Transform Your Furniture With This Ombre Painting Technique

Abbie M
by Abbie M
3 Materials
1 Day

We all have items of furniture that have seen better days, whether it is a dresser covered in paint cracks or a shelving unit which has started to look a little rough around the edges. In many cases, our first thought is to try and replace them, but sometimes we simply cannot afford to make that happen.

Fortunately, there is another step you can take, as the ombre painting project technique can bring a stylish and welcome splash of color to many items within the home. Read on to discover how it could well be the perfect option for breathing new life into your most tired-looking pieces of furniture.

Tools and Materials

  • White paint
  • Color paint
  • Hand sander
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint primer
DIY Ombre Painted Furniture

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

The first step on your road to ombre painting is to ensure you have all of the tools you need for the job. Fortunately, this is something you can tackle with only a handful of items, such as primer, the paint of your choice, and a brush to apply it with. Ombre painting revolves around shifting from one color to different shades to create a striking and impressive-looking gradient. I opted for an agave shade in my project and planned to gradually fade from that to white as I painted my old dresser.

Gather Your Materials

Step 2: Remove Hardware and Sand the Piece

Next up, you need to remove any hardware that might get in the way as you prepare to paint the furniture, purely to make your life easier as you progress. I stripped my dresser down to the frame by taking the drawers out before I got started. I also removed the handles from each of them so they would not get damaged or covered in paint. If your furniture also needs sanding, now's the time to do it, although I opted not to in my project.

Remove Hardware and Sand the Piece

Step 3: Prime Your Furniture

Now it's time to add a primer. Adding a coat of primer should help in a number of ways, particularly in terms of ensuring that the paint you apply to the furniture will ultimately stick and achieve the right finish. You can add primer simply by applying it with a paintbrush and you should then leave time for it to dry.

Prime Your Furniture

Step 4: Mix Your Paint

The key part of ombre painting is getting the shades of color right to achieve the gradient you’re looking for. I did this by putting my base color of agave into several plastic beakers and then mixing in enough white paint to create different shades in each. Take your time on this step: you want to get the shades just right if you're going to create the perfect ombre painting effect on your furniture.

Mix Your Paint

Step 5: Paint Your Furniture

Now it's time to start applying your paints. I began by adding my original, deep shade of agave to the bottom part of the dresser and then applied lighter shades as I moved up the unit. I also then painted the drawers in different shades, depending on where they would sit within the piece, taking care to ensure that each new coat blended seamlessly into the last. That was particularly important on the sides of the dresser where the ombre painting effect would be in plain sight. 

Paint Your Furniture

Step 6: Reattach Hardware

Once the paint has dried, the final stage of the project is to reattach any hardware or items you removed from the furniture at the very start. In my case, this meant reattaching the handles to each of my drawers and then reinserting them into my new dresser. This is probably the most exciting part of the process: finally, the chance to see just what the finished product looks like!

Reattach Hardware

Learning how to paint ombre can be useful in so many situations. As this project shows, it can really make old furniture come to life in new and interesting ways. Let us know what you think of our ombre painting project in the comments below: what items have you chosen to use the technique on?

DIY Ombre Painting Technique

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  • Jessica Jessica on Jan 05, 2020

    Love, love, love this! SO gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

  • Jinky Jinky on Jan 13, 2020

    Yes, I have an old baby dresser I have been wanting to redo. I like this effect.