Genius Ways to Recycle Old Furniture with Paint

If you are tired of hand-me-down furniture pieces but can’t afford new, why not give them a makeover? Paint is a great way to extend the life of quality furniture pieces. If the wood is in good shape and the piece is well built and solid there’s no reason you can’t tap into your inner artist and recycle that old table into something special!

Aged Finish

An aged, distressed or antiqued finish gives the illusion of furniture from another era. This weathered technique works with cottage, country and traditional styles. One way to achieve the look is to use old-fashioned milk paint or chalk paint as a base coat. Finish the piece with a rubbing of dark paste wax to give it that aged appearance. Create areas of wear where it would naturally occur with a quick pass of sandpaper.

Freehand Designs
This is a fun option for the artistically (and not so artistically) inclined. Paint an original design on a furniture piece to give any room in your home a custom look. Start with primer to create your “canvas”, apply your base coat and draw a freehand floral motif, abstract or landscape on a desk, headboard or dining table. Use acrylic craft paints to bring the design to life. Don’t forget to protect your masterpiece with a clear sealer. Not an artist? Reproduce your favorite design with tracing paper from the craft store.

Crackle Effect
Crackling, alligator finish or crazed effects resemble old paint that has broken down over time. You’ll need a base coat, crackle medium and a coordinating or contrasting top coat. Apply a generous coat of crackle medium over the dried base coat to create large cracks. For a fine crazing, apply a light coat of crackle medium. While the crackle medium is still tacky, brush on the top coat in the same direction.  This effect is perfect for a rustic dining room or kitchen.

Vintage Chic
White vintage chic furniture adds a comfy, casual feel to a coastal living room or cute cottage bedroom. Prime your wood furniture then brush or spray on a bright or soft white shade. Rough up the finish with fine grit sandpaper to give it a weathered look.  Add a bit of age by using a wash of light brown glaze—it’s a fabulous way to accentuate intricate carved details. Protect the paint with a coat of clear or lightly tinted finishing wax.

Stencil Magic
A coat of paint and decorative stencils let you transform your garage sale find into a whimsical furniture piece everyone will love. Select smaller scale craft stencils for this project—wall stencils are much too large and can overwhelm furniture. Pick a shape or design of your liking and pounce the stencil in a shade that complements or contrasts with the base color. Stenciled furniture is a sweet addition to a child’s bedroom or playroom.

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