Color Spotlight: Painted Furniture

By Kate Riley April 15, 2010

There’s something about nature in bloom in April that gets everyone thinking and talking about color.  I confess, with spring in the air and summer on the horizon, I’m looking around my house for ways to inject pops of color here and there as well. 

So as you know from yesterday’s musings about thrift store hunting, like many of you, I have an addiction to fixing up furniture.  The other day I stumbled across a company called Somerset Bay that uses color on their pieces in the most incredible way and I was completely inspired.   Brace yourself, because these colors will have you wanting to run to the paint store to refinish one of your own in a similar fresh spring shade.       

martha's vineyard chest

somerset cumberland cabinet


pamplico half round cabinet

 somerset long key chest


kenebunkport cocktail table 

cape nedick end table 

Picture 3325 

somerset bay serpentine chest

Picture 308 

montauk mirror 

somerset bay indian key chest 2


nantucket farmhouse table 

crisfield bookshelf


santa rosa server


camden display

somerset bay etagere

Now please pause while I pick my jaw up off the floor.  Isn’t it amazing how one brightly painted piece can make a room come alive?  Talk about serious color inspiration.

Do you have any plans to introduce more color into your home this season ?  Do share! 

All images courtesy of Somerset Bay.


  1. Those are so beautiful. I’m going to bookmark this post and come back to it time and again. I’ll also go visit their website. These pieces are fabulous. It’s true one bit of color like that in a room can make all the difference. So gorgeous!

  2. Gorgeous! It makes such a huge difference to have a colorful piece of furniture in a room.

  3. I just painted a wooden step stool the color blue in the last picture….it’s Valspar spray paint in Mediterranean. I love it!

  4. The pale yellow and spring green hutches are definitely giving me some inspiration. I’ve been wanting to paint the hutch my FIL made us for our wedding. At first I was thinking cream…..but yellow, spring green, even periwinkle could be quite lovely.

  5. Oh yes! The 12th pic caught my eye the most…that side table…hellllo gorgeous! I am planning on that almost exact color for my lil kitchen island project which is soon to come! woo hoo! Thanks for the beautiful inspirations!

  6. Thanks for the warning! I seriously can’t breath at how cute some of those are, those green and blue colors are so cute.

  7. Yes plans.. I have OODLES of plans. I’m actually on my way to pick up a find from Craigslist. It’s a pretty little writing desk that needs lots of love (and sandng), but I’m getting it for only $15. I’m thinking a pretty shade of green for my bedroom.

  8. oh my goodness gracious! Who would have thought that painted wood could look so yummy? You that’s who! thanks for inspiring us once again!

  9. Okay I am off to buy paint! kate I love the first image, do you know what the shade is on it?

    Adore them all of course!

    Art by Karena

  10. You are so right, it’s the season that makes us go crazy for color. I was perfectly happy with the colors in my house until about a month ago and now all the blacks and tans must go to make room for the apple greens, aquas and blues!

  11. I sure do plan on bringing more color into my household. I’m thinking of painting my armoire yellow, light gray w/ white piping, or whitewashed turquoise. That white hutch w/ the blue background is freakin “censational”!

  12. Love, love love it all!!! but I want to learn how to recreate those lovely “matte” finishes. Please share your ideas!

  13. OH my those pieces are all JUST GORGEOUS! I especially LOVE the dressers and the tables! Years ago (about 17) I was on my way back to work from a lunch break and I passed an antique store I passed everyday, the gentleman was dragging out an old beat up dresser painted black. I immediately KNEW it had to be mine, I stopped and put it on hold. Now 17 years later it is the inspiration for our newly painted BLACK kitchen cabinets! I adore painted furniture! Here’s a post about it if you want to see

  14. What an inspiring collection of painted furniture! I’ve had my eye on a couple things around the house that are going to get covered with color, soon! Janell

  15. Some serious eye candy! I love all that soft blue! I would take any 1 of these in a heartbeat!!! Thanks for inspiring me today!!

  16. Wow! Wow! Wow! How can anyone not love these? So amazing! Love it!

  17. I have lofty plans of refinishing a rocking chair from my youth. It’s currently in my son’s room with some neutral checked cushions my Mom made, but the finish is definately older than I am. Think late 70’s olive/burnt orange/goldenrod stencils on a dark stain, covered in laquer. There’s a hint of green in the new cushions, so I’ve been toying with the idea of painting the chair a vintage inspired, muted green. The chair will remain in my son’s room, which is currently in transition from Vintage Muscle Cars to Space Race. I’m keeping most of the linens and accessories the same bold, vintage primary colors, but adding in space themed accessories & vintage toys to bring it all together.

  18. oh wow they are all so beautiful! we’re moving to our new home next month so I’m pretty excited. I can’t wait to get my hands on some paint and start painting away – walls and furniture!

  19. These are really lovely and perfect inspiration for spring. Thanks for bringing all the photos together for us to see.

    I’m loving the neutral shades right now and am planning to bring in some light blue and creamy colors in a room makeover at my mom’s house. Shh don’t tell her! She doesn’t know yet that I’m going to paint the furniture :-)

  20. Love the spring inspired pieces! I got a couple of red vases you can see in my latest post and they just make me smile and feel springy!

  21. Ohh my, I’m in love with the bed you can see in the large mirror! And everything else of course!!

  22. Oh Wow – never mind running to the paint store, I’m definitely clicking straight over to Somerset Bay’s site!! These are lovely finds.

  23. I need to buy a really big house, just so I’ll have enough space for all the great furniture I’m going to buy and paint. Also, I love that last shelfy thing.

    I actually just did try to put some color into my house. Our bathroom is this really terrible poo brown color, and we don’t want to paint it. So I got some boring shelves and painted them what I thought was blue, but what turned out to be more of a very vibrant purple (yikes!). They’re still drying, but we’ll see how they look in the bathroom… If they look terrible I’m thinking of doing some other color textured over the paint. Any ideas?

  24. I’ve been trying to refinish and console table for my family room. I’ve tried sanding and staining repeatedly and it’s only produced frustration. So I’m either going to chuck it into the road or paint it. So if I decide to do the rational thing and paint it, I’m very confused on what color to do it.
    I have red leather couches and and bronzy accent pillows and bronzy/gold red curtains. Any color ideas immediately pop into your head???


  25. beautiful. I think my 3 favourites are the crisfield bookshelf, somerset bay etagere and the sumerset cumberland cabinet

  26. I love all that color!! So fresh and classy. And you know I know I have seen the last bookcase thingy all dark wood and 70’sish at the Goodwill and I just never thought of painting it a nice fresh color. I think I’ll go down there today and see if they still have it. It would look beautiful in my dauther’s grey room. I’m thinking a nice celery green. Thanks for inspiring!!

  27. Wow, wow, wow! Heading over there now to check them out. I think this will result in me deviating from my usual white…thanks for sharing this!

  28. Seriously love the blue turned three shelf case at the end of the post. Wonderful. I am into paingint many of my older wooden items this year, much to the dismay of hubby, who prefers lots of manly wooden things.

    Blessings ~ Eileen

  29. I too love painted furniture and it has taken me years to convince my hubby that painted furniture is a good thing. He’s a loggerman at heart who thinks wood should reveal its own beauty…walnut, cherry, etc. But alas after 30 years of marriage he now understands my need for painted furniture and h appily plays along…just to make me happy. This is one of my favorite posts of yours. Love it. I think also that the painted furniture changes the whole feel of these rooms…from bland to “ooooh”

  30. Hi Anissa ! Send me a photo and I’m happy to send you some ideas !

  31. Beautiful pieces! I love many of the chests and bookcases ~ heck, I like them all! I don’t have any plans, but if I found a nice little side table while thrifting, I’d certainly think about painting it a color other than white or black. I’m kind of liking the blues!

  32. oh. my. goodness. i am in love. with every one of these pieces. thanks for the inspiration :)

  33. I’m way into the yellows and light blues. I’m looking for a corner cabinet of sorts on Craigslist and I may not paint it white after all! Thanks for the inspiration!

  34. Love, love, love, loved them all except the coffee table. But wow, now that’s what I call tasteful, timeless and modern. Thanks for sharing.

  35. Wow. Those are so yummy that I had to go through and look at them again! AND mark this post “keep unread” for later today. I have a cabinet in my kitchen that I was going to paint shell white (trim color) but now I am re-thinking that idea!

  36. Love the yellow bench with the cutouts in the back! If I had an actual entryway I would be dying to get something like that. Maybe in my next house right?!

  37. Those are beautiful pictures!! I am contemplating painting a table blue for my master bedroom, but I have to admit I am just plain skeered! :)
    Love the write up in Apartment Therapy. You are the bomb-diggity!
    You do know that I am telling everyone in blogland that you are my BFF? Just thought you should know…

  38. I love them all! I can’t decide which I like best. We’re about to start completely redoing our house and I have no idea what to do. I pick a style and find something in a different style I like. Thanks for the inspiration pictures.

  39. Seeing all that painted furniture reminds me of when I was a kid. My mom painted every piece of wood furniture in our house a different color & then antiqued it. She even did every closet door. This was the late 60’s, early 70’s. Then about a decade later she decided she wanted everything back to natural wood & had to strip every piece. Such fun. Everything old, becomes new again. I just hope macrame doesn’t come back in fashion. But then, I’ll probably love it if it does.

  40. I used to be scared of color…I’m warming up to the idea of using color in my home because I really want to! This year is going to be the year. All these pictures have given me so many ideas, thanks for sharing. :)

  41. *Picks up jaw and wipes up drool* I might need a bath now. Beautiful and such inspirational pieces! Just the look I am going for in my new house. One thing I plan on having color is my piano. It’s in need of some love and repair so why not paint it while I’m at it?

  42. I love the colored furniture. So beautiful!! I want to re-do my guest room and have considered doing some colored pieces. Great inspiration. Thanks for sharing. Love & blessings from NC!

  43. I’m trying to decide what colour to paint some cane and rattan chairs I picked up recently, and this post has made my decision so much more complicated! So many gorgeous colours to choose from, and I have to decide on just one – what’s a girl to do? But love the images, I’m new to your lovely blog and can’t believe I’ve been missing out for so long! Now an avid follower. Kerri xx

  44. I love painted furniture, and these are all beautiful examples of it. I’ve got several old pieces of furniture I plan to paint one of these days, and this post has inspired me to go ahead and get moving on it!

    Have a great weekend, Kate! :-)

  45. Beautiful. The craft room is begging for color and I plan on loading it up with lots of girly colors and details.

  46. I love pops of color in my home! I love to add reds, greens, pinks and my favorite turquoise here and there. It keeps it whimsy and interesting. Love those pieces you shared!!


  47. I love painted furniture. I’ve even done a few pieces of my own that were successful. That’s different for me!

    Thanks for this inspiration.

  48. Fun! I loved the first pic with that wonderful blue chest. I bought my first piece of painted furniture (not counting the piece I painted out on the porch) a few months ago for my guest room. Love mixing the painted pieces in with the non-painted. :-)

  49. I love, love, love it all! I always sell my colored pieces, but I need to start painting some pieces for myself. I love that white curio with the vibrant blue interior.

  50. Reminds me of milk paint. Just a little glossier. I do want to run out and paint something. Which is funny considering we just spent 2 weeks painting our kitchen cabinets green. I just can’t be stopped!

  51. Your blog is beautiful. The furniture lovely. You really need to check out the new Annie Sloan Paint. Email me – you will love this stuff!!!! no sanding, no stripping, goes on anything, even wax!! 24 Lovely colors and so many looks you can get…all these yummy colors you show and more!

  52. I’ve got several old pieces of furniture I plan to paint one of these days, and this post has inspired me to go ahead and get moving on it… I am thinking to replace some furniture too….

  53. These are all so beautiful. I wish I could see a picture of the pieces with the entire room. It is hard for me to figure out how to tie in all the fun colors into a room and make it look good without being matchy matchy.

  54. I bought an antique chest that looks similar to the yellow Indian Key Chest pictured above. It looks so great in our living room! What a beautiful piece of furniture! If your ever in Chicago, check out Nest Furniture ( / 2707 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614) which is where I bought the piece.

  55. These are gorgeous pieces of furniture, all I can do is look at them and wish. Have you seen their prices? I can’t understand how anybody can charge over $2000.00 for a side table.

  56. I’ve seen several of these Somerset Bay pieces in person lately, at a crazy beautiful home furnishings shop nearby. Yes they are stunning to look at from afar and even up close, but once you put your hands on it you just hear the words “Factory Made”. There is no texture to the wood, all smooth and flat and obviously factory-made! And one chest of drawers is $3150. Yikes.
    I look at them as great inspiration for DIY with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I attended a workshop one week ago and my life has never been the same since. I. am. addicted. :)

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