Best paint for furniture

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by 12strings posted 06-06-2012 07:03 PM 5931 views 2 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2385 days

06-06-2012 07:03 PM

I have a relative who would like me to build a set of bunk beds, and paint them dark navy blue.

What is the best paint for furniture? Here’s what I have used in the past:
-Latex interior wall paint = BAD! STUFF Sticks to it for months after its dry.
-Rustoleum = Much better, but perhaps there is a better option?

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

18 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4932 posts in 3961 days

#1 posted 06-06-2012 07:33 PM

What’s wrong with a quality interior latex trim paint? You can get several sheens, brush or spray, cleans up well, and will cure fully in a week. I didn’t say dry, I said cure.
Add a little FloTrol to help it flatten out well.
That’d be my choice, but what do I know about the specific project?
You’ll spend a fortune on primer and spray cans if ya use Rustoleum (which certainly has its place).
Always remember that initial prep is the foundation to ANY finish.
I didn’t understand your statement about “sticks to it for months”. What sticks to what?


View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8191 posts in 2577 days

#2 posted 06-06-2012 07:41 PM

MDO, Medium Density Overlay, paints up real nice.

I like Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer, it rocks and has great coverage. I’m not sure if you have Dunn Edwards
paint where you live, but that’s what I would use if it were available.

+1 for Bill White on a quality interior latex paint with FloTrol. Except I like using XMI, probably similar stuff different

Good luck on your project.

View junebug's profile


101 posts in 2405 days

#3 posted 06-06-2012 08:02 PM

latex shouldnt take that long to cure. the stickiness you see is called blocking. Couple of causes for that… cheap paint, applied too thick, not enough time between coats, etc. I think a good quality latex paint would be a good choice.

View premieretreeservices's profile


17 posts in 2299 days

#4 posted 06-06-2012 08:05 PM

I’ve heard good things about Krylon spray paint and furniture. It comes very cheap and is supposed to work just as good as Rustoleum. It drips a little more though.

Alternatively, Simple Spray brand spray paint is made specifically for furniture. I don’t know much about it, but I know someone who recommends it. Look into it if you’re feeling adventurous.

-- Premiere Tree Services Network:

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3109 days

#5 posted 06-06-2012 08:33 PM

Quality of the paint job also depends on the quality of the primer. A good primer coat eliminates many painting woes.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View CANDL's profile


44 posts in 2808 days

#6 posted 06-06-2012 09:10 PM

First full disclosure my in-laws own an Industrial Paint Supply place here in Cincinnati.

I have never been a fan of paint, but they have changed my mind. I refinished a kitchen table and used Coronado Paint (I believe it was an enamel with flow control additive). I brushed it on and even with my poor skills you cannot see a brush stroke.

I like it so well I gave the left over of my quart to my mother to use (she is no relation to the paint store).

We are about to paint the exterior of our house again …. we are using Coronado.

Do your own web search … what I think you will find is it is a bit more expensive then you local big box store , but it is also worth the price difference.

I am frugal …. not cheap. Ok maybe a little bit cheap.

Good Luck

View bondogaposis's profile


4733 posts in 2352 days

#7 posted 06-06-2012 09:22 PM

I like milk paint.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View jdmaher's profile


427 posts in 2580 days

#8 posted 06-06-2012 10:19 PM


What type of Coronado did you use on that kitchen table (there are several different Coronado products)? I’m gonna rehab our kitchen table this year (this year for sure!).

I’ll appreciate all the advice I can get.


-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2564 days

#9 posted 06-06-2012 11:49 PM

My wife is gearing up for a paint project later this week on some furniture (futons, changing table, etc). At first we were thinking of brushing on a pigmented lacquer, but it seems as if lacquer is better on cabinets and bookshelves as opposed to furniture. Is that correct? Any suggestions as good paints to buy that our commonly available without having to break the bank or go to some super obscure retailer?

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2564 days

#10 posted 06-06-2012 11:51 PM

Bondo or anyone else for that matter I’ve heard of milk and chalk paint recently. Can you give me a quick rundown of the positives and negatives of these?

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View KarenW's profile


131 posts in 2189 days

#11 posted 06-07-2012 03:29 AM

When I get a customer that requests a painted piece I use either an acrylic latex or a General Finish paint, depending on what they want. But waho6o9 hit it right when he recommended Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer. I’ve used all sorts of primers but that’s been the best so far – even above Kilz Gold.
You can have the best paint on the market but the primer will determine the finished product.
And if your latex is sticking, wait longer between coats.

-- Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. --Theodore I. Rubin

View oldnovice's profile


6855 posts in 3368 days

#12 posted 06-07-2012 03:27 PM

I have had Ralph good luck with Rustoleum for wood. In fact, I painted the door from the garage to the house with this paint as this entrance get the heaviest use gets the dirtiesr, and it cleans up easily!

I applied this with a small foam roller and got a super smooth finish!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2265 days

#13 posted 06-07-2012 09:36 PM

My first question would be, how do you plan on applying it?

I’d say spray it, but that’s my preference for a really good-looking (IMO) finish. Bunk beds (for kids I’m guessing) probably won’t need a really nice finish (you know what I mean).

I’d say use an enamel or acrylic enamel or, worst case, a lacquer. That’s just me though. The enamels are going to provide excellent protection and are easy to clean.

I don’t care what anyone says about latex on furniture. I think latex is for walls. I have it on a few window trim pieces and things end up sticking to them if left on too long (this is more than 2 years after I painted them).

If I was given the choice between latex (what used to be water-based) or oil-based house paint for furniture, I’d pick oil-based.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2385 days

#14 posted 06-08-2012 03:13 PM

Thanks for all the replies… I have in the past bought a can of Rustoeum and brushed it on. that seems to work pretty well, and is more economical than buying a bunch of spray cans. I’m still leaning that direction, since I don’t really know about other oil/acrylic type paints.

I agree about latex on furniture. I painted a bookshelf 2 years ago, and just last week put a new glass picture frame on it, tried to move it the next day, and had to pry it off. I’m not doing that again.

Can someone elaborate on the need for primer? I have painted a few things with rustoleum for my kids, and I’m not sure what benifit primer would add.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2265 days

#15 posted 06-08-2012 04:03 PM

Using primer usually insures better adhesion and reduces the number of coats you’ll have to use in the end (normally) while also producing a more consistent color (the primer provides a more consistent base color). It’s also better to use primer when you’re putting lighter paint on a darker surface. You can also tint your primers when using darker paints to make coverage go faster. This all reduces overall costs on paint (which is almost always more expensive than primer) since you won’t need as much to achieve your final color.

I normally use it when I’m using spray paints as they tend to be very thin in application and it prevents me from having to use 6-8 coats of paint (no primer) instead of just 2-3 with primer.

A lot of spray paints are acrylic enamel. Just clarifying since you said you weren’t familiar with them.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics