Unique Ideas for Painting Furniture


Painting your furniture helps you turn some utilitarian pieces into something more. From the old dresser that you found at a flea market to the coffee table that needs something to revitalize it, painting your furniture gives you quite a few decorative options. Tailoring these ideas to your furniture pieces helps you to create some one-of-a-kind pieces that look just right in your home.


  • Stenciling offers you a simple method of creating a pattern on your painted furniture. The choice of stencil types is broad, ranging from images of Americana to the fleur-de-lis. Prep your furniture by giving it a base coat of paint, and then allow the paint to dry according to the instructions on the can. Tape some stencil patterns onto the piece of furniture; if you use architect's tape, it won't pull the new paint up. Dab the stencil paint into the pattern using a round brush, and check that the brush is a bit dry. Add paint colors in layers.

Character Furniture

  • The wooden chairs you found at the secondhand store can become actual characters around your dining table if you create some character chairs. To create this whimsical design, look for wooden chairs that have solid backs; avoid the kind that have slat backs. Draw the face and upper body of your character on the chair back, and do this on the side of the chair back that's facing the seat. Draw the lap and legs on the seat of the chair, and color your character using bright acrylic paints. Paint a whole set of character chairs so your dining room looks as if there's someone sitting in the chairs all the time.


  • Choosing two colors for your painted furniture instead of one allows you to add a bit of visual interest without requiring you to paint anything too complicated. To make the most of this type of paint job, choose two colors that contrast each other, such as mint green and pink. Using a coffee table as an example, paint the top of the table pink, and add a green coat of paint to the legs. For a subtler version of this painting technique, choose colors that are in the same color family, such as brown and beige.

Art and Design

  • Your wooden dresser or desk can become the canvas on which you paint your art and design ideas. You can use this technique to add any number of decorative elements to a piece of furniture, from a pastoral scene to a series of block letters. This technique requires that you do have some artistic skills so you can paint the images freehand. Choose an image that complements the decor in the room. For example, a hutch with a scene of the rolling hills of Italy works well in a Tuscan-style room. Use oil paints and artist's brushes to paint these images onto your furniture.

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