Furniture Paint Colors: An Interior Designer’s Guide to Transforming Your Space

Choosing the right furniture paint colors can dramatically transform a room’s ambiance and overall appearance. As an interior designer, it is essential to understand the impact of various hues and tones on a space, while ensuring that they work cohesively with other design elements.

When selecting furniture paint colors, consider factors such as color psychology, natural light levels, and the function of the room. A well-chosen palette can not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of a space but also improve the well-being of its inhabitants.

Understanding Color Palettes

From an interior designer’s perspective, the choice of furniture paint colors is essential to create a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing environment. One way to achieve this is by understanding color palettes and their various classifications. In this section, we will discuss warm neutrals, cool neutrals, monochromatic color schemes, and contrasting colors.

Warm Neutrals

Warm neutrals are colors that exude a sense of coziness and comfort. They often have undertones of red, orange, or yellow, which add warmth to the overall appearance. Some common warm neutrals include beige, taupe, and soft cream. These colors work well in spaces where you want to create an inviting and relaxing atmosphere, such as living rooms or bedrooms.

When it comes to furniture, warm neutrals provide a versatile and timeless base. They can easily be paired with other colors or patterns, giving you the flexibility to update your space without completely changing your furniture. Some examples of warm neutrals in furniture paint colors are:

  • Light oak
  • Antique white
  • Walnut brown

Cool Neutrals

In contrast, cool neutrals have undertones of blue, green, or purple, which create a more calming and sophisticated feel. Examples of cool neutrals are gray, silver, and pale blue. These colors can be used in spaces where you want to evoke a sense of tranquility, such as bathrooms or home offices.

Cool neutrals in furniture paint colors can create a sense of balance in a room, especially when combined with other colors or textures. Some popular cool neutral furniture colors include:

  • Weathered gray
  • Off-white
  • Charcoal

Monochromatic Color Scheme

A monochromatic color scheme focuses on a single color and its various shades, tints, and tones. This approach provides a cohesive look that is easy on the eyes and can make a room feel larger and more open. The key to a successful monochromatic scheme is to use varying shades of the same color to add depth and visual interest.

For furniture paint colors in a monochromatic scheme, choose a color that complements the overall palette of the room. It’s also essential to consider the finish, as different finishes can affect how the color appears. Examples of monochromatic furniture color schemes are:

  • All-white room with varying shades of white furniture
  • Gray room with light gray, charcoal, and pewter-colored furniture
  • Brown room with various shades of tan and chocolate furniture

Contrasting Colors

Contrasting colors, as the name suggests, are opposite or significantly different from one another on the color wheel. Using contrasting colors in your furniture and overall room design can create a bold and dynamic look that adds visual interest and energy to your space. However, it’s essential to use contrasting colors thoughtfully to avoid overwhelming or clashing.

One approach is to apply a dominant color for your furniture and complement it with contrasting accents or accessories. You can also choose contrasting colors for your furniture upholstery, paint, and wood tones for a more dramatic and visually exciting environment. Some contrasting color combinations for furniture are:

  • Navy blue and gold
  • Black and white
  • Red and green

By considering these color palette classifications and their effects, you can better determine which furniture paint colors will best enhance your specific interior design project.

Popular Furniture Paint Colors

There are a variety of popular furniture paint colors from different brands that many interior designers love to use. In this section, we will explore some favorite paint colors from Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Behr Paint, and Glidden.

Benjamin Moore Favorites

Benjamin Moore is known for its high-quality paint and a wide range of color options. Here are three popular paint colors recommended by interior designers for furniture:

  • Revere Pewter (HC-172): A light, warm gray that works well with wood tones and neutral palettes. It complements both modern and traditional styles.
  • Hale Navy (HC-154): A deep, rich navy blue that adds sophistication to any piece of furniture. It’s particularly stunning when used on cabinets or built-ins.
  • Simply White (OC-117): A crisp, clean white that brightens up any space. It’s a versatile color that goes well with almost any style or theme.

Sherwin Williams Picks

Sherwin Williams offers a diverse selection of paint colors suitable for various interior design styles. Some top choices for furniture include:

  • Accessible Beige (SW 7036): A warm, inviting beige that works well in virtually any room. It’s a classic choice for traditional-style furniture.
  • Agreeable Gray (SW 7029): A soft, neutral gray that pairs well with most color schemes. It is ideal for both contemporary and transitional styles.
  • Tricorn Black (SW 6258): A bold, true black that creates a striking contrast against lighter colors. It is perfect for accent pieces or statement furniture.

Behr Paint Choices

Behr Paint provides a variety of color options for furniture that resonates with current trends. Some popular choices include:

  • Color of the Year: Blueprint (S470-5): A versatile mid-tone blue that adds a touch of elegance to any piece of furniture. It has been named Behr’s Color of the Year due to its widespread appeal.
  • Greige (N170-3): A chic combination of gray and beige that provides a neutral backdrop for various furniture styles. It’s an excellent choice for those who want a subtle touch of color.
  • Classic Burgundy (PPU1-14): A rich, luxurious burgundy that adds depth and character to furniture. It works exceptionally well on accent pieces or vintage finds.

Glidden Selections

Glidden offers a range of affordable, high-quality paint colors that are perfect for updating furniture. Some of their popular shades include:

  • Whispering Wheat (30YY 72/029): A warm, neutral tone that pairs well with natural materials and complements a wide range of styles. It’s a versatile color that brings warmth to any room.
  • Deep Onyx (00NN 07/000): A rich, dark gray that creates an elegant, dramatic look when used on furniture. It’s the perfect choice for those looking to update a piece with a modern flair.
  • Timeless Lilac (30RR 53/144): A soft, muted purple that works beautifully on shabby-chic or vintage pieces. It adds a touch of whimsy and nostalgia to a space.

With so many color options available from Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Behr Paint, and Glidden, finding the perfect paint color for your furniture has never been easier. No matter your style preference or desired color scheme, there is sure to be a shade that suits your needs.

Color and Wood Combinations

Choosing the right color combination for wooden furniture is an essential aspect of interior designing. The type of wood or paint color you select can greatly impact the overall ambiance and feel of the room. In this section, we will discuss color and wood combinations for both natural wood furniture and painted wood furniture.

Natural Wood Furniture

Natural wood furniture presents a warm and timeless beauty that is versatile and can complement various design styles. To harmonize with different types of wood, consider the following color combinations:

Wood TypeCompatible Colors
OakWhites, grays, and cooler greens
WalnutRich blues, deep greens, and pastel pinks
CherryBeiges, warm neutrals, and muted reds
MapleBright blues, oranges and yellows, light to medium grays

It is important to remember that the color combinations listed above are merely suggestions, and personal preferences and existing room elements must also be taken into consideration.

Painted Wood Furniture

Painted furniture, on the other hand, provides an opportunity to add a burst of color or create unique visual interest. When choosing paint colors for wooden furniture, consider the following tips:

  • Complementary Colors: Pairing colors that sit opposite each other on the color wheel, like blue and orange, can create a striking design statement.
  • Monochromatic Shades: Selecting varying shades of the same color can produce a harmonious and sophisticated look that feels cohesive.
  • Neutral Tones: Neutrals such as beige, gray, and off-white can provide the perfect backdrop for other colorful elements in the room to stand out.

When selecting paint colors for furniture, it’s essential to consider the size of the room, the amount of natural light, and the overall design style to ensure a cohesive and visually appealing result.

Using Color to Enhance Room Size and Ambiance

Color plays a vital role in creating the desired atmosphere and visual impression of a space. By using the right colors in your furniture paint, you can make a room feel larger or smaller and more inviting. In this section, we will focus on how color can be used to enhance room size and ambiance in the dining room and with accent walls.

Dining Room Décor

When it comes to dining rooms, the choice of color scheme can impact not only the visual impression but also the mood of the people using the space. Here are some top tips for using color in your dining room:

  • Bright and light colors: Light colors, such as white, cream, and soft pastels, can help create a sense of spaciousness in a smaller dining room. These colors reflect light and make the room appear larger than it actually is.
  • Warm colors: Warm colors, like red, orange, and yellow, can create an inviting and cozy atmosphere, perfect for a space where family and friends gather to enjoy meals together.
  • Cool colors: Cool colors, such as blue and green, can help create a more formal and serene dining environment. These hues provide a calm and relaxing atmosphere, which may encourage more focused conversation during meals.

Combining different colors can also create interesting contrasts and visual effects. For instance, a light-colored dining table can be paired with chairs in a bolder hue for a striking visual impact.

Accent Walls

Accent walls are a great way to add depth and character to a space by creating a focal point. The key to choosing the right color for an accent wall is to ensure it complements the overall color scheme of the room. Here are some tips on how to use accent walls effectively:

  • Contrast: Choose a color that contrasts well with the other walls in the space. This helps draw attention to the accent wall and creates visual interest.
  • Bold colors: Don’t be afraid to go bold with your choice of color for the accent wall. This can add personality to the space and make it more memorable. However, it is crucial to ensure that the chosen color complements the room’s overall color scheme.
  • Texture: In addition to using color, consider incorporating texture, such as brick or wood paneling, to create a more impactful accent wall. This can enhance the visual effect and add depth to the space.

When choosing a color for your furniture paint or walls, always consider the room’s purpose, lighting conditions, and existing décor to ensure a cohesive and visually pleasing result.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Color

Choosing the perfect color scheme for your furniture can be a daunting task, especially with the vast array of interior paint colors available. To make the selection process smoother, follow these expert tips from interior designers.

Firstly, consider the existing color palette of your space. Make note of the wall, flooring, and accessory colors to ensure that your furniture paint colors harmoniously blend with the existing elements. This approach will help you narrow down your color choices.

Next, determine the function of the room and how you want it to feel. Different colors can evoke different emotions and create various atmospheres. For example, choosing calming colors such as pale blues or neutrals can create a serene environment, whereas lively hues like reds, yellows, or bright greens can energize a space.

When it comes to selecting the perfect color, don’t be afraid to test out a few options. Purchase small paint samples and apply them to a piece of scrap wood or cardboard. Place these samples in the intended room and observe how they look under different lighting conditions throughout the day. This testing method can help you confidently decide on a final color choice.

Take into account the size of your furniture and its location within the room. Large pieces may require more subtle colors, whereas smaller, accent pieces can handle bolder, more vibrant shades.

To ensure a cohesive look, you can also consider using a color wheel as a helpful tool when choosing complementary or analogous color schemes. If you are unsure of which colors to pick, consult the following table:

Color SchemeDescription
ComplementaryColors opposite each other on the color wheel, offering a high contrast and a vibrant look when used together.
AnalogousColors adjacent to each other on the color wheel, providing a harmonious, subtle look when combined.

In conclusion, selecting the perfect color for your furniture involves considering the current hues in your space, the desired ambiance, and the practical aspects of your furniture. Test out various colors to see how they fare in your room, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone when experimenting with different shades and combinations.

Paint Types and Finishes

When choosing paint colors for your furniture, it’s essential to understand the different types of paint and finishes available. These options can significantly impact the final look and feel of your piece.

Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is a popular choice for furniture painting because of its unique matte finish and ease of use. It dries quickly, requires little to no preparation or priming, and adheres well to various surfaces, including wood, metal, and glass. Chalk paint is also an eco-friendly option, as it contains low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The main drawback of chalk paint is its limited color palette.

Milk Paint

Milk paint is another eco-friendly option with a matte or satin finish. It is made from natural ingredients, including milk protein, clay, and natural pigments. This type of paint is ideal for antique and distressed furniture looks, as it creates a charming, aged appearance. Milk paint requires more prep work than chalk paint but offers a broader color range.

Spray Paint

Spray paint is a convenient option for those who prefer a more controlled and even application. It dries quickly and creates a durable finish on your furniture. The downside to using spray paint is that it can be challenging to achieve a uniform finish, especially on intricate or detailed pieces. Additionally, spray paint tends to have high levels of VOCs, which may not be suitable for those concerned with eco-friendliness.


Satin paint finish provides a subtle sheen that falls between matte and semi-gloss. It is a versatile choice for furniture, as it works well on a variety of surfaces and in different lighting conditions. Satin is reasonably durable, making it suitable for pieces that see moderate use, such as end tables or dressers. However, it is not as easy to clean as higher gloss finishes.


Semi-gloss paint has a higher sheen than satin, giving furniture a polished and smooth appearance. This type of finish is ideal for furniture that sees heavy use, as it is more durable and easier to clean. The primary downside to semi-gloss paint is that it can highlight any imperfections in the piece, so thorough preparation is necessary before painting.

Painting Techniques for Furniture

Choosing the right painting technique for your furniture project can greatly impact the final result. From applying paint to different textures to using various finishing techniques, following appropriate procedures ensures a professional appearance and long-lasting results.

Applying Paint to Different Textures

When painting furniture, it is essential to consider the texture of the surface. Different materials and textures require specific approaches to ensure proper paint adhesion and a smooth finish.

  • Wood: Before painting wooden furniture, sand the surface to remove any imperfections and create a smooth canvas for paint application. Start with a medium-grit sandpaper and move to a finer-grit one for the best results. Once done, remove any dust and debris with a tack cloth.
  • Metal: For metal surfaces, it is crucial to first treat the piece with a primer specifically designed for metal. This will help the paint adhere to the surface and prevent rusting. Lightly sand the metal with fine-grit sandpaper before applying the primer.
  • Plastic: When painting plastic furniture, use a paint specifically made for plastic surfaces, as other types may not adhere properly. First, clean the surface thoroughly before applying the paint to ensure there is no dirt or oils that can affect the paint’s adhesion.
  • Laminate: Laminate furniture can be tricky to paint, as the surface is often non-porous, making paint adhesion challenging. To effectively paint laminate, use a primer specifically made for this purpose, followed by a high-quality paint that will achieve a durable finish.

Applying paint in thin, even coats using a high-quality brush or roller will result in a smoother, more even finish. Allow each coat to dry fully before applying the next, and use the recommended number of coats for the type of paint you are using.

Finishing Techniques

After applying the paint, several finishing techniques can enhance the appearance of your furniture, adding character and depth while also providing additional protection.

  • Distressing: Distressing furniture entails strategically removing paint in specific areas to create a weathered, vintage look. Lightly sand the areas you want to distress before wiping off any debris with a tack cloth. Distress to your desired level of wear.
  • Glazing: A glazing technique involves applying a thin layer of a tinted glaze over the paint to create depth and to accentuate details. It is then wiped off the flat surfaces, leaving more glaze in recessed areas. This technique works particularly well on intricate or ornate pieces.
  • Waxing: Waxing furniture adds a layer of protection and can enhance the look of your paint job. Use a clear wax for a natural appearance or try a specialty wax like dark, metallic, or white wax to create various effects. Apply the wax with a brush or cloth, then buff it in small, circular motions.

Experimenting with various techniques and practicing on a small, inconspicuous area before applying to the entire piece can help you achieve the perfect finish. Remember to properly clean your brushes and maintain your tools for the best results in future projects.

10 Popular Furniture Paint Colors for 2023

As we move into 2023, it’s time to explore trending furniture paint colors that can transform your home. Selected by interior designers, these colors offer a fresh, modern vibe while still aligning with individual preferences and the existing decor. Let’s take a look at these top 10 popular furniture paint colors for 2023:

  • 1. Earthy Greens: Beautiful shades of green, like sage, olive, and moss, bring a refreshed, natural atmosphere to any space.
  • 2. Bold Blues: Incorporating bold hues like navy, deep teal, and royal blue will make a statement in any room and act as a striking focal point.
  • 3. Vintage Pink: A soft vintage pink adds a touch of sophistication and elegance to furniture pieces without feeling overly feminine.
  • 4. Warm Terra Cotta: A versatile, earthy shade, terra cotta complements various design styles—from bohemian to traditional—while adding warmth and depth to the space.
  • 5. Charcoal Gray: A timeless choice, charcoal gray is perfect for those who prefer a more neutral, understated hue that still adds interest and dimension to the room.

Continuing the list, the next popular colors help you stay on-trend and innovative for the upcoming year. These are:

  • 6. Burnt Orange: With a nod to the 70s, burnt orange revitalizes furniture pieces and adds character while pairing well with various styles, such as modern or mid-century.
  • 7. Off-White: A classic choice for creating an air of elegance and simplicity, off-white serves as a versatile palette for any room’s design and decor.
  • 8. Muted Yellow: For a subtle yet uplifting touch, look to muted yellow hues to brighten the space and bring positive energy into the room.
  • 9. Rich Plum: This luxurious shade adds depth to any furniture piece and works well with other jewel tones or as a standalone statement color.
  • 10. Aegean Teal: Combining blue, green, and gray, Aegean teal creates a soothing, intimate atmosphere in any room and pairs well with both warm and cool color schemes.

Whether you decide to embrace bold, rich tones, or choose a more subdued, neutral color, these 10 popular furniture paint colors of 2023 can guide you in transforming your living spaces into fashion-forward, vibrant, and inviting rooms that reflect your personal taste and style.

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