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

Before and After: Teaching Friends how to Paint a Light Gray Dresser

I'm back to painting furniture on the weekly [not daily yet, baby steps!], wahoo! I've been lucky to come across some gorgeous vintage pieces lately.  Today's piece isn't for sale [as much as I ADORE it], because it's a special piece one of my best friends completed for her own place. The results are really quite incredible!

As you can see, the before shot wasn't anything to write home about. It's a sturdy antique for sure, but had quite a bit of wood veneer chipping and scratches on nearly every surface.  I got to repairing the damage so fast, I nearly forgot to take a before photo [always a problem for me!]. Here you can see it where I've already started to patch up some bits. 

The 'after' is beautiful and even more so in person! I mixed a custom gray using a mix of Annie Sloan's Old White, Graphite and French Linen. I tried to develop just the right gray that would contrast between the cream walls in her studio, but still look light and bright. 

Not keen on mixing your own color? Or maybe you don't have cans upon cans of Annie Sloan paint lying around like I do? Paris Gray is a perfect dupe for the overall look of this dresser. I'm partial to purchasing stronger colors and lightening them to suit my needs, but if you need and you absolutely adore a light gray, Paris Gray is well suited to the task.

What I love most about this dresser and the finished product is that I actually didn't paint it myself! Because it was for my friend Katie's place and she's been wanting to work on her furniture painting skills for sometime, I knew I'd want her to do the bulk of the work [not because I'm lazy I promise!] since that's the best and really only way to learn how to properly paint furniture.

I was working on a separate piece in the studio while she painted, and I walked her through every step of the process, letting her know if she needed to be aware of any drips or stray brush hairs or anything nit picky.  Sounds a bit annoying, but noting those little details eventually becomes second nature, and simply takes time and patience to get used to! [the more you paint the better you'll get I promise!]

When it came to distressing the piece, I encouraged her to do as little or as much as she saw fit.  I'm not one for heavy distressing, but certain pieces of furniture are just better suited to the style.  Since this one was a bit battered, she went heavier with the sanding process, and I love how it all came together!

The dresser has such an effortless French inspired style found in the unique accents of it [the curved front, gently scalloped bottom and rope detail]. I look at it and imagine it could have easily been imported across the Atlantic from a quaint Paris boutique! 

To photograph it, I styled it with a few colorful bits: my favorite painting, a mini Atlanta map, a glass jug with bright yellow craspedia] and a few books from my Jane Austen collection. If you're interested in learning how to paint furniture yourself and would like to either take a class or paint a piece along with me, contact me!