Key Differences Between Painting Walls vs Furniture

Painting walls and furniture are two important tasks for any home improvement project. While they may seem similar, there are several key differences between the two that you should consider before starting your project.

Types of Paint:

When it comes to painting walls, flat paints or semi-gloss paints are both good choices. Flat paint is the most common choice for walls as it hides imperfections better than other paints and is easy to apply. Semi-gloss paint, on the other hand, is a better option for areas with high traffic and is more durable and easier to clean.

When painting furniture, you may want to use either latex or oil-based paints. Latex paints are less expensive but typically don’t last as long as oil-based paints. Oil-based paints provide a higher quality finish and better durability, but they require more preparation and are harder to clean up.


When painting walls, you will need to clean the surface of any dust or dirt before starting. You should then use a primer to help the paint adhere better. Once the primer is dry, you can start painting.

When painting furniture, more preparation may be needed before starting. For example, if your furniture is made of metal or wood, it will need to be sanded first to help the paint adhere better. Additionally, you should use a cleaner and/or degreaser to remove any oils or dirt from the surface and use a primer before you start painting.

Number of Coats:

When it comes to painting walls, one or two coats should be sufficient in most cases. However, if the walls were previously painted with an oil-based paint, you may need to apply more than two coats for full coverage.

Furniture, on the other hand, typically requires more coats. Depending on the type of paint you use and how much coverage you need, you may need to apply three or more coats before the surface is completely covered.


The finish of your painted wall or furniture can have a big impact on how it looks when finished. For walls, you may want to use a matte finish for a more subtle look or a glossy finish for higher sheen.

When painting furniture, you may want to go with an eggshell or satin finish as they are both durable and easy to clean. You can also choose between semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes depending on the desired effect you’re trying to achieve.

Clean Up:

When painting walls, you should plan on cleaning up any mess right away before the paint dries. This can be done by using a damp cloth or sponge and some mild detergent.

When painting furniture, you will need more specialized tools for clean up. A brush specifically designed for oil-based paints, such as a chip or sash brush, can be used to clean up any excess paint. You may also need to use mineral spirits and/or denatured alcohol to completely remove all traces of paint from brushes and other surfaces.

Painting walls and furniture can both be great DIY projects when done correctly. Knowing the key differences between them can help make your project a success. Be sure to use the right type of paint for the surface you’re working with, properly prepare the surface, and use the right finish and tools for clean up. This will ensure that your walls and furniture look great when finished!


The key differences between painting walls vs furniture include types of paint used, amount of preparation needed, number of coats required, finish desired and tools used for clean up. Understanding these differences can help you make the right decisions for your project and ensure a successful outcome. With proper planning and a little bit of patience, you’ll be able to create beautiful walls and furniture that look great in your home!