Easy Way To Paint Chair Spindles When You Can't Spray

Painting wooden chairs can be time-consuming with all those spindles. The quickest way to get the job done is with a paint sprayer. BUT, if you are an apartment dweller or paint indoors then you'll love these easy tips for how to paint chair spindles when you can't spray.



An easy way to paint wooden chair spindles when you don't have access to a paint sprayer or paint indoors. Plus helpful tips, useful products, and more.

Easy Way To Paint Chair Spindles Without A Sprayer

Also included in this painting tutorial is what to do when sanding the old finish to prep for paint isn't an option. Plus, more tips for what to do when you encounter a challenging chair with peeling and scratched paint and/or a glossy finish.



I'll be demonstrating these tips with the wooden chair pictured below that has seen it's better days.



An easy way to paint wooden chair spindles when you don't have access to a paint sprayer or paint indoors. Plus helpful tips, useful products, and more.

This is the same chair after the makeover using the techniques I'll be sharing in this tutorial.



An easy way to paint wooden chair spindles when you don't have access to a paint sprayer or paint indoors. Plus helpful tips, useful products, and more.

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.



Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the painting tutorial, almost all of the DIY projects shared here at Interior Frugalista have step-by-step tutorials so why not get your budget DIY on and subscribe. You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.



Three Tips For Painting Chair Spindles Without A Paint Sprayer

It's all about using the right brush, controlling the paint, and the brush stroke direction. Say what?



Tip 1 For Painting Chair Spindles

The type of brush you use makes a BIG difference. A round synthetic paintbrush like the one pictured below is a game-changer. I'm not telling you this just to sell you paintbrushes, I am being completely honest when I say that when I switched to using this brush, it rocked my spindle painting world! The silky fine bristles glide over the spindles with uniform coverage and leave no brush strokes behind.




Tip 2 For Painting Chair Spindles

The next thing that makes all the difference when painting spindles is less is more!



Paint with thin coats of paint rather than having a lot of thick paint on the brush. How? By starting with a damp (not soaked) brush because it helps move the paint over the spindles. My secret weapon is this fine mist spray bottle.



Spraying a light mist of water on my round paintbrush before dipping it into the paint and then again before redipping the brush helps the paint go further. It helps both thin the paint and you get more coverage per brush stroke.



Also, thin coats eliminate any paint build-up in the tight ridges and believe it or not, help prevent dreaded paint drips. In the photo below you can see the chair after the first thin coat of paint.



An easy way to paint wooden chair spindles when you don't have access to a paint sprayer or paint indoors. Plus helpful tips, useful products, and more.

Tip 3 For Painting Chair Spindles

Move the brush from side-to-side rather than in up and down motions. Seriously, it makes all the difference in eliminating brush strokes plus prevents the paint from building up in the ridges.



Wooden Chair Makeover Using This Technique

Here you can see the painted chair after using the tips above. It was painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Old Violet, a pretty cornflower blue. I always lightly sand between coats with 220-grit sandpaper for a smooth finish.



An easy way to paint wooden chair spindles when you don't have access to a paint sprayer or paint indoors. Plus helpful tips, useful products, and more.

The photo below is after the chair was protected with a clear matte topcoat, which we'll discuss further down in this post.



An easy way to paint wooden chair spindles when you don't have access to a paint sprayer or paint indoors. Plus helpful tips, useful products, and more.

What To Do When Sanding Wood Furniture Indoors Isn't An Option

Many chalk paint brands say their paint doesn't require sanding but I ALWAYS err on the side of caution by going over the piece lightly with a sanding pad first. It just gives the paint that extra bite for a lasting finish.



BUT having said that there are a few situations where sanding first is not an option:

  • Possibly it could have been previously painted with lead-based paint.
  • Requires a dust-free zone when painting indoors.
  • Has a glossy, lacquered, or melamine finish.
  • Wood is mahogany or cherry and opening the pores guarantees paint bleed when painting white or a light color.


In these cases always prime the furniture first instead. I've tried several primers over the years and this is my go-to primer.

An easy way to paint wooden chair spindles when you don't have access to a paint sprayer or paint indoors. Plus helpful tips, useful products, and more.

This particular old chair was made in the former Yugoslavia. It had been painted a glossy white that was chipping in some areas. Because I had no idea whether it had been painted with lead-based paint, I was not taking the chance by sanding the chair.



An easy way to paint wooden chair spindles when you don't have access to a paint sprayer or paint indoors. Plus helpful tips, useful products, and more.

What To Do When There Is Paint Resist

It's important before you prime that you give the furniture a good clean to remove any grease, grime, and furniture wax build-up. One part vinegar to two parts water with a drop of Dawn dish soap is my most used method for cleaning furniture but Simple Green or a degreaser also works well.



But like humans, some furniture can be more stubborn than others and such was the case with this chair. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why after priming, the paint was resisting in some areas. I knew it wasn't the paint because I've used this can of Old Violet chalk paint on this Vintage Farmhouse Cupboard and Art Deco Waterfall Sideboard.



When cleaning the chair I found candle wax drips in some areas and I removed the wax with a razor blade scraper. Obviously, that wasn't enough because the ever so slight wax residue left behind caused the paint to resist in those areas.



If you ever come across this problem where paint resists in some areas, simply brush more primer over the paint and that should do the trick. It worked for my chair.



How To Protect The Paint Finish On Wooden Chairs

Kitchen chairs receive a lot of wear and tear, prone to spills, and being wiped often and so I recommend protecting the paint with a durable water-repellent top coat. Dixie Belle Paint Company's Gator Hide is my go-to clear finish for chairs, tabletops, and children's furniture. I also love the beautiful matte finish over chalk paint.



An easy way to paint wooden chair spindles when you don't have access to a paint sprayer or paint indoors. Plus helpful tips, useful products, and more.

Once the chalk paint is completely dry, apply three coats of the topcoat with about two hours between each coat. It can be brushed on with the same round paintbrush used to paint the chair or applied with a sponge applicator.



I should also mention that the topcoat should cure for at least 48-hours before using the chair.



An easy way to paint wooden chair spindles when you don't have access to a paint sprayer or paint indoors. Plus helpful tips, useful products, and more.

Thanks for stopping by the Interior Frugalista today! I hope you were inspired by these chair painting tips. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!



If you enjoyed this wooden chair painting tutorial, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your Furniture Painting Tips or Upcycled Chair Makeovers board on Pinterest.




An easy way to paint wooden chair spindles when you don't have access to a paint sprayer or paint indoors. Plus helpful tips, useful products, and more. #painttutorial #chairmakeover #woodenchair #painttips


An easy way to paint wooden chair spindles when you don't have access to a paint sprayer or paint indoors. Plus helpful tips, useful products, and more. #woodenchair #upcycledchair #chairspindles


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Comments

  1. This was very helpful. I am new at painting and found these tips great.

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    Replies
    1. So glad you found them helpful, Jackie! Have fun on your furniture painting journey. 😊

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  2. Loved reading your tips on painting spindles. Very helpful as I'm in the process of painting my stairs banisters and spindles with Frenchic chalk paint. Thank you

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Marie (great name by the way) 😉 Good luck with your stair banister & spindle painting and I'm so glad you found the tutorial helpful!

      Delete
  3. I'm painting an old rocking chair that has spindles, enjoyed the tips. I'm using benjamin moore advance paint have you used it and does the tips still apply? Also do you paint the bottom of the rails?

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  4. Absolutely! I've never used it for painting furniture because my preference is always chalk paint but the tips I share here would still apply. Yes, I always paint the underside of the rails and the chair seat for a finished look. I hope this helps!

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  5. if you dont sand, how do you get an even finish over the chipped paint areas? Also, is gatorhide suitable for an outdoor rocking chair?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elysia, well there are a couple of ways to even the chipped paint. You can get a lead test kit and if it comes back negative, then you're safe to go ahead and sand. Otherwise you could fill the grooves with a non-shrinking putty compound OR just go with the chippy paint for a more shabby chic look. As for Gator Hide being suitable for outdoors, I'm not 100% certain but after three coats it is a water-repellent clear coat. You may want to use an outdoor rated clear coat to be safe. I hope this helps!

      Delete
  6. Very helpful, never heard of Gator Hide and I've been painting a long time. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome, I hope trying this topcoat is a game changer for you!

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  7. You shared some excellent points that I need to remember when painting thrift and vintage items. You should share this on the tailwind tribe!
    RR

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  8. Glad you found the tips informative Rachelle!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you so much for the painting tips Marie. I actually have this paint color and haven't used it yet. Thank you for the inspiration! And thank you for sharing with Charming Homes and Gardens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Kim! It's such a pretty color, you'll love it.

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  10. Great tips! I wonder if this would work on metal stair rail spindles? They are twisty and we need them painted. Not sure why the previous homeowner painted them in the first place but alas, now we have to do it. Bummer.

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    Replies
    1. Dang Cindy, you definitely can't spray those without making a huge mess. A round brush would definitely do the trick for no brush strokes but what paint you use is a good question. You'll probably have to start with a metal primer. Good luck!

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing, I have a few chairs like this I've been stalling on. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome Chas, I hope this inspired you to get those chairs painted!

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  12. Great tips and tutorial. Thank you!

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  13. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
    ********************************************************

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the pin and share, Marilyn, and have a great week!

      Delete
  14. Interesting post - thank you for sharing. So you prefer the gator hide on Annie Sloan over the A.S. wax? I'm about to redo my kitchen table with some annie sloan (it currently is three colors in a sort of Scandia fashion, which I love, but have never loved the finish on it), so think I will give the Gator Hide a go.
    When (if) you want to paint over - what's the process? I know with the AS wax you can just paint right over...wondering about this.

    Thanks!!

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    Replies
    1. Annie Sloan also carries a clear lacquer that you could use over her paint. I would use wax on the base of the table ONLY and not on the top. You need something more durable to handle daily use. To answer your other question, you can paint over the lacquer or Gator Hide but I would give it a light sanding first with 150 grit sandpaper to give the paint some bite. I hope this helps!

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  15. Thank you so much for your wonderful tutorial! I'm painting a toddler chair, using chalk paint as the base. Your trips are so helpful! I know this will turn out great!

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    Replies
    1. So glad you found the tips helpful, Amy! Have fun with your toddler chair makeover.

      Delete
  16. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I'm about to start painting a rocking chair full of spindles, but it's full of varnish, even hard varnish drips, and I don't know how to deal with it before I paint. I'm afraid it's not just a cleaning with Simple Green. Any help will be more than welcome! Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. If sanding those varnish drips doesn't work then carefully try removing them with a small retractable craft knife. You definitely need to prime the chair first (scroll back through this article to the section where I recommend a primer). Wait the suggested dry time between coats of primer (you may need two) or before you apply paint. If you need additional help, don't hesitate to press the contact me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email and I'd be happy to help. Good luck with your rocking chair!

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