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286 Sunset Park Drive
Herndon, VA, 20170
United States

Martha Leone Design. A furniture redesign company specializing in turning each piece of furniture into a sophisticated statement piece with the use of paint and design. This approach produces versatile pieces that are relevant, even as your taste evolves over time.


Martha Leone Design: The blog is where I share thoughts on the creative process and share lots of pictures of each finished piece of painted furniture. Critiques are always welcome!

Empire Meets Contemporary.

Martha Leone

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This dresser is a cousin to the other empire dresser in furniture style and design. The design concept was the same for both: Wrap the classic lines of a mid 19th century dresser with contemporary elements. It's an attempt to strike a balance between shape, texture (the wood), and line. Months ago I sketched a dresser that was wrapped in bold black lines. The design finally found its way out of my sketchbook and onto a piece of furniture. By the way, that's a Stendig calendar on the wall.

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A glimpse into the mind's eye As artists (yes, you are if you paint furniture), we are inspired by many things. Color, texture, and line - which are a few of the elements of design - play an important part of my graphic design work and furniture design. I keep a sketchbook to catch all of my ideas. Here's where the idea started:

Empire sketch at

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Before & After and How I Did It 1. Stripped the upper portion of the dresser using a new product, Smart Strip from Sherwin Williams. 2. Cleaned that area according to the directions on the container. 3. Primed the lower portion with a Benjamin Moore oil-based primer. 4. Painted the lower portion using Benjamin Moore Advance paint in semi-gloss. 5. After taping off the areas that were to be left as raw wood, I painted the upper portion using a homemade chalk paint, soft white in color.




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