Hand painted furniture, particularly vintage pieces, can be absolutely stunning in many design settings. The style of the piece you are painting is what determines the style of the finished product to a certain extent, unless you plan to hand paint in a highly decorative style. Then all bets are off – you can make a modern piece look Baroque with paint details.
You’ll find many pieces for sale on Etsy.com, hand painted furniture by talented craftspeople. But why not try your own hand at it? Eclectic, Bohemian, Farmhouse – you can customize your style. And it does wonders to re-purpose furniture that has seen better days. Remember: reuse, recycle, re-purpose – it’s more important than ever. You can find pieces to paint at thrift stores, at yard sales and sometimes even on the side of the road – free for the taking.
Different techniques and types of paints can achieve entirely different styles. Experiment with some of the new paint styles: chalk, milk, lacquer, lace, whitewash, distressed, multi-toned, metallic, waxed, stenciled. Be creative and be bold – see what you can do. You just might surprise yourself with your new talent for hand painted furniture design.
Blue Painted Furniture Ideas
For the Blue Painted Furniture, it looks like Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is the popular choice (and the Giverny shade of blue seems to be favored). It’s a very versatile paint that works beautifully on furniture without priming or sanding, is easy to use and quick to dry. And it can be used for a number of different paint techniques.
No wonder Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan is one of a DIY-ers’ favorite paints. You can get a range of decorative effects without a lot of muss and fuss. The Blues have been a very popular color range recently and this line has a premium selection. Check out this post by Annie Sloan for tips on how to take your DIY project to the next level and achieve a stunning Blue Ombre Effect using Chalk Paint.
Blue Ombre Effect using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – Source.
Ombre means “shaded” in French and this gradual change from one color to the next has been huge in fashion recently – and it’s now crossing over to vintage painted furniture. The piece above was painted by Ildiko of Restored4u in Ontario, Canada.
Image: General Finishes.
See how this second-hand chest was painted to achieve this rust like effect at Do Dodson Designs.
Above is a distressed Repurposed Vintage Secretary Desk in Beautiful Multi-tone Blue. Etsy.
This vintage French Boho Floral Blue and White Nightstand are also on Etsy.
Blueberry Painted French Provincial Dresser with Color Blending: Source
Does color blending intimidate you? Don’t let it! If it doesn’t match, just repaint. And in the meantime, you may really surprise yourself. And there’s lots of help with “how to” over at the Dixie Belle paint site.
Hand Painted Vintage Blue Desk in Rustic Style.
Small Blue and Floral China Cabinet.
Just look at this cabinet! Doesn’t it look amazing?!
Custom Hand-painted French Country Blue Sideboard: Source
The paint that was used in the image above is a 50/50 mix of General Finishes Coastal and Klein Blue paired with rich Antique Walnut Gel Stain. Source.
Image: General Finishes.
This desk and chair have been painted with General Finishes Coastal Blue Milk Paint, plus General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Semi-gloss, for a rich lustrous sheen. Source.
Image: General Finishes
Love the golden butterflies on blue background (see above). What a beautiful piece of furniture! Find out how it was painted here.
Read the full story how this buffet was restored and finished in shades of blue.
A recessed copper cooler is hidden inside this blue buffet (above).
Image: General Finishes
Amazing color palette (image above). Source.
Image: General Finishes. Painted in Coastal Blue and Klein Blue.
This boho blue hand-painted sideboard is also an Etsy find – a sure conversation starter with its different shades of blue and gray.
You can learn how to create a DIY custom rainbow painted dresser and give your old dresser new life with the rainbow paint tutorial at Hometalk.com.
Read how this amazing hutch was painted using Velvet Finishes from Lotus Theory Designs – and then watch the video.
Green Painted Furniture Ideas
Green is especially versatile as it fits so many decorative styles starting from French Antique to Farmhouse to Mid-century Modern. Depending on the painting technique you’re using, you can achieve many different looks and styles. It’s such a crisp, refreshing color and the perfect hue for vintage painted furniture pieces. Think regeneration and regrowth – perfect for upcycled furniture. You’ve given it new life.
This vintage accent table above was painted using Magnolia Home chalk paint in spring green with some distressing to bring out the old world details. More info: Source
The Magnolia Home Chalk Paint line from Joanna Gaines is available in many colors. Did you know that it is the opaque quality of chalk paint that makes it perfect for vintage style painting? It’s easy to apply to many surfaces, including wood, metal or concrete.
A designer at Tattered Pew used milk paint on this dresser – and there’s a great DIY tutorial on their site. Tattered Pew
Milk paint, you say? Milk paint is an ancient paint containing just five simple ingredients – milk protein (casein), limestone, clay, chalk and natural & non-toxic synthetic pigments. It is environmentally friendly, non-toxic and mold-resistant. What’s not to like? The example above (plus many, many more) used Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint – widely viewed as one of the best available.
French Provincial Dresser or TV Console.
Above is an awesome Chinese distressed green nightstand. It’s handpainted with oriental floral birds graphics. Source.
This Jacobean hand painted, shabby chic china display cabinet was custom painted for a customer in antique green by Erika Szilvai Design. The client shipped it to her Etsy shop from California. They wanted it just right and were willing to pay shipping both ways to ensure that it was.
This green vintage painted buffet just screams Farmhouse: Source
Above is another beautifully done farmhouse style paint work, in Smoky Perl. Love it! Source.
A painting project from Poland (above). Source.
Read about how this writing bureau was hand painted using General Finishes Patina Green paint here. The artist wanted to recreate the style and opulence of Louis XV. They did a great job!
Black Painted Furniture Ideas
Black is the new black. Seriously – it’s trendy. Have you seen Joanna Gaines painting whole walls black? And it works! Let’s face it, black goes with everything. Use it on a dresser, a cupboard, a make up table, a buffet or simply a night stand.
Chalk paint will facilitate that distressed look – having a peekaboo of the wood showing through gives it so much character. You just can’t go wrong with a black and brown combo. It’s a classic!
Source: Do Dodson Designs
Leslie Stocker, from New York, believes that black is the epitome of chic. Paint it (vintage painted furniture), wear it (that little black dress), or even put it on the wall. This piece was done with a base coat of black chalk paint, followed by a layer of black smoke chalk paint. Every room should have a touch of black.
Above is this gorgeous antique sideboard, in black charcoal front with deep blue undertones top, from Shabby Roots Boutique on Etsy.com.
You can even go Goth. Check out this vintage two-tier black refinished goth dresser with a wooden emblem. The natural wood looks fantastic against the black, doesn’t it? Love this work of art!
Aztec design (shown above) – image source.
White Painted Furniture
The more we see of the white painted furniture the more we are inclined to believe that white paint makes the most dramatic designs. What do you think?
Another category where Annie Sloan tops the charts – Old White Chalk Paint. The details are sealed with first clear, then black wax. This stunning Court Press Cottage Cupboard was painted by Etsy seller, Thirteen Stairs.
Another technique commonly used with white painted furniture is ‘white washing’ – a process that usually uses a thin white or off/white paint color – but it can be any color (see image above). “White washing can also refer to the effect of washing over, with paint or stain, a second color or stain to tone down or add an effect”. You end up with a great distressed farmhouse industrial look. It’s a super easy look to do on vintage furniture that’s lost some paint.
Check out this great tutorial on using the White Wash effect over at Kim Power Style.
Painted Cottage at Etsy presents their Chic Shabby Romantic French Dresser – a great piece for your cottage home. it’s actually a new piece that can be painted any color you like. If you are working with specific colors on your bedding or walls, Painted Cottage can paint any of their pieces to coordinate with your room.
Another example of some of the best of Etsy – this rare antique hand-painted 1940’s Louis XV style Provincial French Country Buffet would be the focal point of any room. This timeless design delivers an elegant French Provincial look and offers lots of storage.
The finish is an antique creamy white with dark brown details. This piece, or one like it, would be perfect for someone who prefers the aged, vintage look or loves French Country design. There’s a bit of Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn in this piece, too!
This hand painted white Antique French Provincial Romantic Sideboard is by Erika Szilvai Design, a top Etsy vintage painted furniture seller.
This is a stunning antique post 1950′s buffet and is exceedingly well made. It is a perfect piece for that country French look, offering as much storage as one would ever want.
The Enchantment Three-Drawer Dresser is certainly well-named – we are enchanted with the sculptured frieze style. Of course, from who else but Anthropolgie? Carved by hand from tropical hardwood, this stunning dresser adds unparalleled charm to any space.
This beautiful antique farmhouse Jacobean buffet is courtesy of Redhead Refinishings on Etsy. This beauty’s top and legs were sanded and stained in a weathered finish. The body was painted in a lovely matte gray-beige color, but it looks white! Don’t you just love it?
This is such a neat idea – to leave some parts unpainted (see above)! This design is a contest winner at General Finishes.
Wow. What a beautifully executed painting idea – to have two highly contrasting colors and in the right places. The final effect is just gorgeous. Read about how it was made here.
Silver / Metallic Painted Furniture
A lot of people are a little nervous about using metallic paints – there’s just something that seems more permanent about it but really, there is no need to fear. If you make a mistake, you’re going to do it over. That’s all.
Some of the best tips include layering paints and starting with a base coat that isn’t metallic. And you’ll even see that a few of the first techniques below create the illusion of metallic paint but are actually finely coordinated layers of regular paint.
Prepping is very important – in fact, it’s pretty much the key to a smooth and shiny surface. There are many techniques and many types of paint. Don’t cheap out – the quality is important. And a wax finish can do wonders for metallic hand painted furniture.
The paint palette for this Jacobean Hutch includes French Blue and Creamy Whites, plus the light distressing to show off a beautiful patina. It’s made to look like a piece of time-worn furniture you could see on photos of old chateaus. It will add both beauty and extra storage to your room.
Four different shades were used when painting this Jacobean Sideboard: grays, blues, whites, and aquas.
Lilyfield Life is the place to go if you want tips on using metallic paint on your hand-painted vintage furniture. For this piece, they used silver metallic paint.
A couple of words of wisdom from Lilyfield: “Use a tinted grey primer as an undercoat, watch your brush strokes, and do not water down your paint”. More tips at Lilyfield Life.
How about a metallic vintage painted furniture makeover? So glam – but silver metallic paint and glamour seem to go hand in hand. People are justifiably a little nervous about using metallic paint but if you’re looking for inspiration – look no further.
This makeover shows you just how to transform a modern white nightstand into a glamorous statement piece that looks vintage. Learn more about how they did it – and how you can do it – over at JustTheWoods.com
Wow – wait until you see what these pieces used to look like. This is a fabulous hand-painted furniture project using metallic paint. The original set was just begging for a makeover. Check it out at Girl in the Garage.
We think this silver dresser is a masterpiece – see details on how it was painted here.
A very elegant display cabinet, one of our favorites (above). Read about the paints that were used to create this amazing look.
Here’s a Moroccan pewter idea (above) – see details.
Above is another winner of the General Finishes contest – see details it here.
Simply amazing paint work! From a plain boring chest of drawers into a ‘WOW’ piece of furniture in a few hours. You got to learn how it was done – see details.
Also a painting context winner at General Finishes. “Depth and dimension are taken to new heights using gilding and glaze on this ornate cabinet.”
The above project is called ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’ – see how it was painted here.
Red Painted Furniture
Red hand painted furniture can really pop in a room. And despite the boldness of the color – the style can be anything from Asian decor to rustic country. It can be French Provincial or it can be Bohemian – it’s partly in the shades and tones and partly in the style and hardware. You can change the whole look of something by changing the hardware! Just look at these stunning works below …
Yellow Painted Furniture
We couldn’t find many examples of yellow painted furniture but we did come up with a few. You can go shabby chic, you could go bold with a brilliant yellow or, like our bottom example, go a little more reserved and stately with a mustard hue. It’s time to bring yellow into the hand painted market!
What an amazing rustic look! See paint products used here.
Once again, a charming and stately piece by Erika Szilvai.
Gold Leaf Accented Furniture
Golf leaf is in its own special category – and mainly used to add gold accents to another base color. Add it to black, white, grey – any number of base coats. Experiment on pieces you’ve already got or find some old relics at the thrift store (or even garage sales). Don’t be afraid to be bold – a swath of gold, applied in an abstract and artistic fashion, can really elevate your custom painted furniture.
This beautiful piece is by Second Hand Studios.
This hand painted Sheraton-style console is also from Second Hand Studios. The artistic swath of gold is their signature! The peacock blue paint is from Annie Sloan (who else?) and it’s lavishly accented with gold leaf.
This stunning vintage serpentine dark blue and gold sideboard with elegant legs is from Jess Eva Interiors. It was painted in Liberty Blue Fusion paint, which is a dark and deep blue, then black glazed and decorated with gold leaf and varnished for protection. The original door pulls have been restored using gold gilding wax.
This gorgeous side table screams style. From Intermission on Etsy.
This stunning Bombe Chest with a unique drop-down desk was hand painted in ebony, and then accented with genuine gold leaf. Unique and charming barely begins to describe this custom piece. From Second Chance Studios.
Learn how to create this stunning effect (shown above) using the Old World Rose Gold Tutorial at Tracey’s Fancy. She will guide you through: basic painting, metal leaf application, detailing, glazing, highlighting with glaze, feathering, crosshatching and more!
Brushed by Brandy is a gallery store in Sacramento, CA – owned and operated by Brandy Kollenborn, a true artisan with her hand painted furniture.
The gold distressed dresser (above) is for sale at Second Chance Studios.
The making of this beautiful piece above is described here, step by step.
Multi-Tone Painted Furniture Ideas
This is where you can totally let your imagination drive your design. Combine your favorite colors to make a work of art with your own hand and a paintbrush. You can go from French Provincial to Patriotic and from Bohemian to Modern Abstract. Which is your favorite?
The amazing paint job and design (above). Source.
This Southwestern design above is one of a kind – see the list of paints used at the source.
Multi-color design plus the gold leaf detail. Source.
Love the Camouflage chest. Source.
While this beautiful piece, a Drexel buffet hand painted with blue, teal, white and gold, has been sold, there’s plenty more like her available from Etsy seller, KT Lyons. Who says, “There is just something about gold that I can’t resist. It can be subtle or grand … either way, it captures me.” It captures us too – when you use it like this!