14 Ideas for Painting Furniture

Updated: Jan. 05, 2024

Are you tired of some of your old furniture pieces? It's easy to give them new life with paint. Check out these creative yet simple ideas for painting furniture.

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What is the Most Popular Color for Painted Furniture?

Shades of white or off-white continue to be the most popular for painted furniture, because of their overall versatility. Mixing other colors with white creates soft hues, and white paint is widely used in two-toned painted furniture. If you stick to the same shade of white for all of your painted furniture pieces, touch-ups are easy and invisible.

Do you think that white is the only color for ceilings? Think again! Here’s why.

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stripping paint
Family Handyman

Remove Old Paint and Start Fresh

You can make old, painted furniture look new in just one weekend. Strip off all of the layers of old paint and apply a couple of new coats with a brush or cans of spray paint. Before you send your old furniture to the landfill, check out these inspiring upcycling furniture ideas for cabinets, chairs, sofas, and more!

Learn more about removing paint from wood in this video.

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artistic painting furniture
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Freehand Painted Designs

Do you love to draw and paint? Why not apply your artistic talent to your furniture? Paint whatever your heart desires on your furniture piece, and protect it with a coat of Mod Podge.

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painted chair
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Bring New Life to an Old Chair

Don’t donate your old chairs just yet! A fresh coat of paint may be all your chairs need to look new again. Painting an old wooden chair is pretty easy if you take the time to properly prep your chair before painting. And if the chair has a fabric seat that’s seen better days, you can always reupholster it.

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children's room colorful painted dresser
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Paint Each Drawer a Different Color

Do you love color? Why not pick a bunch of colors you love for your next painted furniture project? This is a fun, lighthearted look and works well in children’s bedrooms, playrooms and mudrooms.

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monochromatic room color design bedroom
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Paint Furniture to Match Your Room Decor

Do you enjoy a monochromatic look? Try painting some of your furniture pieces and your walls in a matching shade. One-color spaces are an instant statement.

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Style with Stencils

If you have a favorite piece of furniture that you’d like to freshen up, try stenciling. A small design can have big impact, making a tired piece of furniture look new again. If you’d like to add a stenciled pattern to a wall, you’ll find complete instructions here.

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paint second layer on chair and remove some to reveal aged look
Family Handyman

Paint Furniture in the Farmhouse Style

If the finish or color of a piece of furniture is dated, it’s time for paint to come to the rescue! If you’re all about farmhouse style, you’ll love an upgraded “lived in and loved” look with layers of patina and gray-toned white paint.

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Peopl renovating the house

What is the Best Paint to Use on Wooden Furniture?

For wood furniture, it’s best to use a satin or semigloss finish in either acrylic latex or oil-based paint. Acrylic latex paint is most popular because it goes on easily, covers well and it doesn’t have the odor and slow drying time of an oil-based paint.

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paint furniture chair
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Get an Exact Match

Paint retailers can mix paint in any imaginable color. Choose a fabric, carpet, wallpaper or piece of art, and take it with you to the paint store. Ask to have your paint mixed to match your chosen color.

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painting cabinet drawer fronts
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Repaint Just the Drawer Fronts

If you want to upgrade a dresser without spending a lot of money or time, paint the drawer fronts. If possible, remove the fronts from the drawers and take off any knobs or pulls. Put the drawer fronts on sawhorses or a paper-covered table for easy painting. Consider replacing the knobs or pulls to further revive the look of the dresser.

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picnic table
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Paint Furniture to Make it Last Outdoors

This year, consider giving your outdoor furniture a fresh look with paint. Take a good look at your furniture and decide if painting is worth it. You can certainly fix a wobbly chair or repair scratches and dents, but don’t bother painting a piece of furniture that is falling apart.

If you decide to paint your outdoor furniture, choose exterior acrylic latex. Keep in mind that there are real quality differences among acrylic paints. Avoid the cheap stuff. You’re putting a lot of work into this. Go ahead and spend an extra $10 to $20 on paint that will look better and last longer. Don’t know what to do without your old worn-out furniture? Here are a few ways to get rid of old furniture.

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spray paint chair

Create a Statement Piece

With a fresh coat of bright, bold paint, a humble piece of wood furniture can become a standout. Yellows, reds and pinks will pop against gray, black and white interiors and also in outdoor environments against all that natural greenery.

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spray paint furniture
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Spray Paint Almost Anything

Spray paint is an easy way to upgrade furniture without spending much money or time. With proper surface preparation, you can apply a first-rate painted finish yourself. Here are our 12 tips for perfect spray paint every time.