February 2013

The other day I did something I do a lot and that is to drag home a cool old piece of furniture from a thrift store with every intention of giving it a fresh new look with paint. It’s one of my favorite things to do!

As you know, just about anything can be refurbished with paint to suit your style, how fantastic is this bright turquoise hall tree? 

painted coat rack bhg


Painting furniture is a quick and easy weekend project that will bring a fresh dose of color to your home with just a few hours of work.  A smaller piece of furniture like this bar cart can even be spray painted in a jiffy if you give it a coat of primer first. 


yellow painted barcart bhg


Larger pieces like this cabinet and hutch are more difficult to spray paint, so in those circumstances I typically use a good quality brush for a smooth and even finish. 


gray painted hutch bhg


You can paint your pieces one uniform color or opt for a more creative combination – at two color paint job pulls together separate pieces in a bathroom space but still distinguishes them as their own unique elements. 

combined desk and hutch bhg


If plans to paint are in your near future, here are the supplies you’ll need:  tarp, sanding wedge, wood filler (for dents or holes); adhesion primer; foam roller, high quality angled paintbrush; water based enamel paint.  Optional protective coat: polycrylic or clear furniture wax. 

The basic steps for painting wood furniture are these:

1)  Repair any holes or dents with sandable wood filler.  If you’ve opted for new knobs, often they will fit right in the old holes, but many modern pulls are sized differently than the old hardware and wood filler is also your best bet for starting over with new hardware. Once it’s dry sand it smooth before proceeding.

2)  Prime with a high adhesion bonding primer, you can find them in brush on or spray on formulas made by Zinsser (my personal favorite), Kilz, or specialty paint companies. 

3) Once you’re primer is fully dry, sand away any drips or residue and wipe your piece down with a soft cloth. Apply two thin coasts of water based enamel paint – use a foam roller for quick application and follow it up with a high quality angled paintbrush for angles, trim, or hard to reach spots.  Note with darker colors you may need three coats, but the thinner the better to avoid drips and brush strokes. Allow 6 to 8 hours for your paint to dry between coats.

4)  With enamel paints it’s not always necessary to use a protectant as the enamel paint has a harder finish compared to ordinary latex paints. However, for a high use surface like a coffee table or desk, an extra coat of protection will help protect the paint.  If you opt for a protective coat, use a water based polycrylic in satin or gloss – do not use an oil based polyurethane, it will amber or yellow over time.  An alternative that results in a hand rubbed matte finish is clear furniture wax buffed to a soft glow

For greater detail, and images to accompany refer to this article on how to paint furniture!

If you seek a more distressed look, with the original wood peeking through underneath, you can follow the basic steps I mentioned last week for distressing furniture with water based paints, or consider a product I’ve worked with several times and that is Annie Sloan Chalk paint, not to be confused with chalkboard paint.

Chalk paint is a special formula designed to give you a European style distressed look without priming. The formula is water based and easy to use.  Specialty chalk paint or milk paints will give you a lovely distressed finish when you lightly sand away the thin layers revealing parts of the wood underneath. 

distressed armoire bhg


Have you repainted anything special for your home lately?  Feel free to link to your project, and happy refurbishing to those with plans to paint in the near future!



Perhaps you’ve heard that the color Emerald was announced in December by Pantone as the Color of the Year for 2013 and it has taken the fashion and interior design world by storm.  Green has been lingering in the shadows for a while and this year is its turn in the limelight with vivid emerald at the forefront. 

Emerald is a rich, bold jewel tone that is beautiful as an accent nestled among neutrals and also as a complement to other jewel tones. All shades of green are reminiscent of nature and harmony, so I rounded up a few ideas for using green in your home in large and small doses.

Softer shades of green like celadon and sage are always soothing. In this coastal inspired kitchen, sea green is used on both the backsplash and kitchen island to create an inviting cottage feel.


seaside green kitchen backsplash and paint bhg


A deeper shade of olive brings sophistication to a kitchen finished in a glass brick pattern backsplash, playing off the foliage seen observed outside the window.


olive green tile bhg


In the bedroom, a punch of shamrock green is introduced with tailored upholstered headboards and bed skirts, while fern green duvet and shams brightens an otherwise neutral space below.


shamrock green headboards bhg


green bedding bhg


Paint is an easy way to bring a dose of green into your home – a fresh lime green painted dresser will perk up any bedroom.  


lime green dresser bhg


Consider painting mismatched chairs in a distressed apple green finish for a French farmhouse inspired dining space. 


painted green chairs bhg


Mint is another color that showing signs of popularity this spring among the design community and it’s a perfect choice for vintage style chairs layered on a fun striped rug.


mint green chairs and rug bhg


For an unexpected twist on a traditional hallway, paint your gallery of frames a vivid Kelly green and finish off the staircase with a painted runner to match. 


green frames in hall bhg


Chartreuse is a sunny shade with the obvious presence of yellow in the mix and looks fresh in a white bathroom paired with a colorful shower curtain to complement.


floral shower curtain and green paint bhg


Whether it’s tile, paint, textiles, or accessories you choose, incorporating shades of green into your home’s decor is sure to brighten and invigorate any space. 


green ottomans and baskets bhg

green throw pillows bhg


What is your favorite shade of green and how have you used it in your home?



© Copyright , Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy Data Policy Terms of Service AdChoices