How To Spray Paint Wooden Furniture

It’s truly amazing what a little paint can do.  It can completely transform something from old and ratty to updated and fresh.

This tutorial is not the end all be all in furniture painting, it’s just how I did it.

I started with this desk. (click here to see how I got it)

The desk was stained, a little burned, and scratched.

I drove to Lowes and picked up primer, spray paint, clear sealant, fine grit sand paper, and tack cloth. I also bought satin nickel paint for the hardware (but I didn’t end up using this because I liked the way the original hardware’s finish looked). This all totaled up to about $25.  Sweet.

The first thing I did was remove all the hardware with a screwdriver.

I sanded the surface a little to get any previous sealant off.  In the places it was dinged or scratched, I used a little elbow grease and just sanded a bit more until it felt smoother.  I didn’t sand every inch.  It didn’t need to be perfect.

Remove all drawers and give the faces of them a quick sand also.

I used a sandpaper block because the it was easier to hold than paper, plus since it was flat, the desk top was uniformly sanded.

Run over the entire surface area with a tack cloth.  I didn’t know what a tack cloth was until now.  It’s like less-sticky fly paper that picks up all the dust from sanding.  Don’t skip this step.  If you have a dusty surface, the paint will stick to the dust, not the desk.

Be sure to do this in a well ventilated space (ideally outside).  Also, if you are at all concerned with the floor or grass you are about to paint on, be sure to cover it with a tarp.  Don’t end up like me.  Like me meaning in the dog house for a few days because you have successfully primed and painted your grass a lovely shade of Oceanic Blue.

Spray the primer on in long strokes.  Try to hold the can about 8 inches from the desk.  I put on 2 thin coats of primer.

Yes, I primed the grass by accident.

I waited about 10 minutes in between coats.

Don’t forget to prime the drawers too!

Next up was my favorite part.  COLOR!

When you spray paint the color on, use long, even strokes. 

(Before I got to this point I found random plastic in our garage to put under the legs in an attempt to save the lawn)

Don’t panic like I did when the paint looks like this after one coat…

After 3 thin coats, the streaks disappeared.

Again, don’t forget the drawers!

After the paint dries, It’s time for the clear sealant.  I chose a satin finish to try to mask the spots that I didn’t sand as well as I thought I did.

Evenly spray 2 coats of this stuff on the furniture.

I did my happy dance when I knew it was going to turn out nicely!  Our poor neighbors!

I let this dry for a few hours.

I am so impatient!

Screw on the hardware when you are sure it’s dry.

I am so happy with the end result, and even happier that it was so easy!

If you like this post, you'll love these:

This entry was posted in DIY, home, home decor and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

353 Responses to How To Spray Paint Wooden Furniture

  1. Love this! Nice job….looks great!

  2. Nicolle says:

    It came out really nice!

  3. Vixter2010 says:

    Ooh looks lovely, well done chick!

  4. At first I was all “BLUE?” but then when I saw the finished product I was all.. “Whoa… BLUE!!!!” Well done I hate that I doubted you for a single second! I love it.

    • I saw a bright green chest in a Betsey Johnson Shop in NYC and always wanted something funky like that, but didn’t know where to find one -especially in my price range. It was free, so if it looked horrible, I wouldn’t feel too bad. Thanks Kell!

  5. D... says:

    I love it, it’s such a pretty and perky blue. The hardware looks so adorable.

    Yay Mindy!!!

  6. Lindsey Cerrone says:

    I especially love the picture on the desk!!

  7. Kirby says:

    Please, please, please say what the color is! It is gorgeous!

  8. Lisa says:

    LOVE it!!!!!! Great job, Min…can’t wait to come over. xoxo

  9. morriskr says:

    Wow that is awesome, I emailed the link to my mom! She wants to do this to some furniture now. I’ve been hesitant to spray paint furniture but you’ve inspired me!

  10. Looks fabulous…I had no doubts. Great color choice. The original hardware looks great…that usually doesn’t happen!

    • Thanks Michelle! I agree with you on the hardware. It was a total fluke. I bought brushed nickel paint if I hated the way it looked with the origial hardware. I actually thought i was going to have to buy new handles. I got lucky.

  11. Ana Paula says:

    It turned out lovely! Great job!
    I am following you from the Homemaker on a Dime.

  12. I saw the later blog before this one but I’m seriously contemplating painting a desk. It looks so freaking good and who wouldn’t love a hot pink or baby blue desk.

  13. Tien says:

    You did great Mindy, wow!

  14. Would you believe: I have this EXACT same desk!

    Thanks for the tips. I now have a reason to unbury it from the garage and do some spray painting…


  15. Hyouten says:

    Very nice! Those streaks on the first coat made it look like you were trying to get a sky effect (with clouds, etc) but I’m guessing it didn’t look like that in actuality.

    The end result is gorgeous and it goes very well with that frame on top! That makes me want to convince my parents to do the same for the furniture on my baby sister’s bedroom. A lavender color or something light would be wonderful for her room.

  16. enjoibeing says:

    very awesome! i have plenty of wooden furniture in my garage that i didnt want in my room cause of the color, but now i would want to pull them out and change it up a bit. nice DYI modifier. good post! thanks

  17. Love it! I’ve been dying to spray paint something. I just randomly found your blog and I will be stopping by again. BTW, I my bucket list to my blog, too.

  18. I have a dresser in my garage in a similar style that I was thinking of refinishing. Now, I think I’ll just sand it and paint a funky colour. Thanks for the inspiration!

  19. Kim says:

    Awesome! What a great color! Thanks for sharing!

  20. slcsaunders says:

    Great job – looks terrific!

  21. Alan Cook. says:

    That’s pretty impressive.
    You have inspired me to spraypaint every piece of furniture I own :)

  22. That looks fabulous! I love how you kept the hardware the way you found it. It retains the well-cherished look to the desk. I feel inspired to find an old piece of furniture and try this myself.

  23. sitaji says:

    Well done! Looks great and you’ve motivated me to do some of my own furniture. :)

  24. Crystal says:

    Well done. I’m nervous to use spray paints but you’ve made it look easy, and fun!

  25. thor27 says:

    Very interesting you did a good job with that desk. It turned out good. Yay
    yes I did find you blog !!!

  26. I’ve done so many projects where I’ve stripped paint to refinish something that I think it’d break my heart to paint something that was good wood. This looks great though and way better than when you found it. Great tutorial.

  27. fireandair says:

    The after=-one-coat picture looked nice, actually, like a cloudy summer sky. A few birds handpainted in and a balloon might make a nice kid’s desk.

  28. What a great-looking desk! And it came at such an appropriate time for me :) I am currently painting a bathroom vanity. If I’d known how easy it was to spray it, I would have opted to do that rather than hand-painting. Thanks for the how-to!

  29. mommemau2 says:

    That is beautiful!! I love the color, and the hardware looks great! If you have an account on HGTV , check out the Pottery Barn Inspired Bath and tell me what you think of my painted cabinets with legs!! I love paint! Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  30. beckyyk says:


  31. Shahidah says:

    Well,everyone has already said what an awesome job but I just cant resist saying it again. I will defintely try this when the weather warms up here…now I feel like hitting some yardsales! Again, great job

  32. whosleilani says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I have been prepping my furniture for spray painting but I was just going to wing it. Now I am more informed!:)

  33. Pingback: How To Spray Paint Wooden Furniture (via Finding Silver Linings) «

  34. engLandofOz says:

    Wow! What an amazing transformation! You’ve got me inspired to spray paint everything… where shall I start?! Thanks and a great blog!


  35. maydelory says:

    Go girl! You didn’t say why/how you chose colour. The result is beautiful. Your grass is awful. Take care of nature and nature will take care of you. Great job. Love this post.

    • We just laid down some fertilizer & fresh seed so our fingers are crossed! I wanted a bright color because one day while shopping in NYC, I was in a Betsy Johnson Boutique (her clothing is really funky, eclectic, and carefree). There was a lime green painted piece of furniture that had the same shape as this desk. They used it to display jewelry and hats. It inspired me to attempt this project.

  36. Dacia says:

    Beautiful! You did a great job! Very impressive.

  37. Great job, love the color… and the grass will be back to normal after the first or second cutting… My mom does it all the time. I have a tall chest I need to refinish, I was going to strip it and stain it, but I am thinking I like the bright color, I just might have to do that instead. Thank you!

  38. LOVE it! :) Love your keep calm and carry on poster too! :) Nice work!

  39. jaxsworld says:

    do you think the same outcome would result if i used a wood piece that is like solid oak? or should i go out and buy a heavy duty sander? lol

  40. Wow! No offense, but that turned out waaay better than I thought it was going to! Nice job, and love the happy dance by the way hahaha.

  41. abelovedone says:

    i may or may not be making my husband pick up a huge dresser that is free on craigslist so that i can try this out 😉

  42. Jo McGuirk says:

    Wow!!! I’m going down to my local hardware store for some spray paint this minute. I have an old victorian vanity that has been sitting in my basement for 15 years, and after reading this informative post I can’t wait to get started. Thanks for sharing.

  43. Rochelle says:

    Thank you so much for the tips and great pictures! I’ll be using them for sure :)

  44. Two Man Minimum says:

    The desk looks great. Thanks for the tips, I have been planning to paint some of my living room furniture and your steps are clear and easy to follow.

  45. Robyn says:

    OMG….I’m in love!!! I want the desk!

  46. looks great! love the blue!

  47. Lisa says:

    congrats on being “freshly pressed!”

  48. Great job. Has a vintage feel. Congrats on Freshly Pressed.


    I have the same desk found in the same condition but spray painted it GOLD. :)

  50. Theresa says:

    Beautiful desk! I love the color. You did a great job on the tutorial too!

  51. Mindy, This is fantastic! I happen to have an entire bedroom set of this same exact furniture that I got for my 8th birthday and passed down through two daughters. I’m planning to redo the guest bedroom and wondered if I could possibly paint all of it, but never dared to try for fear it would be a dreadful mess…. OK. Now I not only have confirmation I should go for it, but you have also provided a step-by-step tutorial.Thank you!! I’ll have to send you photos of my “before and after” pics – or possibly post them and link back to you, and then we can do a happy dance together. :) – MoSop
    P.S. Congrats for being Freshly Pressed.

  52. Kim Morrell says:

    Looks good and a definite worthwhile post.

  53. Yeah! I am so excited to see you Freshly Pressed congratulations, I am forever trying to find fun crafty blogs here on wordpress and they are few and far between, I am adding you to my fav. list. I so wish they would feature more crafty and hand made by me blogs on the Freshly Pressed front page.



  54. That is great. You have such a lovely piece now. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  55. vanessajaded says:

    I spray painted my dresser when I was an undergrad, and I loved how it turned out! You did a great job, I love the handles on it, too.

  56. 4myskin says:

    I love it! Wow, it looks so cool. I was wondering how well such a bright blue would work out with the early pictures, but it looks great! Thanks for all the info too. 😀

  57. Girl, you did an awesome job. I’m signing up for your blog! ; )

  58. Nice! Look easy. I will try with some furniture. In the past I am asking how to paint furniture and now I known. Thank You for share your technique.

  59. Pingback: How To Spray Paint Wooden Furniture (via Finding Silver Linings) | TRAVELITERATURE

  60. Brooke says:

    This looks great! I’m really into spray painting furniture! I just painted a table about this same color – keep on painting!

  61. beingzhenya says:

    This is such a great post about DIY! I saw your comments on nattynook, and now you are freshly pressed! Awesome job!

  62. DottieDags says:

    I absolutely love this! Furniture refinishing is my latest obsession and this desk caught my eye from the main page. I LOVE that shade of blue and I LOVE the curves of that desk!

  63. Lavon Brown says:

    You did an excellent job with that desk… Complete transformation. :)

  64. LOVE the blue desk! But what really struck me is the cobalt bottles. I have tons of them just sitting on a shelf and really like the idea of a single bright flower. I have bright yellow daffodils about to fade that I may cut and bring in now. Thanks for the great idea!

  65. Looking very shabby chic and French! :o) Well done!

  66. Jackie Paulson 1966 says:

    Well don, I have the exact same dresser thingy. I will have to do mine, TY

  67. Amazing! You had a wonderful desk to begin with. I love provincial style furniture.

  68. Nanola says:

    Love it, especially the blue! I’m going to painting a piece of wood furniture and I didn’t even think of spray paint so THANK YOU! I’ll even bring out the stencils :)

  69. Lakia Gordon says:

    That desk is beautiful! I love the process of transforming old items.

  70. D... says:

    OMG Mindy, congrats on the second freshly pressed. Your lovely desk is a total winner!!!!!

  71. Good job! That looks really good!

  72. Good job. Wanna come do my furniture?
    Congrats on being Freshly Painted…oops, I mean Freshly Pressed.



  73. great post i love do it yourself things. 😉

  74. Love the color – and it goes so nicely with the sign. Well done.
    Congratulations on being FP!

  75. yagerbabies says:

    Wow I really love this! The thing that caught my eye was the ‘keep calm and carry on’ picture you have hanging on your wall! I have the same thing 😀 Awesome post!

  76. Wow, it looks so good! Who would’ve thought it would be so easy to turn something old and shabby into something beautiful. I love the colour you chose too!

  77. Gratz, it looks really great! you’re a master decorator 😉

  78. thetick900 says:

    What a gorgeous result!

  79. Joshua says:

    Looks very nice but blue would not be my first color I would go with. I would go with a dark cherry red!

  80. Gorgeous! And I love the color as well – would add a sparkle to any home :) Are you a decorator? Looks like I should read your other posts and get some tips!

  81. Aster says:

    That is awesome! At some point that will have to happen to the French Provincial furniture that I *had* to have when I was twelve.

  82. Wow, this is amazing! I wish it would turn out that good if I tried, but it probably wouldn’t :/
    Congrats on being FP :)

  83. li says:

    Wa!That’s amazing!Which dyes you used?

  84. Bria says:

    Looks fabulous! I clicked on this because I just did a rehab on a dresser myself and was curious to see what technique you used. You’ve got me thinking I’ll use spray paint next time.

    For my old IKEA dresser, I distressed it. It came out great. But yeah, for a bench I have, might be fun to try a bright color, spray-painted on. :-)

  85. I spray painted something once and it came out badly, but I’m sure if I had read this post beforehand I could have done much better.

  86. Your dressor looks great! Thanks for the tip! Having recently got married myself and having bought a fixer-upper house, I can def. relate to the need for cheap, yet creative ways to make something old look like something new again!

  87. You just saved $600, and own a work of art you created.
    What could be better.
    Great work!

  88. rtcrita says:

    Your desk turned out lovely! I have done several pieces of furniture this way, only I painted them all by hand with a brush. But that’s just because I find painting that way relaxing. Must be the repetitive motion.
    It’s a great way to pick up an inexpensive piece and make it your own. Once, I found a small table with curved legs and curved corners that I painted and antiqued and decoupaged. I only paid $3 for the table!

  89. maxgames says:

    LOL! Yea, this desk reminded me of my cousin’s when we were 7! I think that’s why I really like it

  90. paperpixel says:

    Nice job! Wasn’t too sure on the ‘smurf’ blue. But it turned out nice.

  91. gokonnect says:

    great info. kind of liked the silvery colour though…

  92. that is a beautiful color

  93. harmamae says:

    Nice! I love little projects like that.

  94. WOW~you make the tutorial a new look!!!Even much more beautiful than before!!!!!

  95. SO TRENDY! I love it! I want to do this with my desk now…….
    amazing work, and congrats!

  96. SPREE says:

    Really beautiful furniture, an interesting post.

  97. Geneva says:

    Love it! It has so much character and the paint looks so even.

  98. I love the color,good job and thanks for the tips

  99. sharphilan says:

    Great work!!! nice idea

  100. Great job! It’s much better now 😉 Thank you for sharing that!

  101. great color. I was considering staining my bedroom set, now I’m reconsidering.

  102. says:

    nice job! I sooo love the new table :-)

  103. TWStyle says:

    Looks SO good!!! Really wasn’t sure how blue was going to turn out, but it looks amazing! Now you have a unique, stylish piece of furniture that you can be proud of! Awesome!

  104. Kims Pencil says:

    Very nice painting; but I like the original colour too!

    • I originally wanted a white desk for that room, that’s why this caught my eye in the first place. Just because I liked it, didn’t mean it would flow with the rest of our home’s decor. This realization is the result of too many impulse buys, lol! I did, however, love the shape. The cream color made it too old fashioned looking.

  105. richannkur says:

    Well written and lively post…

  106. mrthekidd says:

    Excellent DIY skills! You have inspired me to personalise my furniture.
    Congrats on FP’d :)

  107. leadinglight says:

    The transformation is lovely and the colour coordination works very well!

  108. Colin L Beadon says:

    I’m sorry Mindy,
    You probably destroyed a valuable piece of old furniture worth several hundred dollars or more. People destroy valuable furniture with the best intentions.

    • I wouldn’t have painted it if it was of nice quality. The reverse side of this desk was particle board which is a dead giveaway that it was not an antique of any kind. Thank you for your concern though! If this baby was solid wood, I had full intentions to strip it down and stain it.

    • morriskr says:

      This made me LOL. Buzzzzkillll. It’s not as if she’s out cutting down trees, polluting the world, or making babies cry. It’s a piece of (somewhat) wood!

  109. Monica Banks says:

    This is so amazing.

  110. myra22 says:

    Yay! You’re Freshly Pressed!!! Congrats on that! The desk is beautiful. Great job!!

  111. whatsaysyou says:

    That is so cool of you to make something become good as new. You totally rock :)

  112. lucy_elenore says:

    hey thanks! i should try that sometime.

  113. artisdreams says:

    Mmm – looking around for things to spray now ….
    Very inspiring, well done : )


  114. Jeremiah says:

    Nice project, I like the style of the dresser. I used alot of different spray paints and Valspar was my least favorite, how do you like it ? I prefer rustoleum 2X the coverage it sprays nice with less coats. I think lowes sells valspar and home depot sells rustoleum 2x. Nice Job once again A++++

    • That explains why Lowes didn’t have the Rustoleum. Hmmm. Yes, now that I recall, Rustoleum has that nice piece attached to the nozzle that increases the surface area that it covers. Thank goodness the Valspar worked out! Thanks for the input Jerimiah! Next time, I’ll remember that & go to Home Depot.

  115. Carrie says:

    Wow! How pretty!!! Can’t wait to try this out in my house =) Thanks for the tips!

  116. I’m so impatient too when waiting for paint to dry! Thanks for sharing Mindy, I enjoyed reading!

  117. Beautiful! I LOVE it!

  118. Mindy, Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! That was fun to see a familiar face on the menu.

    Since I’m due for a “spray paint the new front door” project this spring, this post was also timely for me.

    Good work! :)

  119. Pingback: Oh No She Di in’t! | Finding Silver Linings

  120. Abby says:

    What a great color! I can’t wait until it’s warm enough out to start working on my own furniture 😀

  121. Pingback: Furniture DIY «

  122. Really cool! I was a bit surprised by the color you chose but when I saw it with the accompanying poster I knew you’d made the right decision. 😀 It looks great! Learning to restore or reinvent furniture is one of the things on my to-do list this year, and I had no idea it could be so easy! How long did the sanding take you?

  123. Deeone says:

    Awesome job Mindy! :)

  124. SJ says:

    This furniture is so lovely. Great job! Thank you for sharing this at the Creative Bloggers’ Party & Hop :) I hope you’ll join us again starting 5 pm this Sunday, PST.

  125. Oh my goodness, that looks so cool! I’d love to do that, except maybe I probably wouldn’t look down either and would be freaking out internally in my head. Love the pictures!

  126. I’m so impatient too when waiting for paint to dry! Thanks for sharing Mindy, I enjoyed reading!

  127. Mindy, Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! That was fun to see a familiar face on the menu.

    Since I’m due for a “spray paint the new front door” project this spring, this post was also timely for me.

  128. PanicMonster says:

    u sure make this look easy girl!! im going to give it a try.
    first with a small little table or a night stand! cant wait.

  129. LOVE the blue desk! But what really struck me is the cobalt bottles. I have tons of them just sitting on a shelf and really like the idea of a single bright flower. I have bright yellow daffodils about to fade that I may cut and bring in now. Thanks for the great idea!

  130. Pingback: Good Will Chair Re-Do | Finding Silver Linings

  131. I love it! Wow, it looks so cool. I was wondering how well such a bright blue would work out with the early pictures, but it looks great! Thanks for all the info too. 😀

  132. it’s my dream have got one like this!

  133. This came out awesome and I have to agree with you on the hardware; it looks awesome with the desk color. What color blue is this?

  134. LOVE this piece and LOVE the color!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NICE job!!!

  135. jaxsworld says:

    thanks i’ll have to try that! sorry it took me so long to reply i’m still new at this site. :/

  136. larsinnh says:

    It came out really great! love the color. thanks for linking up to our Wicked Awesome Wednesday blog party.

  137. Pingback: This is Cool: How To Spray Paint Wooden Furniture | katielichtl

  138. Pingback: Welcome Parade Of Homes! | Finding Silver Linings

  139. Pingback: How To Spray Paint Wooden Furniture (via Finding Silver Linings) « Good finds

  140. so much great information on here, : D.

  141. Okay, first of all, I’m going to have to say you’re a genius. The idea of spray painting a desk would have never occurred to me.
    Now that you gave me the idea, I’d like to add something to it. It’s probably possible to make designs on the desk using stencils, isn’t it? Those would give it some spice and flair! According to me, it would look very pretty!
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
    Ashley, aka TheEverydayMuser

  142. bebe bodycon says:

    Hey, tried adding your site to google reader and it shows an error message, any idea?

  143. Just wanted to give you a shout from the valley of the sun, great information. Much appreciated.

  144. wewillbetter says:

    This table color is really beautiful, I like it very much, give a person a kind of friendly feeling, your work is absolutely fantastic, if can I can add oneself like small adorn article!! That is more perfect!

  145. great tips i should do this for some furniture pieces.

  146. Wendy says:

    Thank you, I am getting ready to paint furniture this weekend and I have been going back and forth on paint or spray paint. You made the choice easy. Thank you again!

  147. Jenny says:

    What brand/color of spray paint is the blue?

  148. folding bed says:

    Thanks for posting such a great useful article and products on the Furniture & material.

  149. Karen says:

    Looks great! I am thinking about doing the same procedure for my dining table but I am worried about wear. How has this held up with use and would you recommend it for someone using their table on a daily basis for cooking and prep? I have a feeling I might need the ol’ oil based treatment, just curious what your opinion was and how the paint is holding up.

    • Good question. I wouldn’t reccomend this for a tabletop unless you use a more durable top coat/ sealer. The paint is holding up just fine, but I’d be worried if there were hot plates and water cups on top of it regularly.

  150. Karen says:

    Thank you for the response, I will be on the look out for the ultimate sealer. I really want the high gloss that spray paint offers. Oil base is incredibly labor intensive, as I am sure you know and I still never get the results I want.

    • I understand. Spray paint is faster, more evenly distributed, and it covers all of the little nooks and crannies that you may miss with a paintbrush. When you find the sealer, please shoot me an email to let me know about your findings 😉

  151. Jodie says:

    Really enjoyed seeing how you did this step by step & also your putting the time it took for each step.

  152. Just the how to I was looking for.

  153. Just the “how-to” I was looking for.

  154. Pingback: Link Lovin | Finding Silver Linings

  155. Pingback: Cheap Ways to Decorate Your Vista Ridge Apartment | Vista Ridge

  156. shanti says:

    wow! the result is amazing!
    im thinking of spray painting a desk too now! im wondering just how many cans did you need for that?

  157. Cindy says:

    What a beautiful result! I feel so inspired by your pictures. I have several french provincial pieces that I have been nervous about starting but now I feel so inspired. It looks much easier than I thought! I can’t wait to start now!

  158. akismet-af8788e6fc0455bea2f98dbaeebd690b says:

    What a great post! I’m researching painting my kitchen island turquoise using spray paint, it’s currently black painted beadboard. I’m wondering, now that it’s been several months, if you’re noticing any wear on the paint? How did you pick the paint you chose (based on the color availability or was there something more to it)? It’s hard to sand the little decorative areas, does the paint adhere to those spots as well? Thanks!

    • I just went for it! I didn’t really do much research. I have no idea how the paint would react for a piece that will be in the kitchen and presumably get wet. I use it for my craft table so there isn’t any moisture on it. It has held up wonderfully. Also, the paint stuck everywhere (even the tiny nooks & crannies). Be sure to use a primer. Good luck!

  159. Carlos says:

    I certainly would follow the procedures you have outlined in this post Mindy! A big tip to all who cares for their furniture.

  160. ashlee says:

    hi there,

    i’m not sure if you still check the comments regularly, but i was wondering if i could ask you a few questions.

    i started to fix up a set of chairs for my daughters playroom. you can see what i’ve done so far here:

    it’s one of the most recent posts.

    anyway, i went to home depot, where the woman (OLD woman) at the paint counter suggested that i purchase rustoleum spray paint for the job. i did, and i chose aqua and green apple. good enough.

    now, i specifically asked her if i needed a primer. she said no.

    so… a result, you can still see the wood grain through a lot of the coloured spray paint job.

    ALSO, to add fuel to the fire, the paint job feels…weird. it doesn’t feel smooth and glossy. but there are no visible bumps from splatter or feels gritty, i guess? i bought ‘satin’ finish. perhaps i should have went with gloss. it looks and feels like it would be quite prone to getting dirty from little hands.

    and furthermore…she told me NOT to use a sealant because “spray paint has a built in sealant”.

    so, thanks to this woman, i have a project underway that is NOT working.

    is a primer and sealant absolutely necessary in your experience? i’m pretty ticked off at this old bat! lmao.

    any help would be so greatly appreciated! i am MAJORLY ticked off! lol.

    • Hi! Hmmm….this is what I’d do. Lightly sand it with a high grit sandpaper. Then use a thing coat or 2 of white primer. Then hit it with the colored spray paint. Thin coats dry quickly. It’s definitely salvageable :) Good luck!

  161. ashlee says:

    sand the existing spray paint i already put on it, you mean (the blue and green, as shown in the picture?)

    i probably don’t need to do the legs because i don’t care about them as much. but the backs and seats..yeah. bad, bad, bad.

    i went out and bought rustoleum white spray primer tonight. and a clear also made by rustoleum – don’t know if that’s necessary, but the ‘satin’ finish felt really….non satin-ish and more bland and yucky, if that makes any sense. haha. for a kids’ playroom i would think i’d need something more glossy and washable.

    • Yes, sand the old paint. You might as well do the legs too. The color will look more uniform. If you use a higher grit, it will smooth it out. I used a sealant because I wanted a satin finish and the colored paint was glossy. I can’t wait to see!!

  162. Makenna Charles says:

    Are the paint, primer and sealer oil based or acrylic??

    Your desk looks so pretty n full of fun. want to paint the 1950s mahogany dresser n mirror I grew up with white for my granddaughter’s new bedroom in our home. Do u know if this same process works on a dark wood like mahogany??

    Your process actually makes painting furniture sound fun n affordable. Last time I tried painting furniture, the greatest impressions I made were on the ER Doc n the surgeon… The next time, I hired a professional refinisher n didn’t get a quote beforehand. I think the surgeon was less expensive.

    So — oil or acrylic based products?? Has anyone tried this on mahogany??

    Also — can wood furniture b painted w car paint?? If so has anyone taken their furniture to car repair places w their great painting abilities, pricing out this method n judging its long-term effects on furniture. I know its been used on outdoor metal chairs by Martha Stewart but I’ve always wondered, especially with today’s economy n everyone diversifying if car painting places can or do paint wood furniture… Anyone??


  163. Kahli says:

    this is lovely. I just love the color! Great job :)

  164. Hello, I really like your step-by-step instructions. I am currently in the process of creating and posting a list of links for good “how to paint/spray paint furniture” tutorials on my blog;, and wanted to know if I could copy your link to this page? Thanks.

  165. Pingback: 1 Year Blogiversary!! (part 1) | Finding Silver Linings

  166. Sandra says:

    Your finished product look great! Just curious, how many cans of spray paint did you use?

  167. Lake Stovall says:

    After i use primer how long before i can paint?

  168. This looks great. I can’t believe you did it with spray paint! Nice job!

  169. Karen says:

    Perfect finish! And wonderful tutorial, I am featuring tomorrow at my party, thank you so much linking up!
    Karen recently posted..I Get By With a Little Help From My FriendsMy Profile

  170. Priscilla says:

    Thank you for the simple, easy-to-follow tips, and pictures. I love the way your desk turned out and just finished painting a chest of drawers. I started off with white, but think I may upgrade to a more fun color. I can’t wait for it to dry so I can put it back in the room. :mrgreen:

  171. Rory says:

    So it’s been awhile since you painted your desk…did the spray paint hold up well? I am painting SIX spindle back chairs and it’s taking forever by brush! I would love to put the finish coats on with spray paint, but was a little worried it wouldn’t hold up…? Love the desk by the way!

  172. Lisa Fenning says:

    This looks great! I have the vanity that matches this desk, same hardware and everything!This was the first site I came across looking to find out how to properly paint it. I’m searching for a mother of pearl paint to use and want to paint the grooves silver. I think it will look amazing! Any suggestions on the type of spray paint or if the color I want even exists as a spray paint color option? Thanks!

    • Hmmm…the mother of pearl color or finish? I used a satin finish, but they sell a pearl finish. I’d try a creamy white such as “Heirloom White” and finish it with a pearl top coat. Email me before and after photos so I can create a reader re-do post to feature you! Good luck :)


      • Kim Williamson says:

        Is the primer and sealant important? I bought my spray paint but didnt buy those. Shall i go back and get them before beginnning? What do they do?

        • I’m not really sure. I used it because I thought it would cover the woodgrain (that might show through otherwise) and so the blue would be the color I saw on the can. If you paint over a dark wood base, it could tint the color of the spray paint. I’ve never done it without primer so I’m not sure how it would turn out or last. Good luck & happy painting!

          • Priscilla says:

            I painted over a chest of drawers that has a dark wood base, using a white satin finish spray paint/primer in one. Going on nearly 2 months of every day use now and have had no issues. It took about 4 or 6 cans of the spray paint to coat the entire chest. Very reasonably priced and available at the big home improvement stores. (Not sure if you can mention specific names or not.) 😛

          • Thanks for your input Priscilla!! So nice to hear from you :)

  173. Diane says:

    Curious: Do you HAVE to use the final step of sealant paint? and did you sand in between the coats at all?

    Also: Do you have a website to see all your furniture finds and transformations?

    • I only used a sealant to give a pearl finish. I’m not sure what would happen without the clear coat. I didn’t sand between coats. This is the only website I have, but you can click DIY under the tags to the right and some stuff should pop up or try DIY in the little search box. Thanks so much for stopping by!!

  174. Diane says:

    My spray paint had serious overspray issues – and I used Valspar…do you know of a brand that isn’t so bad in this regard?

  175. Jennifer Otts says:

    I’ve got some furniture that looks just like this that I want to spray paint but it has a glossy, formica-type top to the dresser and desk. Did your piece have the same? I’m just nervous about how the paint will hold on such a glossy finish, if I can’t sand it down enough. Sorry if this question has been asked before; I didn’t feel like reading through 237 comments, haha! :)

  176. I’m doing this today! Got my spraypaint and 99 pence eBay desk at the ready, very excited – will definitely send you my before and after pictures :)

    I am really glad to have found your website, this is the article that brought me here but I’m totally staying for your lovely writing style.

  177. Pingback: project | LGD Designs

  178. Brandhyze says:

    Looks amazing…..after looking at your fab DIY project I think I’m going to tackle my giant jewelry board. :) Thanks for sharing!

  179. Rick says:

    Wow that is a lot of comments! I almost ruined a dresser yesterday because (possibly) I painted on a very humid day. I used Krylon paint and now there is a fine coat of powder on it to the touch, can’t use that in the new baby’s room! I hope I can recover it. Guess primer and sealer would be a good idea but now that is has so many coats of good paint under the bad ones, I wonder if primer is still necessary.
    Also, you don’t really explain how to use the tack cloth. Is it reusable?

    Great looking dresser though. :smile:

    • Humidity can ruin any paint job. I’ve never used Krylon on furniture, so I’m not sure if that;’s what happened. I’d definitely prime and seal if it’s a decent piece of furniture, Id definitely prime if you’re giving it another go. The tack cloth is usable as long as it’s still sticky. It just picks up the fine particles after sanding. Wipe any nooks & crannies with it to be sure to pick up any teeny dust specks that you may have missed. Update me on the progress & good luck!!

  180. This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something which helped me. Thank you!
    how to make a wall mounted desk recently to make a wall mounted deskMy Profile

  181. Heather says:

    Wow! I’ve been wanting to do a dresser almost exactly like that but have been afraid to. Thank you so much! I’m buying paint today. You’ve inspired me :) xxx

  182. Duddelmaus says:

    I can only side with Heather!
    I have an old wooden nightstand here that I don’t want to throw away, so I will try to paint it soon.
    Thank you for the Instructions!

  183. Duddelmaus says:

    I actually did it!!
    Soooo proud of myself. Thanks you again for yout instructions!
    Have a look at the result on my Pinterest:

  184. I LOVE your how to. It makes me regret telling my mom to donate my old childhood furniture since I now have 2 daughters that would love it had I saw your blog before it was too late. I had that off white with gold trim that every girl in the 80’s had, you know the ugly stuff with the great shape & beautiful hardware! Boy how I wish my mom had drug her feet on getting rid of it like she does most everything LOL. Well just wanted to say hi & let you know how much I love your blog & that fabulous desk! I’ll be looking for one before Xmas for my little girl :)

    ~ Crystal Granite
    Sacramental, Ca

  185. Oops…I accidentally posted my comment on your main page. lol. I was wandering if you could tell me the shade and brand of paint you used for this project? i want to give my Daughter’s bedroom furniture a make-over. Thanks! 😉

  186. Shane Fowler says:

    You did a really good job with that piece. I didn’t think the blue would look good but I was surprised.
    Shane Fowler recently posted..Exotic Hardwood Floors | Brazilian Cherry Flooring (603) 926-3939My Profile

  187. Kristen says:

    How many cans of spray paint did you use for the whole dresser?

  188. I personally think about as to why you titled this particular blog, “How To Spray
    Paint Wooden Furniture | Finding Silver Linings”. Either way I
    personally loved the article!Thanks a lot-Bell recently posted.. Profile

  189. Pingback: Visual Media: Will You Help Me Paint My Dresser? | rainsissel

  190. Jaun says:

    Did you put a clear coat over the blue or did you just put on the 2 blue coats?

  191. Avanti says:

    awesome job! I plan to paint an old desk this week myself. My parents were going to throw it out and it’s the perfect diy project!
    Avanti recently posted..Cheesecake Filled Strawberries!My Profile

  192. Sean says:

    Nice and easy instructions! I’ve got a couple old thick wood cabinets I’ve been using for tv and AV stands and was debating painting them or spending $$$ on new gear, but you’ve made this seem much less daunting. Thanks!

  193. Christopher Kreschollek says:

    “It didn’t need to be perfect.” Best statement ever.

  194. Jali says:

    Wonderful! It is great to have some customised furniture, it really gives your home a beautifully personalised touch.

  195. Kelli Z says:

    I LOVE THIS IDEA! How many cans of spray paint did you use?!?

  196. Maggie says:

    I always loved putting my own twist on the furniture, but slowly I am being drawn to natural attributes of wood (as opposed to paint over it) – I have found this gorgeous Walnut End Table which I have sanded a little to reveal fantastic wear & tear marks underneath, and it added character to the Native American theme I wanted to go for. The Bull Skull silhouette is painted on top using oil based glossy paint, tell me what you think:

  197. Jennifer says:

    I love this and I’ve just purchased a $15 desk and chair from Goodwill for my 8 year old daughter’s room. I assured her we would paint it a bright color. Can I ask a couple of questions? How much sanding was needed? and does the spray paint with clear coat sealant hold up pretty well to wear? For a child’s room, I know there will be some chair banging, etc… Thanks! It looks amazing and we both love it as our inspiration!

    • Hi Jennifer! I didn’t really sand that much at all. If it’s going in a child’s room, I wouldn’t sand that much either since it will definitely be going through some wear and tear. The sealant is still doing it’s job for my little blue desk. It’s not bullet proof, but it’s no worse off than say, an espresso stained piece of furniture that could chip if it’s been banged into. Good luck! Send before & afters to to have your re-do featured :)

  198. Kathy says:

    I usually HATE old furniture painted, because I feel it ruins the piece. However, I absolutely LOVE what you did with this one! Oh, and thank you, thank you, thank you for NOT distressing it like so many others do, which doubly ruins the piece. Great job! Now I want to paint something and make it the focal point in the room. Any room. And I’m off on the hunt ….. :)

  199. Matt says:

    Good job! Amazes me your still getting comments 2 years later I work in a industrial paint spraying furniture company now just started I like it alot we do high professional spraying from police stations to museums even bits for the queen palace but I think technique is the key and a good prep before and if you like spraying you should buy a proper spray gun and pump cheaper in the long run otherwise enjoy life and your spraying, and your finished products.

    Big smie and wave from the uk!

  200. Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a totally different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design.
    Excellent choice of colors!
    alloy wheel lathe machine recently posted..alloy wheel lathe machineMy Profile

  201. Pingback: best spray paint to use on a car | A Listly List

  202. Awesome website with awesome information, this is inspiring.Keep it going!!

  203. Thanks , I have recently been searching for info approximately this subject for ages and yours is the greatest
    I have came upon till now. However, what in regards to the conclusion?
    Are you positive about the supply? recently posted..http://www.bati.szczecin.plMy Profile

  204. julia porter says:

    Okay. You are just super cute! Love your attempt to save the lawn. But who doesn’t love blue grass?! I have been wanting to paint furniture for awhile and haven’t been brave enough to try it…yet!

  205. Pingback: How To Paint Your Car

  206. Shalene says:

    Love you posts!!!

  207. Pingback: Brace Yourselves – My 1st Major DIY Challenge {The 2014 Directive}

  208. Mikey mawers says:

    Wow, sweet idea It does looks so easy, thanks for explaining it so well, ill be sure to use your technique, it looks great :)

  209. Pingback: DIY Time Out Chair -

  210. Wow looks great! I’m used to spraying cars, never thought to spray the furniture! I’ve got a project in mind now! Great work!

  211. Pingback: How Much Is Car Paint Job | Job To Do

  212. Pingback: how to design my own furniture - CO3Design Interior

  213. Pingback: how to sale a furniture - CO3Design Interior

  214. Pingback: how to make a furniture look vintage - CO3Design Interior

  215. Pingback: how to paint a furniture black - CO3Design Interior

  216. Pingback: how to design furniture - CO3Design Interior

  217. Pingback: how to design a furniture website - CO3Design Interior

  218. Pingback: how to paint a furniture - CO3Design Interior

  219. Pingback: how to paint a vintage furniture - CO3Design Interior

  220. Pingback: how to pick a living room paint color - CO3Design Interior

  221. Pingback: How To Paint Wood Furniture Black Without Sanding

  222. Pingback: how to paint wood painting furniture to look old

  223. Pingback: painting a wood table for outdoor use

  224. Pingback: painting indoor wood furniture for outdoor use

  225. Pingback: painting wood furniture white without sanding

  226. Pingback: How To Paint Wood Furniture How To Paint Furniture

  227. Pingback: How To Paint Old Furniture To Look Vintage

  228. Pingback: How To Paint Wooden Furniture Distressed

  229. Pingback: How To Repaint Painted Wood Furniture

  230. Pingback: How To Paint Bedroom Furniture Dark Brown

  231. Pingback: How To Paint Wood Painting Furniture Without Brush

  232. Pingback: how to build wooden furniture |

  233. Super rad! Found you on Pinterest – I just inherited a desk similar to this and was hoping it was an easy process to paint! I’d love to know how it’s held up these past few years since you painted it?

  234. Lori says:

    Thank you so much for your posts about painting furniture. I’m about to take on several furniture painting projects in my own home, and I wouldn’t even know where to begin without your ‘tutorials’. So THANK YOU! I hope they turn out as pretty as yours!

  235. Matija says:

    Uauu, are people practical these days. Nice post – thank you for sharing. Matija
    Matija recently posted..Vgradne omare in drsna vrata iz steklaMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge