Asked on Feb 05, 2016

Previewing alternative paint colours on wooden furniture

by Judith
I'd like to see how my furniture would look if I painted it. If I took a photo, could I put overlays on it to show different colours to get an idea of what would suit my taste and decor? Is there an app for that?
This piece of furniture is huge and to me it has no life. It's useful with lots of storage and space for the TV etc but I'd like to modernize it. My floor is ceramic tile, so I can't change that but I'm seriously considering painting the wood and need help deciding what colour to use.
  23 answers
  • TENITA DEAL TENITA DEAL on Feb 05, 2016
    I would paint it black since it already in an enclosed space.
  • Kittykatz2001 Kittykatz2001 on Feb 05, 2016
    Can't go wrong with Buttermilk.
  • Marymccoppin Marymccoppin on Feb 05, 2016
    You would paint it a color that would go with the other colors in the room. I would suggest one of the neutrals in the room as it will take a lot longer to get tired of it if you paint it a neutral color so you can change out the accent colors in the accessories as you want a change.
  • Yvonne Yvonne on Feb 06, 2016
    What a fabulous piece of furniture. I am also doing an update on a piece with 3 glass doors and can't get past something 'French' as everything these days is. So I came up with a blue green (several layers, lots of light sanding to get the shabby look along the edges and a nice wax finish) to match some of the trim in the kitchen. I'm considering giving the dining table the same treatment????? A friend did her piece of furniture like this in navy blue and it looked stunning in her house, so all you have to do is choose the right colour!!!
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Feb 06, 2016
    It is so big and heavy you need to make it disappear so the spaces open up to the room rather than the bulk of the piece itself. The biggest issue is it does not fit the space well, the sides have that awkward openings and the top is eye-catchingly clumbsy;. and will always be an elephant in the room unless you can close in the sides, and top sides or replace it.
  • Sandy Hartnett Sandy Hartnett on Feb 06, 2016
    Teal for me...seems to go with all colors! Hugs
  • Glenice hanna Glenice hanna on Feb 06, 2016
    Pick a color(s) you love and every time you look at it , it will make you happy. Don't be afraid of color.
  • Cathy Cathy on Feb 06, 2016
    Have you thought about lining the back of the shelves with paper or fabric to add interest? Maybe change out the knobs to something more interesting to add interest. Also changing what you put on the shelves with more colorful items mixed in would help. Do you want it to look rustic or finished? Not sure if there is an app but go to a paint website and see if they have something like that.
    • Kathryne Williams Davis Kathryne Williams Davis on Feb 06, 2016
      @Cathy I think Cathy is right. Try colorful paper on the back on the shelf units and on the inside of the doors. New hardware and brighter items on display should make a dramatic change. Kathye
  • Daw3000588 Daw3000588 on Feb 06, 2016
    I personally would paint it the same color as my walls.Of course I would go further and cut off the top and extend the top and sides to make it look like a built in.
  • Becky Becky on Feb 06, 2016
    Perhaps print out a few pictures in grayscale and then colour them in differing ways to get an idea of what you'd prefer? I've seen people put wallpaper or contact paper on thin poster board as backing for the open shelving as well. The backing can be changed out with a neutral colour painted on the unit itself. I hope this idea helps. :)
  • Trudy Trudy on Feb 06, 2016
    I like both the ideas of lining the back of the shelves and adding new knobs. I traded my stained to match knobs on my sideboard and the metal added so much more interest! Another idea would be to wax it with the dark wax that is used all over Hometalk, it would bring out the interesting carved details. I would not paint it, it is a huge piece and I am afraid it would overwhelm the room.
    • Judith Judith on Feb 07, 2016
      Thank you Trudy. I actually feel that it already overwhelms the room.
  • Loretta Loretta on Feb 06, 2016
    It's amazing what painting a piece of furniture can do. I think this would look great in white or off white. Definitely new knobs. When I test paint colors, I buy a piece of poster board. I cut it in half & paint each section, front and back with my color choices. Tape them up against the piece of furniture. You get a better idea of what it will look like because the poster board is a good size & you don't have all the test colors on the furniture itself. Would love to see it when you are finished. I'm sure there's an App somewhere but I am not a techie person at all!
  • Linda Scats Linda Scats on Feb 07, 2016
    I see you like black accents. What about painting the whole unit a satin or semi gloss black? The designs in the top (leaves?) could be filled with spackling and pretty wood embossing accents could be added instead.. I`d go over the whole unit with a fine sand paper first so that the spackling and paint would adhere well. (With it being black your TV would virtually disappear into the unit, especially when it`s turned off) Then measure and cut cardboard pieces, slightly smaller than each of the spaces in the back, and cover with a fabric in a color that goes with your decor, folding the edges to the backside and adhere with a double sided foam tape. (That way the color can be changed if your decor changes, and it`s much easier than getting inside the unit to paint the back. Help answer this question...
  • Linda Scats Linda Scats on Feb 07, 2016
    Then I`d measure and cut pieces of cardboard slightly smaller than all the spaces in the back, cover them with a pretty color that goes with your decor, folding the edges to the backside of the cardboard pieces. Adhere with double sticky sided foam tape. Then they could be changed if your decor colors change....and it`s much easier than trying to carefully paint the back, inside all of those shelves.
  • Linda Scats Linda Scats on Feb 07, 2016
    The cardboard could be covered with upholstery or regular fabric,wallpaper, or another paper of your liking.
  • Trudy Trudy on Feb 07, 2016
    And it overwhelms it with "boring", but it is a lovely piece. The beige-ness (I am sure that is not a word but it help you comprehend my meaning) of the wood kind of blends withe floor, too. If it was a little bit darker and warmer (with the wax) it would be a pretty focal point. I am afraid if you painted it a bright color it would just take over!
    • Judith Judith on Feb 07, 2016
      So far I'm thinking a very soft white with magnolia/beige washed-out look might work with the darker shading in the patterned areas. Replacing the knobs with hardware.
  • Brenda Lyle Brenda Lyle on Aug 28, 2017

    I have a large wooden entertainment piece similar to yours. Mine is solid oak and when purchased it had only a clear coat over it. I am going to stain mine in black. I don't want the "thick" look of paint since it is already such a big bulky piece. Mine does not have any hardware but I am going to add some brushed nickel hardware.

  • Ebbjdl Ebbjdl on Aug 28, 2017

    What color are the walls? I would wash it first with Murphy's oil soap. Rinse well, let dry completely. Take off the knobs and remove the two doors and four drawers. Paint this a beige,and or off white. Depending on what you want in a finish, a semi- gloss, or gloss. Paint the doors laying flat, and the drawers standing up. A light color would give it contrast to the flooring. Good Luck!

  • Ebbjdl Ebbjdl on Aug 28, 2017

    P.S. seal it with Wilbert's lemon oil, follow directions on bottle!

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Sep 08, 2017

    I am so curious to know what you did? This post is old...are you still there? Did you do ....what?

  • Judith Judith on Sep 09, 2017

    Chickened out so far.

  • Liliana Bujan Liliana Bujan on May 11, 2020

    Ok, I have same question, I want to change colour of my display cabinet (white or grey, high gloss) and give it a modern look (new handles etc). Lots of answers here but none answered the question in 2016/2017.

    Now in 2020, is there an app to visualise how display cabinet will look if I were to make the changes??