Looking for simple painting techniques on wood? Make over a thrift store piece with this painted plaid pattern project.

Painting wood furniture is a quick and easy way to give it a whole new look. Step by step to get started with these easy painting techniques.

There’s nothing I like better than a little challenge.

It’s actually one of my favorite things on this planet. Thinking and planning and dreaming up projects makes me so happy.

So when FrogTape reached out to me to create a project based on one of their 2022 design trends, I jumped.

And danced a little.

And started planning.

The design trend I was given is called SHINE. You can read all about it here, but SHINE is all about celebrating color. Big, bold, beautiful color. This trend is all about lighting up your design and adding pops of color and letting happiness and joy shine through color.

I found this hutch at the thrift store.

It was in the very back of the store and it was on sale of a sale of a sale and a little forlorn and neglected.

No worries.

A makeover was just around the corner and all it needed was to let its personality SHINE.

Wait until you see what it looks like now.

(total aside: if you like color? This is the makeover for you.)

So before we get started let’s look at the color palette.

And in amazing news?

It’s full of COLOR.

Here are the colors in the SHINE trend:

  • Real Red SW 6868
  • Blue Chip SW 6959
  • Invigorate SW 6886
  • Goldfinch SW 6905
  • Electric Lime SW 6921

I looked at this piece.

And it looked back at me and told me it wanted to be plaid.

It’s actually one of my favorite painting techniques on wood, but I wanted to try a new take on it with this hutch. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the back of the hutch is lined with raised panels. Also, on the front of the doors there are panels as well. The entire piece has layers of wood.

I wanted to use those panels to create the plaid.

Does that make sense?

Instead of actually painting a plaid pattern onto the hutch, I wanted the panels to create their own reverse plaid.


Instead of telling you?

Let me show you with a little before and after.

One more time.

Here’s the before.

And here’s the after.


It’s so happy.

And full of joy.

The happiest day of its life was the day we brought it home from the thrift store.

And see what I mean about the plaid? The white panels and raised wood on the hutch actually create the plaid. It was just painted with stripes and the hutch did the rest.

Here’s how we created one of my favorite painting techniques on wood with this plaid pattern.

Painting Techniques On Wood: How to Paint a Plaid Pattern




Real Red SW 6868

Blue Chip SW 6959

Invigorate SW 6886

Goldfinch SW 6905

Electric Lime SW 6921

Extra White SW 7006

Step 1: Prime and paint the base coat

The challenge when you start working on any thrift store piece is you are never really sure what the finish on the wood is. You want to provide a really good foundation for the paint to adhere to for a lasting top coat. That’s why primer is so important. Even though it’s so tempting to start painting first, don’t overlook the primer.

You don’t want to skip this step.

Lightly sand the entire piece with 220 grit sandpaper and then apply one coat of primer.

Make sure you use a high-quality brush as well. A good paintbrush cuts down on brush strokes and prevents bristles from coming off in the paint. There’s nothing worse than finding a stray bristle in your topcoat after it’s dried.

After the primer dries, paint several coats of the base coat of paint.

The base coat here is Extra White SW 7006.

Painting Techniques On Wood taping stripes

Step 2: Plan out your pattern

My original plan was to use the panels on the back of the hutch as part of the plaid.

But when I planned it out, I decided the stripes need to be uneven. Some larger stripes and some smaller stripes instead of unified stripes.

I planned out the pattern with the different sizes of vertical stripes and marked the stripes with dots of paint.

Then I stood back and reevaluated. It’s easier to change up colors when it’s a little bit of paint rather than painting an entire strip and then changing your mind.

3. Tape off vertical stripes and paint

After the initial pattern and stripes are planned out, vertically tape out the rest of the piece.

The stripes start at the top of the back of the hutch, then they continue down the front of the drawers and the paneled doors.

I left the frame of the piece white and left the top of the middle white as well.

The basecoat allows all the other colors to shine.

Painting Techniques On Wood painting stripes

After the tape is in place, score it to make sure the lines will be clean when you pull it off.

And then?

Paint the pattern of stripes according to the paint pattern.

Most of the colors will need two coats.

Let the paint dry.

Painting Techniques On Wood peeling tape

4. Peel off the tape

This is my favorite step.

There’s something so satisfying about seeing the project come to life.

Peel off the tape and reveal that perfect paint line. That’s my favorite thing about FrogTape and why I’ve been using it for years. When you are working on a piece like this, for the pattern to work you it must have clean lines for the plaid to show through. That’s why I always use FrogTape.

Just a note, when you are peeling off the tape, make sure to pull it off in one direction for the cleanest lines.

After all the tape is pulled off, you can seal the entire piece with a coat of clear polyurethane as the last step.

Painting Techniques On Wood before hutch

That’s it.

That’s the step-by-step to take this before and….

Painting Techniques On Wood back of bookcase

Painting Techniques On Wood hutch project

Painting Techniques On Wood plaid pattern

Painting Techniques On Wood FrogTape

Painting Techniques On Wood

This was such a fun project and I’m honored to work with FrogTape on this. They chose correctly for me. I’m all about SHINE.

Any trend that introduces happy, joyful colors to the world is the trend for me.

If I could be a hutch (or any thrift store find)?

I’d want to look just like this.

Here’s to letting our joy and our decor and our light SHINE.

disclosure: This post was sponsored by FrogTape.

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

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Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Teresa George Teresa George

    How fun is this?!! It would look amazing in a family game room. Or kids playroom. You have such good ideas!

  2. Image for Sheri Sheri

    This is such a joyful little piece! How cute in a kids room or game room or really anywhere. And storage to boot! Win win!

  3. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    This does not even look like your style. Is this going in your home? Its a great job, looks pretty but not your style at all. I know you did it for frog tape. Jodena

    1. Image for Carol P Taylor Carol P Taylor

      I agree. Beautiful wood should be preserved. This had family heirloom quality. I agree with the person who said to stop painting good pieces and reserve the painting for junk pieces.

  4. Image for Donna Hale Donna Hale

    I'm not finding "links below" on your video today. I'm not the most technical person but should be pretty easy. Can you assist?

  5. Image for Char Char

    👏👏👏Leit's hear it for some color! Not sure where it's going to be used but it will be a fun burst of sunshine.

  6. Image for Diana Diana

    This turned out so fun. It started with good bones and changing out the hardware was perfect. Painting patterns is not easy and you did a great job. I love it, this time of year pops of color are more needed:)

  7. Image for Heather Heather

    Hi Karianne, You have created a piece of art with this hutch. When I was reading through the post and your idea I could not imagine how it would look, well, it looks amazing! You are so talented. Have a happy day:-)

  8. Image for JC JC

    Wow! You gave this piece a HUG......from dated and frumpy to fun and happy!!! This is totally not my style, but I appreciate the transformation!! Like others stated, this would look so fun in a kid's bedroom or playroom. Where will it call home? I hope wherever it goes they will be blessed with this ray of sunshine! I love frogtape too. I won't use other brands. OK, questions.....so you sanded only once before primer and not between coats? Did you use a spray poly or brush on? I can just see you smiling while painting this! Happy Monday, friend!

  9. Image for Ladonna Ladonna

    Not a fan of these colors. I wonder where this would look aesthetically pleasing in any room. Maybe a child’s room or craft room. It is bright and happy though.

  10. Image for R Newton R Newton

    I love beautiful solid wood,it's warm and inviting, I'd never want to paint solid wood, but I have painted, veneer or cheap wood and it was a great improvement. I like the bright colors, for I too light bright colors, but like other comments, this would be nice in a game room, outside back porch, or maybe child's room in bright colors.

  11. Image for Donnie Donnie

    My word! It is so happy. Looks like it belongs in a sunny playroom! Leave it to you to come up with such a unique idea. Oh, by the way - Love What I Bought Wednesday - you are a delight. Best - Donnie

  12. Image for PJ PJ

    I think many of us are longing for color in our homes. Perhaps it is because the days are dark and dreary this time of year. The hutch is beautiful in its former state and joyful in bright colors. I would have loved to have this piece in my primary classroom. Yes, we teachers bought real furniture for our classrooms. Have an amazing day, KariAnne!

  13. Image for DK DK

    My father had 2 of these hutches in his den. They were purchased from a very expensive furniture store in the early 1950's. They were of high quality and of course, solid wood. I believe yours would have looked better stained a lighter color or painted white. But Kari Anne, I think you do a wonderful wonderful job of decorating. I have recommended your site to my granddaughter who has moved into her first apartment and needs to make curtains. Thank you for sharing your talents and keep up the good work that you do.

  14. Image for Lona Lona

    Re: Plaid Hutch...Kinda made me sad... such a pretty wooden traditional piece too... The plaid is fun, and most certainly a lot of work to plan/paint but maybe a plain storage chest or IKEA type bookcase for a kids room would’ve been more appropriate. Sorry.

  15. Image for Leila Jane Leila Jane

    I absolutely LOVE the transformation of this old "Early American" piece into something new for THIS century! I'm not one who has any qualms about painting wood just because it's wood. I love your creativity of the bright colored plaid. It looks adorable now!!

  16. Image for Kat Kat

    So sorry! I love you, Karianne, but the hutch is too much ( and not in a good way). Love your “regular” style, though!

  17. Image for Jaime Jaime

    You did an excellent job on this, Karianne! This was definitely a surprise! However, I would have liked to have seen the finished hutch up against a very muted or white background; the bright yellow background makes the hutch look too bright. This could look nice in a mostly white kitchen, or cabin-style one that doesn’t have a lot going on.

  18. Image for sondra d spencer sondra d spencer

    I think it is happy and fresh! Good idea for someone to refresh a hutch they may not love anymore!

  19. Image for Tedi Brandon Tedi Brandon

    When you said stripes, I thought "yikes". I love the finished product, the colors or vibrant and happy! Great job!

  20. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    well this is super duper fun and you did a fabulous job. I can sooo see that in a nursery or kindergarten classroom. Me personally - I am not a big color fan and I think that piece was truly fabulous as it was - but that's just me and my allergy against bright colors. But it's super fun. What are your plans for it?

  21. Image for LaNita Copeland LaNita Copeland

    Love it! You should check out my favorite paint!! It’s from a company called 2 Chicks & a Toolbelt created by two moms. They are on Facebook and sell on Amazon as well. Love it!!

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