Monday, July 11, 2011

Bird By Bird Bureau

Why not dress up a dresser with a flock of folk art birds? You can get a second-hand chest of drawers for a song, and you don't need a degree in art to paint these fanciful feathered friends!

Plaid FolkArt Acrylic Paint:
French Blue #874, 8 oz.
Navy Blue #403, 2 oz.
Holly Leaf #228, 2 oz.
Lemon Custard #735, 2 oz.
Autumn Leaves #920, 2 oz.
Licorice #938, 2 oz.
Raw Sienna #452, 2 oz.
Teddy Bear Tan #419, 2 oz.
Engine Red #436, 2 oz.
Wicker White #901, 2 oz.*
Plaid FolkArt Waterbase Varnish, 
Satin Finish #792, 8 oz.
Plaid Glaze, Neutral #53001, 2 oz.
8 bronze knobs, 1¼" diameter
60 & 100 grit sandpaper
1½" sponge brush
cellulose sponge
round acrylic paintbrushes, sizes 1, 3, 5
Popsicle stick

*Get larger 8 oz. size if dresser needs priming.

1. Remove the drawers and unscrew the knobs. Rough the surface of the dresser and drawer fronts with 60 grit sandpaper. Wipe clean.

2. If your dresser is not white to begin with, prime it with a coat of Wicker White using the foam brush. Let dry. Paint the dresser and drawer fronts French Blue. Let dry and apply a second coat if needed. Paint the dresser top Navy Blue.

3. To create the look of a panel on each drawer, draw a rectangle one inch from the edge of the drawer front using the chalk and ruler. To curve the corners, set a coffee cup on each corner two inches from the drawer edge and trace a semi-circle. Paint the panel Navy Blue, starting with the outline and the large paintbrush, filling in with the sponge brush.

4. Draw two simple birds between the knobs with the chalk (see detail photo). Paint the birds with Autumn Leaves paint using the large paintbrush. Let dry. Use the medium paintbrush to paint the bill Lemon Custard. Add wing and tail feathers in Teddy Bear Tan with the small paintbrush. For the eyes, use the small paintbrush to add a Wicker White circle with a dot of Licorice black in the center. Create a Raw Sienna branch, then with the same small brush give the bird Engine Red legs.

5. To decorate the borders, use the medium paintbrush and paint a yellow flower in each corner with Lemon Custard. Let dry. Add leaves in Holly Leaf green and dot the center of each flower with the Autumn Leaves orange. Paint mini Lemon Custard flowers in the center of the top and bottom borders. Then add leafy vines on either side in Holly Leaf green. Let dry.

6. Create an antique-looking glaze by blending 10 parts glaze to 1 part Raw Sienna. Mix well with the Popsicle stick. Apply a thin layer of glaze to the dresser and drawer fronts. Let dry.

7. Sand all the surfaces and edges lightly with 100 grit sandpaper to give a weathered and worn look. Rub extra hard on the drawer corners and dresser corners to mimic real world wear. Apply a second coat of the antique-looking glaze and let dry.

8. Attach the new knobs to the drawers with a screwdriver, then slide the drawers back into the dresser.

Smooth Move: If the drawers of your dresser don't slide smoothly, rub a bar of soap along the runners.

Before: This dresser cost only $10!

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