Is Two-Toned Furniture In Style?

Are you ready to transform your outdated furniture into a fresh, modern masterpiece? But you’re wondering is two-toned furniture in style? Welcome to our step-by-step guide on creating a trendy, two-toned look for your furniture whether it’s for yourself, or for flipping furniture for profit!

This post will walk you through the process, from selecting the perfect piece and color scheme, to the actual painting and staining, and finally selecting the finishing touches. Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a beginner looking to dabble in furniture refinishing, this guide will equip you with the know-how to create a stunning piece that will be the highlight of any room.

vintage dresser with big chunky hardware and 8 drawers

Today, Kara from Lemons to Lemonade Furniture is walking us through how she incorporates the two tone look into her pieces that she sells for profit! Here’s her masterpiece and advice!

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As interior design trends continually evolve, homeowners and decorators are always on the lookout for fresh looking furniture pieces to elevate their living spaces.

One trend that has gained considerable attention in recent years is two-toned furniture.

But is it just a passing fad, or is two-toned furniture here to stay? Let’s explore this today as I show you how I created this two-toned look that has proven to be my most watched YouTube how-to video month after month!

What is Two-Toned Furniture?

Two-toned furniture is exactly what it sounds like – furniture that incorporates two different colors or finishes within a single piece.

The easiest way I have found to integrate this look into my furniture pieces is to sand the top of my pieces and paint the main body of the furniture a calming neutral color. Here’s our list of two tone dresser ideas if you’re looking for inspiration for your next DIY furniture project!

How to Create this two-toned look

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Here are the supplies I used to create a two toned look on this dresser.

Prepping Furniture for a Two Tone Look

I picked up this dresser from Facebook Marketplace for a cheap price. It had a lot of dated details on it but I knew by using the two-toned look I could draw attention away from the details by sanding the top and the bottom of this dresser.

cleaning the dresser with simple green and a damp rag

I started by cleaning my piece with Simple Green. Simple Green cuts through all of the dirt and grime to ensure a clean surface to apply paint to. Cleaning is a must for old furniture items if you want a lasting finish.

Learn more about how to clean furniture before painting if you are not sure about the step by step process of cleaning furniture.

Next, I used my orbital sander to remove the failing finish on the top and on the bottom trim pieces on the dresser. I started with an 80 grit sanding pad and worked my way up to a 180 grit sanding pad to ensure a smooth finish on the top and bottom of the dresser.

Here’s our blog post about the importance of sanding before painting furniture.

sanding the top of the dresser with an orbital sander
taping off the top of the dresser with brown paper and tape

Once I cleaned off all of the sanding dust with a damp cloth, I taped off all of the newly sanded parts so I could apply my paint without worrying about touching the paint to the raw wood.

Painting Furniture with Lilly Moon Paint

I chose a moody blue-grey color by Lilly Moon Paint’s Opulent collection called Ocean Shore.

The Opulent collection contains a built in primer and top coat, saving me some steps as I went. Check out our blog post about painting furniture with Lilly Moon Paint where we also used another color of Lilly Moon Paint’s Opulent collection.

Check out our Lilly Moon Paint review where we also talked about the different types of Lilly Moon Paint.

I prefer to paint using an HVLP spray gun that is attached to an air compressor, but you can always use a paint brush and still achieve a beautiful finish. Here’s the list of the best HVLP paint sprayers for furniture to learn more about the differences between each paint sprayer.

spraying lilly moon paint on with a hvlp paint sprayer

After two coats of Ocean Shore, I had full coverage on the dresser and let it dry fully overnight before I began to work on the top and bottom that I had sanded. Once the paint was completely dry, I used a tack cloth on the sanded surfaces to remove any dirt or debris.

Staining Wood with Gel Stain

To create a stunning two-toned effect on your furniture, start by selecting two complementary colors of stain. I chose Lilly Moon Gel Stain in the colors Natural Cork and Old Fashioned.

These water based stains offer a rich, deep finish that adds dimension and character to your piece. I enjoy the durability and the ability to mix these stains for the desired color you are aiming for.

Check out this Hexagon End Table Makeover where we also used Lilly Moon Gel Stain.

When I use water based stains, I will mist the surface first, ensuring that I will have plenty of “open time” or workability time before my stain begins to dry. Here’s our list of the best wood stains to learn more about the type of wood stain is best suited for different pieces of furniture.

misting water on the raw wood dresser top before applying gel stain

Once the surface has been misted, I layer on equal amounts of gel stain colors with a chip brush and spread across the top of the dresser. Start with a small amount and build up the color as you go.

Here’s our list of the best brushes for staining wood to learn more about the different brushes for staining wood so you can find one that fits your needs perfectly.

You can apply as many layers of the water based stain as needed to create the color you are looking for. If you are desiring a lighter or darker look after your first coat, you can apply another layer focusing on the desired tint of choice. That’s the beautiful thing about a water based stain!

The gel stain sat on the surface for about 45-60 seconds before I began wiping it back with a lint free rag. I followed these same steps on the bottom trim of the dresser as well.

brushing gel stain on top of dresser

Changing Hardware on a Dresser

To complete the high-end look of my two-toned furniture, I carefully choose handles that complemented the style and color scheme. I decided on sleek, modern hardware to enhance a contemporary aesthetic.

The key is to ensure that your hardware flows seamlessly with the overall design. Here’s how to change hardware on a dresser for a more detailed guide about changing dresser hardware.

attaching new hardware to the drawers of the dresser

Incorporating the art of two-toned furniture into your interior design not only creates a high-end look but also adds a touch of timeless sophistication to your space.

By following these steps and experimenting with color combinations and hardware, you can breathe new life into your furniture pieces, ensuring they remain stylish and relevant for years to come.

So, unleash your creativity and let your furniture shine with the elegance of two-toned perfection.

You can find my most watched two-toned piece here on YouTube:

blue grey painted dresser with two toned wood look on bottom and top
blue gray dresser with weathered oak wood on top and bottom

You can also join me on Instagram for more behind the scenes tips and tricks on how I stay up on all the trends for selling furniture in my area.

If you enjoyed this flip tip, you can find Kara on Youtube under Lemons to Lemonade Furniture. And for more behind the scenes content you can also join Kara on Instagram!

8 drawer wooden dresser with vintage bulky drawer pulls

Is Two-Toned Furniture In Style?

blue gray painted dresser with dark drawer pulls and two tone wood look on top and bottom

You might have seen it around, but wondering is two toned furniture in style? Here's our take, on the look that seems to be all over the place right now!


  1. Clean the piece thoroughly using Simple Green (or any other degreasing cleaner).
  2. Use an orbital sander to remove the old finish on the top and bottom parts of the furniture. Start with an 80 grit sanding pad and progress to a 180 grit pad for a smoother finish. Clean off all the sanding dust with a damp cloth and tape off the newly sanded parts.
  3. Choose a paint color and apply to the main body of the furniture. Let the paint dry completely.
  4. Use a tack cloth on the sanded surfaces to remove any dirt or debris. Select two complementary stain colors to create the two-toned look. Mist the surface to ensure more workability time before the stain starts to dry.
  5. Layer on equal amounts of the stain colors with a chip brush and spread across the top of the furniture. Start with a small amount and build up the color as you go. Let the stain sit on the surface for about 45-60 seconds before wiping it off with a lint-free rag.
  6. Repeat the same staining process on the bottom trim of the dresser.
  7. Choose and install new handles that complement the style and color scheme of the furniture.

Recommended Products

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