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  • Writer's pictureAnna Kulseth


Art exists in every part of our lives, often going unnoticed. The shape of your vehicle, the cut of your blouse, the color of your hair. Even the pen you use to write with was graphically designed by someone.

In my journey to grow as an artist, my natural inclination toward an artistic eye has bled into our home and I've taken note. Like many others, I have enjoyed putting together patterns, furniture and colors. I've researched interior design rules and attempted to follow them (some better than others). And most recently, I've begun furniture refurbishments I had never previously attempted. Simple things, painting mostly, but the various steps involved are more complicated than the paint on a canvas I am so fond of. The end results have been both useful and beautiful. My ultimate goal.

Many in my family consider painting wood to be down right criminal. How on earth could anyone cover up the beautiful wood grain; God's art, some would say. Well I can do it easily when the piece in question is ugly, outdated, or both. My philosophy about painting over wood is this: it literally grows on trees. This isn't a rare commodity we're dealing with. I'm certainly not opposed to stained wood, but when you're looking to save a few bucks, garage sale finds can be just the magic you're looking for with a little DIY TLC.

To that end, I share a a few things I've done over the past year as a way to inform and inspire. All were very cheap online garage sale finds - two of them were free! For each, I only lightly sanded, no primer, two coats of "furniture paint" by Valspar (which has primer in it), and some were also treated with an antiquing glaze after the paint dried. I have plans to put a few protective coats of clear polycrylic over them all, but life has continued and I am reminded that I am, after all, only an amateur; mama needs to pay the bills so the time I have for these tasks is limited.

Time limitations aside, the results have proven to me that art really does make its way into every corner of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. With these I hope to inspire you to take the risk you've been considering lately. Go ahead. Paint that outdated stained wood. It's okay. It grows on trees.

Before and after of a china cabinet and matching buffet. The china cabinet was painted black with teal inside, and the hardware was spray painted silver. The matching buffet was done in complimenting colors and antiqued for interest. This was my first time using antiquing glaze.

Close up look at the doors of the buffet in each stage of its painting process. This item was antiqued after it was painted, which involves a translucent black paint, or glaze, being applied with a brush and then wiped off with a rag (though not entirely).

Nightstands before and after. This one also used some contact paper in addition to the lighter paint made darker with antiquing glaze.
Pine coffee table before and after with the same black paint used on the china cabinet. This also included replacing the wood drawer knobs with something more compelling.


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