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Revive your old furniture with these popular paint colors

If you’re looking to modernize and update the look of your pieces, the most popular color for painted furniture is white, gray and bold colors

A new layer of paint can be a great way to update the look of your favorite furniture pieces, or even to help older furniture to blend into the style of your house.

Adding a new color to your furniture can help you to create a truly one-of-a-kind piece to your home and bring some added personality back into your space.

However, choosing the exact color and paint that will be the perfect fit for your furniture piece can be overwhelming when you consider the vast variety of paints and colors on the market.

In this case, it is often best to let your desired look and feel, the design of the actual piece and some tried and tested colors guide you as to the best possible paint choice for your furniture.

Why paint your furniture at all?

Painting your existing furniture can be a great way to breathe some new life into your space.

Painting furniture in your house can help you to spruce up some of your older or more boring pieces that you have all but forgotten about and help you to appreciate and use these furniture pieces in new exciting ways.

At the same time, painting old furniture or found pieces can be a great way to increase the versatility of a piece.

Adding a bold paint color can help you to pull focus to a beautiful vintage piece as the center of your design, but using a more subtle shade of paint can also help you to make some of your pieces blend into the rest of your interior design style.

Wooden furniture is usually the easiest to paint, but you can paint just about any piece from chairs, to tables, to lamps and cabinets to give these pieces a completely unique look that is true to your own personality and fits into your design style.

The best type of paint to use on furniture

Whether you want to revamp an old piece or make a found piece your own, painting your furniture is a great option.

Before you start with the painting process, however, it is often best to choose the finish you want before you try to choose a color to paint your furniture.

This can help you to not feel as overwhelmed by all of the paint choices when you actually start the painting process.

There are many different paint options that work for refinishing furniture, but the most common types include chalk paints, milk paints, traditional paints, specialty furniture paints and acrylic paints.

Here, the choice really depends on what suits your personal preference and design style. It is important to consider these different paint types in order to find the best match for you and your paint needs.

Type of paint Consistency Finish Design styles it is commonly used for Durability
Chalk paint Thicker consistency because of the large amount of lime mixed into the paint Very chalky matte Good for various distressed styles Good durability if you wax the top layer
Milk paint Thinner stain-like consistency Matte, but not as chalky as chalk paint Used in layered styles, where multiple colors are layered on top of each other for a unique look Will need a sealer to be durable and can sometimes also require a bonder
Traditional paint/ Latex paint Normal, interior paint consistency Various finishes like semi-gloss, matte, eggshell, satin etc. Suitable for cabinets, trim and other furniture pieces Very durable if sealed correctly
Specialty furniture paint From thin to thick consistencies, dependent on the finish Unique and specialized finishes This type of paint is specifically designed for use on specific furniture pieces and will give a very specific look Medium durability
Acrylic paint Water-based and self-leveling Very smooth finish Often used on smaller pieces like picture frames Has some resistance to chipping but is more suited towards non-regular use items
Oil paint Thicker and self-leveling Smooth and shiny Usually used for pieces that need to withstand a lot of wear and tear Very durable

What is the most popular color for painted furniture?

Once you have decided which type of paint has the right combination of finish, consistency, durability and style for your furniture, you can begin to consider which color will work best to give your piece the best look.

White painted furniture

Painting your furniture a white color is always a smart choice, as this color gives you a fairly neutral base to work from.

This means that your newly painted furniture is likely to work with all the other furniture and décor in your house, and will most likely fit into any design style that you currently have for the interior of your home.

Not all white colors are the same and you can use different shades, from a pure white shade to a creamier color, depending on the style of the furniture you are painting and the rest of the colors in your design.

Lighter, brighter white furniture paint is often used to create a weathered or gently used look in farm- or vintage design styled rooms.

This look can be especially effective if you are using chalk paints and milk paints, as these paints can be roughed up easily to get this worn effect.

The Country Chic Chalk-style Paint in Vanilla Frosting is a lovely soft, white furniture paint color. This paint will cover your furniture in two to three coats but is very easy to scuff and distress.

This means that you get good durability, but can still get the distressed look on your furniture with little effort.

The Rust-Oleum Chalked paint in Linen White will give a similar soft matte finish, but will be a better option for larger pieces, like a big buffet or cabinet, because of the 30 fluid ounce size of the product.

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If you are looking for a more traditional option, White Dove from Benjamin Moore is a favorite shade amongst designers and decorators.

White Dove is an incredibly soft white paint that has just the right amount of warm undertones to make it perfect to paint anything from cabinets, to chairs, to trim and everything in between, for a crisp, clean look.

This color will brighten your design, but is also warm enough to blend well with other colors and create a subtle welcoming feeling within your design.

Choosing to paint your furniture a white color is a good way to ensure that the furniture feels fresh and new, but that the style of the furniture will remain timeless and classic.

Gray furniture paint

Painting your furniture a gray color is also a very popular choice, as gray tends to be a very neutral and versatile color. Gray paints also come in a variety of different finishes.

Chalk paints, like the Country Chic Chalk-style paint, have colors ranging from a warm light gray like the Sunday Tea color, to the dark, slate gray Cobblestone color.

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These neutral colors usually work well to create a relaxed atmosphere within your space. Chalk paints and lighter grays work especially well within farm style and rustic designs.

The Rust-Oleum Milk Paint is an excellent substitution to give you a more subdued version of the same look as chalk paint. Milk paint is not as opaque as other paints, but it is perfect for creating a chipped and aged look on various pieces.

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This paint is much easier to apply than thicker oil-based and chalk paints, which makes it a favorite option if you want to add some texture to your painted pieces.

If you do not like the textured or weathered look of milk and chalk paints, a traditional paint can bring a sense of modernity to your furniture.

Mindful Gray from Sherwin Williams is a brilliant warmer gray paint color option that works well with most interior design styles.

Bold painted furniture

If the subdued neutrals are not exactly what you are looking for, then a bolder paint option might be best. No matter which type of paint you choose, using bold red, green, blue, orange or any other colors can quickly add some personality back into a dull piece of furniture.

Two-tone color schemes are also popular, like these Country Chic Bundles that take the guess-work out of combining bold colors.

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Final thoughts

Whether you choose chalk, oil, acrylic, milk or any other type of paint for your furniture, you can be assured that applying this color will enhance the look of your older furniture pieces.

Painting some of the furniture throughout your house can help you to create pieces that are unique to your personal style and design style, and really infuse your personality into every aspect of your home’s design.

When you consider the many different paint colors available, the choices can be overwhelming. However, if you stick to popular colors that have been tried and tested, you can be assured that your painted furniture will turn out beautiful.

Some of these popular colors include white, gray and various bolder colors. These colors are sure to freshen up the look of your furniture, but keep the overall design timeless and classic.