Yes, you can paint Mediterranean style bedroom furniture.…that ugly, overly detailed stuff from the 1970s. The furniture is mostly made of hard plastic and MDF but it can look great painted in a vibrant color. The bedroom furniture I painted for the granddaughter of a friend of mine is bold. The color is perfect for a teen girl. I hope she loves it as much as I do. Not that I’m patting myself on the back or anything.
The granddaughter’s name is Toni. Her grandmother is a sweet friend of mine and asked if I would paint these pieces. I never say no when I get a chance to paint something bright and colorful, and girly.
The furniture is old style 1970’s. The front panels are plastic and a bit over the top. The curves and curlicues on this bedroom set definitely look great painted if you use a feminine color. I actually like the plastic fake cane back inserts on the headboard. They look good painted and even better distressed. I’ve painted several sets of chairs with the faux cane backs and I love the look.
The dresser has feet similar to French Provincial furniture and French Provincial style drawer pulls but that’s where the similarity ends.
Both pieces had been sitting on the front porch of a house for a while. There were dust bunnies, and dirt dauber nests, and a few dead bugs, and other things I couldn’t identify. I vacuumed both pieces then cleaned them with Simple Green. You guys have heard me talk about furniture prep. It’s the hardest part of a furniture makeover. The actual painting is easy and takes no time at all. If you prep properly the final product will show it.
The front feet and the detailed fronts on the drawers are all plastic but the rest of the body is MDF….or fake wood. Where the MDF was a bit ragged, I used a piece of sandpaper to very lightly knock down those puffed-up edges.
Then when it came time for paint, I dabbed primer on the areas a bit at a time so the “wood” didn’t get to wet. After that I was able to apply the paint to the legs without them puffing up again.
The runner fell off of this drawer so I used a little ProBond Advanced to glue it back on. No nails or screws are needed. The Probond holds tight.
I applied a coat of my favorite primer…Glidden Gripper tinted gray. I wasn’t sure about the plastic and the slick finish so I thought it best to prime first. The primer also gives a solid colored base to work with.
The original hardware was all there, so that made my job a lot easier. It’s hard to find replacement French Provincial style hardware. I first painted the pulls a dark antiqued bronze.
But I didn’t care for that look and I spray painted them a second time using white-white spray paint.
The paint is by Behr and it’s a paint and primer all in one, color “frosted pomegranate”. I applied three coats of the pomegranate. I find red colors often don’t cover as well as neutral colors so you need more coats of paint.
I very lightly distressed the details and the cane on the pieces. The gray primer looks almost white under the reddish paint.
See, you can paint plastic furniture. I usually pass up the Mediterranean style pieces but I won’t do that again. The dresser looks like it was meant to be painted.
As I mentioned, there’s not much real wood here. But it doesn’t have to be the best-made furniture in the world to look nice! See what a little paint can do? What do you think?
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