Classic black. Who can resist, right!? I’ve definitely painted my fair share, and I was recently asked what is the best black paint for furniture? With so many furniture paints on the market, choosing the perfect black for a project can be confusing. When I first started out I had NO clue what brand to use – not to mention I was on a penny-pinching budget. I couldn’t afford the more costly no-prep furniture paints so I started mixing my own chalky recipes to get a nice matte look. It worked beautifully and even today, I like mixing my own custom furniture paint. Having said that, I prefer not to mix my own black because you run the risk of getting little white specks (which usually only show up after sanding) if the chalking ingredient is not 100% mixed in with the paint.
Salvaged Inspirations – Painted with Dixie Belle’s ‘Caviar’
Today, I’m sharing my go-to black paints. Along with some of my own restyles, I’ve included a few beautiful makeovers from super talented furniture painters and blogger friends. A big thanks to Marian of Miss Mustard Seed, Linda of Q is for Quandie, Mary of Orphans with Makeup, Katie of Katie&Co., Ildiko of Restored4U, and Maxine of Blue Cottage Studio. Each of their pieces have been painted in one of my favourite black paints which are in no particular order. I love all these brands. They give a unique finish, are easy to use, have great coverage, and come in a variety of price points. I hope this gives you a starting point to pick a black paint you love!
THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS USED. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
Miss Mustard Seed – Painted with ‘Typewriter’
Q is for Quandie – MMS ‘Typewriter’ (Desk) & MMS ‘Typewriter’ (Card Catalogue)
Best Black Paint for Furniture Makeovers
Fusion Mineral Paint ‘Ash’ or ‘Coal Black’
Fusion Mineral Paint requires little to no prep and is easy to apply with good adhesion. It uses natural pigments rather than synthetic which makes for great coverage – 1 or 2 coats usually does the trick. Dry and re-coat time is 4-8 hours. Once cured, it doesn’t require a topcoat. Although, for high traffic items, I recommend one. I love ‘Ash’, which is a softer smokey charcoal. If you’re looking for a dark black, ‘Coal Black, is perfect. This paint sells for $40/quart.
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint ‘Typewriter’
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint is all natural and comes in a powder that requires mixing with water. Some prep to the furniture may be required depending on the look your after. Coverage takes a few layers before it starts looking good. I usually paint 2-3 coats. Milk Paint is great for achieving chippy or distressed finishes, and creates interesting dimension with the blended pigments. This paint sells for $25/quart.
Dixie Belle’s Mineral Chalk Paint ‘Caviar’
Dixie Belle’s Caviar Black is a chalk mineral paint. It looks slightly blue in the container, but once applied, it’s a gorgeous velvety looking deep antique black. In the majority of cases, no prep is needed and the coverage is outstanding with 1-2 coats doing the trick. It dries quickly in 1-2 hours and does require a topcoat. This paint sells for $30/quart.
General Finishes ‘Lamp Black’
General Finishes Lamp Black is a deep true black. Versitile for pieces you don’t want to look quite as flat, yet you can easily achieve a matte finish if desired. It’s labeled as a milk paint, but it’s really a durable acrylic and can be sprayed beautifully. Prep and topcoat are recommended. This paint sells for around $37/quart.
Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint ‘Graphite’
Annie Sloan’s Graphite isn’t a ‘true’ black but makes for a gorgeous finish. In most cases no prep is required and 1-2 coats in this charcoal black gives a nice coverage. Dry and re-coat time is fast, usually within an hour. This chalk paint requires a topcoat and will have a beautiful depth when Black Wax is applied. This paint sells for $45/quart.
Sherwin Williams ‘Black Magic SW6991’ or ‘Iron Ore SW 7069’
Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel in Black Magic or Iron Ore are stunning. Prep is required. This paint can be used for interior or exterior projects – definitely tough enough for high traffic furniture like kitchen tables, chairs etc. It can be brushed on and I also love spraying it using my paint gun. No topcoat is required. This paint sells for $25/quart.
Orphans with Makeup – Painted with Fusion ‘Ash’
Salvaged Inspirations – General Finishes ‘Lamp Black’
Katie & Co Furniture – General Finishes ‘Lamp Black’
Restored4U – Annie Sloan ‘Graphite’
Blue Cottage Studio – General Finishes ‘Lamp Black’
Here’s a tutorial on Youtube. If you have any problems viewing it below, feel free to watch it on my Youtube Channel HERE. Our #siyoutubefamily is already a community of 22.9K so don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t done so already! So exciting, thank YOU! 🙂
I hope you enjoyed the round-up and my list of favourite black paints for painting furniture.
A HUGE thank you to all of you who completed the 2018 Salvaged Inspirations Survey. You all gave such kind and thoughtful insight and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. With all your suggestions, I’ll do my best to keep informative, fun posts coming! I have some great things lined up for you!!!
Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and congratulations to Tara Gauthier! Tara, please contact me within 48 hours to claim your $100 Amazon Gift Card!
I’D LOVE TO HEAR WHAT YOU THINK OF THESE PAINTS. IF YOU HAVE A FAVORITE BLACK PAINT YOU’D LIKE SHARE OR HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, FEEL FREE TO CHIME IN… I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!
Thanks and have an inspiring creative day my friends!
Sandra McMillan says
I’ve bought Fusions coal black & ash both in the past 2 months on both Ontario & Florida. In both instances the price was $27 (us & Cdn). I don’t know who charges $40 but they’re ripping you off.
I love Benjamin Moore advantage in Onyx. You have to wait to revolt it but it’s a flawless finish
Thanks for adding this Kathleen! I hope others will also chime in with their favorites. It will help anyone reading this post! XOXO
Lane Harkey says
I painted a claw foot dining room table and 6 chairs several years ago with AS Graphite and dark wax. It looks beautiful to this day and has held up wonderfully. It’s used everyday by the family with two boys! My niece recently asked me if I’d paint her three-piece Ikea shelving unit for her. I said I would; however, I am now 6 years older and I didn’t look forward to all that waxing. I decided to try the AS Satin in graphite in order to avoid waxing. As I painted I saw brown! I took one of the 12 shelves out to her house to compare it to the table and tada!….It matched perfectly. I love this paint. I did use a tinted primer just to cover the white and I think I avoided a third coat of paint in covering all that white. The AS satin is a little more expensive and it isn’t quite as forgiving as regular chalk paint, but on a whole? It’s a great paint.
Hi Lane! Your dining room table and ikea shelving sound gorgeous and classic, can’t go wrong with an elegant black, right?! And thanks for leaving this comment. I’m sure it will help everyone reading it!
Darla Clark says
Hi there, What kind of paint sprayer do you recommend? Thank you!
I’ve been using this Husky Paint Gun since 2013 and love it.
I love your posts, thank you! What kind of prep is needed for SW all surface enamel? Thanks!
Hi Jean! I would recommend a light sanding to give it a little tooth and knock down any shine and then a primer. SW All Surface Enamel is a great paint btw. I’ve used it on numerous projects. Super durable!
Hi Denise, How long does SW paint take to cure in a dark color like Iron Ore? I need to paint a bathroom cabinet blackish grey and I don’t want to wait a month for it to cure. I was thinking of using GF Milk paint and custom mixing and then applying a top coat. but I really like Iron Ore. I want to spray for a super smooth finish. Love caviar but can’t find anything about spraying with Dixie Belle.
Hi Kristel. It would depend on the type of SW paint you select. I believe their All Surface Enamel cures differently than Harmony etc. I would ask your SW associate when buying the paint. As for DB Caviar, I’ve sprayed with their paints many times and it sprays beautifully. Depending on your sprayer, it does require thinning.
Franny Bison says
Check out Pam Haskins with 44 marketplace, She sprays Dixie Belle and Tracey’s fancy with Dixie Belle also. I spray Dixie Belle chalk paint and it goes on amazing! Just like most all water base paints, make sure you have your paint thinned to the correct viscosity to go through your sprayer.
Beautiful pieces, a friend introduced me to Heirloom paint,she refinishes some amazing furniture with it, ive bought some sad little pieces this winter, going to make them beautiful this spring. I love your ideas,and get so many ideas from you.
How exciting! I’ll bet those sad little pieces are going to be just gorgeous and it’s such a rewarding process. Have fun Rebecca!
I too have been using Heirloom Traditions All-in-One Paint for about 5 years now to paint furniture for my antique booths. I absolutely love their paint due to no sanding (unless there is chipping paint), no priming, and no sealing. Truly All-in-One and their black, Iron Gate, is gorgeous❤️
Hello I have a wood table that I use like a business desk. I décided To rénové the old stain. But now it s difficult To find the right stain. Futhermore, the legs are on the ils stain. Is it a good idea to stain the top on black ? Maybe I can peint thé legs too with chalk paint.
I think that sounds like a fabulous idea. Black stain is quite stunning. 🙂
Kara Moeller says
Hello Denise, What kind of black paint would you recommend for a front door?
Super excited to find your site. Great information! Please advise best application product for Fusion Ash, brush, roller! Links please!
Hi Linda and WELCOME to the #siblog! 🙂 A roller or a brush will give you a really nice piant finish when using Fusion. Its a great quality paint and lays very nicely. When I paint with a roller my go-to are these foam roller…love them. As for brushes, I like using DB mini’s or these short Woosters. For long handled brushes, I use Purdy. I hope this helps. 🙂
Love the look and will be refinishing a buffet the same size as in the picture. Not sure how much paint and wax to purchase. Will a quart be enough for 2 coats and 120ml for the wax. Thanks for the inspiration
Hi Lisa! Yes, a quart and 120ml of wax will be plenty.
Linda Neese says
I am re-painting chairs that I painted black 20 years ago. Painting black again just to refresh them. I don’t have a lot of options for availability, unless i order online, for brands other than Annie Sloan or the Sherwin Williams. They chairs get used everyday, and are currently a satin finish. Which brand would you recommend and would i need to prime them if I used the Sherwin Williams paint. I’m thinking a chalk paint would not hold up?
Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel is a VERY durable paint. I’ve used it on numerous high traffic pieces and it holds up great. You could ask your local SW associate if they recommend a primer, but seeing as it’s black on black, I would just give them a light sanding to create some ‘tooth’ for the paint to adhere to and it should be good to go. 🙂
Michelle McCloskey says
Hi Denise, when you say “no prep needed” with some of the paints, do you mean no sanding is needed on finished wood?
Yes, exactly! 🙂
Michelle McCleese says
Hi! I came across your site in my search for matte black furniture paint and I love the Dixie Belle Caviar Painted dresser. My grandmother’s two counter stools have recently come into my possession and after sanding off the varnish I decided to paint them black. The concern I have is that the backs are spindles and I don’t want the paint to pool or settle. Is there a particular brush you use or is there a best way to paint them so that doesn’t happen? Thanks! Love your site, btw!
I love DB Caviar Black too Michelle and congrats on your grandmother’s counter stools – I’m sure their stunning. I JUST painted spindle chairs here, and the key is not to load your brush too much and apply the paint horizontally around the circumference instead of up and down. 🙂
Karen Heath says
I have used all of these except the Sherman Williams. I agree that they all make a lovely first ish. I also used the Velvet Finishes Black. It is almost unbelievable how good the coverage is. I was not expecting this but the color and finish are beautiful.
I love your work! What are your thoughts about using black spray paint and a poly on top to do a kitchen table? We bought a small vacation rental out of town (will be there in a little over a week) and can’t take painting supplies with us so thought spray paint might work. Would love your thoughts! Jane
Thanks Jane, and for sure! The trick with painting larger surfaces with spray paint from a can is getting an even finish. It can sometimes look streaky or orange peely if it’s sprayed too heavily or unevenly in areas… just something to keep in mind. 🙂
How did I live before I found this site?! I freakin love it! The caviar piece is gorgeous and inspiring! So much so I want to paint my kitchen island to look like this! Curious if u believe that’s possible:
my current island is off white with a glaze…factory finished on the side with the doors and oil painted and glazed on the back to match the front…so will this Dixie paint stick and how, (if it’s even possible), would I create the wood look underneath for the areas that are distressed…? I hope that makes sense. I want a black island and I love the distressed wood look of the caviar piece you did…thank u
I can’t figure out how to add photos….
Oh Dina…such a huge compliment. Thank YOU! Yes, you could definitely do a kitchen island to look like this. I don’t have any doubt that the DB paint would stick. And if you have any concerns about adhesion, Slick Stick would guarantee it!) The challenge may be getting the wood undertones before you paint. If your island is wood, you could strip the existing paint and apply gel stain.
Love this list! HOw Long Is the drying time on the Sherwin Williams black magic? TIA!
Hi Alex! 1-2 hours dry time for the SW All Surface Enamel. 🙂
Shannan Johnson says
Hey there! Fantastic article! Quick question about the Sherwin Williams all surface enamel that you said you used with your sprayer. Do you have to dilute it like you do with chalk paints or can you just shoot it straight?
It really depends on your spray gun Shannan, but yes, thinning paints with water (by about 10%) is a good idea. I always try a test spray (which is my paint room wall..hehe) before spraying my furniture.
Maxine Robertson says
Denise thank you so much for featuring my piece in your article. It is an honour to be included with such talented ladies! I love black and love General Finishes but after reading this I may just try some others, Thanks for sharing all you do – your posts are always inspiring.! I will definitely be sharing this.. And hey, up until 4 years ago I lived down your way. Love that part of Ontario!
Thank you for creating such a beauty Maxine! And I didn’t know you were from around here! MMM and I visited Barrie last summer and wow.. it’s really changed and grown. It looks like a beautiful place to live with lots to do and good eats too. 🙂
Maxine Robertson says
It would have been fantastic to see you both up here. Were you doing demo’s? Please say no because I won’t forgive myself if I missed it! Agreed, Barrie is a great place to live – lots of community spirit! . I’m enjoying it but miss the micro climate of southern Ontario.
No, demo. 🙂 MMM bought his truck at the Ford Dealer in Barrie so we decided to make a weekend of it. If I come up that way in the future, I’d love to treat you to a coffee. 🙂
Maxine Robertson says
I’d love that ! But it will be my treat.
Love the photos and info on the prep and drying times.
Hi Linda! Glad you enjoyed the round-up… and I really like these photos too.:) These ladies are super talented and their makeovers are amazing!
I love black chalk painted furniture, and these are all just amazing. I have a question about finishing–do you was the black pieces? And if so what type of wax do you use? I did a large black dresser, waxed with dark wax. About three days later it developed a white film. I’ve cleaned off the film repeatedly with mineral spirits and it keeps coming back! Any solution to this problem? Thank you!
Supposed to ask if you WAX the black pieces.
Hi Lana! Some of the waxes I’ve used are Annie Sloan’s, Dixie Belle’s, Minwax, CeCe Caldwell’s, Bluestone House, and I’m sure a few others I’m forgetting. I either wax or poly my black painted furniture depending on the piece – but I’ve never experienced my black wax leaving a white film except when I used ‘non-lint-free-cloths’ that left a residue – but that doesn’t sound like ‘film’ your talking about.
When I’ve used black chalk paint (Van Gogh) and distressed I get shiny areas around the edge where I distressed.. I’ve tried many different techniques and it still happens. I’ve done wet distressing with a damp cloth, sanding with different grades of paper, and green scrubbies either wet or dry. I’ve waited overnight to distress and tried to distress right after the paint is dry. I haven’t had this problem with light colours. Help…what am I doing wrong?
Hmmm, I don’t use Van Gogh products (although I’ve heard great reviews!) so I’m not sure. The only things that pop into my mind is if you wax before distressing, maybe the extra buffing in that area is creating more of a sheen or when you rub to distress with fine grit paper, the paint is actually getting burnished in that particular area? If anyone else has any ideas to help Karen out, please chime in!
Thank you Denise including my piece in your great article. It is a very helpful and informative write up!!
Thank you again
My pleasure… your black french provincial is gorgeous! And hey, I just realized we’re neighbors. I’m in Burlington! 🙂
I know!! 20 minutes away:) Would love to meet you:)
I’d like that too Ildiko! 🙂
Tess S. says
Denise- I had written in asking about black paints and I am so gratified that you have done an entire post on them!!! Thank you so much!! You have answered my questions beautifully and I LOVE all of the photos! I can’t wait to pick out a black paint from your list and get started!
Hi Tess!!! 🙂 My pleasure and I’m glad you’re finding this helpful. Experimenting with paints is fun so I hope you find the best black paint for your projects! xo
Liz Fox says
How do I paint the wood trim on my upholstered chair without removing or ruining the upholstery?
Hi Liz! A steady hand and pulling the upholstery back as far as possible as in this chair makeover here is really helpful.
Mary Vitullo says
Thanks for including me in this great roundup, Denise.
Thank YOU Mary, the set turned out beautiful! I hope you have a great day. 🙂
Great article! I so love black. I appreciate the comparison of the paints. I’ve tried a couple of them, but I don’t like intensive prep time and especially having to put on a topcoat. It was nice to see them in comparison all together.
Hi Dianne! Glad you like the article… and you’re not alone on the prep time thing or loving the classic black look! 🙂
Roberta Ferris says
Love black but seems no matter what topcoat I use, there are streaks. Any advice on particular topcoats that won’t do this? Have tried Fusion and it streaks as well
My favourite is GF’s Lamp Black. I repurposed an antique sideboard into a bathroom vanity (left the drawers and doors wood) and I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out. I coated the top for a water-resistant finish and I couldn’t be happier.
What a great project Donna, I LOVE sideboards repurposed into vanities! And GF’s is amazing… so durable and easy to clean so what a great choice for your bathroom!
What does GF stand for?
Hi Lisa! 🙂 My apologies… I should have written it out in full. It’s the short form for a brand name — General Finishes. They have outstanding paints, stains, and topcoats.
Linda at q is for quandie says
Thanks so much for including my pieces in your line up today Denise! Black is one of my favorite colors to work with 🙂 Thanks for sharing so much great info about it in one place.
Thank you Linda! I love your milk painted pieces. They have so much character! x