When you want to revamp a piece of furniture, don’t overlook the importance of the right paint – and the right painting effect. There are several painting techniques that can be used on old or new furniture to create the most amazing painted furniture looks.
Take a look at these seven different furniture painting effects to create original, unique, and all-round stunning finishes that will add intrigue into any living space.
1. Perfect matte finishes
A major trend today is painted furniture with smooth, flawless matte finishes. In particular, dark matte painted furniture is being seen more and more. To go a step further, matte black furniture with a hint of a gold or copper trim instantly adds elegance and sophistication, while creating a timeless piece that really stands out.
2. Metallic paint finishes
Gold, bronze, copper and silver metallic paint is peeking into everything from the trim of tables to the frame of ornate mirrors. A little bit of this flashy natural mineral finish doesn’t look ostentatious, either. In fact, deliberate restrain is what is needed to highlight carved areas or ridges with the smallest amount of metallic sheen paint. To really jazz up a piece of furniture, add a thin trim of a green metallic sheen that hints at a pop of a bold colour.
3. Bright colours
Sometimes you need a splash of colour to add something really special to your rooms. Statement pieces are making a comeback, whether it’s a daring chest of drawers or a neon table. Use bold and bright Mediterranean and Mexican colours (think pinks, blues, yellows, greens, and reds) to make a big and bright impact.
4. Distressed furniture
The epitome of shabby chic, distressed furniture is a subtly (or dramatic) aged look that has hints of the natural material peeking through the paint on the usual contact points of the furniture. Professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike have tried their hand at creating distressed furniture for that shabby chic effect.
Whether you pick up a second-hand 1930s piece of furniture at a charity shop or a plain piece from Ikea, you can transform just about everything with a little bit of chalk paint and some elbow grease.
There are various ways to get the distressed look on furniture, but this is one of the easiest routes. To start, prepare the wood. Clean with sugar soap, then give it a light sand and brush down. Add your first colour and let it dry completely. Now for the clever bit – Simply drab streaks of clear furniture wax where you want the wood to look distressed (think high-touch surfaces such as the handles, corners and edges). The wax repels the second layer of paint, letting the base colour show through.
Cover the piece in a second layer of paint including the waxed areas. Let it dry, then wipe the furniture with a soft cotton cloth to remove the paint from the waxed areas.
If it’s not distressed enough for your liking, you can gently use wire wool or sandpaper to scrape a layer of paint off. Finish off the piece with some wax. You’ll be left with a brilliant furniture paint effect that could have easily stepped out of a high-end interior décor shop!
5. Crackle paint
Still on the shabby chic trend, crackle paint enters the scene to spruce up tired furniture with a simple, vintage, dried paint effect. It is best used on flat surfaces such as wardrobe doors or table tops to create drama, or on smaller areas like chair legs or in carved details to enhance subtle aging. The crackled look not only lends itself to creating an antique effect, but it can give a fresh twist to contemporary styles of décor.
Simply prepare and paint your piece of furniture your desired colour. When the paint is dry, apply a coat of Easy Crackle and allow a little time to dry. The first coat determines the colour of the crack and the second, the overall colour of the project.
You no longer need to rely on wallpaper for a fun print on the walls. Go all out on DIY projects using stencils to paint effects into your furniture, tables, floors or doors. Stencilling is a great way to revive an old piece of furniture, especially if you’re short on time and paint.
There are so many stencils available today, too. Want to create a faux wood grain effect? Lace print? A bold mandala? A themed print for your child’s toys? Stencils can make achieving these looks quick and easy.
Most are made from mylar - a thin plastic that easily moulds to the shape of the furniture. Simply prepare the wood, lay down the stencil, and paint. Move your stencil brush every which way to get lots of texture into your paint and to apply paint into every area of the stencil. If you are using multiple stencils and overlaying them for a more complicated design, be sure to allow the paint to dry between each stencil removal.
Stencils can instantly transform a plain piece of wood into a revived, modern and decorative piece. Ideal for chairs, tables, doors, floors and walls, try stencilling with paint for an inventive effect.
7. The weathered look
Known as the weathered or driftwood look, this effect is great when you want to add some age to a piece of furniture.
Start with a base coat of paint (preferably a dark colour). Allow it dry completely. Next, paint on a second coat of a lighter colour, covering the piece entirely. Immediately wipe off the second coat with a rag before it has time to dry. Wipe off as much as you like, depending on how dark or light you want the piece to look. You can dry brush on the lighter colour to achieve the desired lightness with a feathery and streaky effect. Seal with a clear wax to finish.
There are no rules when it comes to this technique, so work with the paint and piece of furniture you have. Each piece will be unique – but is sure to be a head-turner with this driftwood effect.
Get started with chalk paint
Applying chalk paint with whatever furniture paint effect you choose is a fun and easy way to create a whole new look for your furniture. Get started today by picking up your chalk paint, stencils, metallic sheen, bold colours, paintbrushes and more at Frenchic Paints.