Automotive Spray Paint for Fixtures & Furniture

Using automotive spray paints for transforming fixtures & furniture {Paint It Monday} The Creativity Exchange



This week, I wanted to kick off the new weekly feature by telling you about my new vice; automotive spray paint. Yes, I know you’re probably think that I’ve been sniffing too much spray paint on this one but stick with me and let me explain why…

First of all, there are professional automative paints that are sprayed on with a high powered professional gun and sprayed by professionals (as it should be).  However, Dupli-Color automotive paints makes a “touch up” type automotive spray paint for non professionals (us) that is sold in any auto parts store that is off the charts amazing! Imagine the rich and fabulous high gloss paint finish on a car in a spray can for us to use for our projects:

These pendant lights featured on Remodelista were made from recycled old fire extinguishers that were spray painted with high gloss automotive paints:


Source: Remodelista

Source: Remodelista


Source: Remodelista

Source: Remodelista


The finish on this art piece by Oh, Seaung- Youl was featured by One and J gallery in Korea and was done with automotive paints over fiberglass:

Source: One and J

Source: One and J


The reason I stumbled across Dupli-Color paints is because for months now, I have been in search of a more realistic chrome spray paint.  It just doesn’t exist with our typical household spray paints.  Nothing is even close to the real finish of a chrome.  However, after researching online, I discovered this whole underground world of people using automotive spray paints to transform furniture, fixtures and home decor:

Source: Mondubershop

Source: Mondubershop


 The DIY Network recently featured this gorgeous dresser that was transformed with automotive spray paint in silver with metallic flakes:


Source: DIY Network

Source: DIY Network


Little Green Notebook recently featured a fabulous home tour of a reader and this media console was painted by the reader (Callie) and her father in black automotive paint:


Source: Little Green Notebook

Source: Little Green Notebook


For my office/craft room revamp, I sprayed my old boring desk accessories with Dupli-Color metallic spray in chrome (they were cheap plastic when I started):

Old desk accessories revamped with automotive spray paint in chrome {Paint It Monday} The Creativity Exchange


Revamp old desk accessories with metallic automotive spray paint {Paint It Monday} The Creativity Exchange


In my research, I came across so many amazing home revamp projects that people have used automotive spray paints for furniture, fixtures and everything you can think of.    I also found several projects where people had their cabinets professionally “lacquered” with automotive paints.  Wow!  Talk about industrial strength!

The interior design firm of Vanillawood recently posted this kitchen that the cabinets were painted in automotive paints for a high gloss awesome white lacquer look:

Source: Vanillawood Design

Source: Vanillawood Design


It makes sense to take a closer look at using these paints if you’re looking for a super high gloss lacquer finish or to replicate a metal finish for fixtures or hardware because these paints are a lot closer to true metal finishes than traditional home spray paints:


Dupli-Color automotive spray paints have the best metallic finish out there. You can buy the spray paints at an auto parts store {Paint It Monday} The Creativity Exchange


I was unable to find a color chart for the Dupli-Color spray paints but they have a large selection of gorgeous neutrals, brights and every metallic finish you can imagine.  Again, you can check out these paints in any auto parts store.  However,  I do highly recommend picking up a mask for spraying these paints and they have the right kind of masks right next to the paints.  You use the spray paints just like you would traditional spray paints.

I also came across several furniture revamp projects where people dropped off furniture pieces at a local professional automotive painter and had them spray them with the even higher gloss professional paints.  Can you imagine an old beat up dresser or desk sprayed in this way with a bright color or a neutral high gloss.  Wow!  I can only imagine the possibilities.

So what do you guys think?  I’m not ready to have this done on my cabinets but I can see having this done on a chair, old dresser or I really love the look of the pendant lights!  I’m curious to see what you guys think!

Thanks for hanging out with me today!



This entry was posted in DIY, Paint Techniques, Spray Paint and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to Automotive Spray Paint for Fixtures & Furniture

  1. Oh I so need to go look and check these out. What a fabulous idea, thanks for the info. Hugs, Marty

  2. Shut. UP! This is just waayyyy too cool, and I can’t believe I haven’t heard of this buried treasure before! Very timely, as I just saw a super cute fridge redo in a retro color. Our fridge in the garage needs a facelift, and I’m thinking automotive paint might be something to consider! Great post!

    • Cyndy says:

      Oh yes Jenny, spray that fridge with auto paint! There is a special spray primer for the base coat too sold by Dupli-Color (I should have mentioned that)

      If you search automotive spray paint on Pinterest, there are all kinds of appliance projects that have been sprayed and they look awesome! Fantastic finish. Would love to know if you do it! Thanks girl!

  3. Lisa says:

    I was at a flea market and a gentleman had cases of this and I have been doing some furniture with the champagne nuveaux and I thought that the auto spray paint would be a good idea on furniture. I will definitely have to try this technique now! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Cyndy says:

      Oh I LOVE Champagne Nouveaux! I’m obsessed with using it as a glaze over a wet solid color like white or black. I just spray it on my fingers or a foam brush and lightly wipe it. It has the prettiest subtle metallic and finish. Glad to see someone else is loving the color too!

      Thanks for stopping by Lisa!

  4. ann says:

    absolutely fascinating—-great post and photos

  5. Linda says:

    I am fortunate to have a Kitchen Aid mixer with metal, not plastic gears – but it was in their boring beige. About five years ago I had an automotive spray paint place spray it bright red. It was amazing. Now I’m thinking of having it redone in turquoise.

    • Cyndy says:

      What a great idea Linda! So smart! Dupli-Color has a gorgeous turquoise color but it is an engine spray paint. I don’t see why that wouldn’t work if you also used the engine primer? I would LOVE for you to send me a picture if you spray it or have it done!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  6. Karina says:

    My mind is whirling with ideas. Why didn’t I think of this??? I would totally do the kitchen cabinets. It would make cleanup a breeze. What kind of prep do you have to do before using this paint?

    • Cyndy says:

      If you love the high gloss lacquer, then this is for sure something to take a closer look at! I do know that they also have all of the special primers needed for this paint but you could look into having them professionally sprayed too! I would love to see pictures if you ever decide to do it Karina!!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  7. Carine says:

    I have some milk crates I have been dying to paint, but was not just too sure about traditional spray paint, I felt it would not give the crates the pop I wanted. I think I have found the perfect solution: automotive spray paint!!!

    • Cyndy says:

      Yes, that would be a great idea Carine and they also sell spray primers/etching for both plastic and metal to prep for the auto paint. Please send me pictures if you decide to give it a try! Sounds like it would be so fabulous!

  8. Ruth says:

    Great article and pictures! I can’t wait to try this! Do you have any suggestions for rustic pine tables? I have these fabulous tables in my living room but they don’t seem to go with my furniture. My couches are “greige” color with expresso wood bottoms. The wood tables seem to be too orange -y. Any suggestions?

  9. Mary Ruth says:

    Love this idea for the chrome and for Holiday (Xmas) decor options! Thanks for posting this!!! 🙂 a happy reader!

  10. Laura Strack says:

    Very cool. We were just considering hiring an automotive paint and body shop to paint our outdoor wrought iron lawn furniture so that the paint would hold up better to the weather elements. The extreme temps, here in Texas, can really do a number on everything we own that’s placed outdoors. I will have to try some automotive paint on one of our lawn chairs to see how it holds up. This might save me a ton of money! Thank you!!

    • Cyndy says:

      Yes Laura, I had also read that a lot of people have had their metal outdoor furniture sprayed with auto paint done and that the finish is perfect and holds up year after year (makes sense). I live in Texas too and was thinking the same thing. My chairs only last about a year! I would love to know if you decide to have it done. I may have it done myself!

      Thanks for stopping by~

  11. Mary Ruth says:

    About exterior furniture, in Florida here, what is popular is the powder coating.. they coat with special powder (sprayed on) then put in oven for a short time to turn powder into a protective coating. I have seen it done in gray and it has flexed in a few different shades. The supermarkets are using it to recoat the carts. Our salty air (near the Atlantic Ocean) gives finishes a hard time.

  12. Ruth Vallejos says:

    Very cool! And shiny, too!

    As an architect, I’ve had contractors send old painted items (like toilet partitions) to automotive shops to spruce them up. While not as good as powder coating, it sure makes things look a whole lot better, and fast!

    Plus – some of the best automotive spray booths are like gleaming temples. I toured the Lamborghini factory in Italy, and it was white and clean, with state of the art ventilation and not a spec of dust – anywhere.

    Which leads me to my problem with spray painting: If I open the garage door to increase ventilation, I get these prevailing winds blowing leaf litter everywhere. If I keep it closed, all these dust motes start flying from the ceiling. On cue. En masse! Oh, well – perfection is not the goal, I suppose. I just want the shiny surface. SHINY!

    • Mary Ruth says:

      If you spray paint with your garage doors open (here in Florida they sell screen doors that are installed in front of the garage, like a screened in room wall placed where the large opening is on the garage. And that keeps large debris out (and large insects) when working in the garage.

      Also, places where they have a spray booth to paint cabinetry, they have filter walls to catch the over spray since they use a ‘fine mist’ type of application and also must wear appropriate masks, so caution is necessary when spraying indoors.

      For SMALL items, you can use a large cardboard enclosure on all sides (top, bottom, back side walls) leaving the front open. Staple quilt batting type material or filters on all sides that will catch over spray. This will greatly stop most of the mist created by spraying. Link to an example of a home-made spray booth for those who need to use it often. This example can also have the batting taped to the inside of the structure.

      I used to work with custom cabinet shops and so learned a bit about spray booths in large scale for commercial use. I really miss the convenience of walking in that spray booth (room) and seeing some of the process done (while painting was not going on of course).

      • Ruth Vallejos says:

        Mary Ruth! Thanks for the great tips. I’m jealous of your experience at a custom cabinet shop – I’ve wanted to get more knowledge of cabinet making and finishing. My few visits to cabinetry shops are just too short to let it all sink in.

        • Mary Ruth says:

          Ruth (like your name! lol) Don’t be jealous! Was a toughening experience working with MEN all the time… ! But I did find a few talented GEMS! Any questions you have, please feel free to ask! I think if you click on my name you can get access to reach me for more lengthy messages. I am retired now, so have more time than I EVER did while in the working world! You studied Architecture, I studied Interior Design! My first classes were in Boston, Ma near Boylston St! There is a school of Architecture there too.

  13. Linda Hollander says:

    OK, here is a BIGGIE query: I have the most disgusting, ugly wainscoting going down my back stairs…TWO stories, into the basement. My house (condo…1/4 of a house) is over 100 years old, in southern Maine. A dog was obviously tied up in that back stairwell and there are deep scratch marks on the wainscoting and the steps. Also, when it has been humid for several days (as it has been for this whole summer, there is even still a faint whiff of dog…competing with the musty, mildewy smell of 100 year old plaster (which will be repaired and repainted by a professional). I want to do the wainscoting and the stairs myself…something WAY cool, light and bright…my option might be THIS stuff, OR that Rustoleum cabinet paint that is all over the Internet. What is your opinion? All of the bloggers I read seem to have modern houses (if quirky), and I feel so alone in my neediness!

    • Cyndy says:

      That’s a tough question Linda. My first instinct was to use a lacquer because there are additives that you can pour into the paint to eliminate mildew and you can also add Penetrol, which is a self-leveling that would eliminate brush strokes but you would still would get that hard industrial coating. With such a big area, I’m not sure you would have as much control with an automotive paint. However, it doesn’t hurt to call your local auto paint shop and run this by them. They may be able to come out and spray it for you, which would be awesome!

      Good luck Linda! I would love to know what you decide to do and how you did it!

  14. Veronica says:

    I primed and spray painted bowling balls for gazing balls. I think I’ll get more and better shine with auto paint. Thx for the info!

  15. Helen says:

    I was so happy to see this post. I am 71 years old. When I was a child my dad worked at an automobile dealership. He had our tap shoes painted by their paint and body shop. He also has painted a wall of our playroom with chalkboard paint. He was definitely a man ahead of his time!

    • Cyndy says:

      Yes, your Dad was absolutely ahead of his time! How amazing is that he did that for you! I bet your shoes were the shiniest shoes in town! Thank you so much for your note Helen!

  16. Christal R says:

    Awesome post! Thanks for the info. Can you tell me how to prep outdoor metal furniture for this paint? Can’t wait to try in!

    • Cyndy says:

      There are coordinating spray primers for the type of automotive spray paint that’s out there. In the section where Dupli-Color is sold, there is an area that has the spray primers that should be used with each type of paint. I do know that there is a metal etcher/primer and I think that would be ideal for metal furniture. I would love to know if you decide to give this a try! Thanks Cristal!

  17. Lesa says:

    amazing post, i’m super excited…..QUESTION: after painting furniture i.e.dresser; do you add any type of ‘topcoat’ product to seal? thank you.

    • Cyndy says:

      I think it depends on the finish that you want. If you want that super high gloss slick look like the fire extinguisher pendants, then I would use a clear high gloss top coat. However, the paint is so durable after it cures, no need to seal it. Thanks Lesa!

  18. Rita C says:

    Wow! Your little desk accessories look awesome in that paint! I love that grey desk & those pendants too. Note to self – Dupli-Color Chrome project. Thanks!

  19. Margo says:

    Thanks for the automotive paint info. I think I will try it out instead of the lacquer spray paint. Maybe be the automotive will give me a higher gloss shine. By the way, I love your mouse pad. Please tell me where you got it.
    Thanks and Have a Blessed Day.

    • Cyndy says:

      You should get an amazing higher gloss finish with auto spray! Would love for you to send me a pic of your finished project. I made the mousepad from a free monogram printable! Can you believe it? It’s so easy and I’ll be sharing the tutorial soon! Thanks for stopping by!

  20. Sheree says:

    I use auto paint remover to strip furniture it works great!

  21. Rosalie says:

    I want to paint a gold leaf mirror to look like silver or maybe pewter. Would that work?

    • Mary Ruth says:

      Is this REAL gold leaf or just painted to look gold leaf? I am asking because you might just want to tint the finish to be in the middle. The latest looks that are fascinating are both warm and cool metals. So, with that in mind, why not a silver tone added to the gold? Beautiful finishes have both silver and gold (let’s say the shadows have a gold glow to them, or antique brass look). Does that make sense?

  22. Rosalie says:

    I would like to paint it goldleaf mirror In order for it to look more like silver or pewter. Would automotive paint work for this?

  23. Annie Wakeham says:

    I have loved reading about the automotive paints I do a lot of spray painting for objects in the garden I will now be trying out these paints thank you

  24. Ali says:

    I used dupli color chrome automotive paint on some bamboo furniture. Lightly sanded first. 24 hours later I’m still coming away with a powdery residue when I touch the finish. Any thoughts?

  25. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for these ideas!

    I’m working on repainting some French Provincial / Hollywood Regency furniture and I’ve got it narrowed down to some ideas now. I know I want silver, white, and a grey. I want to do the tops now with automotive paint as I know it will last forever to the wear and tear… Now just to start sanding to get it smooth before priming! I can’t wait to get started on the headboard, the jewelry chest and the lingerie chest! Who knows, maybe the old Ikea wardrobe will be due to spruce up next!

  26. Michelle H. says:

    I’m late to this post….has anyone tried using this kind of spray paint on a front door? I’d love some advice on that…

    • Mary Elizabeth says:

      My husband spray painted a new (steel) front door this fall. As far as paint, we used Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2X Satin in Canyon Black – might have used six 12 oz cans – just be sure to have plenty on hand.
      (If I would have thought of it, I probably would have used an “automotive” paint, just for the extra durability.) However, ours is holding up perfectly, and we have had a VERY cold winter.
      We did wait at least 2 weeks from the time we painted it until we installed it, so it was able to “cure” completely, which always helps. (We were able to leave the old door in place during this time.)
      I think 2 full coats would have been enough, but there were a couple of TINY bugs (of course) & maybe a piece of lint, so we did a FULL 3rd coat – you can’t just touch up a sprayed finish.

  27. Karen says:

    I just called an auto body shop to ask them if they spray furniture- the lady asked if it was wood (it is) and she said the paint wouldn’t adhere to wood- it would flake off? Do you happen to know?

    • Cyndy says:

      Hmmm.. I wonder if its one of those things where they haven’t done it before? I told a friend here locally that I told about it and she owns a salon and had it done with all of her salon cabinets (she needed the finish extra durable). It turned out so amazing. I’m sure if they do not have the right type of primer, the paint would flake off. Not sure, if they have never done it before and just don’t know what type of primer to use to bond to both wood and the auto paint. I have been using the automotive spray paint that you can get at the auto store on chairs and a lamp and I just used regular Kilz as my primer. Never had an issue with the paint flaking. Maybe try another body shop and see if you find someone with experience spraying furniture. Hope that helps Karen! Keep me posted!

  28. Nancy says:

    I’m doing this in my master bathroom.
    I have a lot of whiite subway tile in my bathroom.
    White shower , cabinets floor with gray grout. A black counter .
    Love the look but just wanted to break up some of the white and add a little modern touch.
    Not sure how this is all going to come out but here is what I’m doing.
    Got some Silver corrugated metal in sheets.
    Made a wainscoting out of it to go around back of tub area also did a metal trim to fit around the wainscoting
    Had it painted in a shiny black car finish .
    All we have left to do is hang and see how it looks.
    All so black coated all the screws that screw in to it.
    I figured being screwed on easy to change if get tired or don’t like.
    Any thought?

  29. Elaine Tatum says:

    I am repainting medium sized childrens rocking chairs. The owner brought an anti-rust Armor paint for repainting. Is it okay to use this type paint on wooden furniture?

  30. Terry says:

    Love this idea for garden furniture! Can’t wait to try it!

  31. Nancy says:

    The old place I moved into had a shop with about a hundred cans of old quart and pint car paint. I painted the old clothes line poles with a rag and little brushes. Have used it for numerous projects. Some is separated and not usable. Used a great blue color to paint the woodwork on the kitchen window because it needed something done. When we first moved in my daughter used a cheap sponge mop and different colors of paint to finish an older plywood floor in a back room. She used it in a closet which had a cement floor. The stuff is great for a cheap quick fix. And can’t just send it to the landfill.

  32. Heulwen says:

    Hi could I use this on kitchen bar stools they are chrome with leather seats. Is it safe to use on kitchen items, eg flamnable

  33. Diane says:

    In the middle east they have been spraying furniture with car paint for years and years…they love that high gloss finish…its really durable too!

  34. Jennifer says:

    I have a bedroom set that was re-painted in white automotive paint over 20 years ago. It did hold up pretty well, but has accumulated lots of little nicks and chips on the edges over the years. I’ve been dreaming of having it re-fishished, but now wondering – how do you even get the automotive paint off? One furniture stripper told me it can’t be done and suggested painting over it.

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