paint an old wooden chair

Do you know how to paint a chair? Painting walls is one thing, but painting a chair requires different measures. They ensure that the project is successful and perfect. You can paint a chair to be a room accent, showpiece, or to serve a specific purpose. Apply a design or a solid color of your choice after finishing preparing the chairs’ surface. The best thing with painting chairs is that you can repaint if the results do not please.

Surface preparation


Start the process of repainting by washing the chair. Use a soapy piece of cloth dipped in soapy water to get rid of debris, dirt, or cobweb build-up on the chair. If the chair has grease build-up, a grease remover followed by a water rinse will end it. Wipe the chair and allow it to dry for some time.


Painting is on smooth chair surfaces. It would be best if you sanded it well using an orbital sander to ease the painting process. If a chair has a chipping paint cover, use coarse grit sandpaper to remove the big pieces. Graduate to finer grits until you reach the desired level that is smooth. It would be best to sand out the light dings and scratches. It will stop them from reappearing after painting the chair.

Hole filling

Use wood putty to fill all holes on the chair surface. It applies to holes that are too deep for sandpaper to remove. Apply the wood putty and follow the guidelines provided by the manufacture. Once the area dries up, you need to know how to sand a chair to make the surface smooth.

Tack the chair

You can buy a cheap tack sheet from local hardware or improvise your own using a damp cotton cloth to eliminate the dust. Remember, for effective tacking, don’t use a dry piece of fabric. Give the chair time to dry before proceeding to the next steps.

Painting the chair

Once the chair is ready, start the painting process.

Choose your favorite color scheme.

You can use contrasting or complementing colors combination or a solid color. A whimsical look needs you to paint the seating area one color, the back and legs different colors.

Subtle touches need you to paint the entire chair with one solid color before adding accents. Some of the accents to add include polka dots or stripping using a different color.

Protect the floor

Station the chair on a drop cloth or anything that will protect the floor below the chair from paint drips.

Apply primer

It would be best to stir the paint well before applying it. The brush you use should be easy to hold and sizeable to fit between the chair components. Turn the chair upside down to start painting it from the legs first. When through, stand it and paint the backside of the legs, followed by the remaining parts.


After painting the first layer, allow the chair to dry. Depending on the outcome of the paint, you can decide to add more color coats. Use spray paint for better and faster results. For first coats, it’s advisable to use light ones than using the heavy ones as it discourages drips.

Choose your paint

Have a final paint using a light or less heavy coat that doesn’t discourage drips. The paint color will depend on your personal preferences.

Chair paint protection

Cover the painted chair with a protective clear coat. Depending on the finish you wish to get, you can use satin, gloss, or matte coating. It’s easy to apply a spray finish though a brush finish enables more control for even application. If you want to decorate the painted chair, do it before painting a clear protective finish.

Allow the clear protective finish to dry up as per the manufacturers’ guidelines. You can apply as many coats ads as you desire but be keen not to interfere with the desired results.


You can use three methods to paint your chair. They include using a paint roller and paintbrush, spray paint, and a paint sprayer. A paint sprayer is the fasted and the least souls-crushing method. When applying different coats, allow each coat to dry up well before applying the next one.

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