Design 411 – This Week’s Tip: Paint an Old Piece of Furniture in a Fun Color and Give it New Life!

May 20, 2014

Last week I talked about painting your trim a different color than white to change the look of a room.  Another way to make a room look fresh and updated is to take an old piece of furniture that you already have or you found at a thrift store or flea market, and give it a couple of coats of spray paint.  It can be in a fun bright color; it can be white or black; or even a metallic.

Painted Chair DIY: This is a cute idea for a kid’s room, especially for a rocking chair.  Find an old one in a thrift store and re-purpose it.  Sand it first and then spray paint it.  Tape off and cover with plastic or paper, everything but the section you are spraying the color on.  I think it would be so cute in white, with whatever other colors you are using in the room.  I love it!

Painted Chair DIY

These chairs from Anthropologie ($8-900) can easily be made yourself.  Find an old chair at a thrift store or yard sale and spray paint it with a great new color to give it a fresh new look.  Then put it in a guest bedroom with a cushion on it,  as extra seating in the family room or paint two of them as accent arm chairs for each end of the dining table.

Anthropologie Chairs


Redo a Cabinet: Spray paint always makes for a smooth finish on large pieces of furniture, such as this cabinet. When the paint dries, coat the surface with polyurethane to add a uniform sheen.    (

 Painted Cabinet DIY

Painted Crates for Bookshelves DIY: Vintage produce crates (find some at become storage shelves once they’re prettied up with paint.  Let them dry.  Then drill a hole in each corner and screw or nail them to the wall.  HGTV Magazine Apr 2014

Painted Crates for Bookshelves DIY


Whatever project you choose to do, before you paint the new color, there is some preparation you must do.  If the surface is already painted or varnished, clean the furniture first with a household product and rinse to remove any dirt.  Then sand rough areas and wipe away the dust with a tack cloth.  Apply two coats of stain-blocking primer and allow it to dry between coats.  Then apply two coats of latex paint (roll, brush or spray) in the direction of the wood grain.  Seal the finish with two coats of polyurethane.

Please send us a before and after picture at Decor Revolution so we can see how your furniture painting project comes out.


1 Comment

  • joanne says:

    Hi Karen,
    Thanks for the polyurethane tip. I had never thought of putting polyurethane over a painted project to give it strength/protection.
    Looking forward to more tips,

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