10 Best Paints for Wood in 2021

Stuart Wellbert
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Choosing the right wood paint can be quite confusing. There are so many different types of wood paint on the market, all boasting specially designed products, which make them the best type of paint for your woodwork.

Some paints claim to be better when it comes to being washable or scrubbable, others say their paint is reversible, so it’s like having two paints in one, and still others claim to be the best wood primer without needing a separate primer.

This list was created for those people who have no idea which type of paint to buy for their wood projects. It is also for those people who are sick of reading countless paint reviews online trying to figure out if they are buying the best wood paint for their needs.

There are 4 factors that I will consider when reviewing the best paint for wood in 2021:

Expense: We will compare the price.

Consistency: We will compare how easy it is to apply.

Coverage: We will compare the coverage.

Wear and Tear: We will compare the durability.

For this article, we will assume that all of the wood surfaces are in good condition and that they need a new coat of paint. We removed all of the old ladders and then sanded and prepared all of the surfaces prior to application of the paint.

NameCategoryProduct
General Finishes Water Based Milk PaintBest OverallGeneral Finishes Water Based Milk Paint
Rust-Oleum 7775830 Stops Rust Spray PaintBudget PickRust-Oleum 7775830 Stops Rust Spray Paint
Rethunk Junk by Laura Furniture & Cabinet PaintUpgrade PickRethunk Junk by Laura Furniture & Cabinet Paint

1. General Finishes Water Based Milk Paint

Our rating: 9 / 10

General Finishes Water Based Milk Paint

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Pros:

  • Looks like aged wood
  • Easy to use
  • A good value for the money (costs less than higher-end brands)

2. Minwax 785004444 Paste Finishing Wax

Our rating: 9 / 10

Minwax 785004444 Paste Finishing Wax

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Pros:

  • Simple and easy to apply
  • Budget friendly
  • Protects surface
  • Provides sheen to your finish

Minwax’s Paste Finishing Wax is a great choice for anyone who’s looking for durability and wood protection that doesn’t compromise on looks.

This finishing wax includes a rich blend of carnauba to provide a nice shiny finish that won’t fade easily. It’s also easy to apply because you don’t need to use it quite as thickly over your wood.

As promised with this finishing wax, you can rest assured that the wood finish will be protected from moisture damage, but will look great after repeated wear and tear.

3. Rethunk Junk by Laura Furniture & Cabinet Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

Rethunk Junk by Laura Furniture & Cabinet Paint

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With all the great colors, this paint by Rethunk Junk is definitely a winner! With a high rating of 4.6 stars (out of 5), this is one of the top paint products currently available on the market, and the best paint for wood.

The pale blue color of Robin’s Egg is a great base for painting furniture pieces of all kinds and a perfect match for wood tones like red oak, white pine, American Cherry, and many more. Use the satin finish for a smooth and shiny look that’s great for modern furniture.

If you want to give a chic feel to your home furniture, then this paints for wood could be the best choice for you.

4. Retique It Chalk Furniture Paint by Renaissance DIY

Our rating: 8 / 10

Retique It Chalk Furniture Paint by Renaissance DIY

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Pros:

  • Produces a smooth and glossy finish
  • Super easy to apply
  • Very easy to clean brushes
  • Suitable for all types of wood
  • Doesn’t need to be sanded or primed
  • Dries quickly

(1 Quart)

Enamels and all-in-one acrylics may offer you a large variety of colors, but they’re not as water-tight, long-lasting, or as easy to clean and maintain as oil-based paints.

Retique It Chalk Furniture Paint by Renaissance diy is an oil-based paint that dries completely and doesn’t require any sealing. It’s also VOC-compliant, and suitable for all types of wood, VOC-free, and made in the USA.

5. Rust-Oleum 302591 Chalked Spray Paint

Our rating: 8 / 10

Rust-Oleum 302591 Chalked Spray Paint

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Best chalk-like finish
  • Offers 4 levels of matte

Cons:

  • Doesn’t smell fresh
  • It’s hard to find

This spray paint is just what makes it easy to upgrade and refresh wooden furniture like toolboxes, kitchen cabinets, wood tables and more. A 12-ounce can of Linen White will cover around 10-12 square feet of your wood surfaces. The paint sprays on smoothly and evenly. There isn’t any dripping or seeping.

It’s definitely some of the most durable chalk paint available today.

Despite not being a high gloss paint, the best paints for wood 2020 should be noted that it will last for over a year before the surface requires a painted over.

6. Rust-Oleum 1976730 Painters Touch Latex

Our rating: 8 / 10

Rust-Oleum 1976730 Painters Touch Latex

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Pros:

  • Enamel paint offers excellent coverage
  • Rich, uniform color
  • Can be used inside and outside
  • Dries very fast
  • Has a good price point
  • Camouflages splotches from previous coats
  • Oil-based primer

Looking for the best paint for wood, perhaps you can look no further than Rust-Oleum. This product has been around for more than a century and has managed to innovate, deliver and outlast the many competitors it has.

The Rust-Oleum Painters Touch paints are great if you want to cover as much area as fast as possible. The good thing about this paint is that it is environmentally friendly, so it is no big deal if you use a tad bit too much.

It’s paint, so it’s naturally going to be a bit sticky, but this is as close as you can get to a zero-stick product. The cans say that a second coat is going to be dry to the touch in about a half hour! So, there’s no waiting around for this paint to dry.

7. Minwax 70012444 Wood Finish Penetrating Stain

Our rating: 8 / 10

Minwax 70012444 Wood Finish Penetrating Stain

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Pros:

  • Oil-based
  • Covers well
  • Easy to apply
  • Builds up to a beautiful finish
  • Minimizes staining of the wood
  • Has good coverage
  • Good value
  • Doesn’t crack as much as other brands

The Minwax Wood Finish is a great choice for novice woodworkers or professionals. It penetrates the wood well while bringing out the natural beauty of the wood.

Minwax promises a richer more lustrous finish with oil-based preservative. It promises to strengthen and seal and to lay down a long-lasting finish through a proprietary combination of ingredients. You can seal virtually any wood with this product. It’s an all-in-one wood finish that combines oil, spar varnish, stain, and urethane varnish to create a finish that’s resistant to water stains and mildew.

8. Miller SF1203 Wood Stain Scratch Fix Pen / Wood Repair Marker

Our rating: 8 / 10

Miller SF1203 Wood Stain Scratch Fix Pen / Wood Repair Marker

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Pros:

  • Easy To Use
  • Not Expensive

Restorer Stain Pen, 6 Ounce.

It can be a difficult task to get the right color out of a wood stain. So, it is good to have different choices to find the exact color you're looking for. The Miller SF1203 stain pen is a good option for that.

9. Rust-Oleum 7775830 Stops Rust Spray Paint

Our rating: 7 / 10

Rust-Oleum 7775830 Stops Rust Spray Paint

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Pros:

  • Can be sprayed indoors or outdoors
  • Has a Magnesium Silicate formula
  • Its Rust-Oleum Base and Polyurethane Quick Dry Resin Technology
  • Offers Good Coverage
  • Has a wide range of color choices
  • Has a 12-Ounce capacity
  • Comes with a 2-year limited warranty
  • It comes with a spray gun and a wrench
  • It has primer in it

10. FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Furniture & Craft Paint in Assorted Colors

Our rating: 7 / 10

FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Furniture & Craft Paint in Assorted Colors

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Pros:

  • Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Easy to apply
  • Non Toxic and Environmentally Friendly Paint
  • You can use them on almost all surfaces, walls, doors, furniture or cabinets

Cons:

  • It’s not available in stores and you need to buy the online.

FolkArt is the best-known consumer brand of paints for crafts. This pack with everything you need to paint your furniture. Each container is 8 oz in size and comes in a beautiful shade called Sage. Using these colors will give a very elegant look to your furniture. FolkArt paints are non-toxic, water-based, lead free, VOC-free and totally safe for working with kids. These paints are solvent free and made from water-soluble salts derived from stone. The paints are very durable and stay for a pretty long time. But even so, we recommend you to use a water-based or urethane topcoat to protect them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best paint for a wood porch?

I'd recommend using a spray paint for staining a wood porch. It's the easiest way to cover large surfaces in a short amount of time. The paint tends to stick better to wood than it does to other surfaces and it will save your knees and back, since you don't have to manually apply stain.

Spray paints will be your best bet if you have a large area to cover, such as a wood deck.

The only downside is that paint is the most expensive option.

It doesn't work great for high or low surfaces. You only have an inch of flexibility with the spray paint and your painted surface will still look and feel rough.

Which paint is best for wood?

Good question, but a hard one to answer practically. The best paint for wood depends upon both your preference and what is already on it. Remember that everything is a trade-off.

For example, do you want a clean, white, smooth glossy finish on your wood or something that is more rustic looking with variation in the surface and tone?

If you want a clean, smooth, white finish, then use an enamel paint. But, if you want variation in grain and tone, then the enamel won't be for you.

Painting wood is a fun choice with a lot of variety and much room for exception. The best thing to do is to give your local paint supplier an example of the look you are going for and they will be happy to help you find the right product.

What is the most durable paint for wood?

Long-lasting paints aren't necessarily the most expensive, nor are they the most expensive. When it comes to wood and paint, the real question is durability and this is strictly a matter of chemistry. The best paint for wood is the one which will best adhere to the type of wood it's applied to as well as the finish it's applied over. I like to think of paint as a cost per square foot, in order to best assess long term durability.

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Conclusion

If you’re looking to give your plain wooden furniture a face-lift or if you’re looking to change the color of your wooden walls after a renovation, we’ve got you covered. This article explores the best paints that you can trust not to affect the texture of your wooden furniture or walls, leaving behind an attractive finish.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
General Finishes Water Based Milk PaintBest OverallGeneral Finishes Water Based Milk Paint
Rust-Oleum 7775830 Stops Rust Spray PaintBudget PickRust-Oleum 7775830 Stops Rust Spray Paint
Rethunk Junk by Laura Furniture & Cabinet PaintUpgrade PickRethunk Junk by Laura Furniture & Cabinet Paint