Using paint to update furniture and add pops of strong colour

Longed to experiment with really dark or bright colours in your home, but can't pluck up the courage? Seen an expensive fabric or wallpaper that you love, but just cannot afford to use it to paper a room or upholster a sofa? Of course you have! This happens to me ALL THE TIME. I obsess about it until I work out a way to add it into my home somewhere!

Over the next three weeks i'm going to share with you 3 DIY tricks that I have used to incorporate wallpaper and fabric that I can't afford, and how I've added pops of strong colours I love, without the worry that i'm overspending or making a large decorating mistake. I'll show you how easy it is and how you can do it too....


Do you browse Instagram, Pinterest or interior magazines and ogle peoples rooms that they have painted a dark or a really bright colour? Are you wanting to experiment with these colours in your home, but need to dip your toe in first before making a big commitment? I'm a really big fan of strong colours - bright fushia pinks, inky blues, period greens, dark greys and deep teal colours are a favourite. Yet when it comes to painting a whole room this colour, like you may be, I'm hesitant! I think if it was just me on my own I'd take the plunge, but as the rest of the family have to live with it day in, day out, I just can't bring myself to experiment painting our sunny living room dark (for now, anyway.)

I've recently started painting furniture that I already own in paint colours that I love and want to feature in the house, but haven't yet plucked up the courage to paint the walls with. This is a win-win situation as i'm introducing pops of the colour into my interior scheme, saving money by only requiring a small amount of paint and updating existing furniture rather than replacing it.

If you have moved house and your old furniture doesn't look right in your new place;  perhaps you have brought a new dining table and need your old wood chairs to match; imagine what your existing furniture could look like with in a whole new colour? Or, if you love bright orange, imagine what an orange chair could do to transform your space and make it a focal point? It's easy and budget friendly to update what you already own with paint!

This white dressing table used to look perfect in our old bedroom, but when we moved the gilt mirror that used to be in the hallway was now used as a bedroom mirror, and the two pieces just did not go together at all:

I still loved the shape and the style of the dressing table, but it needed to be a more dramatic colour to match the mirror. I decided to paint the dresser in the lovely slate grey colour that is the ever popular 'Downpipe' by Farrow & Ball.

I removed the drawers and the handles of the dresser and gave it a light sanding:

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If what you are painting is bare and untreated (or not white - the bottom colour will effect the new colour), then you should use a basecoat and primer first to get the best result. A lot of people have been raving about this product recently by Zinsser that covers everything - your undercoat, primer and stain blocker all in one.

Using a good quality brush (so you don't have to keep picking out brush hairs on what you are painting) give your piece of furniture 2-3 coats of furniture paint, or use an eggshell paint from a general paint range. Wait 4 hours between coats. Once finished leave your piece of furniture untouched for a few days as an eggshell paint can remain quite tacky to touch for a good while.

And here is my dresser now! It works so much better with the gilt mirror!

Love, Melanie xx