Painting Furniture for a New Look

One of my interior design partners recently called me with a fun challenge.  Her clients had purchased a large armoire and they loved the piece – but unfortunately, the color was not working well with the room.  The armoire sits next to a beautiful old light-wood dining table in a white room, and the clients wanted a pop of color to prevent the armoire from blending in with the table and to pull out some of the color accents in the room.

Knowing her clients well, the designer suggested a “washed color” look in different blues to accomplish these goals.  After talking a bit about the look she wanted to accomplish and looking at some inspiration photos, I had a good sense of what we were shooting for.

My first step was to paint some concept boards – showing 3 different options from light to dark.  When doing custom finishes, this step is key to making sure everyone is happy with the final result.  This is also one of my favorite parts of the process because it is where I get to figure out how to translate the client’s vision into something that can be accomplished with paint! In this case, all of the options were painted a base color, then “washed” with a lighter color that is thinned down with water.  When this dried, I then did a light sand of the entire surface to soften the streakiness of the wash.

The designer and client were thrilled with all of the samples and ultimately chose the lightest option.  With this choice made, it was on to painting the piece!

As with my cabinet jobs, once I was on-site, the first step was to prepare the surface.  The key here is that paint won’t stick to shiny surfaces – so the existing finish needs to be dulled.  With this done, I moved on to painting the base color of a light grayish blue.  Once the base coat dried, I applied the wash of a slightly darker, greener blue-gray to create the streaky look.  Finally, as with the board – I did a light sand of the entire surface to give it a soft, smooth look.

In the end, thanks to the input from the designer and client, the armoire looks perfect in the room!  Most importantly, they are thrilled with the armoire and the completely new impact it has on the space.

I forgot to take “before” pictures of this project – but below are some of “after” shots along with the manufacturer’s pictures of what it used to look like.



The armoire with the dining table in front

The armoire with the dining table in front

What it looked like before!

What it looked like before!