Can You Paint Wood Furniture with Wall Paint?

can you use wall paint on wood furniture

Even a small amount of money you can save does count when renovating your home or refinishing your old wood furniture.

And for this, many of my old customers still come and ask whether they can use their leftover latex or oil-based wall paint for refinishing their wooden furniture!

If you are in the same boat, you would be glad to know the answer which is yes you can.

Although the quality of finish will not be very good and durable, you can still use wall paint on wood furniture.

A good way is to use a wood primer underneath so that the paint will adhere well to the wood in the furniture.

Particularly, if you have a can of leftover paint sitting around (after painting your walls and ceilings) you can use them for painting some of your old furniture like cabinets, chairs, tables, etc.

You just need to keep a few things in mind when doing that. In the article below I would be discussing more of them.

So, if you want to know more about whether it’s good to use wall paint on furniture, how you should use it properly, and what are the things you would need to care about; check them here…

Is Wood Paint Different from Wall Paint?

Although both are used for painting in homes, there is a significant difference between them which you should know about.

The most important difference between wood paint and wall paint lies in the raw materials that make them work differently.  

While the main ingredients in wood paint are unsaturated polyester, polyurethane, etc. the wall paint consists of raw materials like synthetic resin.

Wall paints like emulsions are generally designed to work best when applied to drywall or walls made of brick, cement, and mortar.

These are either oil-based paints like enamel (that works with a paint thinner and mineral oils) or water-based paints like latex that work with water.

Wood paint on the other hand is formulated for interior and exterior wooden surfaces. These are ideally suited for painting wood products and not walls.

Unlike wall paints, wood paints and lacquers get adhered better to wood’s surface like your wooden furniture, doors, windows, wood floors, etc.

However, these cannot resist scrub or wash as conveniently as wall paint.

Can You Apply Wall Paint Over Wood Surface?

Although wall paint can be applied over wood surfaces, it is not an ideal choice.

This means you should not buy wall paint to use over wood furniture at any cost.

Many people tend to buy latex wall paint (in place of wood paint) to use on the wood surface simply because there is a good price difference between both.

But since wall paint is not a suitable paint option for wooden surfaces you should completely avoid doing this.

On the flip side, if you have leftover masonry paint that you have purchased for painting walls or bricks, you should not let them go wasted.

Instead, you can use it by applying it to your old furniture items or hardwood skirting boards to give them a nicer finish and appeal.

How To Paint Wood Furniture with Wall Paint Properly?

When you are painting furniture, it should be done carefully using a brush or a paint sprayer.

  • Start by filling the cracks and holes with soap or a wood filler
  • Sand the surface lightly using the most suitable sandpaper that is meant for sanding wood
  • Now apply a coat of wood primer. Wait for an hour or two to let it dry naturally
  • Finally, apply the leftover wall paint over your wood furniture. If required apply a second coat after a few hours of drying

Make sure to dry the paint well before you put the second coat on the wood surface.

Let your painted furniture dry in the air for about 24 to 36 hours before you use them.

If you want you can put up a coat of clear sealer after drying that can add to the protection of the wood.

What are the different paints for wood furniture?
Although a wall paint can be applied to wood, its best to use a specially formulated wood paint on a wood surface if you want to get the right finish. A few different types of wood paint that can be used are chalk paint, milk paint, acrylic paint, oil paint, and latex paint for wood.

Important Things to Care Before Applying Wall Paint to Wood

Although the wood surfaces like trim and furniture in your home can be painted using wall paints, there is no guarantee about the finish, protection, and the kind of durability you get.

Since the wall paints are typically not engineered for painting over wooden surfaces, they may not properly bond or last long as expected.

Wood primer can be therefore applied on the wooden surface before painting, especially if you want to give the surface better refinishing, protection and durability.  

Applying wood primer will ensure that the paint you apply gets adhered better and stick to the surface easily.

A few other things you will need to keep in mind before using wall paint on the wood are:

  • Oil-based wall paint can prove to be more durable for wood surfaces
  • Water-based latex paint for walls may not work very well on wood and can peel away faster
  • Glossy oil-based paint is also not a good choice for wood as it can scratch and peel easily with normal usage
  • When applying paint other than wood paint (like a metal paint, concrete paint, etc), make sure you seal the wood surface properly especially if it’s in a moisture-prone area

The bottom line

While you can use wall paint on your wood furniture still you should avoid doing that for the sake of proper finish, smoothness, and durability.

But that does not mean that you should let your leftover wall paint go wasted or disposed of.

You can rather use it for repainting your old furniture or cabinets in your storage room that do not require much appeal, beauty, and protection.

This way you can better use your wall paint and at the same time increase the age of your furniture.

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