8 furniture paint colour ideas that pop with personality

Swatch chart for choosing paint colours

Painting furniture isn’t just for the creatively blessed, it’s a DIY project almost anyone can tackle. It’s also an instant way to inject colour into your space without the commitment of painting walls. If you’re eyeing that weary-looking dresser, the kitchen chair you hide when guests come, or a second-hand bedside table that no longer sparks joy, here are some fabulous furniture paint colour ideas that’ll spruce them up in no time.

Sanded down kitchen chair

When it comes to choosing paint colours, be as bold or as bashful as you like. If your upcycled chair is going in your own home and you love the colour, apply with abandon. And if you’re having second thoughts about that electric blue – painting over the mistakes is half the fun.

There aren’t just environmental benefits to restoring a second hand find and keeping it in use for longer, the very process of repainting furniture – or even just revarnishing, is a mindful and meditative activity. Block out a Sunday afternoon, put some music on and let these furniture paint colour ideas be your guide.

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Experiment with colourful chalk paints

Furniture paint colour idea using Tilton and Country Grey Annie Sloan chalk paints

Annie Sloan pioneered the furniture painting movement when she started her business in 1990. Her Chalk Paint™ recipe took the world by storm and has now evolved for use on a multitude of surfaces – wood, glass, metal, brick and laminate. Moving away from the ‘shabby chic’ neutrals of yesteryear, this wardrobe was painted by Henry Shinner of Surrey-based Priory Antiques in a bold mustard yellow created with two shades – Tilton and Country Grey, available from Designerpaint*.

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Furniture painted in different colours

With a multitude of colours to choose from, why pick just one? This beautiful selection of chalk paints from Annie Sloan, combine greens, blues, lilacs and pinks that bloom as brightly as the flowers on the table.

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Play with paint colours and upholstery

Furniture painting colour ideas with Carmine 189 paint by Little Greene

Have a statement chair steal the show by juxtaposing an eye-catching paint with a striking upholstery fabric. This is Carmine 189 paint by Little Greene paired with a nautical stripe. Intelligent Satinwood is a water-based paint with VOC content virtually zero.

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Match the furniture to the walls

Saturated furniture paint colour ideas using eggshell paint

If you’ve found a colour you love, why not use it everywhere? Now that paint colours come in the same shade for different surfaces, flood your walls, furniture and shelving in a single colour to tie the room together. Plus, it can help to blend certain elements (such as storage cupboards) into the background if you want to make them less obvious. Just try not to paint the cat in the process.

Estate Eggshell or Modern Eggshell ranges by Farrow and Ball (Teresa’s Green No.236 pictured here) can both be used on indoor wooden furniture and are certified child and baby safe in accordance with Toy Safety Standards, making them suitable for nursery furniture.

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Keep a slither of natural wood

Partially painted chair

No, you didn’t just run out of paint, you simply like an air of the unexpected. This half-painted chair in white has been paired with Delilah pink walls from Earthborn which as it happens, can also be used on furniture.

Creative furniture painting ideas

Here, the ‘just dipped’ look is perfected in beautiful Belgrave Chalky Paint by Rust-Oleum and there’s a tutorial on how to do it too.

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Contrast dark and light

Furniture painted black

Turn up the drama in any room by coating a sideboard, dresser or side table in a daring dark hue. Let it become the stage for framed artworks, eclectic vases, lush plants and cherished mementos. This is Rebel by Crown Paints.

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Nestle down in neutrals

Furniture painting with neutral colours

For those who love quieter colours, a soft, calming palette can whisk you away to a zen-like state. In this serene corner, a simple kitchen chair is transformed with Earthborn’s Paw Print.

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Furniture paint for nurseries

Earthborn’s Eco Chic clay based paint range (pictured here in Peach Baby) is designed especially for furniture. Plus, it carries the Safety of Toys Standard, making it safe for children’s furniture and toys.

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Create a pop of colour inside a shelf

Furniture painted in two colours

Sometimes two colours are better than one. Create a pop of colour inside your shelving with a contrasting spicy shade such as Heat 24 Intelligent Satinwood from Little Greene. Here, it’s been paired with the shade Pleat 280, adding character to a shoe storage unit.

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Mix your own colour palette

Squiggle Cabinet furniture painting idea by Polly Coulson

And now for the really fun part. Dive into the abstract, mix up a storm of hues, and remember that furniture can also be your canvas. To illustrate, follow the example of Australian artist Polly Coulson. Polly created her Squiggle Cabinet with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Napoleonic Blue and Antoinette. Below, she painted a chest of drawers in a magic mix of Tilton, Chicago, Capri and white, also by Annie Sloan.

Painted chest of drawers by Polly Coulson

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A few thoughts on repainting furniture

  • When considering furniture paint colour ideas, it pays to be selective about what to repaint and what to restore. Some vintage pieces will be most desirable (and hold their value) when left in their natural wood state. The best candidates for DIY furniture upcycling are those lacklustre low value pieces that are seemingly destined for the tip.
  • On the subject of sprucing up furniture, you may want to read Dawn Crabtree’s advice on how to hire an upholsterer. Plus, if you prefer to find an artist who can do something extra special with your heirlooms or vintage finds in the upcycled furniture section.

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*This post contains affiliate links which means Upcyclist may make a commission, should you make a purchase. Thanks for supporting Upcyclist.co.uk

Author: Antonia Edwards

Antonia is the founding editor of Upcyclist. Based in the UK, she is the author of two books: 'Upcyclist: Reclaimed and Remade Furniture, Lighting and Interiors' (Prestel 2015) and 'Renovate Innovate: Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes' (Prestel 2017).