Furniture Makeover: Spray Painting Wood Chairs

Now that my kitchen floor has been refinished and looks all shiny and new, I got the energy to get the chairs that go around the kitchen table painted.  Instead of spray painting them all one color…


… I used 5 different colors.  My kitchen is now infused with a happy, fresh, and positive vibe!

I was hemming and hawing about what color to paint them, then inspiration hit me over the summer in the most unusual way.


Remember the post I wrote back in the summer, where I told you that one morning I came down to my kitchen that was such a mess since I was painting the cabinets?   I was inspired with an idea that morning on what to do with my kitchen chairs.  The cushion for my deck swing was thrown over the banquette the night before.   In the morning when I saw the colorful stripes on the fabric, I knew I would be painting the chairs each a different color.


I have 5 chairs, but only use 3 around the table now.  We didn’t have the banquette seating when we first moved into the house and needed 5 chairs for seating.  With the banquette, 3 is all that is needed.  I have two extra and will probably change out the colors every now and then.


I pinned this image a long time ago to my Yummy Color Combination Pinterest board.   I saved myself $220 a chair by spray painting wood chairs I already owned to look as positively yummy as these chairs do.

I chose to go the spray painted route because it is a quick process and the paint durable.  Painting all those rungs and legs with a brush  – too time consuming. If I used chalk paint – they would also all need to be waxed and buffed.


I picked the paint by colors I wanted, not by brand.  I had to go to 3 different stores to find colors I liked.   Now that I have used all of the above spray paints on the same surface, I do have a favorite.  Valspar is the clear winner for me.  They have great colors and the can’s nozzle is the best.  Less overspray.  I used Painter’s Touch primer to go under the light blue Rustoleum  enamel paint since it did not contain a primer.  The rest of the paints were paint-and-primer-in-one formulas, so I did not need to add a separate primer coat for them.

The colors I used:  Valspar – Gloss Exotic Sea, Vaspar – Gloss Gold Abundance, Rustoleum Protective Enamel – Gloss Harbor Blue, Rustoleum Ultra Cover  -Gloss Berry Pink and Gloss Real Orange.

How to Spray Paint Wood Chairs


supplies needed:

Spray paint | Primer | Sandpaper & sanding block | Tack cloth | Detergent or TSP cleaner | Mask to cover nose & mouth | Eye protection goggles | Plastic sheeting to protect floor from overspray | Optional – clear gloss sealer

Spray painting is best done outside where you have good ventilation. I use my garage. I open the windows and garage doors so there is a place for the fumes to go.


1. Spread out plastic sheeting or if doing only one chair, a cardboard spray booth.

2. Sand the surface with medium (60 – 100 grit) sandpaper.

3. Wash the surface well with detergent and hot water to remove any grease or dirt.  Let dry.


Cover your face with a painter’s mask and goggles before spraying.

3. If the spray paint does not have a primer in it, spray one coat of primer over the surface. Let dry.


4. Shake can vigorously for one minute after ball rattles.  Hold can upright and about 10” – 15” from surface and spray in a steady back and forth motion, slightly overlapping as you work. Keep the can in motion as you spray.  Apply 2 or more light coats a few minutes apart. Let dry.  If you need to apply more paint or a clear coat to protect – do so within an hour, otherwise wait 24 hours to recoat.

I did not use a clear coat. I spray painted the chairs glossy black  over 8 years ago and did not use it then and the finish held up perfectly without it. If you want to use a clear coat to seal the paint.  Follow the directions on the can, especially make sure to see how long you need to wait after the paint is dry to use a sealer over it.


5. To protect my shiny new refinished floor, I added one of these plastic sliders to the bottom of each chair leg.


A simple tap with a hammer is all it takes to attach them.


I feel like I have a brand new kitchen, now.  The best part about the makeover –I did not purchase any new furniture or accessories. I already owned everything and simple updated and transformed everything with paint.  Paying a contractor to re-finish the floor was a splurge, but worth saving up for, as I would have never gotten it to look this good myself.

The rest – cabinets, table, cushions, and now the chairs took time and elbow grease, but shows that when you have a vision, you can still get the look you desire even with a teeny budget if you take the time and effort to DIY. I enjoy the process – it is so exciting for me to see my vision and style come to life.

I still have one more item to transform in the room – I will be showing you that soon.

Have you spray painted anything lately?  What is your fave brand of spray paint to use?





  1. Mistyn Murray says

    Hi Diane.
    Your home looks beautiful! And the chairs, they ‘pop’ which makes me happy! Your choice of colors are fantastic!
    I’d like to paint my (stainless steel topped) wooden counter height/pub table and 4 (wooden) stools some vibrant colors just as you did.
    I’m so happy I came across your site. :)
    Thank you!
    Have a great day!

  2. Debbie says

    great chairs…I especially like the pads you put on the legs. I learned an interesting spray paint bit of knowledge yesterday. Our local high school has a phenomenal art festival, Focus on the Arts, where they invite hundreds of artists to give classes over three days to the students. I was a parent volunteer at a graffiti artist class. She used spray paint from Australia & South Africa because the overspray (the cloud of paint) is less and she had amazing control over the spray direction. We were told the U.S. Companies do this on purpose so we consumers have to buy more cans. Not sure how true this is but it sounds plausible. I seem to coat the world whenever I paint something…including our water heater panel so I’m no longer allowed to paint in the basement!

    • says

      Hi Debbie – I have not heard that about the spray paint in other countries, but I do know that over the past few years some brands of spray paint have changed and the cans are finicky to work with. When I started working in retail display over 30 years ago, I used spray paint every day. Our biggest problem was learning how to un-clog a nozzle, but the paint always went on smoothly and covered well. There was always overspray to deal with, but we set up “spray booths” out of big cardboard boxes. I have a few of these in my garage to use when the weather is warm enough to spray paint. I usually do not spray paint in the colder months. I posted about how to make a collapsible spray booth in this post:

      I have been know to get overspray on a few things in my life…including my husband’s car. :-)

  3. says

    Do you have a #2 to Valspar? The Lowes is about an hour from my house and the Ace Hardwares in my area only carry the canned paint. I’m going to be painting my dining chairs as well and always used Rust Oleum in the past because it’s easy to find just about anywhere, but I can’t really say yay or nay regarding the quality.

    • says

      Hi Lindsey – Any brand name is good, I really like the nozzles on the Valspar the best. Rustoleum is a great paint and so is Krylon. You can go wrong with either brand. the key is light coats.

  4. Lynne Galley says

    Love the chairs! I have been wanting to do this with my wooden chairs for a new look. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Derek H says

    Hello, I had spray painted some furniture black about a year ago, I now want to paint it baby blue and yellow and other bright colors similar to your chairs, while painting over black will I need to use primer first? Or as you had mentioned, will color with primer work just as well over a dark color like black?

    • says

      Hi Derek – My chairs were black before I painted them and it did take more coats of the yellow to hide the black. When using lighter colors, I would use spray primer by itself, then spray paint. This way you can get an even finish base color (white primer) to completely hide the black and then need less color coats to a nice even finish.

  6. Debbie Hall says

    Hi, Diane. Now that your chairs have been painted for some time, are you happy with how the paint is holding up, and do you see any difference between the Valspar and Rustoleum? I am thinking of painting dining room chairs in our beach home, and they will get a lot of use! Thank you:) Debbie

    • says

      Hi Debbie – I am happy with how my chairs have held up. The only one that has one spot of wear on it is the pink one. One of the seat back rungs I noticed has worn away in a spot. My husband used to sit on it daily all day when he used the kitchen table as his desk. The paint is good everywhere else so I can’t say it is the paint. It more likely is from the same motion everyday of him getting up and down all day long and his belt hitting the same spot constantly. If your chairs are going to get lots of use, you may want to put a water-based spray sealer over them once the paint is completely dry. Water based sealers won’t change the color. Minwax Polycrylic comes in a spray and is water based. In comes in both a semi-gloss and satin finish. It is applied the same way you use spray paint, but read the label for timing and re-coating.


  1. […] Many ask me how the spray paint has held up on the chairs.  As you can see – it has held up perfectly – even the yellow chair which needed more coats than any of the other colors I sprayed the chairs, still looks shiny and new. You can learn how I painted the chairs in this post. […]

  2. […] If you have some of these chairs which are really simple, made of wood and without padded seats or fabric upholstery, you can easily change the way they look with some spray paint. Get spray paint in different bold colors and paint each chair a different shade.{found on inmyownstyle}. […]

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