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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!

Filtering by Tag: vintage furniture

Bold Black Dresser

Martha Leone

While doodling in my idea book a few months ago, I sketched something like the design you see on the front of Bold Black Dresser. I thought it would be fun to paint it on a chair cushion but the idea never really solidified. So it was left alone till this past weekend when we picked up this small dresser from a yard sale. It needed something bold and daring.

My first idea was to paint the entire thing black, then sketch with a Sharpie oil-based pen all over it. Below is a detail of a drawer. Although I'll be "sketching" on future pieces, this idea didn't work well on this piece... not bold enough!

Second idea was to use the same paint color on the entire piece, but paint different finishes (flat and semi-gloss) on the frame and drawers. Still not bold enough. So I pulled out the sketch and decided to go for it. A short while later I was finished! Now that's bold and daring.

The critics at home all love the finished product. My son likes it although when asked to elaborate, he says, "I don't know, I just like it." My daughters think it's cool and my husband smiled when he saw it. I guess they've gotten accustomed to my weirdness!

Here's how I got there:

Dresser Frame: Painted a dark gray color (Benjamin Moore homemade mix) that was mixed with Plaster of Paris to make a homemade batch of chalk paint. The formula for homemade chalk paint is 1 part Plaster of Paris to 3 parts paint. Mix the Plaster of Paris with just enough water to make a smooth consistency then add 3 parts paint and mix.

Dresser Drawers: Painted dark gray semi-gloss out of the can (no chalk paint on the drawers).

Top: Painted dark gray then waxed with Annie Sloan Dark Wax. To make the wax easier to work with I placed the can in a shallow bath of hot water. That softens the wax and makes it easier to move around on the surface before it starts to dry.

Sketch page:

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