March 12, 2009

Paint Something Old, Create Something Brand New or…

Filed under: Furniture, Paint — Tags: , — Leona Gaita @ 12:50 PM

Top 10 reasons you should roll up your sleeves, and paint some old dilapidated furniture.


10- The look is beautiful, versatile, original and unique.

9- You can breathe new life into something old, and save it from the land fill.

8- You can maintain a connection to the past by saving the old, instead of replacing it.

7- Used furniture stores are overflowing with inexpensive old wood furniture pieces of every size and type.

6- It’s totally customizable! You can make unmatched pieces match with a common paint color……or you can use several colors from the palette of your room and paint each of several pieces differently. For example a cluster of three small painted tables, instead of one large coffee table.

5- You can give an old piece of furniture a sleek modern update, or lend it an antiquated look, using various paint techniques.

4- It’s fun to be green by recycling old furniture, instead of buying new.

3- We’re in a recession, and it’s cheap.

2- It will make you feel good about your self.

The NUMBER ONE REASON you should paint some old furniture is:

1-It’s the weekend, and you have nothing to do!!


Some things to keep in mind:

  • Do paint an old piece of furniture. Never paint a fine antique…..know the difference!
  • Make sure to prepare the surface well . Good preparation is half the effort, and will get you the best long lasting results.
  • You can further change the appearance of a piece by changing the hardware. This is a good way to modernize an old piece, or add a bit of whimsy to the style.
  • You can choose a semi gloss paint finish for a sleek soft sheen, or you can use an eggshell paint for an almost flat finish. The shinier the finish, the sturdier.
  • It’s OK to hire your painter to paint some furniture for you. It’s still relatively inexpensive, and much easier on your manicure. I won’t tell any one!


Some fancier techniques (but still for beginners)

  • Once you’ve painted a piece, you can add a textured glaze finish. Use semi gloss paint, if you’re planning to add a glaze finish.
  • Choose a pretty wallpaper that co-ordinates with your paint color, (or matches your walls) and apply it to smooth drawer fronts of a bureau, the back panel of bookcase or a table top. You can then apply a coat or two of clear polyurethane for protection.
  • Paint two coats of a very bright color (like apple green) Once it’s thoroughly dry, add a good coat of black paint (two if necessary). Sand and distress the surface so that the bright green peaks through here and there. Finish it off with a coat of satin polyurethane.


  • Paint the drawers a contrasting color. Or the top, or both. A beige chest of drawers with light aqua drawer fronts and top is serene and classic. Trim it up with crystal knobs.


  • You can add stripes (or other imaginative motifs, like the tree design on the bureau above) by using blue painters tape to block off the background color.
  • A simple floral design can be stenciled on, using craft paints and ready made stencils
  • Be daring, you can’t do wrong!

An updated take on the Swedish style of painted furniture.

Here are some excellent books devoted to painted furniture which will offer both inspiration, and instruction:

  • Painted Furniture: Simple Techniques for Fresh NewLooks by Diane Weave
  • Painting and Decorating Furniture by Sheila McGraw
  • Painted Furniture: From Simple Scandinavian to Modern Country by Virginia Patterson


A Chinese game table , painted, which leads me to:

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