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DIY Paint-Dipped Furniture

House Home Photo DIY Paint-Dipped Furniture February 2011 Cameron MacNeil

Revive vintage furniture with a playful paint-dipped look.

Capture the two-tone treatments we've been seeing in high-end furniture stores, which use the art of colour blocking to add graphic depth to any space. It's easy to replicate! Here's how:

Materials and Tools

  • Wood chair
  • Painter's tape
  • Primer
  • Two contrasting paint colours
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper

Step 1: Find your furniture

I have a few antique haunts, and my persistence paid off when I stumbled upon this country-style wood armchair. I wanted to use a chair in a casual entryway, so it needed to be sturdy enough to sit on while putting on shoes, not just be decorative. The chair was in great shape — I just had to go over it with fine sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges. I decided to add a handsome coatrack from Urban Outfitters (only $68!) and give it the same two-tone treatment as a functional and stylish counterpart to the chair.

Step 2: Choose the palette

I chose colours that felt fresh and nautical: periwinkle and white for the coatrack. The project works best with lively colours, so have fun with it. Bright blue pairs beautifully with a white base, but consider other combinations as well, like seafoam green or red — or even white as the accent colour on a raw wood base.

Step 3: Complete the effect

First, cover the entire chair with your base colour and allow for drying time. Next, tape off the areas of the chair where you want your accent colour. I painted the bottom few inches of the chair's legs periwinkle, as well as the top third of the back, to really achieve that dipped-in-paint look. The trick is not to paint the chair exactly half blue and half white — I went only about 2" down the back or each spindle with the periwinkle to achieve an asymmetrical look. Let it dry and take a seat!

Coatrack, Urban Outfitters; rug, Elte; floor, Tarkett; chair colours, Whitewash White (P2089-00), Cool Water Lake (P5153-52), Para.


Cameron MacNeil


John Cullen

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