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A Shot of Color

How to Paint a Trompe L'oeil Landscape on a Dresser (page 1 of 4)

Learn how to revive an old dresser by painting a colorful landscape design.

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Courtesy of Alex La Cruz

Painting furniture in unexpected ways and adding a twist to classic motifs is a unique and playful way to dress up an old piece and bring color to a room. Using a landscape painting for inspiration, you can treat your old furniture piece like a canvas and create a simple ethereal landscape of your own. The key to making this technique work is to feather the edges of color between each ridgeline. Use an artist's brush to fill in the details and tear several pieces of poster board so each ridge line is different, like a real landscape.

Use satin-finish latex paints to give the piece a protective finish so you won't have to apply a top coat of varnish. But do add extra coats to each section for a solid, even surface that will last a long time.

Materials and Tools:

150-grit sandpaper
brush for dusting
tack cloth
gesso (pronounced jesso)
black acrylic paint
large poster board
container to hold paint and a stir stick
square bristle paintbrush
small foam roller
artist's brush
Sherwin-Williams satin finish paint: Tupelo Tree, Secret Garden, Wheat Grass, Searching Blue, Watery

Prep the Piece

Remove hardware and drawer pulls. Lightly sand the dresser just enough to rough up the old varnish. Wipe down the surface of the dresser to remove the residue.

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