Dresser LOTUS – Part 2 – The Joy of Old-fashioned Hand Painting

It seems to me I really favour the red colour. Another piece and again, I was reaching for a red finish. It wasn’t just RED I wanted, I wanted a saturated hot bright full crazy RED. I put together a plan in my head to only use three colours on the drawers: charcoal, red and gold. What you will see below, I had to add another finish, white underlay.

The chest of drawers was prepped and ready to receive the charcoal base coat. I was left with some black chalk paint from my previous jobs GoodHome Liberty Flat Matt but I didn’t like the flat finish so decided to add some silver to the black. For that purpose, I used silver Johnstone’s Metallic Paint. It was easy and quick mixing the paints and what I got was an astonishing beauty, a metallic charcoal fluid, and that was an encouraging beginning. I applied the first coat to the carcass and drawer fronts, and it looked great already. I spent a few moments making decisions on whether to keep the rustic look, with the grain looming from underneath the charcoal, or to coat again to lose the grain.

I painted again as I thought the grain would compete with the lotus decors. I was truly proud of the charcoal background I achieved. It was a modern uniformed interesting finish.

The red lotus pattern, I was going to paint on the charcoal carcass, was symmetrical shape so I only needed the eighth part of it to trace the shape on to the drawers. As I said in my previous post, due to the multiple folds and curves it was impossible to adhere the template and apply the paint with a sponge. The only option I had was to use the stencil to draw the pattern with a pencil and paint it manually. I printed out the outline of the section of the lotus pattern on A4 cards, then taped the sheets together and cut the stencil with a knife.  I also coated the stencil with clear varnish for durability.

Then piece by piece I drew the line work on the charcoal carcass.

I found on-line a bright poppy red paint that looked satisfyingly hot to me. It was called Rustins Small Job Gloss Paint. I picked the right size of the brushes and started to paint. Here was a nasty surprise, the paint had a terrible opacity therefore the red finish was getting dirty dark and didn’t look bright at all. I needed a white underlay to be painted first and only then the red, which obviously doubled the time of painting. I was on a furlough leave from my permanent job so decided to go for it regardless.

You can see on the photos how the work was progressing on the three sides of the drawers. I was really proud of the final effect; the lotus came up beautifully. I was readying for the final stage and was worried how I was going to plot the gold lotus pattern on to the curves of the drawer fronts.

Check out my next post to see how it worked out.

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