Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stripey, Batty Chest of Drawers

It's a sad fact that I have no artistic ability.  Zero.  I can barely draw stick figures.  Once, I tried taking a beginner's drawing class.  After working with me for a few minutes, the instructor said, "It's like you have some kind of learning disability for drawing."  Gee, thanks.

Despite my "disability," I love to rescue old furniture and give it new life with paint.  With craft stores full of stencils and so forth, one does not need to be a Monet to create a fun piece of furniture.  I'm sure the artists on etsy would scoff at me, but I am happy with the results (and that's all that matters). 

I found this little chest of drawers in a thrift store.  It was real wood and absolutely the perfect size for the corner of my bedroom. 

(Sorry for the lack of step-by-step photos.  This project was done pre-blog.)

First, I sanded it a little to smooth out the nicks and dings, then applied a coat of latex primer.  Primer helps the paint stick; this is especially important if you have not stripped the furniture down to the bare wood.

Then I painted the drawer fronts and the sides of the chest black and the front and top of the chest white.  I used Behr interior latex paint, the same stuff I use on my walls. 

After the paint was thoroughly dry, I masked off stripes using 1" painters tape.  To make crisp stripes, I highly recommend spending a couple extra dollars for FrogTape instead of regular blue painters tape.  The paint seeps underneath FrogTape much less, especially if you're careful to rub the edges down well.  I then painted white over the unmasked areas.  It might seem counter-intuitive to paint white over black, but with latex paints, lighter colors cover better.

To dress up the drawer fronts, I decided to add bats behind the existing wood knobs.  Craft stores sell a variety of little wood shapes for less than $1 each.  Around Halloween, you can get shapes suitable for gothy decor -- bats, skulls, cats, coffins.  I always stock up on bats.  ;-) 

I painted the wood bats and knobs purple, then drilled a hole in each bat for the screw to go through.  To finish, I gave all the painted surfaces a couple coats of polyurethane.

The formerly ugly brown chest now proudly sports three of my favorite things: black and white stripes, bats, and purple.  :D


  1. >swoooooooon<
    And this is coming from someone who has sold painted furniture before.

  2. A compliment indeed, then! Thank you. I love your little bat picture. So cute!

  3. I love it! The purple bats are a great and clever touch. I have some thrifted furniture I need to paint over and you are giving me such good ideas (especially since I am also artistically challenged).

  4. Thank you! :-) Redoing furniture is great fun. It feels like a very tangible accomplishment. And gives me a cute place to store my tights. ;-)

  5. I wonder why I didn't find your blog earlier? I missed many great posts here. I'm a follower now. :)

    The chest of drawers is fantastic!!! looks awsome!

  6. You found me on my one month anniversary. ;-) Thanks for following!

  7. This is so pretty! You make me want to rush off and start painting my chest of drawers.

  8. This is brilliant honestly wow ingenious idea!