Clever Paint Jobs That Make Your Old, Cheap or Thrifted Furniture Look Expensive

published Mar 13, 2019
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(Image credit: Aimée Mazzenga)

We all know about the transformative power of paint for your wall, ceilings, and even floors, but have you thought about updating your furniture? With all the great colors and techniques out there, it’s easy to freshen up an over-loved piece or thrift flip something plain and make it extraordinary.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite paint transformations to get you started.

(Image credit: Room for Tuesday)

Faux textured furniture can quickly look dated once the original finish gets dinged. Sarah of Room For Tuesday demonstrates how a quick paint job in a more modern hue can completely transform a thrift store find. Sometimes those vintage pieces also have gorgeous brass hardware hiding underneath, just waiting to be restored.

(Image credit: PMQ For Two)

It’s hard to believe this whimsical entryway console started out as three plain ole’ white cabinets. Ariel at PMQ For Two is the queen of colorful DIYs and continues to inspire people to have a little fun with their projects!

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

If you have some inexpensive plastic chairs, give them a dramatic makeover with a color-blocked paint job. Ashley shows you how to paint the material the right way (so the paint lasts) and make them look custom and high-end.

(Image credit: Sugar & Cloth)

We haven’t forgotten about upholstered furniture. Ashley of Sugar & Cloth had a basic armchair that was still comfortable but she never really loved. With the help of some fabric paint, now this once plain piece shines as a living room statement.

(Image credit: The Weathered Door)

Try a two-tone approach to highlight details and structure. Those beautiful mid-century legs and drawer detailing got lost in the original flat, one-tone finish but really came alive with Reeves’ contrasting paint job.

(Image credit: A Ray of Sunlight)

My jaw dropped when I saw Natalie’s DIY. At first I assumed the delicate embossed pattern on the drawer fronts were a part of the original dresser and sighed wishing I had that kind of luck at the thrift store. But no, she used texture powder and stencils to disguise dings, then covered it all with a rich coat of navy. You have to check out her tutorial for a whole new level of upcycling possibilities.

(Image credit: Bless’er House)

Lauren loved the shape and price of this Craigslist sleigh bed find, but the cherry red stain did not fit the style of her home. Instead of trying to sand in between all the detailed work, she used a tried-and-true weathered wood effect that makes the frame look like she spent a small fortune getting a custom piece.

(Image credit: Bless’er House)

Lauren is back at it again. This time she transformed a set of nesting tables that were more ’80s country than chic into a gorgeous faux bone inlay set. Check out our roundup of DIY bone inlay projects for more inspiration.