11 Clever Ways to Paint Furniture

Paint can do wonders for blah and bland furniture. But there are more things you can do besides just slapping on a fresh color. These ideas show you how to get a little more clever with paint.

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    A Thorough Outline

    Peppy green paint was only the beginning of this gorgeous dresser makeover. Sure, the enamel semigloss gives it plenty of shine, but what really makes this makeover a winner is the detail work. To replicate the look, paint around the edges of drawer fronts and decorative details with a small paint brush dipped in white enamel paint, or use a paint pen. A steady hand is a must. But you can also use a straight edge or painter's tape to help you out. 

     

     

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    Paint Upholstery (Yes, Upholstery!)

    No joke -- you can use paint to revive tired upholstery. It takes a special kind of paint and technique, but it's easy to pull off. Watch and see how it's done.

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    Patterned Cushion

    If you just want to dip your toe into painting upholstery, give a pillow cushion a painted facelift. We gave this plain blue cushion a herringbone design in four simple steps.

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    "Dip-Dyed" Chairs

    Make chairs look up-to-date with this trendy "dip-dye" technique. It's super simple and only takes a little bit of paint. Watch and see how it's done.

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    Tabletop Treatment

    Add a little pattern to a tabletop and mimic the look of a stylish table runner in the process. Since this table had such a fab wood grain, we watered down our paint slightly so the texture and pattern of the grain would show through. Stencil on your design and when the paint is dry, sand lightly and apply a clear sealer or wax coating.

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    Partially Painted

    Who says you need to paint an entire piece? See how painting just part of this nightstand completely transformed the piece.

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    Ombre Effect

    Getting the trendy ombre look on your furniture is easier than you think. Select colors from the same paint strip and use the lightest on the top drawers, the next darkest on the middle drawers, and the darkest on the bottom drawers. 

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    Side Table Embellishment

    While this blue metal side table was a gem all on its own, a punch of pattern gives it even more presence. We used a white oil-base Sharpie marker to draw on the stylish fishnet pattern.

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    Striped Effect

    Go asymmetrical in your pattern placement for a unique twist. To paint stripes, tape off the areas you don't want painted and fill in with your desired color. (Or three colors!) For extra panache, extend the stripes from the front of the dresser to the top, too. 

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    Distress It

    Give a new piece timeworn appeal with a little distressing. This technique will help current pieces look at home in cottage, farmhouse, or country decor. 

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    Geometric Gem

    You don't need to be an expert or a full-fledged artist to give a flourish to plain pieces. Having the right tools in your back pocket will make all the difference. The key to this geometric dresser? A straight edge, pencil, and painter's tape. First, take out the drawers and prime and paint the drawer fronts. Using your tools, block off a geometric pattern. To get this tonal look, we used three shades of the same color and applied them at random to the drawer fronts. Another secret to this dresser's success? We alternated direction and flipped the pattern upside down on adjacent drawers. Once your paint is dry, reinstall the drawers and admire your handiwork. 

  • Next Slideshow Fabulous Furniture Makeovers

    Fabulous Furniture Makeovers

    Uncover the hidden charm of a cast-off piece with a bit of creative thinking and elbow grease. Check out our furniture makeover project ideas for inspiration.
    Begin Slideshow »
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