DIY the Trend: 9 Ideas for Adding a Colorful or Contrasting Outline to Furniture

DIY the Trend: 9 Ideas for Adding a Colorful or Contrasting Outline to Furniture

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Adrienne Breaux
Nov 1, 2014

You don't have to repaint an entire piece of furniture to create a huge impact on the look; one of the most interesting recent trends in furniture painting DIY has been the contrasting or colorful outline. We grabbed nine examples of how folks took this idea and put their own spin on it. Perhaps you'll find inspiration for your own furniture re-do!

(Image credit: Aniko)

Go for dark wood stain and crisp white for a very sophisticated look. → Before & After: An Auction Gem Gets Glam

"After painting it with spray paint and dark wood stain a gorgeous two toned mid-century modern dresser was born. We absolutely love our new and stylish dresser in the master bedroom."

(Image credit: Allison Fretwell )

A dark navy blue is a way to add an outline of color without being too bold or bright. → Before & After: A Yellow-Hued and Heavy Dresser Turns Two-Tone

"I sanded the drawers down to the natural wood to get rid of the yellow and then stained the wood to give it a richer color. The rest of the dresser body as well as behind the back side of the drawer pulls then got a couple layers of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Aubusson Blue."
(Image credit: Beth Heim)

If you're going to add a bright or bold turquoise blue, consider making the layer glossy. → Before & After: A Damaged Desk Gets a Dramatic Change

"I stripped the veneer (properly....no chisel involved) and stained it in a walnut. The hardware got elbow grease with Brasso and steel wool. This was a custom color I thought fit the style."

(Image credit: Nicole Phillips)

If you've got a piece with beautiful wood, a clean white outline could make the wood standout even more, and some color could always go inside. → Before & After: A Mid-Century Mess Gets a Makeover

We sanded and oiled the door and legs. The outside was painted with high-gloss Benjamin Moore Snowfall White and the inside was painted Benjamin Moore Tropicana Cabana.

(Image credit: Angela Santaniello)

Outlining a piece of furniture in a contrasting color is particularly great for small pieces; the added pattern creates excitement which makes them feel more substantial. → Before & After: A Mid-C Table Gets Mad Men Worthy

I started by sanding the entire thing and staining the drawers and base using General Finishes Java Gel Stain. Then I painted several coats of GF Snow White on the box of the table. The entire table was sealed with poly. The hardware was updated with Rub 'N Buff in Antique Gold.

(Image credit: Angela Santaniello)

Add geometry and gridded modernism to any piece by outlining not just the outside of a piece, but the supports between drawers. → Before & After: A Dixie Dresser Gets a Dramatic Upgrade

"Since the drawers and (the majority) of the base were in good shape, I decided to stain them with General Finishes Antique Walnut Gel Stain. The top and body of the dresser (where the significant veneer & corner damage was) got a couple of coats of Antique White paint. I finished the entire piece with poly for added protection."

(Image credit: Sone Ehabe)

But of course, you can just stick to the very outside of a piece, which in larger pieces actually feels a little lighter, like making the visual weight decrease. → Before & After: Sone Pulls a Quick Change on This Vintage Basset Beauty

"Armed with a wood chisel, medium weight sand paper and a gallon of semi-gloss white paint, I went to work. To my surprise, the chipped veneer peeled of really nicely and the other areas only needed light sanding."

(Image credit: Reeves)

Another great example of using a subtle blue on a piece as an outlining contrast, so that you're adding color but it's not too jarring to the piece or a room. → Before & After: A Knockout Dresser Gets Even Better

"The finish on the drawers and top needed to be redone, but I could not cover it up in paint. I only painted the frame of the dresser and left the top and drawers natural!"

(Image credit: Kala Vilches )

You can use paint to highlight any changes to the function of a piece, as seen above. → Before & After: A Childhood Dresser Turns into a Modern Media Stand

"Most of my money went to sandpaper, paint, stain and polyurethane, but I also spent $40 for a membership to my local Tool Library (such a great resource!), $10 for the tapered feet and $16 for the gold knobs (IKEA)."

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