By Bailey Lucero-Carter
With 2015 just around the corner, you may be thinking about replacing that old dresser or closet with something modern and new. But before you break bank on a new piece of furniture, consider revamping your old classic with a modern twist.
Blogger, artist and refurbisher extraordinaire Leslie Howard gives advice on painting an old piece and adding modern touches for the new year. Raised in Falls Church, Howard is known for her blog City Girl Arts, where she showcases her makeovers of vintage—often used— furniture pieces. She shares her process on redesigning a Vintage Henredon Spanish Dresser in Eggplant, which is available for sale, along with other items, on her Etsy.
“Painting your furniture for the new year is obviously a great way to get a new look for very little money,” says Howard in an email. “With this project, I changed not only the color of the dresser, but the hardware as well, which modernizes the piece while keeping the global feel.”
For paint, Howard recommends a good quality latex paint with a low sheen. She strays away from chalk paints, saying, “I don’t feel they have the durability and low maintenance that most people expect.” Howard chooses an eggplant color for its modern and dramatic appeal.
Before painting, prep your furniture by sanding, cleaning and priming the surface. And after the paint job, Howard always seals with a clear top coat, either flat, satin or gloss.
This vintage dresser was also made modern with personally customized hardware. These quatrefoil backplates were designed by Howard and then custom cut using an online laser cutting service, like Pololu. After attaching the backplates, Howard painted them in metallic pewter to match the new rings for an elegant and vibrant finishing touch.
“If you compare the before and after, you can see how much more sophisticated and modern the pieces feel, while retaining their [M]editerranean attitude,” Howard writes. “What a great way to update a room for the new year!”