How to Paint Beach Furniture Blue and White

Weather plain wood furniture with gray stain and dry-brushed paint.
Weather plain wood furniture with gray stain and dry-brushed paint. (Image: 3DMaster/iStock/Getty Images)

Give just about any room in your home a beach-inspired makeover by repainting some of the furniture. Blue and white pair to emulate water and whitecaps, clear sky and clouds to create a room that will inspire relaxation no matter what the temperature outside.

Prepping the Pieces

Thrift-store finds and slightly worn, quality wood furniture pieces are ideal for an ocean-inspired makeover -- the paint hides any flaws and completely transforms their appearances. If the furniture is neither blue nor white to begin with, sand each wood or laminate piece gently while wearing a dust mask to make the project piece more receptive to primer. Prime with a latex primer, or use a primer designed for shiny, slick surfaces if painting over laminate.

Simple Two-Tone Seaside Look

Simple coats of cobalt or navy blue and white add seaside inspiration to furniture without requiring any faux-finishing techniques or complicated processes. For a desk or chest of drawers, for example, paint the entire piece blue or white; then paint the drawer fronts in the remaining color. For another look, paint the legs and top of a table cobalt or navy blue, with the edges or side areas painted white; flip the colors if you prefer. If the piece of furniture has knobs or handles, paint those in the less-dominant shade of the blue or white used on the project piece to make the hardware stand out.

Antiqued Beach Chic

Give the furniture pieces a distressed or antiqued look while sticking with your blue and white beach-inspired color scheme by adding and removing layers of paint. Choose either the white or your favorite beachy blue paint shade as the base coat for a piece of furniture, then rub the piece with candle wax once it dries. Paint the other shade atop the wax; then sand some of the top paint layer off in areas most prone to wear, such as edges and corners. For an even more worn appearance, bang the furniture up a bit at some point in the process before you add the top paint color. Use a hammer or sturdy sack full of nuts and bolts to add dents and dings in areas of typical wear. For another look, choose plain wood furniture, then weather it with gray stain. Dip a brush into either white or blue paint, rubbing most of the paint off before applying it to the project. Dry-brush the paint over the project furniture to make it look as if it spent many years sitting near a beach where most of its paint wore away.

Stripes, Washes and Ombre Effects

To make wood furniture look a bit like portable beach furniture, paint it in blue and white stripes. Paint the entire piece white; then use painter's tape to mask off areas for the blue paint after the white has cured for several days. Remove the tape after applying the blue paint. For a water-inspired look, paint the furniture white; then mix the blue paint with clear glaze -- the more glaze used, the more translucent the look. Brush the tinted glaze over the project piece; then rub much of it away with a rag, rubbing in random directions. The end result resembles water slightly; add a small amount of yellow to the white paint or the glaze to add a slightly green tint to the end result. Turn blue and white into an ombre furniture piece by painting a cobalt blue band at one end or the top of the furniture piece. Mix white paint into the blue in a separate container and paint another band, adding successively more white in with each color band for an ombre effect. Feather the area where each band meets for a subtle gradation between colors.

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