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How do you paint wood furniture silver?

How do you paint wood furniture silver?

Painting wooden furniture silver can completely transform the look of a room. Silver painted furniture adds a touch of glamour and elegance. While the process does require some effort, with the right materials and technique, you can easily paint wood furniture at home. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly prepare, prime, and paint wood furniture silver.

Things You’ll Need

Before starting the project, make sure you have all the necessary supplies:

Paintbrush Paint roller and tray
Sandpaper Drop cloths
Paint stripper Rags
Tack cloth Painters tape
Primer Silver paint

You’ll need standard painting supplies like brushes, rollers, trays, drop cloths, rags, and painter’s tape. Specific to this project, you’ll need paint stripper to remove any existing finish, sandpaper to smooth and prep the surface, tack cloth to remove dust, primer, and silver paint. The specific types of these items will be covered in more detail in the steps below.

Preparing the Wood Surface

Properly preparing the wood surface is the most important step to ensure the paint adheres and lasts. Here are the key steps:

Remove existing finish – If the wood piece already has a shiny lacquer or painted finish, you’ll need to completely remove this prior to painting. Use a paint stripper, following all safety precautions, to dissolve the existing finish. Scrape it off with a putty knife. Wear gloves to protect your hands.

Sand the surface – Once stripped down to bare wood, sand the entire piece with medium grit sandpaper. This roughens the surface so the primer and paint can adhere properly.

Clean and remove dust – Use a dry tack cloth to wipe off any remaining dust after sanding. Make sure the surface is completely clean before priming and painting.

Fill holes and imperfections – Examine the surface and use wood filler as needed on any holes, dents, or imperfections. Once dry, sand smooth.

The proper surface prep removes any barriers between the wood and paint. This helps the paint stick tightly. Rushing this step can cause peeling or chipping later on.

Choosing a Primer

Priming is a crucial step before painting any surface. Primer creates a uniform surface for the paint to adhere to. For painting furniture, choose an oil-based primer over latex varieties for the strongest bond and surface coverage.

Some top oil-based primer options include:

– KILZ Original Primer – This oil-based primer seals surfaces and hides old paint colors well. It has excellent adhesion.

– Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer – A versatile primer suitable for interior and exterior use. It provides great adhesion on wood, metal, plaster, and masonry.

– INSL-X Prime Lock Primer – A premium bonding primer that works on the most difficult surfaces. It has strong stain-blocking abilities.

Apply two thin coats of primer, allowing proper dry time between coats. Then lightly sand again with fine sandpaper. This produces the ideal smooth foundation for the silver paint.

Selecting Silver Paint

For a rich, mirror-like silver finish, a metallic silver paint is the best option. There are specific metallic paints formulated just for wood furniture that deliver beautiful results.

Here are top silver metallic paint picks for furniture:

– Krylon Metallic Silver Paint – This provides a chrome-like finish on wood, metal, and more. The acrylic formula has maximum shine and dries to a smooth finish.

– Rust-Oleum Metallic Furniture Paint – Made specifically for wood and metal furniture. It goes on smoothly and resists chipping.

– Modern Masters Metallic Paint – A top quality artist-grade metallic silver furniture paint. It has superior coverage and protection from scratches.

These paints provide superior shine, adhesion, and protection compared to standard silver spray paints. Always check the manufacturer instructions – some metallic paints require a bonding primer.

Painting Tips and Techniques

When you’re ready to start painting, follow these tips:

– Use high quality applicator – Invest in a good brush made for painting furniture. A quality brush makes smoother strokes.

– Apply thin coats – Metallic paint can show brush strokes, so apply thin, even coats and avoid overbrushing.

– Be patient – Allow proper dry time between coats as instructed on the paint can. Rushing the process can ruin the finish.

– Sand lightly between coats – For an ultra smooth finish, do very light sanding between coats to remove any brush marks or imperfections.

– Work in a dust-free space – Paint in an area without any air vents, fans, or open doors/windows. Airborne dust will ruin the finish.

Take your time with each step – preparation, priming, painting and drying. Rushing through the process will compromise the quality.

Achieving Full Coverage

Due to their highly-pigmented, transparent nature, metallic paints often require 3 or more coats to achieve full, even coverage. Make sure you have enough paint on hand. Shake the can vigorously before each use.

Apply patient, thin coats a few hours apart to allow proper drying between coats. If possible, hang or position the furniture horizontally to avoid drips. Be aware that metallic paint can show any imperfections underneath, so proper prep and priming is vital.

The finished product should have a smooth, consistent chrome-like sheen. If any areas still show wood grain or unevenness after 3 coats, spot prime those areas only and do another coat just on the thin spots.

Clear Top Coat for Protection

For added protection and sheen, apply 1-2 coats of a clear satin or semi-gloss polyurethane sealant over the silver metallic paint. This protective top coat resists scratches, scuffs, and fingerprints. It also makes cleaning easier.

Use a foam brush to smoothly apply the polyurethane. Allow proper drying time between coats. The end result will be a stunning silver furniture finish with added durability.

Caring for Silver Painted Furniture

To keep your silver painted furniture looking its best:

– Use coasters under glasses and vases
– Dust frequently with a microfiber cloth
– Clean with a mild soap and water solution on a soft cloth
– Avoid harsh cleaners or abrasive pads

The metallic paint finish will last for many years with proper care. Refrain from placing hot plates or pans directly on the surface. A protective tablecloth can also help prevent scratching over time.

By taking some simple precautions and handling with care, your freshly painted silver furniture can stay beautiful and elegant. With just a little effort, you can modernize and transform tired old furnishings.


Painting wooden furniture at home with a professional-quality silver finish is achievable with the right materials and techniques. Follow these key steps:

– Thoroughly prepare and sand the wood surface
– Apply two coats of oil-based primer
– Use a high-quality metallic silver paint formulated for furniture
– Apply multiple thin coats allowing proper dry time
– Finish with a clear satin polyurethane for protection

With patience and proper preparation, your furniture will take on an eye-catching mirrored silver finish, adding glamour to any room. The end result will look like you had it custom painted by professionals. Just be sure to allow adequate drying time between steps and coats. The finished piece will become a stunning focal point in your home.