How To Paint Metallic Furniture The Easy Way

Posted in Furniture Makeover
How To Paint Metallic Furniture The Easy Way

Learning how to paint metallic furniture is easier than you may think. I can show you how to get a flawless finish on your furniture with a paintbrush with the right paint. Let’s dig in!

This post contains a few affiliate links to help you find the products I use.  You are not charged extra to use any of the links, but any income I make will be used for more fun projects! To see my full disclaimer,  click here!

Before The Metallic Paint

What a hot mess! Like most of the makeovers I do, it always amazes me what a little elbow grease and can’t do to these pre-loved pieces.

You won't believe what metallic paint will do to wood furniture! Learn how to paint metallic furniture the easy way.

Gather Your Supplies

Here is a complete supply list of the products that I know, like, and trust. You can find where to purchase them by clicking on the individual products below.

Wood Prep Before Painting 

Don’t underestimate the value of the prep work before you paint your furniture. I suggest that you start by cleaning the piece well. This can be done with mild soap and water, or if it’s really grimy, use a TSP solution and rinse well. CLICK HERE to learn more about how to prep furniture before painting.

Adding Detail To A Plain Chest

To add a bit of decorative detail, I used Decor Moulds and added the designs across the top of the chest to create a consistent design and attached them with wood glue. The process is fairly simple. It’s like a play dough consistency. I fondly remember smashing that stuff between my fingers as a child.

It’s super easy. Simply press the Paper Clay into the Decor mold and remove it. Instant detailing!

Apply the decor mold designs while they are still damp with wood glue. This will allow you to bend and shape them the way you want. You can even bend them around corners. I waited 24 hours before painting them, but I have seen others paint them while they were still damp.

I created decor moulds to add detail to a plain Jane piece before painting with metallic paint.


Before Applying Metallic Paint

Before applying metallic paint to furniture, you will need to choose a paint color similar to the metallic paint color for the base coat. For this makeover, I used one coat of Dried Sage Chalk Mineral Paint. Be sure that you have a good solid base coat of that color before applying this metallic paint.

It’s important to do this next step to ensure you have a smooth finish before applying the metallic paint. I suggest using a Finishing Pad to smooth out any rough areas of the chalk mineral paint (base color coat). You want the surface to be flawless.

You can also use 220 grit sandpaper if you wish. Wipe away any remaining paint dust from buffing and sanding with a clean cloth.

Any lumps or brush markers left over from applying the base coat will stick out like a sore thumb once the metallic paint is applied over it, and you don’t want that.

It’s like painting your fingernails and having that one spec of dust. I think you know what I mean. Here is where your perfectionism needs to kick in. I promise it will be worth it.

Before applying metallic paint to furniture, I chose a similar color for my base coat.

Paintbrushes Matter

First, you will need a high-quality synthetic paintbrush! I can’t emphasize this enough. When working with metallic paints, the paintbrush always matters.

Metallic paints have tiny particles of metal flakes in them. That’s what gives it its brilliance. You will want a super smooth finish on your metallic-painted furniture, especially if you are working on a flat, smooth wood piece.

Using a quality synthetic paintbrush is the key to beautiful metallic painted furniture.

So, let me say this. Inspirations come from some of the strangest places. Can you guess my inspiration for this piece? You can CLICK HERE to get a bling cap, just like my inspiration.

Metallic painted furniture for the win!

Steel Magnolia Metallic-Painted Chest

Metallic paint doesn’t cover as well as the typical chalky type of paint. It will take multiple coats for full coverage.

Apply a minimum of three coats over the base coat. When applying the metallic paint, be mindful to paint in one direction with your paintbrush and use long, even strokes on flat surfaces. This will help minimize streaking and brush strokes.

Metallic paints have somewhat of a memory; depending on the brushstroke’s direction, the paint will hold that pattern. Painting with metallic paint can be tricky, but so worth the effort! The results are stunning and can turn a plain Jane piece into a showpiece.

I never knew I could love metallic painted furniture so much!

The wood top was stripped and refinished with No Pain Gel Stain in Walnut to complement the metallic paint finish. I never knew wood and metallics would look so good together!

This wood top was refinished with a Gel Stain in Walnut that compliments the beautiful metallic finish on this chest.

So, what do you think about this plain Jane makeover? Shocker, right? I’m super happy with the results and love how versatile this finish is. I can see this metallic beauty used in many different design styles.

Farmhouse Glam, Modern, Fleamarket Decor, etc. Don’t you just love this look?

You can see more of my metallic-painted furniture projects below. And as always, I would love to get your feedback and thoughts on the metallic finishes. Drop me a comment below, or just let me know you’ve stopped by.

Until the next project… xo, Do



  1. It is absolutely beautiful! I am in love with metallics, always have been! And yes, I would use metallics on any piece of furniture. Thank you for your lovely and informative videos.

  2. oh nooooo I painted a dresser drawer (just one) with copper, my first time. But I didn’t realize I needed a base coat!!!!! I like the color but you can see the wood grain in the drawer. It is a VERY old piece so should I go back and paint over the copper with a similar color then re-apply? I was not going to patina the copper because I really want that color but I was going to go over the copper with a brown wax to make it a little richer. HELP ME! I see no pics of this certain technique as I knew I probably wouldn’t because I tend to be outside the box.

    1. Hi, Terri.

      It will need a base coat of a similar color to get the look you are wanting. Sorry. Just let the paint dry well, give it a good sanding and start over. Live and learn. That’s the way it is with me too. Good luck and blessing to you.

      ps… outside of the box is a good place to be.

      xo, Do

    1. Hi Sharon, Thanks! I do not. Metallic paint is usually acrylic-based. And here’s a tip for you… always brush it in the same direction when applying. I can get streaky. πŸ™‚ xo

    1. Hi Tinker,
      I did not use a topcoat on the metallics and it has held up very well. But I didn’t use the metallic paint of the top. I don’t believe you need a top coat however I would be inclined to if applying to a high traffic area. Hope this helps.

      πŸ™‚ Do

    1. Hi Kristin,
      I did not. It may appear as I did, but I think it’s because of the depth of the details in the moldings. It really is a beautiful finish. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Yes, I would. I always scuff sand before painting any piece of furniture and especially if you’re using metallic paints. Don’t forget the primer/stain blocker too. You will want a smooth surface for the best results. I hope this helps, and good luck with your project. πŸ™‚

  3. I am thinking of trying this on a poster bed but it has a lot of bevels on it,,would you have any tips on how i could go in a straight line if there round ,yikes, or have you tryed this on any other project,, by the way WOW, awesome job,thanks julie.

    1. Hi Julie,

      Of course, you can’t always paint in a straight line when you have details. Those areas are fine. It’s the larger smooth areas that you’ll need to concentrate on painting in a straight line. Does this help?

    1. You absolutely can! I love using a paintbrush. The best finish, of course, would be to spray metallic paint, in my honest opinion. πŸ™‚

  4. I haven’t used metallic paint yet. After seeing how beautiful your project turned out, I’m ordering them now!!

    1. Hi Clorinda,
      I did not. It isn’t necessary with their metallic paint. But you can add a water-based top coat for extra protection if what you’re painting will get high traffic. Gator Hide works well.

  5. I love this piece. It is stunning. If I tried to do this to a dining table would you recommend the gator hide as the top coat to protect? I would love if my table turned out this amazing!!

    1. Hi Tracy,

      Yes, if you’re using metallic paint on a tabletop, you will need extra protection, Gator Hide is a great option. Have an amazing day! xo, πŸ™‚

  6. I like the bureau but I don’t care for the brown top. I am planning on painting some brown furniture silver metallic. I am having a hard time getting paints. I couldn’t even get a white semi gloss paint at Walmart! I don’t know if it’s the supply problem or everybody is starting their Spring re-dos & buying paint! Just have to wait. Ace hdwe. is near me but their prices are insane!

    1. Hi Loretta,
      The best metallic paint I have found is modern masters. There’s a link under the supplies list in this blog post. I’ve also found it on Amazon.

  7. Hey Donna – Did you sand the piece first, then apply a base coat and then the metallic paint? It’s not clear from your post. I think you may have mentioned sanding after the base/primer coat? Also, how would you recommend getting into small areas in the wood that are carved with floral shapes. I’m going to be painting a French country armoire silver and it has some decorative carving on the top and bottom. Thanks!

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