Types of Paint for Furniture

When it comes to painting furniture, there are so many choices of paint available that it can be difficult to know which one is right for the job. However, the type of paint you choose is important for creating your desired look and finish on your furniture.

In this post, we’ll explore the types of paint for furniture so you can make an informed decision for your next DIY project.

type of paint for furniture collage

From oil-based paints to water-based paints and even chalk paints, each has its own unique characteristics and benefits when it comes to giving your furniture a new look. Painting furniture can be an easy, cost-effective way to give any room in your home a fresh new look.

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And with knowing your paint options, you can identify which one will work best for your needs and preferences. You can consider factors such as durability, ease of use, and budget when making your choice.

With the right paint and the right technique, you can transform a piece of furniture into something beautiful and personal.

Types of Primer for Furniture

Before you paint on your furniture, it is very important to know what kind of primer to use. A good primer will prevent bleedthrough stains and provide better coverage.

But it will also help your paint stick to the furniture’s surface, whether it is made of wood, laminate, or plastic. Below are our resources for what type of primer to use before painting furniture.

Types of Paint for Furniture

You can use many different types of paint for furniture. We’ve tried many of them so you can see the best one for your project!

Check out the links to read more about how to use that specific paint on your furniture and to see what kind of results you can expect with it.

Milk Paint

Chalk Paint

All-in-One Paint

Enamel Paint

Acrylic Paint

Spray Paint

Pros and Cons of each Type of Furniture Paint

When it comes to painting furniture, there are a variety of paints available to meet different needs. There’s chalk paint, enamel paint, acrylic paint, all-in-one paint… the list goes on and on.

Here are some pros and cons for each type of furniture paint.

Chalk Paint

annie sloan chalk paint

Pros of Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is a good type of paint to use because it sticks to furniture well and is easy to clean up. You can also create different finishes with chalk paint, and it’s ready to use straight from the can.

Cons of Chalk Paint

When you’re painting furniture with chalk paint, it’s important to remember to seal it for durability and so that you can easily wipe it clean when needed.

If you forget to seal your chalk paint, it can collect dust which makes it hard to get off.

Wondering “is chalk paint durable for kitchen table?” check out this post to learn more.

Chalk paint is usually more expensive than regular latex paint and not all brands are available at local hardware stores.

Most companies that sell chalk paint usually only have a limited selection of colors too.

Enamel Paint

emerald urethane trim enamel

Pros of Enamel Paint

Enamel paint is a great option if you’re looking to give your furniture a fresh look.

It’s very easy to apply with either a paintbrush or even a paint sprayer and it won’t require any topcoating before you paint.

Plus, the color options are endless and it levels really well, so you won’t be left with any brush marks or texture. Not only that, but it’s also very durable and long-lasting!

Cons of Enamel Paint

However, there is one downside – enamel paint can be more expensive than other paints.

And some types take longer to dry in between coats (up to 16 hours), so make sure to plan accordingly.

It takes a bit of practice to get used to this type of paint, but once you do it will become second nature!

Acrylic Paint

general finishes milk paint

Pros of Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint sticks to surfaces much better than regular latex paint, so you don’t have to worry about it coming off.

And if you’re painting a surface that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, you don’t even need to seal it. Plus, it’s low-VOC and easy to clean up after. It also levels really well.

Cons of Acrylic Paint

It doesn’t usually come in the same variety of colors as latex, so there’s a limited range of colors available. And unfortunately, you won’t be able to find it at your local hardware store.

Plus, for extra protection, you’ll need to seal the paint with water-based polyurethane instead of wax.

All-In-One Paint

beyond paint all in one paint

Pros of All-In-One Paint

All-in-one paint is awesome for quickly sprucing up your furniture!

It’s easy to apply with a brush, roller, or even a sprayer, and best of all it doesn’t require any topcoating (although you may want to depending on the sheen you’re looking for).

Plus, it’s also very durable and long-lasting, and cleanup is a breeze since it just requires soap and water.

Cons of All-In-One Paint

The downside is that it’s more expensive than both latex and chalk paint, and the color options can be limited.

Most brands aren’t self leveling though so you will see brush marks or texture if you brush or roll it on.

Some brands only come in either a matte or satin finish, so make sure to check before you buy!

But if you’re looking for that extra bit of durability and long-lasting results, all-in-one paint may be the way to go.

Latex Paint

latex paint and calcium carbonate powder

Pros of Latex Paint

You can find latex paint at a hardware store near you. It is water-based, so it is easy to clean up.

You can get latex paint in any color that you want, and you can even get it color matched to a color swatch that you have. Latex paint is the cheapest option.

Cons of Latex Paint

Latex paint does not stick to many surfaces very well. You must put a primer on the surface first and prepare it very well before painting.

If you want to make it into chalk paint, you have to mix it yourself. It is also best to seal latex paint for durability.

What paint for furniture is best for beginners?

Beginners may feel overwhelmed by the amount of paint options available. However, there are certain types of paint that are best suited for those who are new to furniture painting.

One of the best options is all-in-one paint, which combines primer and topcoat in one product.

This makes it easier for beginners to get a professional-looking finish without having to worry about multiple steps.

Another great option for beginners is acrylic paint, as it is easy to apply and clean up after. It also has a low-VOC formula, making it a healthier choice for both the painter and the environment.

Chalk paint may also be a good option for beginners, as it typically has a shorter learning curve compared to other paints.

It’s ready to use straight from the can and can create unique finishes, making it a fun choice for those just starting out.

Budget wise, latex paint may be the best option for beginners as it is usually the most affordable.

As mentioned above, you can also make your own chalk paint using latex paint and other ingredients, making it a versatile choice.

Now that you know the pros and cons of each type of furniture paint, as well as get inspiration from our furniture makeovers using these paints, we hope you can confidently choose the paint that is best for your project.

Don’t hesitate to try out different types of paint and see which one works best for you.

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced furniture painter, each type of paint offers its own unique benefits and possibilities.

More Painting Furniture Resources

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collage of different types of paint for furniture


  1. What brand of Paint sprayer is recommended?
    Very useful info

  2. Tracy Timberman says:

    I use diy paint by Debi Beard. It’s a clay/ mineral paint.
    I use her wax to seal it, or her Big Top if I’m going with poly.

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