Can You Spray Paint Wood Furniture & Deck?

Can You Spray Paint Wood Furniture & Deck

For some crafters, spray painting on wood seems difficult; for others, the possibility is doubtful. This debate often raises the question ‘can you spray paint wood furniture? Knowing what painting activities work and do gives you an edge in this industry.

Here’s a quick snippet; let’s jump right in:

Can You Spray Paint Wood

You can spray paint on wooden furniture, including tables, cabinets, and dressers, whether solid wood, OSB, or MDF. Sand the wood surface smooth with fine paper and clean with a rag; Use a primer to seal the surface for better spray paint adhesion; Apply Rust-Oleum Aerosol spray paint to get the best.

In addition to learning how to spray paint wood furniture, you’ll also learn the following:

  • Best wood spray paint
  • Pros and cons of using spray paint on wood
  • Ideas on priming spray paint on wood
  • Tips for spray painting wood furniture
  • FAQs and more.

Let’s read on!

Spray Paint for Wood

Is It Better to Spray Paint or Paint Wood?

Spray painting is better and easier to apply than many other types of painting. First off, the spray is suitable on any type of wood and can reach every nook and cranny of your wood furniture. Small-piece furniture and furniture with spindles are best with spray paint. Second, sprayed paint dries faster than roll-on or brushed-on paint.  Generally, a high-gloss or semi-gloss finish is used on the surface of wood furniture.

What Types of Spray Paint Can Be Used on Wood?

The best spray paint type for use on wood is oil-based aerosol paint. Aerosol is popular for its low-odor and eco-friendly properties. You don’t want to sit uncomfortably in the living room due to the terrible odor oozing from the furniture paint. Aerosol spray paint also works for interior and exterior parts of the furniture. 

Pros and Cons of Using Spray Paint on Wood

Despite its towering benefits, spray painting wood has its downside. But its pros far outweigh its cons. Let’s examine the two sides of sing spray paint on wood.


  • Spray paint dries much faster on wood than a brush-on or rolled-on painting will do.  
  • While applying spray paint is easy, cleaning it up from the wood surface is also a walk in the park. It doesn’t leave behind strokes or marks.
  • You can use spray paint on a wide range of exterior and interior surfaces.
  • Spray paint can reach all nooks and crannies of your furniture. It’ll do an effective job on furniture with spindles and small pieces.
  • Spray paints are usually oil-based and so offer more durability, longevity, and resistance to weather and corrosion
  • With spray paint, you can achieve painting many jobs in far less time than with a brush or roller.
  • Spray paint offers more coverage than your roller or brush in terms of area coverage.


  • Spray paint can be extremely toxic and unsafe to use. It requires you to protective and safety gear
  • Spray paint needs a nozzle gun; else, your fingers can cramp
  • Clean-up can be a little bit difficult without mineral spirits
  • If spray paint drips or runs, it can cause an uneven and poor finish  
  • Spray paint has a limited color range unlike latex
  • It costs more than regular paint

Primer for Spray Paint on Wood

Do You Need a Primer to Spray Paint Wood?

You don’t have to prime your wood surface before spray painting. But for preventative reasons, you should. Of course, if the wood has been varnished or sealed on the surface, priming is very essential. Priming the wood surface comes with a lot of advantages; that’s why you must choose the right one to prevent your wood furniture from scratching or chipping. 

Priming allows your spray paint to adhere well to the wood surface. This way, you can ensure the paint will last longer on the project without worries. Without priming, your pain may start to peel or flake from the furniture.  

What Kind of Primer Should I Use on Wood?

The best kind of primer to use on wood must be durable, beautiful, and long-lasting. Go for primers that stick to the wood and will not peel, chip, or flake in a short time. Most Rust-Oleum primers have good adhesion and bonding properties. 

Which Primer Works Best on Wood for Spray Paint?

Go for Rust-Oleum spray paint. This hard-drying enamel spray painter is the best formula for your wood. It’s formulated for cabinets, trims, and furniture. It adheres well to the surface and lasts longer. However, enamel spray paint may be less forgiving, but it’s perfect on wood.    

Can I Use Undercoat Instead of Primer on Wood?

Yes, you can use an undercoat in place of a primer on your wood project. The idea is to ensure that you don’t paint on a mere wood surface that is not treated. Whether it’s a primer or an undercoat, they’ll protect your project from peeling in short order.   

How to Spray Paint Wood Furniture

Materials and tools needed:

  • Primer or undercoat
  • Clean microfiber cloth
  • Paint scraper or scrubber
  • Drop cloth
  • Fine sandpaper (180-grit)
  • Paint sprayer
  • Enamel
  • Shop-vac 

If you follow the steps highlighted below, you can rest assured you’ll come out with a long-lasting, smooth, and fine finish.  

Preparing Wood for Spray Paint

The first stage will be to prep the wood furniture surface following the steps:

Step 1: Prepare your workspace

The first step is to prepare the wood for spray paint. It all begins with clearing the workspace. A neat, tidy, and well-ventilated workspace will prevent you from inhaling toxic fumes. Doing the project outdoors or inside your garage will be a great idea.  

Step 2: Cover the floor

Now that you have the workspace ready, the next thing is to cover the floor and necessary supplies from dust, grease, and surrounding carbon deposits. Light up the entire area so you can see the hard-to-reach areas.  

 Step 3: Remove and clean existing finish (optional)

This step may not be necessary if your wood had not been painted or finished before. If not, you will have to scrape and scuff off any loose finish from the surface of the wood furniture. Remove the scuffed dust and clean the surface.

Step 4: Sand the wood furniture

Once the surface is clean, it’s time to sand, using fine-grit sandpaper. Gently sand the surface with 180-fine grit sandpaper. This is to ensure that the primer bonds well with the surface.

Step 5: Clean the sand dust

Remove the residual sand dust from the wood surface using a brush-attached shop vac. Apply a damp microfiber cloth to the surface to remove any dust left. 

Step-by-Step to Spray Paint Wood Furniture

The second stage includes the steps involved in spray painting the already prepared wood furniture surface. 

Step 1: Get the spray painter

Look for and prepare an aerosol spray painter. It’s durable, affordable, and easy to apply. It also comes in a wide range of color and will produce a great result.

Step 2: Start to spray paint

Spray the paint with the primer. Note, some spray paints have been formulated with self-primer chemicals. Start the spraying from the bottom of the furniture.

Step 3: Press the valve gun

Press the valve gently and allow the spraying to be in a sweeping motion. Allow at least a distance of 8-inches between the sprayer and the wood. Let the sprayer be in a vertical position. Don’t stop to avoid creating lap runs, drips, and marks.

Step 4: Allow the primer to dry

Give the primer some 30 minutes to 4 hours drying time, depending on the product and formula. Oil-based enamel primer takes up to 4 hours.

Step 5: Begin to enamel the surface

The last and final step is to begin to enamel the wood furniture. It follows the same long, continuous spraying process. Apply at least two coats of paint. Ensure you allow one coat to dry out completely before applying the second coat. A maximum number of coats should be three. 

Sealer for Spray Paint on Wood Furniture

Getting the best sealer to seal your spray paint on wood furniture is one way to make your project durable and long-lasting.  

Do you need to seal spray painted furniture?

Yes, you need to seal spray painted furniture. By the way, it’s formulated; spray paint may not need any extra sealing or protection. Yet, you cannot be too careful to give your furniture paint quality protection against bugs, insects, and elements.  

How Do You Seal Spray Paint on Wood?

The best sealer for spray paint on wood is polyurethane. Other options include polyacrylic, paste wax, and decoupage medium. One to two coats are enough to protect your wood furniture from chipping. Here’s the guide to sealing your spray paint to the wood:

Step #1: Sand your painted wood

Once the paint is completely dry, apply fine-grit sandpaper (280-220-grit) to smoothen the surface. Clear off all sanding dust and debris with a clean tack rag or cloth. 

Step #2: Apply sealant

Gently shake the sealant can to avoid bubbles. Start spraying the sealant in a sweeping motion by pressing the valve gun. Hold the can 8 inches away from the wood. If you’re using a paintbrush, dip it into the sealant container and place it on the wood. Stroke it from edge to edge.

Step #3: Take off any excess sealant  

Make sure you take off any excess sealant at the edge of the wood. In case of any bubble of brush marks, smoothen them out with the edge of the paintbrush. 

Step #4: Allow the sealant to dry

Allow the sealant to dry for at least one hour. You can check the direction of the drying time on the product. 

Step #5: Sand the surface

Use 220-320-grit sandpaper to sand the surface. Remove any sanding dust.

Step #6: Apply the next coat of sealant and follow steps 3-5

If the project isn’t quality to your desire, you can repeat steps 2-5.

Sanding Wood for Spray Paint Wood Furniture 

Can Wood Be Spray Painted without Sanding?

No, you shouldn’t spray paint wood without sanding. The benefit of sanding between coats is to make reinforce adhesion and bonding. It also reduces your project’s susceptibility to easy damage.  

How Do You Spray Old Furniture without Sanding?

There are several ways to spray old furniture without sanding. You can add milk spray paint to the adhesive. Chalk spray paint is another option. Alternatively, you can use liquid deglosser or bonding primer. The first three are the best and most recommended methods.  

  • Adding Adhesive to Milk spray paint

Mix milk agent with an equal amount of adhesive or any bonding agent. The milk-looking adhesion agent works like a priming formula that helps to make the milk paint adhere well to the old furniture. It’s easy to mix and spray.

  • Using chalk spray paint

To spray paint old furniture without sanding, you’ve got to use chalk spray paint. Generally, chalk spray paint requires little or no surface prep. Furthermore, it comes out with a fine matte finish.

  • Using mineral paint

Another method of spraying old furniture without sanding is to use mineral paint. Like chalky spray paint, mineral spray paint sticks well and doesn’t need any prep. 

Best Spray Paint for Wood Furniture: Rust-Oleum 302593 Series Chalked Ultra Matte Spray Paint

This wood furniture spray paint covers up to 12 square feet and works perfectly with only one coat. With minimal prep, the Rust-Oleum 302593 offers excellent adhesion and its easy application is second to none. 

What’s more, the oil-based spray paint can hide a lot of wood surface imperfections while providing a vintage appearance to your project.

Drying to a smooth finish and extra matte velvety, the spray paint gives your furniture a timeless look. It also dries to touch in 20 minutes and is suitable on many interior surfaces. 

Highlighted features

  • Dries to extra-matte in 20 minutes
  • Use on a wide range of wood types
  • Easy to apply 
  • Amazing adhesion 
  • Covers wide area

Tips for Spray Painting Wood Furniture

Spraying painting wood furniture is easy. Coming out with a smooth and even finish may be as easy too. But it requires that you follow some tricks. Here are tips to have a smooth finish for your wood furniture spray painting project: 

Tip #1: Go with the right paint-primer combo

Ensure that the paint you’ll be spraying is also compatible with the primer. Otherwise, adhesion will be poor and ultimately the entire project won’t look good.  

Tip #2: Select the right wood furniture 

Don’t use spray paint on upholstery furniture. The best paint for outdoor furniture should have a high degree of UV protection and resistance to moisture. 

Tip #3: Sand before paint

Sanding your wood furniture before spray painting is a no-brainer. Sanding removes all rough edges, making the primer and paint bond well. It also gives your project high resistance to flakes and chips.

Tip #4: Cover surrounding surfaces

Particles, bugs, and deposits can settle on your wood surface, whether you’re spray painting outdoors or indoors. These particles can destroy the quality of your work. To avoid this, try to cover the surrounding surfaces, using masking tape, drop cloths, or a piece of newspaper.  

Tip #5: Prime before paint

If you don’t want your furniture paint to flake or chip off easily, you’ll have to prime the surface. Applying a priming formula to your project before painting makes the paint adhere well to the surface and will prevent cracks.   

Tip #6: Don’t apply directly on the surface

When you are ready to spray paint, start with a scrap object around you. Testing the spray paint on a piece of cardboard will be an alternative. This way, you can determine the color consistency and power of the paint beforehand. Never apply the spray paint directly to the project. 

How Do I Get Smooth Finish with Spray Paint on Wood?

Getting a smooth finish with spray paint on wood is pretty simple. Make sure you remove existing paint (if any) and follow the spraying procedure. More importantly, apply the spray paint coat and wait until it fully dries. After it dries out, sand the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper. Wipe off the sanding dust from the wood surface and apply the second paint coat.

When working, make sure you spray in a sweeping motion. This way you can avoid excess paint from dripping onto the surface. Too much paint can result in thick coats that can cause the paint not to adhere.   


Can I spray paint over varnished wood?

Yes, you can spray paint over varnished wood. The benefit is that varnished or sealed wood adheres well to the oil-based priming formula. After spray painting, you can apply latex paint to the primed varnished wood.  

Can you spray paint solid wood furniture?

Yes, there’s no type of wood, whether natural (solid) or manufactured, that you cannot spray paint. So, if your furniture is made out of solid wood, you can spray paint it. The precaution you must take is to ensure that the spray paint you’re using is formulated to be used wood.

Is spray paint durable on wood?

The straight answer to your question is yes. Most oil-based spray paints work well on wood. They offer incredible long-lasting protection to your wood projects’ interior and exterior. But again, make sure you don’t apply the wrong formula.  

How long does the spray paint last on the wood?

On average, spray paint can last for between 5 to 10 years, depending on several factors. The quality of the formula used, the method of applying the spray paint, and the correctness of the spray paint product. If any of this is awry, you may be in for short longevity. 

How many coats of spray paint are on the wood?

Typically, two coats of spray paint are good to make your wood furniture come out excellent. You can add one coat if the two coats don’t produce the desired visual result. Three coats of spray paint will be enough on wood. 

How long between spray paint coats on furniture?

The general rule of thumb is that the first spray paint coat must completely dry out before applying the second. The waiting time between coats will depend on the time it takes for the first layer of coat to dry and cure.

Final Words

As a parting shot, if you’re asked, ‘can you spray paint wood furniture?’ You can spray any wood furniture. The painting system works on dressers, tables, cabinets, crafts, and shelves. If you use the right paint and follow the painting steps in this article, your wood furniture project will come out with a smooth and fine finish.

Learning how to spray paint wood furniture will help your project come out in a smooth, even finish. Remember that painting wood furniture can be tricky and challenging, especially for beginner crafters. With this article, you now have the details of all it takes to spray paint wood furniture. As a result, you should have a smooth job the next time you want to spray paint your wood furniture. 

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