Asked on Jul 26, 2017

How do you paint furniture so that it doesn't scratch off?

by Sue
Every time we have painted furniture, we noticed the paint is not hard enough to resist scratching like store-bought painted furniture is. We let it dry for many days so it is not that. What is the secret?

  8 answers
  • Holly Kinchlea-Brown Holly Kinchlea-Brown on Jul 26, 2017

    what kind of paint are you using? Is it appropriate for the pieces you are painting? Do the pieces need to withstand a lot of abuse? If so, you may want to consider putting a sealant over top of the paint...varnish or polycrylic

  • Dfm Dfm on Jul 26, 2017

    did you clean the furniture before painting.....did you sand down the old finish. Did you get all the sanding dust off......did you prime the piece......what type of paint did you put an top. Latex or oil base....ant was the top coat compatable with the primer. How humid is the area when you painted?

  • Peter Anthony Peter Anthony on Jul 26, 2017

    Different woods take paint differently. Hardwood doesn't absorb paint as easily as softwood. Also, latex paint cures on top of what your painting rather than being absorbed. Once you have sanded your project, you should clean it with a mimral spirit such as Naptha. More paint doesn't mean a stronger bond either. If you need more that 2 coats to cover, either you need a better quality paint or the piece hasn't been cleaned well enough. There are spray sealers that you can apply on top of the paint

  • C. D. Scallan C. D. Scallan on Jul 26, 2017

    Perhaps its the finish you use . Or how many coats--2 or 3 thin coats is better than 1 thick coat. Are you applying a good polyurethane finish to protect it after ? Some paints require this and some don't .

  • Julie M. Julie M. on Jul 26, 2017

    First sand and clean the piece. Paint, dry and sand with fine grit between each layer process. After you get the paint the right color, seal with a good polyurethane, dry, fine sand. Repeat 4 times. Should hold the paint. The key is all the laborious steps. But you will be happy with the product.

  • Elizabeth Dion Elizabeth Dion on Jul 27, 2017

    The secret is applying a basecoat of Kilz Adhesion Primer before painting.

  • Amir Hyman Amir Hyman on Jan 03, 2023

    To paint furniture so that it doesn't scratch off, you will need to follow these steps:

    1. Start by sanding the furniture to rough up the surface and remove any existing paint or finish. Use medium grit sandpaper (around 120-150 grit) and sand in the direction of the wood grain.
    2. Wipe down the furniture with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris left behind by the sanding.
    3. Apply a coat of primer to the furniture. This will help the paint to adhere better and will give you a more even finish.
    4. Once the primer is dry, apply the first coat of paint. Use a paintbrush or a roller to apply the paint in thin, even layers. Be sure to paint in the direction of the wood grain and allow the paint to dry completely between coats.
    5. Once the first coat of paint is dry, apply a second coat. Again, be sure to paint in the direction of the wood grain and allow the paint to dry completely between coats.
    6. After the second coat of paint is dry, apply a clear sealant to the furniture. This will help to protect the paint and make it less prone to scratching.

    I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 04, 2023

    I learned the hard way that most furniture needs a few coats of a good sealent after you have finished applying the paint.

    Look for a water based sealent since oil based ones tend to yellow over time.