How To Paint Furniture Like A Pro

Photographed by Richie Talboy.
When it comes to home-improvement projects, we'll try anything once. And, if it gives us an excuse to get a little messy, we're that much more eager. But, the inherent joy of a paint-splattered afternoon and the Zen feeling we get from creating perfectly symmetrical stripes can get lost in the stress of prepping for a project. Who has a roller lying around? A gallon of paint costs how much? Five, six, SEVEN trips to the hardware store later, and our accent-wall project seems like a chore.
Fortunately, the pros at Benjamin Moore think painting should be fun — and easy (did we mention easy?). They bundled a brush, roller, drop cloth, paint coupons, and all the other stuff we'd definitely have forgotten into the ben® & Me starter kit. We put this magic bullet to the test by upgrading five flea-market finds with a few fresh painting tricks. And, we don't mind telling you, the results are pretty awesome. So, get inspired here. Who knows? Your DIY phase could be right around the corner.
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Photographed by Richie Talboy.
The Tools
The secret to completing any/all of these projects without having a breakdown is the ben® & Me starter kit. Check out the roller, painter's tape, drop cloth, paint coupons, brushes, and paint tray. Banging on our neighbors' doors begging for semi-gloss at the 11th hour? Not this time.
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Photographed by Richie Talboy.
The Graphic Stool
Difficulty level: Medium
Time commitment: 3 to 4 hours

This basic brown stool will be a modern showpiece by the time you're through. You'll need your paintbrush, painter's tape, two paint colors (we're using black and white), and a drop cloth.
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Photographed by Richie Talboy.
The Graphic Stool
We painted the entire stool white, using two coats of paint, and waited about an hour between coats. This is key: Before moving on, the stool should be TOTALLY dry. So, have a friend over, watch a movie, and then come back with your painter's tape and accent color. For an optical illusion, tape off even stripes; or vary them a bit if you want a less intense look. Then, use your brush to paint the visible portions of the stool (we recommend two coats here, too), and let it dry.

The finished product is this Warhol-esque stool that feels modern and totally punches up any space.
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Photographed by Richie Talboy.
Industrial Lighting
Difficulty level: Easy
Time commitment: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Lighting is one of the easiest ways to brighten up a room without a lot of time or work. For this project, you'll need paint, the paint tray, and the drop cloth.
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Photographed by Richie Talboy.
Industrial Lighting
For small fixtures like these, you don't even need a brush. Just put about two inches of paint in the tray, and dip the lights directly in your tray. Then, hang the painted fixtures to dry on a clothesline or anywhere you can hang a paper clip. You could do this with any color, but we chose a dusty violet and some brighter hues — they're on trend yet calming.

Small, colorful accents like these are a great way to ease into a more modern look for your home without totally changing your space.
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Photographed by Richie Talboy.
The Campaign Bench
Difficulty level: Easy to medium
Time commitment: 2 hours

A campaign bench is a classic silhouette with a lot of history. We gave it a graphic look with white and a pop of blue. For this, you'll need sanding paper, painter's tape, a roller, a brush, two paint colors, and a drop cloth.
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Photographed by Richie Talboy.
The Campaign Bench
For a previously finished piece of furniture, it's a good idea to sand the surface before you start painting — especially if you're using brights. Then, apply your painter's tape to keep the area for the accent color clean. For bigger surfaces like this, it's easier to paint with a roller on the seat and back and then follow with a brush on the legs. Just like you did with the stool, paint two coats of the base color (white), and let them dry thoroughly. Then, remove the painter's tape, apply new painter's tape over the white paint to create a crisp line, and paint two coats of your accent color. Since this section is smaller, use your brush here.

The mixture of antique and modern makes this piece timeless and utterly unique. It's almost too pretty to sit on.
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Photographed by Richie Talboy.
The Neon Credenza
Difficulty level: Easy to medium
Time commitment: 3 hours

This antique credenza has a great shape, so we wanted to update it with a fresh color. To really juxtapose the classic design, you'll want a bright shade. Grab your sanding paper, roller, brush, drop cloth, and paint, and get to it.
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Photographed by Richie Talboy.
The Neon Credenza
First, sand the credenza and remove any hardware (knobs, etc.). Use your roller to paint all the large surfaces, and then go over the smaller areas with a brush. Take a nap, let it dry, and paint your second coat.

Neons are the new neutrals, so this is as versatile as a black or white piece, but it feels edgier.
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The Paired Chairs
Difficulty: Easy
Time commitment: 1 to 2 hours

Windsor chairs are totally classic, but adding a pastel lacquer makes them much more crisp. For this, you'll need sanding paper, a roller and brush, paint, and a drop cloth.
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Photographed by Richie Talboy.
The Paired Chairs
First, sand the chairs (concentrating on the seat). Then, use the roller to paint the seat and the brush to paint the legs and back. How many coats? Two (you know this by heart now). Sit back, relax, and sip some sweet tea — just make sure the chairs are dry first.
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