How to Paint Chairs

One Methods:How to Paint Wooden Chairs

Sprucing up older furniture with a new coat of paint can add new life to your d├ęcor. The availability of vivid colors allows you to be creative and original in your decorating. Repainting older furniture also costs less than replacing it with a new piece. Chairs are a perfect item to start with for your first project.


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    Choose the type of chair to paint. Select a chair that can be painted with latex or oil-based paint. Wood chairs are the easiest to paint.
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    Choose the type of paint.
    • Latex paints offer quick and easy cleanup, but take longer to dry than oil-base.
    • Oil-based paints are more resistant to chipping and scratching. Oil-based paints have a strong smell, sometimes lingering for days. When using oil-based paint, keep area well ventilated.
    • The type of brushes needed will be determined by the type of paint you choose.
    • Brushes made of polyester filaments can be used for any type of paint as they do not absorb water like natural or nylon bristles. Natural bristles work best with oil-based paints.
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    Place drop cloth or newspapers under chair at least 2 to 3 feet (.61 m to .91 m) around the chair.
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    Prime the chair. Primer is used for metal rather than wood chairs.
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    Sand the chair. Sanding with 100 grit sandpaper should always be done prior to painting. Sand until surface is smooth. Wipe the chair with a damp cloth to remove sanding residue.
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    Shake the paint can thoroughly. Stir with paint stick. Pour small amounts of paint into separate pan or container for easier portability while painting.
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    Apply paint. Allow sufficient time to dry. Most chairs will require a second coat to cover any missed spots.
    • Apply each coat thinly for a more even finish and to prevent drips caused by too much paint. Use a third or fourth coat if necessary.
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    Turn the chair upside down to dry.
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    Clean latex paint with soap and water and oil-based with turpentine or paint thinner. Use paint thinner in ventilated area.

How to Paint Wooden Chairs

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    Prepare your brush, paint (you can buy it ready mix in your choice of color), sanding paper (120grit, 150grit, 200grit), body filler, bucket with water, detergent, piece of cloth, gloves, and face mask.
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    Clean your chair with water filled with detergent. Wipe out the oil grease from your chair and then leave it to dry.
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    Sand it with 120grit, then 150grit to have a smoother surface.
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    Fill up the holes or damage part of the wood with body filler, and then sand it down to smooth the surface.
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    Prime the chair before painting. Primer paint is the base coating for your paint color of your chair. It adds durability to the paint. Leave it to dry.
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    Sand it again using 200grit sandpaper for smooth finish of the surface.
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    Apply the paint that you chose with smooth haired brush or you can use spray paint, if available. Apply 2 or 3 coatings, and then leave it to dry.


  • Wait 2 to 5 days before using the chair to ensure finish is completely dry and prevent scratches.
  • Consult a professional at your local hardware store for tips on the best type of paint and equipment to use.
  • Consider applying a clear varnish after painting for protection against nicks and scratches. Make sure area is well-ventilated. Drying time is 48 hours.
  • For easy clean-up for removing old paint, use a cardboard box layered in newspaper to catch the paint.
  • Use varnish remover to remove old finish from used chairs or chairs that are already painted. Scrape off old paint with a scraper or wash away with water. To retain wood-grain finish, use wood-specific varnish.


  • Never inhale the fumes from oil paint.

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Categories: Furniture and Cabinets