Looking for simple DIY paint techniques? Here are seven paint treatments you can use to transform a piece of furniture in a day.

diy paint techniques

I wrote this post for everyone who has an extra summer day to learn something new.

Raise your hand if you shop at thrift stores.

Raise your hand if you have a piece of furniture that needs a makeover.

Raise your hand if you have paint and a brush.

Oh, good.

Please come sit by me.

Some of the techniques are easy. Some are harder. Some need a special tool (and if so, I’ll be sure and link to it if you need it).

But you can use all these techniques to transform a piece of furniture in a day.


Oh, good.

My paintbrush and I are too.

Here are 7 DIY paint techniques to try at home.

7 DIY Paint Techniques To Try at Home

q: what faux painting tools do I need?

Most DIY faux painting techniques can be created with simple tools. For most of these projects, you’ll need a brush, paint colors that you want to use and sandpaper. Some techniques are a little more advanced and you may need special tools. For example, for the faux bois technique, you’ll need a special tool and some of the techniques require painter’s tape as well.

q: how to layer paint on wood

Layering paint on wood is all about drying time. Sometimes you will want to blend the paint together and create a mottled finish with your project. Sometimes you want to create individual layers of paint and you’ll need to let each layer dry separately. The key is deciding the type of finish you want to create and then adjusting the drying time for the project.

q: what are some creative painting ideas for walls?

Most of the DIY paint techniques discussed in this post work best on furniture. In addition, here are a few painting ideas for walls.

q: how long do most DIY painted techniques take?

This completely depends on how many layers of paint are required for your project. Most painted techniques require a drying time between at least some of the layers. Depending on drying time, your project can take between 4-8 hours.

q: what if I paint it and I don’t like the way it turned out?

That’s the most amazing thing about paint. Most of these projects don’t use dimensional paint, so you can just paint over your project.


Just between us?

I know it seems like every project that I finish always turns out, but I only show you the good ones. Most of these techniques I’ve taught myself with a lot of trial and error. This is meant to be fun. It’s meant to spark your creativity and encourage you to try something new.

Sometimes it turns out even better than you can even imagine.

Sometimes it still needs a little more help.

It’s a good thing there’s always more paint.

And now? Here are 7 of my favorite DIY painting techniques for furniture.

diy paint techniques table

1. Crackle finish with glue

If you are looking for DIY paint techniques, this is one of the easiest.

All you need is glue, a brush, sandpaper and paint.

Here’s how to create a distressed farmhouse finish.

diy paint techniques painted table

2. Painted swirl pattern

This was a coffee table that I got at a yard sale for $10.

It needed HELP.

So I saved this table with blue and white paint and a skinny brush.

See my blue lipstick makeover here.

diy paint techniques distressed table

3. How to distress a table

This is one of the very first DIY painting techniques that I ever tried.

It is SO EASY and it makes furniture look like it came over on the Mayflower.

It works best on tables with a slightly raised edge and some decorative features.

You can see how I created this finish here.

diy paint techniques faux runner

4. Faux painted runner

This table was on the back porch at the farmhouse.

I had a table runner on there, but it kept blowing away.

So I painted a faux runner on the tabletop.

Here’s the DIY on how I created it.

5. Simple DIY paint technique: faux bois tabletop

This is just a fancy way of saying painting a table with faux wood grain.

Doesn’t it sound like it came straight out of Poldark?

It’s one of the more challenging DIY paint techniques, but once you learn how to use the faux wood tool, it gets easier.

You can see the entire DIY here.

6. simple DIY paint technique: how to paint anything to look like wood

Do you have a piece at your house that you want to look like wood?

You can.

It’s a simple combination of different paints and a little brush technique.

See the entire DIY here.

7. How to create the look of inlaid wood

This technique actually uses stain instead of wood, but I wanted to include it because I love this table.

All you need is stain and painter’s tape and a brush.

See the entire DIY here.

And if 7 isn’t enough?

No worries.

I have a few more projects up my sleeve like these:

And don’t forget—if you are painting furniture here are some of my best tips to reduce (or get rid of) brush marks.

I hope this post inspired you to try something new.

Just know I’m here if you have ANY questions—or if you have a paint technique you want to try that I haven’t mentioned.

E-mail me anytime.

I’ll just be here this summer.

At home.

Hanging out with my brush. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.

You Might Also Like


  1. Image for Kris Kris

    So many ideas! The problem I encounter is that so many paint transformations require good ventilation, which for me, means doing it outdoors .... and it seems like it's either too humid or snowy or rainy or whatever to do it there. So I'll mostly vicariously enjoy your transformations.

  2. Image for Jayne Jayne

    You always have the best ideas KariAnne! I love upcycling furniture too and I'm always looking for new ways to transform this or that! Thanks for the inspiration, I'm pinning this for later!

  3. Image for Cara Cara

    Loving all of the techniques to paint... you may be more experimental than I am though. LOL. I may have to try my hand at something new though. Thanks for sharing!

Comments are closed.