A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Chinoiserie Style: Black Dresser

I've been getting inquiries about painting more masculine pieces of furniture. I've had a can of Amy Howard's Black chalk paint sitting around the house for a while now, but just haven't found the right piece for it, until now!

I fell in love the second I saw this dresser online. It has beautiful lines that reminded me of chinoiserie style pieces [here's some examples of traditional pieces, and one slightly modernized piece]. Chinoiserie is a style found in European art and furniture dating back to the 17th century that has Chinese influences and typically uses lacquer and/or depiction of Chinese scenery.  I decided to follow my intuition with the chinoiserie style and painted the dresser black. 

I certainly wasn't able to paint a depiction of the Chinese countryside or anything quite so elaborate, but the feeling was still achieved I'd say! If you look closely, there's little pockets of red paint that peek through here and there. I first painted the dresser in a thin coat of Annie Sloan's Emperor's Silk chalk paint, mainly focusing on the edges and carving details, which I was hoping to accent.


The red is another nod to the chinoiserie palette, and it adds just the right amount of color and dimension and breaks up the dark tones of the black. I tried to be very sporadic with my distressing, so the red tones would feel as if they came through naturally over time.

After it was painted, distressed and waxed, I buffed the piece so it would get an extra bit of sheen, which makes it feel like a lacquered piece. The beautiful brass hardware shines against the black and just feels sleek and masculine.

This dresser is impeccably built and is a beautiful investment piece for any room in your home.  Black is such a neutral, classic tone that can work in any space. I imagine I'll be getting a lot more use out of my black paint can in the months to come! Check out this dresser on Etsy, in my shop or on Craigslist