add hardware and enjoy your new black furniture!

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  1. Creatively Beth says:

    GORGEOUS make over!
    Followed and Pinned!
    Creatively, Beth

  2. Esmé Slabbert says:

    Amazing outcome, love the black on this cabinet! So beautifully done.

  3. Kristin salazar says:

    This turned out absolutely beautiful!

  4. Cara ~ Vintage Style Gal says:

    I would be afraid to try this myself, but the black looks great! Doesn’t even look like the same piece. Great job, thank you for sharing with Whimsy Home Wednesday.

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