How to Paint Black Furniture a Lighter Color

Are you looking to update a beloved but well-worn black piece of furniture? You may have considered buying something new, but why not give the item a makeover instead? Painting your furniture can be an enjoyable and fulfilling task that transforms your home in no time! In this post, we’ll explore how to paint black furniture a lighter color.

How to Paint Black Furniture a Lighter Color

We’ll provide tips for properly preparing the surface for optimal adhesion as well as how to apply different types of paint so that it will last, with special attention given to lightly tinted rather than fully colored pieces. Get ready to give your back old friend some much-needed love and start revamping!

Can I Paint over Black Wood Furniture?

Yes, you can paint over black wood furniture. Painting over a dark color such as black may require more preparation steps in order to achieve the desired result. It is important to thoroughly clean and sand the surface before painting, and it may be necessary to apply a white primer before applying the final coat of paint.

This will help ensure that the new color adheres properly and does not become blotchy or uneven. Additionally, it will also lighten up any existing scratches or blemishes on the existing black furniture so that they do not show through after painting. When painting, use multiple thin coats of paint rather than one thick coat in order to achieve an even finish without brush marks.

Lastly, make sure to seal the finished piece with a protective sealant to help prevent chipping and fading over time. Following these steps will ensure that your black wood furniture can be transformed with a lighter paint color.

Can I Paint Black Wood Furniture with Latex Paint?

Yes, you can use latex paint when painting over black wood furniture. However, it is important to choose the right type of latex paint for this job, as some paints may not adhere well to a dark surface such as black wood. The best choice for this application is an acrylic latex or oil-based enamel paint. Both types of paint are designed specifically for use on surfaces such as wood, and they have excellent adhesion properties, which make them ideal for painting black furniture.

Use Latex Paint

Before you apply the paint, be sure to prep the surface of your furniture. Sand down any rough spots and then give it a thorough cleaning with a scrub brush, soap, and water. Once the wood is clean and dry, prime it with an oil-based primer designed for use on wood surfaces. Allow the primer to fully cure before applying your latex paint.

When you are ready to begin painting, choose a high-quality roller or brush that is designed specifically for use with latex paints. Apply thin coats of paint so that all areas are adequately covered without creating visible brush strokes or drips. If necessary, apply a second coat after allowing ample drying time between coats (usually 24 hours).

10 Methods How to Paint Black Furniture a Lighter Color

1. Clean the Furniture

Before you start painting, it’s important to clean the furniture thoroughly to remove any dirt or grime. Use a gentle cleaner and a soft cloth to wipe down the surface of the furniture. If the furniture has any scratches or dings, use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface.

However, don’t use any abrasive cleaners as they can damage the surface. To remove any dust from the sanding, use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Make sure you let the furniture dry completely before continuing.

2. Choose the Right Paint

When choosing a paint, it’s important to choose a paint that is specifically designed for use on furniture. Look for a paint that has good coverage and is easy to apply. For lighter colors, you may need to choose a paint that has a higher percentage of white pigment to ensure good coverage.

Choose a Paint

You should also make sure to choose a paint that is designed to adhere well to furniture surfaces, such as lacquers or enamels. It is also important to select a paint with a finish that will suit the desired look of your furniture. For example, if you want a glossy finish, you should look for a paint that specifies a glossy finish.

3. Choose a Primer

Using a primer can help the paint adhere better to the surface of the furniture and prevent any bleed-through from the original color. Choose a primer that is specifically designed for use on furniture and is compatible with the type of paint you are using.

However, if you are using a light paint color, it is best to use a gray primer. This will help the true color of your new coat of paint show up correctly. Once the primer is dry, you can move on to the next step. Although not always necessary, priming the furniture is highly recommended.

4. Sand the Furniture

Once the furniture is clean and dry, use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface of the furniture. This will create a rough surface that the paint can adhere to. Be sure to wipe away any dust with a clean, dry cloth before proceeding.

Use Fine-grit Sandpaper

While sanding, it’s important to take note of any dents or damage the furniture may have. These need to be filled in with wood filler or wood putty before painting. Try to match the color of the filler to the furniture, if possible. With the furniture sanded and any dents filled, it’s time to start painting.

5. Apply the Primer

Using a brush or roller, apply the primer to the furniture in even strokes. Be sure to work in small sections to ensure good coverage. Allow the primer to dry completely before applying the paint. To get the best results when painting black furniture a lighter color, two coats of primer may be necessary.

If you are unsure of the color or finish, apply a sample coat of primer to test it out. To ensure an even finish, sand between coats of primer. Although sanding is not always necessary, it can result in a smoother, more professional-looking finish. However, use very fine grit sandpaper to avoid leaving any visible scratches on the surface.

6. Apply the Paint

Using the same method as the primer, apply the paint to the furniture in even strokes. Be sure to work in small sections to ensure good coverage. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat. Once finished, let the paint dry for at least 24 hours before using it. If necessary, apply a third coat for an even finish.

However, three coats are usually not necessary. To protect the paint, apply a sealer or top coat. This will help keep the lighter color from fading over time and will also make it more resistant to dirt and dust. Clear wax is a good choice as it will bring out the richness of the color without changing its appearance.

7. Apply a Second Coat (If Needed)

Depending on the original color of the furniture and the desired final color, you may need to apply a second coat of paint. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat. To ensure even coverage, brush in the opposite direction of your first coat.

Allow the First Coat to Dry Completely

If needed, add a third coat of paint and allow the furniture to dry completely. This will help ensure your piece has an even color throughout. While it may take a little extra time, taking the time to apply multiple coats of paint will make a difference in the finished look of your furniture.

8. . Sand and Distress (Optional)

If you want to create a more distressed or vintage look, you can use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface of the furniture after the paint has dried. Focus on areas that would naturally wear over time, such as edges and corners.

This will give the furniture a more rustic look. Once you are happy with the amount of distressing, use a damp cloth to remove any dust and make sure the surface is clean.

9. Add a Clear Coat

To protect the paint from wear and tear, you can add a clear coat to the furniture. Choose a clear coat that is specifically designed for use on furniture and is compatible with the type of paint you are using. Apply the clear coat in even strokes, working in small sections.

Allow the coat to dry completely before flipping the piece over and repeating on the other side. Once you have finished applying the clear coat, allow it to dry completely before handling the furniture. With these steps, you can easily paint your black furniture a lighter color.

10. Experiment with Different Techniques

There are many different techniques that can be used to create different looks with painted furniture. For example, you can use a dry brush technique to create a more textured finish, or you can use a washcloth to create a smoother, more even finish.

Experiment with different techniques to find the one that works best for your desired look. You may also want to experiment with different colors and finishes, such as glazes or waxes.

Things to Consider When Painting Black Furniture a Lighter Color

1. Choosing the Right Paint:

It’s important to choose a paint that is designed for furniture and can withstand wear and tear. Also, be sure to choose a paint color that works with the intended look of your furniture.

2. Preparing the Surface:

Before painting, thoroughly clean the furniture and sand it down if necessary to provide a smooth surface for painting. To ensure proper adhesion, apply a coat of primer first before applying your chosen paint color.

3. Sealing the Paint:

Once you’ve applied the paint, seal it with a top coat to create a lasting finish. This will help protect the color from scratches and fading over time. Additionally, applying multiple coats of sealant can help create an even more durable finish.

4. Choosing Accessories:

When changing the color of your furniture, you may also want to consider changing out the knobs and handles. This will help create a more cohesive look and make it easier to achieve the desired style.

These are just a few things to consider when painting black furniture a lighter color. With careful preparation and attention to detail, you can easily transform your furniture into something completely new.

You Can Easily Transform Your Furniture


Painting black furniture a lighter color can help give any space in the home a touch of brightness and cheer. It is a great way to make any piece of furniture feel new again and take advantage of already good quality pieces. Proper preparation is essential to creating a polished, even look. Start by cleaning, sanding, and priming or painting over the existing finish with an appropriate type of paint.

Next, use fine-grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections in the surface before applying the final coat for an even finish. We hope this guide on how to paint black furniture a lighter color was helpful. Please share it with your friends on social media if you find it useful. And be sure to check back here soon for more informative guides like this one.

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Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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