I recently painted a dresser for a 2-year old named Henry who was changing rooms because of his new little brother, Alfie. Aren’t those cute names? Henry’s parents had me paint this dresser for his nursery 2 years ago. It’s an old farmhouse style that they wanted in red:
They are keeping it which doubles as a change table for baby Alfie and bought a small tallboy for Henry.
It’s maple and very heavy with solid wood drawers that weigh a ton. I covered the whole thing with a coat of shellac because I have learned that that reddish stain used before poly finishes bleeds through paint, even latex. Henry’s mum wanted 3 colours: navy, yellow and cream. I was influenced by the wonderful furniture painted at Poppyseed Creative Living ( she is very talented) and created a colour-block effect.
The colours are Annie Sloan’s Arles, Cream and Napoleonic Blue. I copied the colour-block on a few of the knobs and added the larger red knobs painted in Burgundy for an extra punch. The hardest part was getting the lines straight. I started with the drawers in the dresser and taped through the middle of the drawer where the holes are. Then I lined up the lines on the side. This required a measuring tape and marking with a pencil. I do not have a straight eye, so I will tape on a slant without markings. When using light and dark colours, I would recommend painting the light one first then the dark overtop. With this design there is a fair amount of overlapping.
In retrospect, I might have mixed the Arles with English Yellow to get less gold but I am happy with the result. It has a wax finish which I like the look of better than poly and which is durable after it is cured, especially on something like a dresser. I tend to use poly on table or desk surfaces but have found that wax has worn well on all the pieces that are in my house.
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