Looking for the best paint for furniture without sanding? Look no more because I’ve detailed the best furniture paints with honest reviews.
You’ve probably landed on this page because you are a new(er) furniture painter and are searching for the best furniture paint without sanding. Or maybe you’ve painted a few pieces and have found a good furniture paint but you want to make sure you’re not missing anything with another product.
Are you a little overwhelmed in today’s paint market where there are a gazillion types of paint? Not only tons of types of paint but tons of “best paint articles” by large website (not to mention any names) that have probably never painted furniture, LOL. All that to say,
You came to the right place.
How does one go about sifting through the paint aisle in search of the best product to get that beautiful furniture finish? I’m here to show you.
By the way, I’ve personally used a lot of these paint products so this is an honest review with personal experience!
Before you dive into a painting project there are a few things you need to know.
- What type of surface are you painting
- What type of finish are you wanting to achieve
- Will this piece of furniture get a lot of use
I won’t go into a tutorial of how to paint furniture without sanding because I’ve got another post dedicated for that.
In my post about how to paint furniture without sanding I made a quick list of paint products. Today I want to go into detail about those furniture paint products and explain a little more about each.
Disclosure; this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not affect the price you pay. This disclosure statement refers to the rest of the Amazon links in this post. See more on my disclosure page.
Best Furniture Paints without sanding
- Chalk paint
- Milk paint
- Mineral paints
- Some Enamel paints
- All-in-One products (paint plus primer products)
Note; just because the paint doesn’t require sanding doesn’t mean you can forgo the primer. See a list of the best primers here! Also check out why you need to use primer before painting furniture here.
For this post I’m going to break it down and give you specific furniture paint products.
Chalk paint and Chalky style paint
Chalk paint has been known over the years as the “pioneer furniture paint” and for good reason. Before chalk paint, it was nearly unheard of to paint a piece of wood without first stripping, sanding and completely refinishing it. Chalk paint changed the furniture painting game.
It was the first furniture paint I used when I painted my grandparents vintage dining room table without sanding. After that project I was hooked!
Pros: Self leveling, sticks to anything, creates a smooth matte finish, easy to use, sands and distresses easily
Cons: Requires a top coat, not the most durable paint, requires “re waxing” every year if wax was used, more expensive than other paints
As far as the best chalk paint products go, I’m only sharing two. The reason behind this is as the “painted furniture craze” seems to wean, it seems that chalk style paints seems to wean as well. I’ve already seen two chalk paint products leave the market. Also, I’ve only found two products that I would purchase time after time. Here they are…
Best Chalk Paint Products
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Annie Sloan is the pioneer of chalk paint products and it’s probably my favorite chalk paint company.
Where to buy: Annie Sloan Chalk paint can only be purchased from a stockist and won’t ever be found in a big box store. This makes finding this paint a little more difficult not to mention more expensive too. I have found an online stockist called The Purple Paint Lady who also has a ton of great chalk paint resources on her website too (like how to mix Annie Sloan paint to get a specific color).
Key Features: Easy to use, highest quality chalk paint, self leveling, 42 different colors, perfect for beginner and advanced furniture painters, very low VOC, soap and water cleanup
Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint
Rust-Oleum is my favorite “box store brand” chalk paint. It comes in a variety of colors (not as many as Annie Sloan) and they are always adding new colors too. This product also comes in the aerosol form (score!). I have used the spray chalk paint product on many furniture pieces including the bench and shelf I made for our mudroom and countless others. I even painted a bathroom wall with chalk paint.
Where to buy: You can purchase Rust-Oleum Chalked paint currently at Ace Hardware, Walmart, Lowe’s, Target, and online at Amazon.
Key Features: Matte finish, easy to use, self leveling, low odor, latex formula, soap and water cleanup, also comes in spray paint formula, affordable
Unlike Chalk paint, milk paint has been around for years. The ingredients are natural and eco friendly. As a matter of fact, some of today’s milk paint products might be similar to the ingredients found in the first paints ever used.
You can purchase milk paint in a powdered form where you have to mix it with a bonding agent or you can purchase it already pre mixed. The downside to the powdered form of milk paint is that it can be rather tricky to mix the perfect consistency. Most new furniture painters would rather buy milk paint in a ready to go can.
The good part of the powdered mix milk paint form is that you can forgo the bonding agent to create a beautiful chippy paint look.
Best Milk Paint Products
General Finishes Milk Paint
General Finishes Milk paint isn’t really a milk paint product (I thought it might be confusing to put it in another category). According to their website they decided to call it “milk paint” to give it a contemporary spin on an old fashioned furniture paints. General finishes is really just a high quality latex paint with premium ingredients.
All this to say, I do love this paint. Just know it’s very different than say, chalk paint as it brushes on much like a regular old latex paint would. If you are looking for a high quality latex like paint, this it!
Where to buy: Amazon is the only large scale store I have ever found it in. You can also purchase from small business stockists.
Key features: High quality latex paint, “high performance” and durability for higher traffic furniture, at least 33 colors, easy soap and water cleanup, self sealing so top coat not required.
I’ve personally used this paint and their top coats for a handful of projects like painting a tv stand, milk painted treasure chest and even our cheap laminate cabinets. In my opinion they have some of the best water based top coats and sealers on the market today!
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint
Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint is one of my favorites. It comes in 52 different colors that you can mix to create any color you want. It’s organic, All-natural, No VOCs, Water-Based, Child and Pet-Safe as well as Food-Contact Safe. If you plan to paint furniture around kids, I would feel safe with this product. This quick-drying chalky finish requires protection for durability just like chalk paint does.
Also, I love supporting artists and fellow bloggers. She has a wealth of furniture painting knowledge on her website.
Where to buy: You can purchase her milk paint in her Amazon shop.
Key features: 52 beautiful colors that can be mixed to create a custom color. This is an eco friendly paint and completely safe to use around the house. It has the matte finish of Chalk paint without any harmful ingredients. That being said, it does require a little work with mixing the paint with water and adding bonding agents and top coats. This also allows the painter more control of the consistency of the paint and how it will stick.
This paint is great for more seasoned furniture painters. Keep in mind that it’s not a quick, pop the top and paint kind of product.
Old Fashioned Milk Paint
Old Fashioned Milk Paint is also a powdered form of Milk paint that requires mixing with water, bonding agents and top coats. It is available in 20 deep rich colors. It is also environmentally safe and non-toxic when dry.
Key features: 20 deep rich colors that are completely environmentally safe and non-toxic. More affordable than other milk paint products. Needs to be mixed with water and other agents.
Mineral paints are a type of paint that mixes colored mineral pigments with a binder material like acrylic resin and a solvent. It’s considered environmentally friendly because it contains natural ingredients. This type of paint boasts very high adhesion and durability qualities. Most Mineral paints also say they require little to no prep and no top coat needed!
Mineral paint is a high quality paint with a similar matte like finish to milk paint or chalk paint but with more durability.
Mineral paints are still fairly new to market. To be honest, there is only one product I would recommend today…
Best Mineral paint product
Fusion Mineral Paint
Fusion Mineral Paint is a decorative furniture finishing paint formulated with a built in top coat in over 50 colors. It’s known for its matte like finish similar to chalk paint or milk paint without the mixing, priming or top coat!
It is formulated to be environmentally friendly, non-toxic, lead, ammonia and formaldehyde free, virtually odorless and with very low VOC’s.
Key features: Over 50 colors of paint. Fusion is 100% Acrylic paint and is known for its beautiful smooth, matte ready to use qualities. Similar to other furniture paints but without the need for a top coat! It also boasts easy to use, self leveling properties.
I have personally used Fusion mineral paint for a few projects. Recently, I gave a buffet a makeover with a cross hatching technique. I loved the way it turned out and this paint was so easy to use. If you are looking for a no hassle, durable, matte like furniture paint, then this is it!
Enamel paint is known as a solvent-based paint that dries to a hard, durable glass-like finish. Solvent paints are normally considered oil based, although there are some new waterbased Acrylic-Alkyd Enamel products on the market today. They are great for projects like painting laminate cabinets, trim and other pieces that get a lot of use.
As far as furniture painting goes, enamel paints are highly practical because they are good for painting surfaces that are subject to lots of use like outdoor furniture items. Applying enamel paint on wood makes the paint last longer while giving it a hard long lasting finish.
The downside is that most of these paints do come with stronger fumes (even if they are water based).
Best Enamel Paint products
INSL-X Cabinet Coat Enamel
This is a great durable satin cabinet paint that resists chipping, scuffing, food stains, and water. It creates an ultra smooth durable finish. It also has super adhesion qualities for hard-to-coat surfaces without primer. This is an acrylic hybrid enamel product that is water based.
Key features: This is a water based enamel hybrid product that boasts durable satin like finish for any surface that gets a lot of use. Great for cabinets and trim. As far as colors go, it can be tinted to almost any color and is available in white. This is a great feature if you are looking to color match a specific shade.
Side note; when I painted our laminate kitchen cabinets years ago, I used a similar water based acrylic hybrid enamel paint from Ace Hardware (it’s not on the market anymore) and had it mixed in a Benjamin Moore color. I used it in a paint sprayer and I painted cabinet bases with a paint roller. I didn’t use a primer product and it stuck really well to the laminate surface anyway. Years later (we’ve moved since then), I was still pleased with the durability and how it held up.
DecoArt Satin Enamel Paint
DecoArt makes a great enamel product that is curtailed specifically for DIY projects. Satin Enamel paints are a great kitchen and cabinet paint as well. It is a water based acrylic paint product that is not outdoor approved. It has been tested and approved for canvas, wood, MDF, metal, glass, terra cotta, furniture, glazed ceramics, pyrex, recycled glass. Unfortunately as of today it only comes in ten colors.
Key features: affordable, easy to use water based acrylic enamel paint. This paint is non toxic and water based but still gives a rock hard finish without requiring a top coat. This is a great furniture or cabinet paint. It’s also known to minimize grain raising through the wood.
I have used this enamel paint product in the past to paint a dresser without sanding. I can say first hand that it created a very durable and beautiful finish!
Benjamin Moore Advance Interior Paint
The Advance line is a waterborne alkyd enamel paint that offers a full line of durable high-end finishes ideal for doors, trim and cabinetry. It’s available in over 3500 colors and cures to a hard, furniture-quality finish. This is a water based product with oil based durability and cleans up easily with soap and water. It is on the pricier end of these paint products.
Where to buy: You can purchase this paint anywhere that sells benjamin Moore paint. Some big box stores like Ace Hardware sell it. You probably want to purchase this paint in person so you can have it tinted on site.
Key features: exceptional durability in a water based formula. Choose between 3500 colors! This product is great for cabinets, trim and doors.
I have used this paint when I gave our TV stand a moody eclectic makeover (for the third time, LOL). The paint has held up well going on 2 years since I painted it.
The all-in-one paints have become really popular over the past few years. Afterall, if you can forgo a few steps while refinishing furniture why wouldn’t you? That being said, are these paints adequate enough without a primer or a top coat? I’m still on the fence about this.
Best All-in-One paint products
Beyond Paint products are formulated for Cabinets, Furniture, Countertops, Vanities, Doors, Accessories and lots more. This paint product boasts no stripping, no sanding and no priming needed and it cures to a rock hard finish. It’s only available in 13 colors currenlty.
It is a water based product that includes their new “Nano Technology.” This means it has 3-4 times the amount of paint particles and produces more durability and better coverage than regular paint. It’s also supposed to adhere to virtually any surface from plastic, to wood to pre painted surfaces.
Key features: Durable paint that doesn’t require stripping, sanding or priming. No top coat needed either! Includes nano technology with 3-4 times the amount of paint particles which means better coverage and less coats needed. It has very good adhesion qualities.
I’ve never personally used this paint but it gets really good reviews on Amazon.
Heirloom Traditions All-In-One Paint
Heirloom Traditions is one of the leading All-In-One paint products on the market today. Their motto is “Just clean and paint.” This paint can be used inside as well as outside! It’s ideal for hard wearing surfaces like cabinets, table tops, front doors and more due to built in exterior grade topcoat. It comes in 30 different colors.
Key features: This paint is durable and formulated for inside and outside projects. No need for stripping, sanding, primer or top coat! Available in 30 beautiful colors.
I’ve used this product multiple times and it is as easy as “just clean and paint.”
You can see how I transformed a dark dated bedroom set here with an honest review on the Heirloom Traditions All-In-One paint.
Have I covered everything? Wow this might be the longest post I’ve ever written. I will continue to update this post as new paints come to the market (and unfortunately leave too).
I’m always in the market for trying new paints. Have I missed a favorite paint of yours? If so, let me know. As always, thanks for following along friends.