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Do we have any diligent readers (read: obsessively checking Google Reader for new posts) of Apartment Therapy here? If yes, you would know that a good chunk of posts are about restoring or transforming old furniture through painting and replacing the hardware. Images of antique, worn wooden cabinet/dresser/table painted into white or turquoise blue are swimming in my head now.

For me, when it comes to home renovation,  there is nothing more satisfying than giving a face lift to old furniture. To discard the old and buy new stuff is easy work, don’t you think? There are a few odd pieces of furniture in every house such as a chair, cabinet, side table that look aged.  A polish or a new coat of paint will do them good. I want to get started off with a old cabinet first.  It’s about six years old and in good working condition. It has lost its sheen so I’m toying with the idea of retaining its natural finish with a coat of lacquer or doing something radical like painting it in a bold color combination of white-lime green or white-turquoise blue.

Wooden cabinet
Wooden cabinet

I’ve been looking around for ideas and there are quite a few interesting ones that I would like to share.

For a ethnic, Indian theme, bright colors such as fuchsia, red or violet are a good choice to complete the look. However, if you have a monochromatic or minimalistic theme, a single of furniture in a dashing color will look out of place. In the picture below, for instance, Kishani Perera has used a good mix of ethnic elements like hand-carved open book case, painted trunk as center table, cradle-styled chairs, and printed cushions. All the accessories blend well with the bright orange colored walls.

Trunk in red
Trunk in red

Traditional Indian furniture converted into modern seating
Traditional Indian furniture converted into modern seating

For a minimalistic look, Mary of pretty good has kept it simple with a white table in the entryway of her seaside home.

KISS: White table
KISS: White table

Other pieces of furniture around the house reinforce the same theme.

More white
More white

White is safe, after all, there is very little one can go wrong, right?

Another white table
Another white table

The most preferred color in Western interiors for painting old furniture is turquoise, other than white.Since the walls are usually white, a bright color such as this looks good. But, I doubt if it would go well with our interiors.

Turquoise chest of drawers
Turquoise chest of drawers
Turquoise dresser
Turquoise dresser

The last option, that I’m leaning towards, is going kitsch. The cabinet has a Bose radio system on top of it. So, I would like to make the top a decoupage of posters from movies we like, while the sides and doors will be painted in white.It’s quite an ambitious project!

Kitsch table
Kitsch table

How would you transform your old furniture? I’m looking for ideas….

Image courtesy:

Kishani Perera – Indian furniture

Art by Aarohi -Kitsch

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Mary’s house via The Stir

5 Comments

  1. Hi,
    I have been visiting your blog since last few months, and I just love it!
    Not only it has good content but very soothing template..so all in all a treat to visit!
    I like that red trunk and those chairs, but those look delicate, don’t they? It is good for studio apartments and bachelors..but I think they are not very practical for people who have regular 2BHK homes..and it might be psychological , but white never looks white enough in Indian homes..its may be because of the climate and the dust, but I think in a dust free place with lots of sunshine.. white works the best :)

  2. i have old wardrobes in my room on which a laminate has been installed. is possible to paint on the laminate ? i need to paint them white somehow, how can i get the white look similar to the picture in the above post (like the kids white table, the white dresser, etc)

  3. laksh

    Hi Pratik,

    Sorry for the late reply. No you can paint on the laminates since the finish is different. What you can do instead, if you are so particular about white, is to remove the laminate and get one in white.

  4. Hi. I love the look that you give to your furnitures. I have two questions in mind.
    1 ) What colour and what brand of paint have you used for the last turquoise dresser?
    2 ) can straw board furniture be painted to give it a distressed look?

  5. laksh

    Dear Tulika,

    The turquoise dresser was not painted by me. You can use Asian paints or any brand to paint on wood.The beauty of straw board is in its natural look. Why don’t you choose some other piece of furniture like a sideboard, console or chest of drawers for the distressed look.

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