Refinishing Mid Century Furniture


With all the posts about painting old French, British, and Italian furniture we wanted to do a post about refinishing a more modern pieces. When purchasing Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® most people don't think about using it on mid century furniture but it really does work. Here are a few ideas and many examples of the transformations people have done to mid century furniture.

1.) Just paint it one color. Most mid century pieces are very simple and plain and look great with a solid color. Whether it is white, black, or something bold it works great. 

You can use dressers, buffets, or the bottom piece to a china cabinet as a great stand for your flat screen.

2.) Use two solid colors for a great two tone look.

I love how the red shelving section pops out from the blue. 

Remember that you can even paint metal.

Steel tanker desks have a really unique look and look amazing when refinished.

3.) Use one color of paint but leave portions of the wood unpainted. This is my personal favorite method of refinishing almost any piece but I believe that it looks the best on mid century furniture.

In my opinion this application looks the best with darker colored wood stains. Colors like maple and teak seem to be too light to work with this look. If you have a lightly stained piece you can sand and use some mahogany or walnut colored varnish.
The most popular colors for this method are usually black and white but you will see that other non bold colors also seem to work very well.

These two dressers have great detail with the eye shaped wood panel. The inverse of this would have been sharp as well.

4.) Use a stencil or paint a pattern onto your piece. Stenciling and patterns do not really come to mind when looking for ideas on refinishing mid century furniture but these really do work well.

These first two have the same pattern inverted but two totally different styles. I personal prefer the first one with more exposed wood grain, but you do what makes you happy and fits best into your home.

A very simple pattern and easy to do with some painters tape really gives this piece a different look. 

An abstract geometric design compliments the straight lines of mid century modern pieces very well. 

Have a ton of colors laying around? Then have fun and make a rainbow.

This piece uses a more traditional stencil for a look that is more like what we have come to expect with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®

You can even make your own whimsical stencil design.

This one has a more childish feel but who said that kids can't enjoy refinished mid century furniture.

This one involves either free hand drawing or stenciling the silhouette of flowers. I really think the bright contrast of the white on the dark cherry finish looks amazing. 

You don't even need to paint the whole thing, just add a bright stencil.

This Shepard Fairey-esque flower stencil looks pretty hard to do, especially when spread out over multiple panels but, boy does it look phantastic. 

5.) Go crazy with color. Use as many colors as you want whether it's a gradient or not, GO WILD WITH COLOR!!!

This piece uses 4 colors without seeming too crazy or bold.

Gradient drawers are really easy to do. It doesn't have to be a perfect blend just add white paint to your colors and make as many different colors as drawers you have to paint. 

This is an example of "going crazy with color"

6.) You can always use the old techniques like distressing and a faux age.

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