How to spray paint furniture like a pro!

Today we’re going to revisit how to spray paint furniture like a pro! The pros to spray paint is that there is hardly any clean up, it will stick to nearly anything, and the dry time is much faster than latex paint.

The cons are that there are limited colors and it can be a little more pricey if you have a large project. Sometimes the convenience is worth the little extra cost. Either way, we’re going to teach you how to get a professional look!

So, let’s get started!

1. Prep:
First things first! Sand and then wipe with a damp towel.  If there is a lot of dirt and grime on the piece we usually clean it with TSP.  You can find TSP at your local home improvement store, or Walmart may carry it.  It’s a great product to have on hand if you have a few projects to do.

2. Prime:

We use KILZ spray primer and sealer. The only issue we have found with this primer is that it can leave a little gritty texture once it dries so use a shop rag and rub it off. If that does not remove all the grit then use 220 grade sandpaper, and lightly buff it off.  Then wipe it down again to remove any dust or debris from the sandpaper. TIP: Sometimes if you shake the can for several minutes before use, it eliminates the gritty texture.

While your primer dries, you can work on your hardware. We like to use Oil Rubbed Bronze.  It’s an all around great finish but you can choose to use any color or metallic finish. Clean your hardware really well then dry it. Prime your hardware then spray paint the hardware with light even coats. Let dry thoroughly.

3. Paint:

We almost always use Krylon spray paint. Do not waste your money on the $1 cans of spray paint because it will cost you a lot more in the long run. They do not have very good coverage unfortunately. Krylon and Rustoleum are the best! The key to spray painting is using light coats. Use a back and forth motion releasing the nozzle every once in a while. Don’t stay in one spot too long, or you will have drips and those have to be sanded out. Let paint dry in between coats to avoid drip or splatter marks. Spray paint can drip easily so keep an eye out for those!

4. Protect:

Polycrylic also comes in a spray paint form! We like to give each piece at least two coats of a sealer.  We usually use polycrylic or polyurethane to finish our pieces.

5. Add your hardware then you are done!

Enjoy your newly painted project! The possibilities are endless when it comes to spray paint! 

Here are a few of our furniture makeovers that were done with SPRAY PAINT!

What do you think? Are you ready to tackle your next project yet??


  • Reply
    Jennifer L. Griffin
    March 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks for the great tips. I usually don’t consider spray paint for larger pieces, but I will next time for sure!

  • Reply
    Laura@Elegant Nest
    March 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Great tips! Currently working on a thrift store side table for our guest room. I usually brush my pieces but I have decided to try and spray paint this time. Hope it turns out as great as yours!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks for this post! I will definitely be using this for when I refinish my dresser:)

  • Reply
    SheilaG @ Plum Doodles
    March 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Great tips, thanks so much for sharing! I am definitely an impatient painter, because I always end up with drips. I’ll try to do better, promise. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks for all of your help, advice, walkthrough! I appreciate it and love your site!

  • Reply
    Serendipity and Spice
    March 31, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Fantastic tips. I usually get the Rustoleum cans to paint with- but it takes forever. How many cans of spray paint do you normally use for a basic dresser? I have the exact same dresser as your first photo and I’m about to repaint it. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing your tips.

  • Reply
    Monaliza Legarto
    August 22, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Compressed gas is also fed via a high pressure powder feeder to introduce powder material into the high velocity gas jet. The powder particles are accelerated and moderately heated to a certain velocity and temperature where on impact with a substrate they deform and bond to form a coating.
    Thermal Spray Coating

  • Reply
    Muhammad Amjad
    January 15, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Great tips, thanks so much for sharing ..Hotel furniture…and nice paint on over all furniture.

  • Reply
    Leather Sofa
    May 3, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Isn’t spray paint affects the luster of wooden stuff..?

  • Reply
    November 12, 2013 at 8:07 am

    I have a question about sealing metallic spray paint. I’ve done some surding and have found several suggestions but nothing convincing.
    My delima is that I have a upholstered vintage rocker recliner that I wanted to update. I chose to do a patina silver. I sanded, primed and painted with Rust-Oleum Metallic Specialty spray paint. I haven’t started the patina “antiquing” yet because I am unsure of what to use because everyone says something different. Whether it be an antiquing wax that doesn’t need sealed to glazes that should be sealed with Polycrylic. BUT…. I’ve read where people have used Polycrylic over a metallic paint and it darkend and lost it’s metallic luster.
    Do I need to seal after antiquing and if so, with what?

  • Reply
    August 8, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Is the same true for painting a metal piece of furniture? I want to paint an UGLY green metal desk. I imagine that you don’t sand it. But is spray painting the way to go? Should I use KILZ or a Rustoleum product for a primer?
    Any other info would be helpful. I don’t want this to be a big process.

  • Reply
    Cristina Mcvay
    November 25, 2014 at 2:04 am

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing the furniture with painting..

  • Reply
    Carissa Zachary
    March 27, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Thankful for Pinterest as it led me to your beautiful blog and this post! I just finished spray painting a FREE desk I picked up from a driveway in our subdivision. I am so NOT crafty- I have a fabulous friend with a gifting much like ya’lls. A few cans of spray paint with an all in budget of $14.00 bucks makes it worth the risk if I totally ruin it. Right?! I have distressed it and I was not sure what to finish it with to protect it. Now I know! I love your completed pieces!

  • Reply
    Maynard Pearson
    November 19, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Your furniture looks great know. More people should do this with their old furniture myself included.

  • Reply
    January 25, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Good note about the KILZ primer. I have also found it to be a little gritty but will shake it for longer and see what happens.

    • Reply
      Mallory & Savannah
      March 4, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      Yes, sometimes you have to shake it and make sure you always keep it sealed tight when not in use! We do love KILZ Primer!

  • Reply
    Karen L. Jackson
    April 7, 2016 at 9:42 am

    You are effectively skilled, product look great

  • Reply
    Charlotte Cooke
    May 8, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Hi, thank you so much in making me want to finally decorate my home how i visioned it. I just came in from doing my first project. I want to paint my daughters small bookshelf in grape purple, so i primed it first. Is it normal to finish a WHOLE can of primer on a small bookshelf or did i go overboard?

  • Reply
    Oliver Painter
    February 25, 2017 at 10:01 am

    This tips helps a lot for painting my own furniture soon. Thanks so much for the great advice and for sharing this.


  • Reply
    January 17, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Can you paint a polyurethane over spray paint? Or can you use oil base primer under latex spray paint? Why would the paint bubble up on the second coat when the first one was ok?

  • Reply
    David Perez
    April 6, 2020 at 6:54 am

    Hey Buddy, No doubt that is great writing, I have gone through entirely and each word, it a great writing skill. Sometimes I was thinking to get over, but due to a heavy working schedule, I can not.

    By the way, this has broadened my knowledge in this section. Thanks for sharing.

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