Have a dresser that’s seen better days? An old set of chairs that are functional–but far from beautiful? Even if you’re not handy, there are some easy ways to give solid furniture a lift.

Spray Paint Before you opt to paint your furniture, be sure you’re working with furniture that’s worth your time. If it’s a dresser or armoire, the drawers should slide in and out easily. The shape of the piece should be good, and work with your décor. A fresh coat of paint can really change the entire look, but be sure you’re happy with the piece before investing the time it takes to repaint it.

Pick a color that you love, and one that will coordinate with everything else. For example, if you already have cherry wood in a bedroom, don’t paint a crib pink. Instead, opt for an off-white or a pure white, which can really stand out.

Once painted, your furniture will not look like stained wood, but instead will have that shabby-chic look of painted furniture. A can of spray paint runs $4-8, and is available in a stunning array of colors at stores like Walmart or Home Depot.

Follow directions carefully, and make sure you have enough paint–it goes fast! Two cans should be enough for three typical chairs, or a standard size dresser. Sanding and stripping is usually not necessary, as paint will hide many imperfections. But it’s always a good idea to test a small area on the back of the piece before you begin.

Paintable Wallpaper While wallpaper can seem old fashioned–or tend to peel after some time–there’s a wonderful use for a specific type of wallpaper, if you know how to use it: textured, paintable wallpaper. Available both as a wallpaper and a border, it can look like molding once it’s painted. The trick is to use it on furniture.

When repainting a dresser, cut a piece of wallpaper (or border) to fit a specific space, or to trim the edges. Soak and paste it according to directions, wait until it dries, and paint the piece. You can paint it separately and then add the paper to the furniture, too. The color can be the same, or coordinate with the piece you’re adding it to. The key is to pick a pattern you love that works with everything else in the room…and then get started!

The good news is that painting furniture and sprucing up furniture with paintable wallpaper doesn’t take long or require much talent…and it can completely recharge a tired piece! So if there are pieces of furniture in your home that could use a pick-me-up, or pieces that you’re using–but not loving–you can change them with ease.

You’ll be amazed that with a little time, a little creativity, and just a little bit of money, your furniture really will seem like new!

This article was taken from my September 2012 issue of YOU Magazine. Click here to view the full newsletter.


  1. Great article about painted furniture and painted dressers, I love them. Painted furniture can really cheer you up if the weather outside is miserable and this is because there are an abundance of colours it can be painted in. supply a range of painted dressers and furniture and I have bought a few items off them of which I have been very impressed.

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