How to Paint Wooden Chairs

Updated March 23, 2017

Wooden chairs can last for many years, but over time, paint can fade or begin to chip away. It's easy to bring wooden chairs back to life once they reach this stage. A new paint job can give an old chair a new lease on life, and almost anyone can repaint a wooden chair with the right materials and a little attention to detail. If you have a set of wooden chairs you can't bear to part with, don't get rid of them. Give them a new coat of paint and make them look new again.

Use a metal scraper to remove old paint. If the chair still has a great deal of paint on it, wipe it down with paint remover. Older chairs with almost no paint left on them can typically be scraped clean. Be sure there is no paint left on the chair before you add new paint. Use a cloth to wipe the chair down after the old paint has been removed. This will ensure the surface is completely clean. If there are rough spots in the chair, use a piece of light sandpaper to smooth them.

Spray your chair with an oil-based primer that closely resembles the colour you plan to paint the chair. This will give more durability and life to your paint job. Do an even, thin coat of the primer, holding the can six inches from the chair as you apply the primer. Let the primer dry per the directions on the can before you paint.

Paint the chair using oil enamel, either in a spray can or by brush. If you use a spray can, keep the can six to eight inches from the chair and apply the paint in layers. Continue moving the can as you apply the paint. This will prevent a build-up and paint running down the chair.

Be sure the paint you use is oil-based enamel. This gives your wooden chair a smooth, almost porcelain finish. If you use paint from a can and a brush, use a soft bristle brush and apply the paint in thin layers to prevent uneven build-up.

Use a clear coat of lacquer to give the new paint job maximum protection. You can spray this on in several light, even coats or apply it with the same type of brush you used to paint the chair.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal scraper
  • Paint remover
  • Paint primer
  • Cloth rag
  • Sandpaper
  • Oil enamel paint
  • Paint brush
  • Wood stain finish
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About the Author

Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.