mixing painted pieces in a room

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Tips and Tricks

I received an e-mail from one of my readers asking a question I get pretty frequently, so I thought I would write the answer in a post.  Here is the question…

“How do you decide what color to paint various pieces of furniture in a room. Do you paint each piece a different color or all of them the same. I have several I’d like to paint but can’t decide the colors. I don’t want to end up with a mismatch of colors.

Thanks, Virgil”

Well, there really isn’t a right or wrong way to mix or match painted pieces, but since I’m being asked, I’ll throw in my two cents in.

I am in the eclectic camp when it comes to putting a room together.  I think if you paint every single piece of furniture in a room the same color, it can make the room look a little flat, monotone.  Not always.  In the hands of the right creative, all white furniture or all black or blue or whatever can look amazing.  More often than not, though, it looks like you started using one color of paint and didn’t know when stop.

My favorite way to mix painted pieces is the use variations of the same color.


At a first glance, it might look like the stool, trunk and side table are all painted the same color, but they actually aren’t. They are all painted in variations of a blue/green mix.  The colors all work together, but they don’t look exactly the same.  They look like collected pieces, which they are.  I painted the bed frame white, though, to set it apart from the other painted pieces.

I’m also a big fan of mixing painted pieces with wood finishes.  The mix makes a space more interesting. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.


And I do like mixing painted pieces that are different colors, but there does need to be something that connects them together in the space.  Fabric and art are a great way to unify different colors used throughout the space, so the mix looks intentional.  In the case of my dining room, the painting of Eulalie and the blue and white checked fabric help to unify the painted pieces.  None of the pieces “match”, but they all make sense together.


If you’re not sure what you want to do in your space, I would suggest just painting one piece and live with it for a while.  See how it plays with the other pieces in the room.  If it feels like another piece needs to be painted, then paint another one.  It’s not something you need to rush into.  I have found that rushing often ends badly!  Take your time and live with a change for a while before you plow into even more change.

Trust me on that one!

mixing painted pieces in a room

Related Posts

how to fix “sticky” drawers

paring down

Room Refresh & Renew with Birch Lane

top 5 tips for decorating on a budget | part 1