How to Paint Bohemian Gypsy Hippie-Style Furniture

Twentysomething Couple on a Bed in an Apartment, Man Playing an Acoustic Guitar Reveal your inner gypsy with newly painted furniture and an eclectic mix of accessories. Image Credit: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

Bohemian style, characterized by layers of fabric and color, gives your home the feeling of being curated during an around-the-world trip. Jewel tones, velvet fabrics, lots of lace and distressed furniture all fit together to create a global gypsy vibe. By breaking out the paint cans, you can craft a bohemian vibe by repurposing the furniture you already own. Since bohemian style draws from many countries and styles, you can repurpose virtually any piece of furniture to fit your gypsy makeover.

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Crafting With Color

Color makes bohemian style fun. Rich, vibrant jewel tones, lacy neutrals and earth tones all merge together to create a style that reminds you of a beautifully crafted kaleidoscope. When choosing colors for your your bohemian makeover, start with rich, deep tones of blue, green, purple or red. Choose two or three of these colors that complement each other. Add in a light neutral color such as a warm gray or eggshell white. Avoid bright whites, as bohemian pieces generally look worn and aged. For an accent color, use bright colors inspired by nature such as a fresh, bright green, sunny yellow or sky blue.

Distress Your Pieces

Repainting furniture with a distressed finish helps your pieces fit seamlessly into a gypsy style and gives your furniture a sense of history. Use pieces of chain, a hammer and a flat-edged tool to create nicks and scrapes on your furniture. Paint your piece with a base color and use a translucent color glaze to antique the piece. Apply the glaze with a nearly dry, worn paintbrush. Wipe the glaze with a dry rag to create a streaky finish. Continue to brush and wipe on glaze until you achieve the desired look. Finish by dipping a paintbrush in a darker paint and add a few splatters of paint to the glazed surface.

Dip the Legs

For a simple way to add color to wooden furniture, dip chair or table legs in a brightly colored hue. Use a sheet of plastic, like a plastic party tablecloth or thin tarp, to protect the areas of the furniture that will not be painted. Flip the furniture upside-down, pushing the plastic over the legs and securing it with painter's tape. Cover all the furniture except the exposed legs. Measure 5 inches up the legs with a tape measure, marking this spot with a pencil. From the pencil mark toward the top of the piece, wrap the legs with painter's tape. Spray paint the legs in a bright jewel tone, such as purple, blue, green, gold or red. Apply a second coat if necessary. Create a reverse dip by leaving the bottom of the legs unpainted. Wrap the bottom 5 inches of the legs with painter's tape. Spray paint the rest of the piece in your selected color. After the piece dries, peel off the tape, revealing the wood grain on the legs.

Fabric-Inspired Tabletops

Lace and patterned fabrics are often in bohemian designs. Recreate your favorite fabric pattern on a tabletop with stencils and acrylic craft paint. Secure the stencil to the tabletop with painter's tape. Secure the stencil to sit flush against the surface to prevent paint bleed. Following the stencil's guidelines, paint the pattern onto the tabletop. When using multiple colors, paint the base color first, allowing it to dry completely before adding accent colors.

Remember the Sealer

After the paint dries, seal your piece with a polyurethane clear sealer. Choose a sealer appropriate for wood and painted surfaces. Using a polyurethane clear coat protects your newly painted design. Use an-oil based sealer to create an antiqued yellow color on your piece or a water-based sealer for a true clear coat.