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How to refresh your living room with white furniture

Looking to easily transform your living room with style? Find out how white furniture can help with these modern living room ideas.

Adding painted white furniture to your living room is an instant way to refresh and brighten up your space. While some people might see white as too cold or sterile for living room furniture, or hard to maintain, that doesn’t have to be the case. White furniture can be elegant and inviting, and it will also go with virtually any colour scheme, which is ideal if you like to redecorate regularly.

From whitewashed coffee tables to white painted mirrors and accessories, read on for tips on adding white furniture to your living room, plus a step by step guide on how to paint your furniture yourself.

How to transform your living room with white furniture 

Go minimalist with a completely white room

dulux how to refresh living room minimalistic

When white painted furniture is introduced into an already-white room, the result is clean, elegant and minimalist. To achieve the look like the one in this image, add a distressed, white framed mirror and white painted accessories like stools and ornaments.

Pair with brown for a relaxed, rustic feel

dulux how to refresh living room rustic feel

The beautiful contrast between white painted furniture and darker wooden furniture can create a rustic, countryside feel in your living room. You could even paint furniture with a two-tone effect to tie the scheme together, like the wooden chair in the foreground of this image. Add soft furnishings in neutral tones to add to the relaxing, rustic charm.

Add painted white accessories for a polished look

Dulux tool tester Medium Pile Microfibre Roller
dulux how to refresh living room polished look

White living room furniture is perfect to create a bright and open space. Add a white coffee table and other white accessories like lamps, ornaments and soft furnishings to create a sophisticated, polished and coherent look.

How to paint your furniture white

1.      Prep the furniture

If your item of furniture has drawers, shelves or handles, take it all apart first so that you can tackle each section separately.

Sand down your wooden furniture using a piece of sandpaper or an electric sander. Once you’ve got to the point where all varnish has been removed and the surfaces look smooth, use a wet cloth to wipe down the furniture and wait for it to dry. This should take no more than an hour.

Read more: How to paint tricky surfaces


2.      Prime the furniture

Use a roller or brush to apply a thin coat of primer to the furniture. This will seal in any possible bleed through and will create a nice foundation for your white paint. Leave the primer to dry for approximately 4 to 6 hours.


3.      Apply the first coat of white paint

Use a roller or brush to paint your first layer of paint. We recommend using a durable and wipeable paint like one from our Easycare range. It’s the ideal paint to use in a high-traffic area like your living room, especially if you have children or pets.

Keep the coat thin and ensure your strokes follow one direction. Allow approximately one hour for the paint to dry.

Read more: Painting techniques


4.      Sand after your first layer

Sanding in gentle, circular motions after each coat will help to ensure a smooth finish. Make sure you remove any dust that forms on the surface as a result of sanding.


5.      Apply another layer of white paint

Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have the perfect finish. You may find that two coats of white paint is enough, or you may want to do three or four until you have your desired finish.


6.      Finish with a top coat

Once the final paint layer has dried, apply a top coat such as a varnish, a wax or a sealer to keep your white furniture looking fresh for longer. Once that’s dry, put your furniture back together again, and there you have it: a piece of white furniture that’s as good as new.

For more inspiration on decorating with white, explore our white on white room ideas

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