Kitchen Update – Painting Metal Furniture

Some of you have already commented about my metal kitchen table base.  I sort of forgot about it in the midst of my current decorating marathon.


The table used to be black. In my quest to lighten and brighten the room – it is now white.

I put the first coat of white paint on the table base in the beginning of the summer, thinking the second would go on right after and I would be finished.  I have since moved on and posted other projects in my kitchen that the unfinished table showed up in revealing the change.

Well, it is the end of the summer and I am happy to report that I just put the final coat of paint on the table. It is now officially completed.

I normally would have used spray paint for this, but the weather was so damp and humid the week I started painting it, I decided to paint it inside so the AC would help the paint dry properly.

If you want an extra smooth finish when painting metal furniture with rounded sections – use spray primer and spray paint.  See this post on how to create the perfect paint finish on this bed frame.

How to paint metal with spray paint

Of course there are more ways than one to get a project done successfully.

The key to getting a very smooth brush-on paint finish on metal surfaces that are thin and rounded is to use a high quality small paint brush., with long flexible bristles. I bought this in the fine art section at the craft store.


Using the right primer and paint will also help you achieve very smooth results,  I like Sherwin Williams Pro Classic. It is self leveling. You can see it level right before your eyes – seriously!  That on top of Glidden Gripper primer is the best duo.  The paint costs a little more, but if you are going to  make the effort to paint something to look good and have lasting durability – it is worth it.

Before:  Metal Table Base

Painting metal furniture

After: Painted Metal Table Base

Painting metal furniture

How to Paint a Metal Table

  • Rough the surface with 60 –100 grit sandpaper.
  • Clean it well and let dry.  Brush on one light coat of gripping primer. Let dry.  I used Glidden Gripper.  It is my go-to primer for smooth surfaces.
  • Go over the surface with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth any ridges that may have occurred in the primer as it dried.
  • Brush on one more light coat of primer; let dry.
  • Brush on 2 coats of self leveling paint in your choice of sheen. I used semi-gloss. Let the first coat dry, before applying the second.
  • It may take a few weeks for the paint to cure, so be gentle with your piece for the first weeks of use.
  • Use 1-2 light coats of  non-yellowing polyurethane over the surface to add protection if the piece is going to get a lot of use. Minwax Polycrylic is one that I use. It comes in 3 different sheens.

I still have some more trim to paint around the room, the recessed lighting is getting a makeover, the chairs, and floor – along with a few details that need to be taken care of…


…like what to do with black appliance cords when your backsplash is white. My biggest pet peeve!   I wish manufacturers offered both white and black cords when you buy stainless counter top appliances.   My white blender has a nice white cord.  I thought of painting the toaster cord as well as my coffeemaker cord with spray paint made for plastic, but since the cords are so flexible, I am afraid it will chip off and end up making the cords look worse.    I am working on a fix.  For now, I have a short white extension cord that I placed behind the coffeemaker so at least the cord going to the outlet is white,  but it is not much better.


Working in this and a few other details – will show you the kitchen completed soon.







  1. says

    Hi, Diane! Thank you for this! I was wondering, I have a coffee table that has fake gold legs. Would that be considered metal? It’s shiny. I don’t think it’s brass because it attracts magnets. I wanted to spray it dark chocolate or expresso but not sure if that would work since it’s a shiny metal.

    • says

      Hi Natasha – You can paint the legs, no problem :-) Just go over the surface with sandpaper first to rough it op a bit. Clean off the grit and then prime with a metal spray primer. Once that is dry, you can spray on the new color. When spraying – more thin coats are better than one or two thick ones. Follow the directions on the can on how long to wait before re-coating. It is usually around 5 mins between coats. Some new formulas of spray paint have primers in them already. I am old school and feel like some of these don’t adhere as well in the long run. I would use a primer on its own, – one/two light coats will help the paint stay on for a long time.


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