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Painting Wood Furniture Made Easy

Apply furniture paint to worn relics in your home for a refreshed style. We show you how to approach painting wood furniture, starting with painted chairs.

Are your old chairs crying out for a new look? Find out how a simple lick of paint can transform them into trendy statement pieces.

If you’re hoarding a stack of unused chairs or wish to revive the design of your kitchen and dining room, a little furniture paint works wonders. In fact, flip through interior design sources and you’ll find that painted chairs and dipped chair legs are seriously on-trend. On top of that, updating your existing furniture is an easy way to save money while stamping items with your own personal flare. Can it get any better? Yes! You don’t even have to paint the whole chair for striking results. Here’s a step-by-step guide to painting wood furniture in order to breathe new life into your old stuff.


Create your colour palette


Picking colours for painted chairs is half the fun because there really are no limits to what you can do. For example, you could blend a neutral with soft colour for a stylish look, like Sincere Brew as a base all over and legs dipped in Party Surprise 4. Are your chairs still in great shape, but you’d love a quick fix to jazz them up? Don’t worry about painting anything other than the lower area of the chair legs and choose colours that tie in with your accessories.

If you’ve been searching for a way to introduce a pop of bold colour - think Orange Fizz - into your design, the dipped chair leg effect is a failsafe way to do it. Do you love pretty pastels? Experiment with two complementary tones, such as Sugared Lilac and Mint Macaroon. You can absolutely have more than one colour on your painted chair legs, along with varying heights for the lines. Everyone has that old wooden chair at home, so if you’re not sure about painting chair legs in your formal dining room yet, drag it out to give your colour scheme a test run.


Choose the right furniture paint


Painting wood furniture doesn’t have to be a chore, so aim to spend more time on the fun parts, like painting and checking out the results, rather than watching paint dry. It all comes down to which paint you choose and what you’re looking for are those that don’t require an undercoat.

Dulux Once Satinwood offers a beautiful satin finish on painted wood or metal surfaces in just one go. The key is to apply a thick, even coat without spreading it too far, especially when you’re painting over a darker colour with a lighter topcoat. For a mid-sheen satin finish, try Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood. It’s a master of all trades as it’s self-undercoating, non-yellowing and offers a low-odour formulation.


How to achieve the dipped chair leg effect


So, you’ve chosen your colours, armed yourself with paint and it’s time to start decorating. Follow these basic steps for painting wood furniture, including complete coverage before dipping the chair legs. Remember that you don’t need to paint the whole chair for a fantastic effect though. Just go about your merry way and simply paint the top section, the lower legs or your own wonderful pattern as you wish, using the same technique.


  • To prepare your chair, sand it all over with fine finishing sandpaper, then wipe it down with a damp cloth to get rid of the dust. Wait for it to dry.

  • If you’re using a primer, now’s the time to pop that on. Follow the wood grain as you paint and wait for it to dry completely before the next step.

  • Now it’s time to put your first colour on if you’re painting the entire chair. Depending on the furniture paint you choose, wait for it to dry completely before applying a second coat if necessary.

  • Grab your measuring tape to determine how far up the leg you want the dipped effect to be and mark the spot. Remember that the lines don’t have to be even on each leg, as a variety of heights can also add visual interest.

  • Next up, you’ll need masking tape to fold around the leg just above the mark you measured, in order to achieve a crisp line.

  • If you’ve painted the entire chair first, lightly sand the section to be painted to ensure a smooth finish.

  • Pop open that second colour and away you go with painting the lower half of the legs!

  • When it’s dry, take the masking tape off and admire your trendy new chairs.


Once you see how easily such a simple trick can transform your interior design, don’t be surprised if you become quickly addicted to painted chairs. Also, don’t forget to check your cupboards for leftover paint in tester pots, as painting wood furniture is a thrifty way to use every last drop. You can order Dulux tester pots online or pick some up from the local hardware store, to make all your colour dreams come true with the dipped chair effect.

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