Easy Fix: Spray Painting Furniture

By Kate Riley January 30, 2019

A reader wrote to me a few weeks ago asking about furniture makeovers and my favorite paints for those projects since I used to do a lot of those. I haven’t done so many in the past years but I did turn to an old go-to easy fix product to refurbish a bench.

I’ve used spray paint before to give an old piece of furniture a new look (remember this chest and these nightstands) and it’s been almost five years since I revisited this topic so I’m back today with a refresher. The steps are still the same, and I think the products and colors have gotten even better.

There’s a 5 x 5’ corner of my studio’s kitchen that fits a small table and chairs where I eat lunch and where I share coffee breaks with friends and family that stop by to visit me during the day. I’d love to have a cushioned corner bench in here someday but for now I don’t have the time or cash to invest in that so for now I decided to simply refurbished an old bench that was sitting on my balcony collecting dust.

 

I like to use spray paint on smaller pieces of furniture or light fixtures because I know I can get a smooth finish without brush strokes if I follow certain steps. It’s how I got this bench with chipping paint to look new again in a beautiful shade of olive green.

Here’s a peek at its condition before I started, notice lots of chipped paint!

 

You’ll want to sand any piece with chipped paint which is what I did here: I used a coarse sanding wedge then followed it up with my orbital sander where there were stubborn spots that needed more advanced smoothing.

 

 

 

 

All spray painting needs to be done in a well ventilated area, I prefer outdoors on a semi cloudy day when the temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees. You need a totally clean surface too because moisture or debris can cause cracking or bubbling of the surface. I hosed off the bench, wiped it down, and let it dry outdoors for a few hours before I began.

 

 

The key to spray painting is thin coats! I used two cans of Krylon’s Satin Italian Olive, a thin coat all over the first round, a second thin coat in the second round, and a third light touch up, allowing an hour of drying time between coats. The spray paint guns are something I consider totally necessary, they eliminate finger cramping and help you guide the paint along the furniture for a smooth application.

 

If you encounter a drip here or there, use your finger to wipe it and come back later to touch it up with another light layer of spray. One of my favorite tips, any oil based paint can be easily cleaned off your hands using vegetable oil! No mineral spirits needed. :)

 

 

For an even more detailed step-by-step on spray painting furniture, see this post from five years ago, it’s the same process!

 

 

Meanwhile I’ll just enjoy my *almost free* olive green bench in my cute little breakfast nook space. Wanna come over for coffee? :)

13 comments

  1. Goodness, it has been a long time since I’ve seen posts about painting furniture. From anyone!

  2. Very pretty bench that looks lovely in your space! It would be a shame for it to go on unused. I’m sure the color you chose looks beautiful with the rest of your pretty office. I would be happy to spend the day there!

  3. I spray painted a slat bed recently and am considering doing it again on some spindle backed chairs after the first two chairs took AGES to paint with a brush!!

    Love your wishbone chairs – did you ever link to them? I’ve only ever seen wishbones chairs in real life once and they were NOT comfortable (fairly high end too).

    • I’ve had those wishbone chairs for a couple years, I think I picked them up on a site like Overstock for about $150 a pair, not bad!

  4. Can you spray paint over a varnished piece or would it need sanding? The spindles on the bench would be a paint to sand.
    I love the color of your bench!

  5. I’d definitely want to come over for coffee in this cutest little space if I lived closer. For now, I’ll just admire the wonderful job you did with your bench. That olive green has so much character and brings the rustic vibe to space making it very cozy and inviting.

  6. Great work there, Kate! The painted furniture sure looks great but it looks more beautiful in the company of the other furniture pieces. You’re such an artist!

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