Top 10 tips on Choosing Furniture Paint Colors

There are several factors that go into my color selections, so I thought I'd share my though processes when choosing furniture paint colors.

One of the most frequent questions I get is “What color should I paint this?” Unfortunately the answer is never that simple. There are several factors that go into my color selections, so I thought I’d share my thought processes when choosing furniture paint colors.

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1. Will you be painting to keep or painting to sell?

Every market is different, certain colors sell better in some geographic areas than others. Try to stay in touch with design trends. Pinterest can be helpful, browsing home decor stores, watch what pieces are available in your area and how quickly they sell.

Choosing Furniture Paint Colors
Even white finishes don’t have to be boring!

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2. If you are painting to keep, what decor is in the room it will be in?

Do you have bedding, artwork, or other accessories that will be in the room with your piece? Choose an inspiration piece that you love, that will be in the room, and pull color inspiration from there.

Much of my work is custom orders for a client. We usually start by exchanging photos of their decor, this helps me see their style and decorating taste. Then we exchange photos of furniture they like. I do my best work when given basic direction, then given creative freedom from there.

3. What finishes have you done lately?

It can get monotonous to paint the same finishes and colors repetitively. When choosing furniture paint colors, I look at my previously painted portfolio and look for colors I haven’t done in a while. This helps keep my work fresh and diverse. Occasionally I go to the paint department at my local hardware store and grab paint chips that are different colors for me to mix and try.

Choosing Furniture Paint Colors Brushed By Brandy
Mix custom colors to mix things up

4. Is there a new technique you are wanting to try?

Tired of blending, wanna go boho? If there is a technique you are wanting to try, keep that in mind when choosing furniture paint colors.

Choosing Furniture Paint Colors Brushed By Brandy
Metallics and cross hatching were on my list to try

5. Take cues from the style of your furniture piece

The style of your furniture will help give color direction. I like softer, more muted tones on curvy pieces like French provincial, but prefer bold, basic colors on clean lines of mid century. Look at the vibe your piece is giving off, is it soft and feminine or clean and masculine?

6. Look for inspiration in everything around you

My private inspiration board in Pinterest is full of images of everything…except furniture! I save canvas art, nature photos, fashion photos, anything that catches my eye and refer back to those for color and technique inspiration. Look for textures, layers, all of those are tips on how colors will work together.

Choosing Furniture Paint Colors Brushed By Brandy
Curvy and feminine?

Choosing Furniture Paint Colors Brushed By Brandy
Or bold, clean lines?

7. Do you have a transfer or decoupage paper you plan to incorporate?

The background color for your transfer or decoupage should compliment the image itself. Pull complimentary colors that showcase your design or pull colors from the image itself.

You can shop furniture transfers HERE!

Choosing Furniture Paint Colors Brushed By Brandy
The burlap colors and coffee imagery inspired this coffee bar

8. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery

If you are stuck on colors choices, look for similar pieces done by other artists that inspire you. I always appreciate credit when reproducing one of my finishes, but otherwise welcome seeing different versions.

Choosing Furniture Paint Colors Brushed By Brandy

9. Pinterest. Pinterest. Pinterest

If you don’t have a Pinterest account, get one. Its a rabbit hole of inspiration. You are bound to leave overflowing with color ideas and probably a few dozen new dessert recipes too.

10. Post on social media for help

There are public forums dedicated just to talking paint colors. Chalk Mineral Paint Enthusiasts and World of Chalk Paint are 2 examples of Facebook groups just for avid furniture painters. Talk about a creative mind collective! Draw on the expertise of others and don’t be afraid to post a pic of your piece and the direction you are thinking. The paint world is a helpful one, the first post can be nerve racking, but after that you’ll know you are in good company.

Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for too! I post all of my newest pieces and seeing everyone chatting there.

You can also check out my blog all about My Favorite 3 Color Blends for more inspiration to help you in choosing furniture paint colors.

As you can see, these decisions don’t happen spontaneously. We often say a piece “speaks” to us, but in reality, our brains are mulling over all these factors in making a color decision. Its not so much that the furniture “speaks”, but rather that we carry on a long, involved conversation, over a cup of coffee and brunch 😉

Choosing Furniture Paint Colors Brushed By Brandy

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. glasskristi

    Thank you for this post Brandy!!!

  2. Cheryl Atkinson

    Thank you Brandy. Choosing a color is always biggest dilemma.

  3. Diane Laurion-Smith

    I always wondered how you chose your colors and was feeling a bit inadequate that a piece didn’t automatically speak to me like it seems to do for all of the DB ambassadors. Good to know that you actually have a process that you go through when deciding. Thanks so much for sharing!! You’re the best!!

  4. Sharon

    I have a tip too. First apply the perfect color of paint, then repaint, then paint again. The third seems to be magical.

  5. cathy g dore

    thankyou you give out such amazing information

  6. Kelly S Lee

    Thank you ! You are so inspirational. I was browsing your you tubes and came across one of your “first”s ! back in 2018 ? Even then you gave great how to’s.

      1. Pat passos

        Brandy- you are an amazing artist-but also a great teacher. Thank you for this great article and for all that you share with the rest of us. You are truly a generous person.

  7. Pearl Ingham

    Do you ship to Canada? Can not seem to find anywhere in Canada to buy. Thank you

  8. Ashley

    You are a brilliant artist! I want to paint my bedroom furniture in sandbar, drop cloth and I don’t want what to use for the third color? Can you make a suggestion? I want it to be neutral.

    I’ve used Annie Sloan paint to paint my daughter’s bedroom furniture but this will be my first time using Dixie Belle. I’m really excited!

    After my bedroom furniture I’m going to paint my breakfast nook!

    1. Brandy K.

      Take a look at driftwood or French linen

      1. Ashley Baca

        Thanks! I tried and tried but couldn’t get the blended to look good. So I just painted the whole thing sandbar and used drop cloth in the middle parts. It looks good, but of course I wish I could paint like you!

  9. Nikol

    Such nice colors and how you are using them is fab! Thanks for this post!

  10. Mary

    The bed and dresser are amazing. You are a true artists and magician. Just when I think I’ve found my favorite piece of yours I discover another. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us.

  11. Tonja R.

    Great information! Wished I had it a few weeks ago! Coming up on third times a charm! Just saw your Ikat type finish! Wheels are turning once again! You are a wonderful person! Thank you for sharing your awesome talent with the world!

  12. Kelly

    Thank you! Choosing colors is always a dilemma for me—I love them all! Now that I’m officially starting my paint business as a side hustle (or FT hustle if I continue to be furloughed from work), I’m enjoying the freedom of being able to pick colors I’ve always wanted to try! Love your pieces, and appreciate all your great help!

  13. Debra Hubbs

    Every time I read your blog or watch your videos, I am amazed at your work. You are the best of the best! I appreciate all your efforts to help those less experienced and talented lol. I have a vanity to use as a desk and you have once again inspired me. I always have trouble choosing colors and am very new at this. I wish I could find transfers that go with blue/green shades. I’d like to attempt what you did above with the vanity.

  14. bshinehome

    thanks for amazing post i apricate you for your hard work and unique ideasAffordable house paintingkeep it up

  15. Carol MacDonald

    If I’m stuck for an idea I just go through your you tube videos. I watch a bunch of them then I’m inspired. There are so many videos to choose from that something will catch my eye. Thanks for all of your videos. I’ve learned so much and the products are so great that I work with confidence and have had success.

  16. Maria

    What type of finish you used for Blue Bird Bed Set. I always get lost with finished. Mouse, Gator Hide, Wax or glaze. To many to choose from.

  17. Pauline Hunt

    Just found you. So glad. Let me say I have seen many people posting painted furniture. Many are very good. I fell in love with yours. I am woundering where you purchased the bird transffers? I have sent my email address. Look for word to seeing more of your work.

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