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