Project 1 of 52 - Transforming Furniture into Art: The Monet Waterlilies Dresser

Project 1 of 52 - Transforming Furniture into Art: The Monet Waterlilies Dresser

Embark on a visual journey with our waterlily dresser, where furniture becomes art.  Who would have thought that a simple piece of furniture could evoke such artistic allure?  As we gaze upon our #monet #waterlilies #masterpiece the allure of water lilies and the blue water tones provides a tranquil ambience. We could very well be sitting by the water. 

Just a few years ago, the idea of creating such an artistic piece of furniture seemed unimaginable.  Yet, with every project, with every mistake, we uncover new skills and refine our craft.

Monet Waterlilies Whimseykel Designs Restyled Furniture Studio

From Unattractive to Artistic Masterpiece

The journey of this piece began with its humble origins - an unfinished drawer set  with visible brush strokes, lacking in both charm and appeal.  To run your hands over the surface was like a fine grit sandpaper.  But, we saw its potential to become something truly remarkable.  We decided this was to be a textured piece.

Before Photo Whimseykel Design Waterlily Drawers Restyled Furniture Studio

We started with meticulous preparation, removing the original legs and drawer pulls, and cleaned every nook and cranny.  Using a 240 grit sanding pad facilitated the smoothing of the rough surface, readying it for the transformation ahead.

The Magic of Textured Painting

Using Artisan Quick Prep Primer in white as our canvas, we laid the groundwork for the vibrant decoupage design to come.  

🔥HOT TIP: Generally speaking, Grey Primer should be used under darker colours, and White Primer under lighter colours.


Whimseykel Designs Waterlilies Restyled Furniture Studio

We used #fusionmineralpaint Chestler for the base colour on the sides and top.  The real magic began with the application of texture.  After the base coat was dry, we created our texture by adding 1 part Salt Impasto to 2 parts Chestler paint.  

 🔥HOT TIP: If you're a texture beginner gradually add the salt impasto to your paint until you reach the texture you're after.  You could also practice on a smaller project or a piece of cardboard to check the consistency.  

Whimseykel Design Waterlilies Chestler Fusion Mineral Paint Restyled Furniture Studio

We achieved a textured base that added depth and character to the piece.  Stippling the texture with various colours including Fusion Mineral Paint ChestlerCopper MetallicVictorian Lace  and Artisan Mineral Paint Lagoon - we gradually blended the colours to create a nuanced textured look.

   Whimseykel Design Waterlilies Chestler Fusion Mineral Paint Restyled Furniture Studio

Once the textured sides were dry we sanded it with our Artisan Mineral Paint Prep Pads.  

🔥HOT TIP: We love to use soft pad style sanding pads when doing this type of sanding.  The soft pad provides us with more flexibility to get around curves and corners and it provides a much less "scratchy" finish than traditional sand papers.  The sanding pads pictured below are washable and reusable with 4 different grits in the pack.

Artisan Paint Company Prep Pad Sanding SPonge Restyled Furniture Studio

Following step included application of textured stencil.  We stencilled randomly using Pearl embossing paste, intentionally not applying the stencil over the whole side.  We used a stencil brush with a little bit of embossing paste at a time.  We chose pearl embossing paste, because firstly, we love all things shiny, and second because we wanted more texture.  (It has a pearl shimmer to it, texture, dries fast, and you can use as a metallic or a white).

Whimseykel Designs Waterlilies Restyled Furniture Studio

Applying the Decoupage and hitting the home run!!

Our front surface was ready for decoupage. To remove the fold lines, we ironed the print on the wrong side on a warm (not hot) iron setting with no steam.  We also used baking paper between the iron and decoupage paper.  There were still some fold marks after ironing, but they came out at the decoupage stage.

Whimseykel Design Waterlilies Restyle Furniture Studio

We positioned our paper, deciding the best layout.  We gave our self the green light and made a start.  The surface had one last wipe to ensure there were no lumps or debris.  We proceeded from the top and applied Tough Coat Sealer to an area approx 3-4 inches at a time across the whole width of the front.  Place the paper onto the surface from the centre and smooth down with hands very gently. 

Depending on the decoupage paper choice, you have a limited amount of time to reposition the paper (with some papers once it's down it's down).  Then using a our hands and a small wad of glad wrap, we smoothed out the 3-4 inches that we had started by pressing and smoothing lightly across the surface. Other tools that might be helpful are a dry and clean paint brush, a smoothing tool, OR a credit card.  Yes that's right, a credit card!   Once you've worked on that portion, you're ready for the next 3-4 inches. On each of the following sections, spray a touch of water on the back of the decoupage paper.  This helps with application.  Continue until you've secured the whole decoupage paper.

🔥HOT TIP: Try not to get the top surface too wet, try not to cause too much friction on the surface, apply thin layers of chosen decoupage medium, make sure you cover the whole surface with sealer and don't leave any gaps

Zoom in to the photo below, and you will see that the paper has been applied over the gaps surrounding the drawers.  We left the drawers in so we didn't have to pattern match in parts later.

Whimseykel Designs Waterlilies Restyled Furniture Studio

Calling all of your patience!!

Once wrinkles have been smoothed, leave the piece to dry.  Don't be tempted to touch it and continue too soon.  Upon return we used a stanley knife to cut between the drawers.  To remove the fluffy edges, we used our sanding pads on a 45 degree angle to sand off the edges. Be careful not to sand the top of your design, just the edges on an angle. After completing this phase, we sealed the whole decoupage area and waited for it to dry.

The Final Flourish

As the piece neared completion, attention turned to the finishing touches. Blending and stippling techniques were employed to harmonize the edges and ensure a cohesive aesthetic. A light sanding with a 320 grit sanding pad and sealing with Lavender Wax added a final touch of refinement and protection.

Adding legs and drawer pulls became the cherry on top, with the choice of Ginko Leaf Drawer Pulls from @beautifullyhandled adding a touch of elegance that complemented the waterlily motif beautifully. 

Whimseykel Designs Waterlilies Restyled Furniture Studio

Conclusion: A Testament to Artistry and Innovation

We're immensely proud of the transformation achieved with our Waterlilies dresser. This project marks the beginning of a challenge—to paint 52 furnishing facelifts within 52 weeks—and serves as a testament to our dedication to pushing the boundaries of creativity and craftsmanship.

If you've been inspired by our journey and wish to embark on your own creative endeavors, we're here to guide you every step of the way. Whether through personal workshops or simply sharing our insights, we're committed to helping you transform furniture into art.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or you may consider your own personal One on One Virtual Workshop to discuss your projects.

Available for Purchase

 Whimseykel Designs Waterlilies Restyled Furntiure Studio


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