Choosing Furniture Paint Colors Is Sometimes A Pain
Have you ever selected the wrong paint color? It’s a pain isn’t it. I made a paint mess of this project. Three paint colors later and I finally have one I’m kind-of happy with. What does that tell you.
Choosing furniture paint colors can be confusing. You need to take the style of furniture into consideration along with the room color and decor. In my case I’m painting this piece to sell in my booth so I need to go neutral or it may sit for a while.
I settled on one of my favorite furniture finishes…….black paint…..distressed.
I went around in circles for this project. Privately I refer to this piece as “The Chest From He!!”. Get ready for the saga.
I bought the chest from **** at my favorite junk shop. It was only $25 and I thought the basic style was nice and I already had ideas for it. It reminds me of Waterfall furniture in a way but doesn’t have the rounded edge on the top. The chest may be from the same time period as Waterfall.
My first color choice was gray. I think the color is pretty but I wasn’t sure I liked it for this chest. I finished the makeover in gray before heading to Arkansas for a week. When I got back home I looked at the chest again and decided I didn’t like it at all. The whole problem may be the knob thing.
The original hardware was missing or broken. I didn’t have any hardware that would fit the holes for the original hardware. The drawer pulls needed to have 4”centers. Out of all of the hardware in my stash nothing worked.
I even went to Home Depot and looked at the drawer pulls. I don’t think they make 4″ center pulls any more….at least the size isn’t a common one. So I filled one hole for each pull with wood filler. Now I just needed to pick out some pretty knobs.
The knobs I selected for the gray paint were small shiny white knobs for the top drawer and big white ceramic flower knobs for the other three drawers. When I decided I didn’t like the gray paint I tried wood knobs painted gray and other knobs from my stash. None of them made me happy.
Moving on to paint color number two ( and a variant, lol). I’ve been thinking of painting something yellow and I pulled out some yellow paint. It was a bit tooooo yellow and I grabbed a lighter yellow color.
Once the chest was painted yellow……I didn’t like it either. Next I distressed the yellow and the gray paint was highlighted. I wasn’t sure about this look and I tried all kinds of knobs with the yellow/gray chest. Nothing worked. Maybe it was just me and my frame of mind. I don’t know why I had so many issues with this piece.
I went to my paint shelf again and found FolkArt Home Décor Chalk in Rich Black. Time for paint color number 3 (really number 4).
I painted the chest then distressed the paint using an electric sander. I first tried distressing by hand using 150 grit sandpaper. The yellow paint was showing where I distressed the black paint….and that didn’t look good. I pulled out the electric sander so I could take off all the layers of the paint down to bare wood in the distressed areas. When you need a lot of deep distressing a power sander is the way to go.
Sometimes I don’t wax the FolkArt Chalk but because of the heavy distressing I did. I used Howard’s Wax in Walnut. You just wipe the wax on with a lint free rag, wait for it to dry, then buff with a lint free rag. The wax leaves a really nice sheen.
Another reason for waxing is that the black chalk finish will definitely show finger smudges, etc. You know the powdery look I’m talking about. It isn’t noticeable when I use white chalk finish or other light paint colors so no waxing then. I’m not a big fan of waxing. Just extra work.
The antique glass knobs came from my hardware stash. They were the only things that looked half way okay.
update: Thanks everyone for your input on the knobs. You were right….the knobs needed to be bigger. Guess what? I went to Hobby Lobby to find knobs that might work. I found some but they were $6.99 each and they weren’t on sale. I waited until the next week and when I went in Hobby Lobby they had a bunch of knobs on clearance, marked with yellow stickers. And the ones I picked out the week before were $1.74 each. Win!
So what do you think of this look. As you can see the knobs are the drop kind (right term?). They have a bit of gold tone on them, black metal drop thing, and then a piece of leather in brown. I’m loving the new look. As always, thanks for your comments and suggestions.
Now it’s time for you to chime in. What do you think? Should I have stuck with the gray? I won’t even ask you about the yellow. Have you had problems choosing furniture paint colors or maybe wall colors? Leave me a note.
I do like gray furniture and one of my all time favorites is the gray chest my granddaughter painted. She did an awesome job. She picked out the knobs and the paint color. I wouldn’t have selected the knobs she did and you know what…..they were perfect for the chest. We have totally different taste. That’s what makes the world go round. You can see Tenley’s paint project here…..Granddaughter Paints Bedroom Furniture.
Just a side note on nothing that has to do with this project. I was visiting with my neighbor yesterday afternoon….the one who has the concrete lawn Goose I painted. She gave me the hand stitched pillow cover you see in the photo above. It was a gift from her sister several, several, years ago. I’m in love with it. Aren’t those colors gorgeous. I had a pillow form so…..perfect.
You can find my favorite DIY products on the Petticoat Junktion Amazon Page here.
Thanks for being here and have a great day, Kathy
Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com