Painting furniture is a cost-effective way to introduce a new accent color and bring new life to outdated accent furniture.

Like an empty canvas full of potential and possibility, a fresh coat of paint on the walls can do wonders to change a space. Dare I say the same also applies to your existing furniture! In addition to interior design consultations, I offer furniture painting as a local service to my clients for their home, business or office.  I have found that simply painting one accent piece in a fun new color and accessorizing with a matching rug and vase, you can make a big impact with a small budget.

Here are a few questions you want to ask if you’re considering painting your existing furniture.

  What furniture makes a good re-painting project?

A good first project when you are considering painting furniture is to start with small accent furniture. A wooden bench, small bookshelf or side table are all ideal.

It’s important to check your piece to make sure it’s solid and not wiggly. Take time to tighten any screws and make sure the fasteners are solid.

Depending on your aesthetic, scratches and marks can give a piece fun character, so don’t shy away from a little wear and tear. However, if you prefer that perfect finish look, you will want to consider how much work is required to repair it.


What is the most popular color to paint furniture?

I am a fan of classic colors, but this isn’t about me! I tell all my interior design clients when I am doing color consultations, that if a color brings you joy, you should put it in your room. You have to do what makes you happy, it’s your space.

If you love trends, consider 2021 colors of the year. Sherwin Williams Color of the Year is called Urbane Bronze (SW7048); It’s a gray with a khaki green undertone. Pantone Color of the Year is called Illuminating (PANTONE 13-0647), a vibrant yellow that is paired with gray. The Benjamin Moore Color of the Year 2021 is called Aegean Teal (2136-40).

Look for a color that will resonate with something already in your house. If you are introducing a new accent color to your room, the key is to have at least three things with the same color. In addition to that freshly painted piece, find a coordinating pillow, artwork, rug, bench, vase or potted plant.

See Related Post: Tips on Introducing Color Into Your Home

Should I DIY this or hire it out?

If you love a good DIY project, this can be a fun process. It does take some time, so you’ll want to be sure you have a designated spot like a heated garage, which is what I used on the bench shown below. This process can take up to four days, allowing for dry-time between primer and paint coats. I like to really let it dry well to let the paint cure.


For my client projects, I prep the piece by sanding and priming. You want to get the shine off it. I use at least two coats of paint.  I enjoy using cottage paints along with a gel stain to give more dimension. The more layers you add,  the more interesting it becomes. Wherever you choose to buy the paint, it’s good to ask what type and brand of paint they recommend for your specific project.

After the paint has cured, you can also sand corners or lightly distress it with a hammer to make marks.   I also replace the hardware on drawers or cabinets to update the look. (Make sure you are also looking at the other metal finishes in your space to coordinate.) Every step you do makes it that much more beautiful.

One of my repeat clients recently called me to inquire about an old bench (pictured above), that she had recently inherited from her grandma’s estate wondering what we could do to make it look better and fit in her foyer.  I noticed she already had a red side table in the room that she really liked, so we worked to match that, and brought in the red from her area rug.  She already had other red accents in place to tie in with the red side table.  I added a bit of gel stain to give it more character.  She loved the end result.  Hay!

I do find that most people hire me because they don’t know what they want or where to start, they don’t want to spend the time looking for the ideal paint color or they readily admit design is not their area of expertise. Everybody is different.

Be Inspired.

I have a saying in my office that I love, “Be Bold, Brave & Brilliant!” It inspires me and makes me smile. I think the same feeling applies to color. Just remember you don’t need to get permission from anybody to do things you really enjoy.  You don’t have to play it safe. You should get a spark or smile when a color speaks to you, or it might evoke in you a nice memory. When it comes to your personal space there is no right or wrong.

I hope this inspires you to look at your old furniture with potential and possibility, and these tips help give you the joy of owning furniture that is one-of-a-kind!

If you’re ready to begin or would like a color-consultation, click here to contact me.