How to paint metal and wood furniture

The simplest and cheapest way to transform a piece of furniture is to paint it a different colour. Follow this step-by-step guide to painting wood and metal furniture.


1. Choose a bold colour. The intensity of the hue will cover up any imperfections, too.

2. Clean the piece carefully, first with wood soap (such as Murphy’s Oil Soap) and water. After it has dried, clean with a rag dipped in paint thinner.

3. Work in a well-ventilated area and cover everything nearby.

4. Put on a coat of primer (from hardware/paint stores).

5. Sand lightly with fine-grained sandpaper. Start painting with an oil-based enamel paint. Let each coat dry completely and then sand the paint between coats.

6. Finish with a coat of clear matte or glossy furniture varnish. The glossier the finish, the more visible any surface imperfections will be, so it’s best to go with matte when in doubt.


1. Similiar to painting wood furniture, choose a bold colour.

2. Clean the piece carefully and sand your metal piece with medium grain sandpaper to rid it of obvious paint peeling, rust, and to create a good surface for spray paint. 

3. After sanding the item, wipe the metal down with a damp cloth or paper towel. Get rid of all of the dust, oils, and sediment. 

4. In a well ventilated area, spray on a primer and let it dry.

5. After the layer of primer has dried, spray on thin coats of paint over the entire piece and allow it to dry. Repeat this spraying and drying process until you are satisfied with the color and opacity. 

6. Allow the item to dry for at least 36-48 hours before you use it.