FOCUS ON FURNITURE -- CHARACTER BUILDERS

February 20, 2017
The Everest cabinet series is a wonderful example of delightful and bold. You can create any style with paint; a Scandinavian-inspired dresser makes a lovely addition to a guest room. Step by steps: Tape off the insert panel with low-tack painter’s tape. Retape and paint the insert panel. Finish with a glaze coat applied with a dry brush.

Furniture is a fascinating topic. There are so many ways to study all the different designs man has concocted over the centuries for storing things, for sitting on, for eating on, for sleeping on. The basic necessities share a central role in our lives, and how better to revere them but to personalize them. We can transform a simple chest of drawers into a working piece of art in just a few hours with a few decorating materials and our imagination. For inspiration, I discovered an exciting series of cabinets on www.wayfair.com. Their Everest series offers magnificently detailed pieces such as the 9-drawer cabinet shown here. The uniquely stylized doors are not only stunning, but will help you remember where you have put your things.

I have redecorated countless dressers, and never tire of the task. Working on a plain piece, or a second hand find allows me to construct a whole new look, change the colour, the style, even the design. If you are new to painting furniture, here are a few steps that will guarantee your project success. Prepare your surface for paint. Clean it, and sand to rough up the shiny base. There are now paints available that allow you to cover old painted or shiny finishes without sanding, but a little extra effort won’t be wasted. Use a high-quality primer that is designed to cover shiny surfaces … again this step can be missed if the paint product specifies that it is not required. Once you have a clean, smooth surface you are ready to decorate. I have shown steps here for painting a Scandinavian inspired dresser. Low-tack tape, also called painter’s tape, is your best friend for masking off panels and protecting what you don’t want painted.

To create inset panels, use ½-inch tape to tape off the panels on the drawers. Apply two coats of the olive green base coat to the dresser except for the taped off portions. Leave to dry, at least four hours and overnight is best because you are going to tape over parts of the fresh paint. Remove the tape and retape on the outside edge of the white panels. Paint the inside of the panels grey. Remove the tape and let dry. Apply ¼-inch tape around the inside edges of the grey colour on the drawers. Now mix a light grey glaze by adding some white paint to the grey and then mixing 1 part paint to 1 part glazing liquid. Apply the glaze with a dry brush to the entire dresser. Work in one direction, holding the brush perpendicular to the surface. This produces a soft, grainy quality. Remove the tape.

Once you know how to paint framed inset panels, you can make up your own designs. Paint faux wood inlays, diverse patterns, mix colours. Choose wallpaper and other decorative papers to decorate the panels. Dress it up with real or faux leather panels or sections of fabric. Cut and paste or nail on frame moulding to hide the edges. I decorated around and under the knobs with a design I photocopied and adhered with craft glue. For protection apple two coats of varnish.

Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to house2home@debbietravis.com. You can follow Debbie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis, and visit Debbie’s new website, www.debbietravis.com.