Wednesday, May 28, 2014

hand-painted dresser

I decided recently that I was tired of having my non-hanging clothes in bins on the floor of my closet or in big unorganized drawers under my bed. This just let to lots of crouching on the floor digging through a mess and I wanted to be a bit more grown up. And grown ups have furniture in which their clean clothes are folded. So when the opportunity presented itself, I scooped up this really simple Ikea dresser. It was the perfect size for my closet and provided more than enough space for everything and I was very happily organized.
However I'm not much of a naked pine person. I love the look of raw wood in theory, and I do have some beautiful wood pieces (namely my raw and very distressed headboard) but in this instance it wasn't really working for me. But I wanted to avoid spending any money and I do have this cupboard full  of paint in the kitchen (I know-not the best place but it's where I have space) so I went digging around there and decided to try this medium gray from the living room. I believe it's BM Black Pepper but I'm not entirely sure. It looked nice enough (after five coats because this wood really soaked the paint in) but still boring. And for  big, tall, piece that's the first thing you see in the closet, I wanted something more interesting.
So while I was making waffles on Monday (yay for three day weekends) I was looking at various inspiration images I had saved, and I kept coming back to some elaborate decorative inlaid shell or bone pieces. I really liked the organic and natural look of them. I though about mapping something out, with math and grids and all of that, but in the end I just free handed a simple little leafy motif. It's more comfortable (not to mention fun) for me to work that way, and it allowed for each drawer to be a little bit different. 
I did measure the boarder, since I wanted a little space between the design drawer to drawer, though I free handed that line as well. Then it was just a very tiny brush, a teacup full of white trim paint, and several pots of tea.

After I finished all five drawers I put them all back in and looked at the piece together. But it felt like there was still too much gray space inbetween, so I decided to add a geometric boarder around the edge of each, and this time I used painters tape to get a straight line but honestly I feel that neither technique produced a cleaner line, so no conclusion there.
And here it is with the final boarder. I did a small fan shape in all four corners to mimic the flower in the center, then a combination of triangle and diamond shapes. I particularly like the mix of straight lines with all the organic leafy shapes, though of course my 'straight lines' are a fair amount more wobbly than if they were cut from shell/bone.
Here is the finished dresser

Totally time consuming but overall very satisfying. This was actually a very meditative and therapeutic project, and then of course so satisfying to walk by each day and see my handiwork.

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