The process of painting the central lotus was pretty much like applying the red pattern. I printed and cut out the stencil, traced the linework with pencil on the fronts, then hand-painted the lotus using the same white underlay method. Last minute, I decided to change the finish from gold to silver in order to give it a more modern look.
I was still out of work sent to furlough leave so I had plenty of time to carry out the laborious painting. I split my time in two so that I alternated my days between working on the drawers and training myself in architectural software, Revit. You can see in the photos below the slow process of the silver lotus emerging on the parts.
The paints I was using turned out to have a very bad opacity, unfortunately, so I had to apply two coats of white and two coats of silver. I used the silver Johnstone’s Metallic Paint. Before I started, I also tried a few metallic pens by various makers, but using them didn’t seem an efficient way as I would end up needing to buy a lot of them to cover all the artwork and they weren’t cheap at all. So again, an old-fashioned brush was the best option I had.
When I finally completed the painting, I made some repairs to the timber carcass then applied three coats of oil-based Ronseal Polyurethane Clear Varnish to all painted parts, giving it a light sanding between the coats. After it dried up, I applied two thin coats of clear Johnstone’s Revive Finishing Wax and buffed all surfaces to a semi-gloss finish.
I left the finished piece for a few weeks under cover in an isolated room to allow the varnish and wax to cure and the stench to evaporate. I managed to buy some interesting pull knobs in my local B&Q (Black Round Twisted Furniture Knob). They look very well-matched, don’t you think? I staged the chest of drawers with some eastern accents like Buddha, elephants, etc. for photos in an attempt to sell it on-line but finally decided to keep it as no money could award the amount of work I put into this piece.
After the job was complete, I noticed that a small section of the silver lotus is missing on one of the drawer fronts. Can you spot it?