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Dressing up the common dresser.

It's easy to transform these bedroom bureaus into one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture

UNFINISHED PINE dressers were the blank canvases for this decorative painting project. We purchased an unadorned trio at an unfinished-furniture store for about $100 apiece, and asked designer Francoise Kirkman to give them some inexpensive but colorful and stylish pizzazz.

With the exception of adding six fish-shaped napkin rings as knobs to one of the dressers, she transformed the furniture entirely by painting or staining, and then sealing with acrylic varnish. She also used sandpaper, masking tape, and paintbrushes.

Begin by sanding the surface of the dresser. Depending on the wood's factory preparation, you'll probably need only medium- and finegrit sandpaper. The dressers with the leaf and quilt patterns were each primed, lightly sanded once more, then given a base coat of paint before decoration.

The maple leaf dresser features the spray-painted silhouettes of different size leaves, which reveal the dresser's cream-color base. To achieve this look, collect leaves and flatten them overnight under heavy books. Secure the leaves on the dresser top, sides, and drawers with loops of masking tape. Hold a spray can of forest green paint 30 inches from the surface and spray the dresser. Let the paint dry, remove the leaves, and seal with three or four light coats of acrylic varnish.

The star quilt pattern is painted over a blue base coat. Outline the entire pattern with masking tape and paint the inside area white. When paint is dry, use masking tape to outline the interior triangular shapes. Leave a 1/2-inch border of white background around each painted area.

The tropical fish dresser is stained with a translucent red stain (or choose any color). Use a 1/2-inch-wide flat brush to add rows of colored dashes. Glue the store-bought napkin rings in position and secure them from behind with 1-inch screws.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Whiteley, Peter O.
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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