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Painted Furniture

Martha Stewart Living, June 2006

When it's artfully applied, paint adds more than color; it alters the very nature of the piece, often evoking another time and place. A contemporary chair that has been refinished can acquire the look of an antique in hours, not years. Choose a piece of furniture -- perhaps a bed you spotted at a flea market or a table you've grown tired of -- then get to work. You'll need nothing more than basic skills and a handful of materials.

As for incorporating painted furniture into a home, not too many rules apply; it could work in any room in the house. You will want to consider the overall color scheme of the space and choose paints that harmonize. One piece can make a bold statement, or you can refinish several -- a dining table and chairs or a coffee table and console, for example -- to work as a set. Painted wooden furniture can also complement exposed-grain pieces, each highlighting the other. So use your imagination and make some furniture look as if it's brand-new -- or centuries old, as the case may be.

Painted Furniture Tools and Materials
Bordered Chest of Drawers How-To
Faux Marble Table How-To
Caned Bed How-To
Card Table How-To

Comments (2)

  • DallasFurnitureGuy 29 Dec, 2010

    What a great way to save that piece of furniture you may have otherwise thrown out. Painting your furniture can give it a whole new (or even old) look. Especially with all the different paint available. Some paint will even dry with a crackly old looking finish. For some other great tips visit us at

  • lilyoake 21 Jul, 2008

    A big fan of Swedish Gustavian, I have painted most of my furniture. Except for the few antiques I own, I buy only old furniture in need of repair or unfinished wood pieces so there is no guilt involved when I paint over them. I chose a soft warmer white by Waverly called "Cottage Linen White". I find white furniture freshens up a decor and keeps a room soft and clean looking year round.