How Much Does It Cost to Paint Furniture?

Painting furniture

​The Spruce / Margot Cavin

Painting furniture is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to update an old piece. If you want to do it yourself, it costs only the price of the paint and basic painting supplies. If you want to have it done professionally, you will pay more depending on the size of the piece and the amount of detailing that needs to be covered.

DIY Painting Furniture

To paint furniture yourself, find a well-ventilated space. Depending on your level of experience, you may find that this can be easy and fun or you might realize that the money you pay for a professional to do the job is worth the investment.

First, you will need to remove old paint or finishes. This can require a heat gun, scrapers, paint stripper, and sandpaper. You will need safety equipment including thick rubber gloves, safety glasses, and a breathing respirator. For older furniture, you should use a lead paint test kit as well.

Once the surface is prepared, you will need paint, brushes, a drop cloth, and any additional finishes desired. If you already have all of the equipment and tools at hand, the job can cost only as much as the stripper and paint. But you could be looking at far more than $100 to get up to speed. If you only plan on one job, it can be just as cheap to hire a professional to do it. In addition, a professional should give you superior results compared to what you would do for your first couple of projects.

Professional Refinishing and Painting

You can find furniture refinishing professionals in your local area. The cost will depend on the size of the piece and how much work is required.

The hourly rate for furniture refinishing is in the range of $40 to $60 per hour and the time required includes the steps of stripping and cleaning the item and then applying the new finish. For metal furniture, the item is sandblasted and then powder-coated. For painting, it is more common that a flat rate is charged, depending on the item.

These are some typical flat rate prices for wooden furniture, which will vary by location and how detailed the item is:

  • Side table or nightstand: a little over $100
  • Dining room chair: $125 to $200
  • Coffee table: $150 to $200
  • 5-drawer dresser: $300 to $475
  • Dining room table: $500
  • Bookcase or armoire: $600

Painting Cabinets

If you can't afford a kitchen renovation but you want to give it an update, consider painting the cabinets. If the job seems overwhelming to do yourself, you can send the doors to a sprayer to be painted. Expect to pay about $40 a door, though it will always depend on how much detail they have and how much prep work is required. It's not cheap, but you'll get a smooth and professional-looking finish. Keep in mind that the paint will cost extra. Also, pick up some extra paint so that you can paint the cabinet frames.