Over the years I have painted more pieces of furniture than I ever dreamed I would. In fact, if you come to my house on any given day, I am sure you will find something being painted at our house. Paint is such an inexpensive way to add new life to furniture!

Just to illustrate my point, here are two pieces that I just did for our bedroom. I loved the bones of these dressers, but hated the light pine color. I painted these white, slightly distressed them, spray painted the hardware, and and then sealed them. Isn’t it amazing how even a simple can of white paint can do so much for an old piece?

Today I wanted to share some ways that you can add a fresh new look on a furniture piece from Goodwill. Often when we see pieces, we can’t see the true potential in them if they are dated, mismatched, or distressed. It can be challenging to look at each piece as something full of possibilities.

Here are some great ways to bring tired furniture to life, to create the optical illusion of sets of furniture, and some really great new ways I have found to experiment with new painting techniques.

Create a Set With Paint

When you visit the store you may find that you can only find one or two of an item which can be a challenge when you are looking for multiples of something, like seating. Consider painting all of the items in one color to create the illusion of a set that is both unique and whimsical. I love this set of beautiful yellow chairs that were showcased on A Beautiful Mess as a perfect example of mismatched fun brought cohesively together with one paint color.

Try Painting Upholstery

Did you know that you can even paint an upholstered chair with fabric paint? Over on Pinterest Addict you can see how Tulip Spray Paint can transform an upholstered chair. Although this project cost $35 in supplies, the cost is far less than it would be to have the chair reupholstered and you can update the arms and legs of the chair with a couple of coats of fresh & shiny paint. I absolutely love this fabulous teal chair and wish I could put it in my house! 

Dip Them in Metallics

If there is one trend I am really loving it is the mix of metallics and the effect of paint dipped legs on chairs and tables. Honeybear Lane shows how she combined these two trends and refreshed a pair of tired barstools into a thing of beauty with a bright raspberry paint & beautiful gold spray paint.  Those before pictures really show how much paint can bring an old or dated piece to life.

Try Stripping Your Furniture

Stripping furniture can be a time-consuming process, but worth it if you want that beautiful natural wood to pull through on a design. Liz Marie shows off a beautiful piece (you must peek at her before pictures) that she wanted to create by painting just the outline of the dresser and leaving those drawers in their natural wood state. The deep rich stain makes this a very show worthy piece!

Add an Embossed Detail

Stenciling is back and better than ever with modern and edgy designs. Embossing is a technique that I have tried with paper crafts, but never knew that you could do the same thing on a piece of furniture. As Tiny Sidekick illustrates in her embossing furniture tutorial, the trick is to keep moving that heat to help keep the paint job underneath intact.

I am so inspired by this that I can’t wait to give it a try in our house!

Try A Fresh Coat of Spray Paint

Spray painting furniture can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The nice thing about spray paint is the quick coverage you can do with it and the distressing that can be done after so that you don’t have a one-dimensional finish. I experimented with spray paint and a dark stain on a side table and loved the results. With a little distressing, no one would ever guess how you painted it. Refresh Restyle shows you how to apply paint with a sprayer and then adds a little distressing to her dining chairs. The speed of this project really appeals to me!

See The Potential In EVERYTHING

Sometimes it is hard to see the potential in pieces and we give them away or pass on them when we see them in the store. This beautiful mid century modern dresser on Sunflower Hugs showcases a piece that had been kicked to the curb that she was able to make brand new again with a little paint and hardware updating. Now this looks like a piece that you purchase from the West Elm catalog with just a little elbow-grease and a vision for what to do with something no one else wanted.

I hope that this article inspires you to start hunting for new pieces for your space and that you can begin seeing the potential in things you have never noticed before!