How to Spray Paint Furniture

This is a easy tutorial post on how to spray paint furniture! I have done this several times to a lot of my furniture pieces and they always come out looking amazing! Try it out the next time you want to spice up an old furniture piece and follow these few steps!

How to spray paint furniture

In the last few days, I have received several emails and comments asking for a “how to” on how I paint my furniture. Honestly, every piece is different but typically we do the same few steps. I will use my dresser redo to explain things since that is where the majority of the questions came from! You gals are so sweet with all of the compliments!

Spray Painting Furniture

  1. First, lightly sand down the furniture and clean.

    Make sure to wipe off the dust from sanding! This will round up the wood a bit and because we are using spray paint, I want it to stick really well.

  2. Next, remove all of the hardware.

    Put all of the hardware in a baggie so nothing gets lost…especially the screws!

  3. If you are painting a dresser of some sort, next take out all of the drawers and lay them face up.

    Start by priming all of the drawers and make sure to do at least 2 coats before using the spray paint. Also lay out all of the hardware and spray those as well!

  4. Finally, spray paint the furniture and let dry.

    Make sure your furniture completely drys before sealing it with Polycrilic and bringing it back into the house. Sometimes I take a sand black and lightly sand to make the wood look distressed.

How to Spray Paint a Dresser

    For this piece, it was a dark wood with a glossy lacquer of some sort over top. I started by lightly sanding the dresser to remove some of that shiny junk off… I know, I sound so professional 😉 Then, I wiped off the dust from sanding. This roughened up the wood a bit and since I was using spray paint, I wanted it to stick really well. I also recommend using Gloss Off. You can get it from Home Depot and it helps the paint adhere better.  I removed all the hardware and put it in a sandwich baggie so I didn’t lose anything. Losing screws and hardware = not cool.  Not like I’ve lost any in the middle of a project or anything 😉

Remove Hardware

Next, I took all of the drawers and put them “face up” in the grass (I like to spray in the grass because once you mow the grass all your paint goes bye-bye and you have no overspray issues or clean-up! Sa-weeeet!

I gave all of the drawers two coats of KILZ Spray Primer. In my opinion, the BEST spray primer available and one can costs around $4 and it goes a long way. I believe I used 2 cans to prime all the drawers and the dresser. It really is the best stuff!
The only issue I have found with this primer is that it can leave a little gritty texture once it dries so I used a shop rag and rubbed it off. It worked great!  However, I have found that if you shake the can for 2-3 minutes (a really long time when you’re shaking the can!) You don’t, typically end up with the gritty texture when it dries. If you still get a gritty texture, run a piece of fine sandpaper over it to smooth it out.
 This may be a good job for little ones that want to help Mommy! Just make sure to watch the kiddos around spray paint obviously. 😉
While the primer dried, I worked on the hardware. I laid the hardware on a plastic drop cloth and sprayed it with 2 coats of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.
How to Spray Paint Furniture - www.classyclutter.net
Spray Paint Hardware
Then, while the hardware dried, I went back to the grass to paint! PS. I live in Arizona and I painted at 1:00pm in the middle of July in 114 degree heat. I am NOT exaggerating! That’s how much I wanted to finish this and that’s when my little boys take their naps so I didn’t have much of a choice! That being said, the paint dried VERY quickly!
Next came the paint! I always use Krylon or Rustoleum double cover spray paint. Krylon has an amazing nozzle for spraying weird angles but Rustoleum has awesome coverage. Both are great!
I used Krylon Ivory for the base and Krylon Black for the top.  A great painting technique I learned by watching this video. I really think it is the best way.  This is the technique I used for painting this dresser and I do the same on every spray paint project.
For the top of the dresser, I taped up a piece of cardboard to the base of the top, to protect the ivory and painted the top black. I wish I had a picture of how I did this to show you because it really worked well. Sorry loves!
After the paint dried, I used a sanding block to distress the edges.
Finally, I used a smooth paint roller like the one below to roll a coat or two of Polycrylic over the top to protect the black surface.
Finally, reattach your hardware and jump for joy that you are done! Your furniture will thank you for bringing it back to life!
If you’re new to painting, I would HIGHLY recommend visiting All Things Thrifty and read her post Painting Furniture 101.  This is where I started several years ago and I am sooo thankful for this post to set me in the right direction. Check out her piano transformation here! it is TO DIE FOR!
Hope this helps!! If you have any questions on what to do, leave a comment or shoot us an email!
Mallory Bombshell Sig
Shop this project with text

Before you go...


  • Reply
    The Scotts
    August 24, 2010 at 3:48 am

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! That doesn’t seem as overwhelming as I thought it would be!! I live in AZ too and might do it tomorrow LOL! Oh love the sunny days! Thanks for taking the time to do this!!!

  • Reply
    September 9, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Do you have any suggestions for painting lacquer furniture?

  • Reply
    Comeca Jones
    September 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm


  • Reply
    October 2, 2011 at 3:14 am

    I love these tips – I need them! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Cowgirl Crafter
    October 3, 2011 at 2:59 am

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    Colleen @ MuralMaker&More
    October 5, 2011 at 2:26 am

    well now I gotta try this. I’m seriously impaired when it comes to painting furniture. Seriously! But spray paint? Now we’re talkin’!

    Dropping by from TDC’s Before & After.

  • Reply
    October 22, 2011 at 5:51 am

    You did a really great job on your furniture. I have been wanting to paint my dresser and I just love that you did the black on top. If you have a moment it would be great if you shared this at my link party: http://www.momontimeout.com/2011/10/taking-timeout-thursday-link-party-no-1.html


  • Reply
    Kelley @ TheGrantLife.com
    October 30, 2011 at 5:04 am

    found ya on a link party 🙂
    Im obsessed with spray paint right now.. I have not attempted furniture yet though. Maybe I will soon 🙂 Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply
    December 30, 2011 at 1:54 am

    When I showed my 24 year old daughter this picture as her dresser is as old as she is and it needs a new life, she loved the idea of how you did it. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Jennifer L. Griffin
    January 2, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Very helpful post! I haven’t tried the spray primer on a large piece of furniture but would like to. Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply
    A To Zebra Celebrations
    January 2, 2012 at 7:06 am

    WOW!!! I want to do this to my dining room table…..my hubby will kill me….lol I will do it anyway 🙂 first time visiting

  • Reply
    Kristina @ ReMadeSimple
    January 15, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Great info! and great end project-thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Tales of a Trophy WIfe
    February 4, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Great tutorial. I’d love for you to link this up to my party. You can win a chance at $20 of vintage jewelry just for linking up. http://trophyw.blogspot.com/2012/01/will-craft-forfree-jewelry.html

  • Reply
    Donata @ DK's Craft Cafe
    February 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Great results!
    Thanks for sharing, Mallory.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2012 at 2:57 am

    What an awesome idea! It looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    I also live in AZ and CANNOT WAIT to use this. I have a few things in my house that need some TLC. So excited that it’s nowhere as near as hard as i thought.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2012 at 4:31 am

    I read and pinned this post early in the week and it just so happens that I picked up a SWEET dresser at a garage sale for $20 this afternoon, thank you for your post I cannot wait to refinish it!!!

  • Reply
    Vanessa Barker
    June 2, 2012 at 5:08 am

    This is beautiful! I’m always looking for good tips. I’m about to refinish a vintage highchair and can’t wait to see how it turns out…if I do it right!?
    I’d love if you’d come link up at my Tutorial Tuesday Linky Party http://www.ourthriftyideas.com/2012/05/tutorial-tuesday-8.html

  • Reply
    Just Jaime
    June 30, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Awesome tutorial! I didn’t even think about spray paint primer! Thanks for the tips! I pinned for later.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    I have gone through this process and after applying polyurethane, it still feels tacky. Any suggestions?

  • Reply
    Natalie Tamblyn
    July 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you for this! I am in the process of painting an old bed for my daughter. This post couldn’t have come at a better time! The dresser looks amazing.


  • Reply
    Pamela Picard
    July 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Pretty finish. I always feel inadequate when I read about someone’s success with such simple techniques. I find spray paint very difficult to work with. It drips. It’s hard to get even coverage. And rolling poly? That was a disaster on my recently painted kitchen chairs. Foam everywhere. I had to sand it back to the primer and start over. All I can say is good on ya, girl. You rocked it.

  • Reply
    August 14, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    That dresser is lovely and you have inspired me! It (painting) doesn’t look as intimidating as I thought.

  • Reply
    August 22, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Great info and so easy to follow! Thank you!

  • Reply
    September 4, 2012 at 12:27 am

    This is gorgeous! And great tips. Thanks for sharing! I found you through Thrifty Decor Chicks link party, and am a new follower! Can’t wait to see what else you do!


  • Reply
    Pam Williamson
    September 10, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Is the Oil Rubbed Bronze paint for the hardware also by Krylon? Can I spray this directly on the hardware without any prep?

  • Reply
    September 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I really really wish I’d read this before I attempted my night table redo. Would have saved me some headaches! Thanks for the great tips! I would love it if you’d share this at my party if you get a minute:

  • Reply
    Lauren K
    September 25, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Did you put any kind of sealer on the bottom part of the dresser? or just the poly on the top?

  • Reply
    October 9, 2012 at 12:46 am

    What is your secret to using a sponge roller? I get a webbing look. Does that blend out when dry? Appreciate your help!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Is the Kilz primer water based or oil based. I cannot find the kilz primer where I live and was wondering what its specifications are so I can find a similar product. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Reply
    Bordo Mavi Web
    October 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    The only word I wanted to tell you what you do, I suppose I can say is just perfect. This should be a piece of mobilya to create from scratch.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2012 at 1:07 am

    I tried to watch the video, but it said that it’s private. Any other suggestions on where to look?

  • Reply
    Micki Coles
    November 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing, great information! Have you e er tried Miss Mustard SeedMilk Paint? You add a bonding agent to the first coat of paint, no priming or sanding in 2 coats you are done.

  • Reply
    Jessica Silvas
    December 10, 2012 at 5:19 am

    I recently bought a night stand at goodwill that I painted.. I really wish I read this first cuz I didn’t know the first thing to do.. Should what would u recommend? I sand it but I east real wood? So I cleaned it then used a krylon primer and krylon black gloss to paint. I had no idea how I should seal it!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Thanks for share. Çocuk Odaları is here.

  • Reply
    Carolyn Watson
    January 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Very nice! I have two ‘shiny’ stained bookcases I want to paint. Good instructions.

  • Reply
    DevaSepeti Bitkisel Sağlık Ürünleri
    March 3, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Thanks for share. Nurs Panax is here.

  • Reply
    cemil canlı
    March 6, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I love these tips – I need them! Thanks! http://kartborcutaksitlendirme.gen.tr

  • Reply
    Kristen Fry
    March 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    polycrylic is a horrible product. it takes months to fully cure and it is very difficult to get it smooth because it’s not like polyurethane where you can sand it. learned this the hard way.

  • Reply
    Kristen Fry
    March 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    polycrylic is a horrible product. it takes months to fully cure and it is very difficult to get it smooth because it’s not like polyurethane where you can sand it. learned this the hard way.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Beautiful dresser! I love the final product – amazing that it’s all spray paint. I’m sorry that I couldn’t see the paint video – it was marked private 🙁
    I’m visiting you today from Sunday Scoop. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog and leave a comment and Link Up, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Medicine Cabinet Makeover

  • Reply
    April 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    This can be a improper comprehension from type, it are going to do problems in the type on their own. Thanks..
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  • Reply
    Anita Zahn
    June 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    I tried this today, but I must have done something wrong. The primer and paint are just brushing off like powder. Any suggestions?

  • Reply
    Karen McDaniel
    July 23, 2013 at 9:44 am

    This link does not work the video is “private”…. I learned a great painting technique by watching this video. I really think it is the best way. – See more at: https://www.classyclutter.net/2010/08/how-to-spray-paint-furniture.html#sthash.YiEbt4UI.dpuf

    Can you send the one thatdoes or explain the technique? 🙂 please


  • Reply
    Diane Delsite
    July 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Hi, I have a question. Can you spray paint furniture if it is MDF? My bedroom furniture is just a put together set from Walmart or target and is old, but I don’t want to go buy a new one yet. And I want to paint it. but it’s not pine or oak or any other good wood. Will spray paint work on it?



  • Reply
    August 17, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I have been thinking for a long time that I would maybe like to paint my bedroom set an antique white and distress it. Now I KNOW I’m going to! This dresser is EXACTLY like mine and I LOVE how it came out. Great job!!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Was just wondering how did you do the distressed look on this dresser?

  • Reply
    chasity degroat
    January 12, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Ok, so I am not spray painting, but was wondering what color paint would be about the same as yours.. I thought for sure you had glazed or waxed.. WOW.. beautiful

  • Reply
    bubblegum casting
    March 24, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Personally I think overjoyed I discovered the blogs.

  • Reply
    July 31, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Excellent tips! I’ve been wanting to do this for my daughters dresser, so this is very motivating. I tried watching the video you recommended, but it says private. Is there any other way to view it?

  • Reply
    August 17, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Thanks so much for this helpful article. I am planning to paint over some old dressers I have and I love how yours came out! I bought the ivory paint in satin but noticed you used glossy. Is glossy very shiny. I love how your piece came out but it doesn’t look glossy in the photo…Not sure what would look best. Thanks for your help! Christine

  • Reply
    October 12, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I noticed the primer is oil based. Does that matter?

  • Reply
    October 18, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Thanks for the helpful blog. Question about the Policrylic finsh. The image you have posted shows it is water based, but I believe the Rustoleum double coverage spray paint you recommended is oil based. Before I finish my project, will I run into any problems because of this?

  • Reply
    Sue Altop
    January 8, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Hi, Loved reading this over on how to do a dresser. I wanted to watch the tutorial on the spray painting, but it said it was private. Is there a link that I can look at the video on? I had to laugh when I saw your lawn, I thought…oh she must live in AZ. Then I noted The Scotts said they live in AZ, too. I am in Cali with three of my kids/family in AZ. Two in Mesa and one in Show Low.
    Thank you, Sue

    • Reply
      Mallory & Savannah
      January 9, 2015 at 11:17 am

      How funny! I live in NY right now but moving back to AZ soon! My husband grew up in Show Low and I was born and raised in Mesa! Small World! xoxo

  • Reply
    gebelik hesaplama
    February 4, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Good share.

  • Reply
    Dresser makeover inspiration; 3 awesome projects. | ALENA KIRBY | Alena Kirby Blog
    February 19, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    […] From the Blog Classy Clutter: How to spry paint furniture like a pro […]

  • Reply
    Sofa Table Redo - The Hometeam
    February 24, 2015 at 6:05 am

    […] I did research before I let myself loose with the spray paint.  My biggest Pinspiration came from Classy Clutter’s post on repainting furniture.  You can read all about it here. I tell ya, the Kilz primer is a […]

  • Reply
    February 24, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Loved you tips!! They worked perfectly for my table! http://www.thehometeamblog.com/sofa-table-redo/

  • Reply
    How to Spray Paint Furniture – 10 of the Best Tutorials | The How-to Crew
    March 9, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    […] Tips on Spray Painting Furniture from The House of Smiths How To Spray Paint Like A Pro from Classy Clutter How NOT to Spray Paint Furniture from MomAdvice How To Spray Paint Your Dining Chairs from […]

  • Reply
    oyun skor
    March 26, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Nice post.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Was the spray paint a flat finish or semi gloss?

  • Reply
    July 3, 2015 at 10:49 am

    I just bought chairs on wheels for the kitchen that have a gold bar that needs spraying. They are the bucket kind. What is the best way to go about it? I already stripped 2 chairs down to the shiny gold metal.

  • Reply
    Justin Staley
    July 16, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Are these products safe for cats? I am painting my desk, and my cats like to sit on it, so I want to make sure I make it safe for them. Any tips?

  • Reply
    July 20, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    How would I do this if my furniture that I want painted is already white and glossy? It does not have the black underneath, would I have to paint it black then prime it then sanded for the distressed look

  • Reply
    August 7, 2015 at 11:00 am

    too funny! I live in AZ and always paint in the 100 plus heat in my grass! Love the random outlines of rectangles lol! And yes, paint dries super fast out here 🙂

  • Reply
    Thomas A. Phillips
    January 7, 2016 at 9:07 am

    What is your secret to using a sponge roller? I get a webbing look. Does that blend out when dry? Appreciate your help!

    • Reply
      Mallory & Savannah
      January 8, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      I’ve never had any issues with a webbing look when it dries. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 21, 2016 at 8:27 am


    What grit sand paper did you use to distress the base of the dresser? Also, did you apply a top coat/sealant on the base.

  • Reply
    this page
    January 26, 2016 at 7:32 am

    It’s really very informative that I wanted ever, thanks for providing information about furniture paint.

    • Reply
      Mallory & Savannah
      March 3, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Glad we could provide you that information! Thank you stopping by!

  • Reply
    R. Prosser
    April 8, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Oh, these are wonderful ideas.! What is your secret to using a sponge roller?

  • Reply
    April 12, 2016 at 11:57 am

    The how-to paint video is private…how can I gain access? Thanks for a great post!

  • Reply
    John Hager
    June 13, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I just bought a paint sprayer machine. Your post really help. Thank for share this guide !

  • Reply
    Brandy C. Cruz
    July 5, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Wow!! This is an easy way to paint furniture.I also want to paint dining table and chair of my house by spray.Thank you for sharing this post.

  • Reply
    Fred Wallace
    July 10, 2016 at 4:30 am

    Totally beautiful dresser! Wondering if you put any type sealer or wax on the base? I love the poly you used on the black top. Thanks for posting. ?

  • Reply
    October 17, 2016 at 5:19 am

    Great post!!!! I wanna try this for sure. For more information visit Happinest Online Furniture store https://happinest.io/en/

  • Reply
    August 5, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Hi! Your link to the video you used for your painting technique says the video isn’t available…can you refer me somewhere else to learn the technique?

  • Reply
    Phyllis Shisler
    October 28, 2017 at 9:27 am

    You just made my furniture project less daunting of a “job!” Thank you. My only question is what grit sandpaper did you use to distress??

  • Reply
    November 5, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Can you really use a roller to poly with?

  • Reply
    Carly The Paint Spraying Lady
    November 19, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Wow this looks 1000x better than the original colour! Awesome job, looks brill 🙂 Carly xx

  • Reply
    February 20, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks for the demo and the cool ideas. It would have been nice to have seen the final paint applied also

  • Reply
    February 21, 2019 at 3:20 pm

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  • Reply
    Sam Kresslein
    March 29, 2019 at 7:44 am

    This helped alot. Can I use a laquer? definitely subscribing. Also how about a spray paint with primer in it to save time, since im planning on changing the colour of my stool depending on the season.

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