Adding Texture and Design to your Furniture

I’ve been in a creative slump for the last few weeks. Summer is actually my busiest time of year for custom work, which means I don’t have to think much about how a piece should look… I simply do my best to bring my clients vision to life.

So when I decided it was time to squeeze in a “creative” piece, I took to Facebook for suggestions. To my surprise, I got a few… “I wish you wouldn’t paint that” and “it looks good as is”. Now here’s the thing… I completely respect everyone’s opinion or I wouldn’t be asking, but I’m in the business of painting furniture! If this were a valuable antique, then that’s a different story, but I promise it’s not.

So… it’s getting painted!🤷🏻‍♀️

Here’s a list of products I used for this project:

Plaster of Paris

Chip brush

Artist putty knife

Sandpaper and/or orbital sander

Stencil (I purchased mine from Dizzy Ducks on Etsy)

Iron Orchid Design transfer “Le Petit Rosier” (purchase HERE)

Wise Owl Paint(purchase HERE)


Black Cherry

Saffron Thread


Matte Varnish

Black Walnut Glaze

Cling On Brushes

I started out knowing I wanted a fun design for the top and grabbed an extra stencil I’ve had laying around from when I painted my patio floor.

Jackpot! The stencil fit perfectly, like it was meant to be! 🤗

Before diving right in, I gave the top a good sanding and cleaning so that the paint was sure to adhere and then I taped the stencil into place.

To give the design some dimension and texture, I mixed approximately 8oz of paint (Wise Owl Espresso) and a tablespoon of Plaster of Paris. There are several products on the market that can be used for adding texture. Plaster of Paris is what I happened to have on hand and can be purchased from most hardware stores.

Then comes the messy, I mean fun, part!

I stippled the mixture on using a chip brush. This mixture drys hard, so I would not recommend using your good brushes. Chip brushes are inexpensive and can be thrown out after use.

After stippling, I went back over with a artist putty knife to knock down the high points. I allowed some dry time before moving the stencil and repeating this step for the other half of the table top.

I repeated the same steps of stippling and “knocking down” texture on the body of the table.

The next few steps are somewhat of a blur. Like most of my projects… they don’t happen exactly as I have them pictured in my mind and I’m usually in panic mode trying to save it all, but I will do my best to recall.🤔

I brushed on a coat of Black Cherry over my texture, onto the entire piece and let it completely dry.

On the top, I laid down a blended layer of Saffron Thread and Mohair. Repeating this step a second time, concentrating the Saffron Thread around edges and Mohair in the center.

For the body of the piece, I created a 50/50 mixture of Saffron Thread and Mohair and brushed on two coats.

Once dry, it’s time to start sanding!!💪🏼

Sanding will reveal all those layers of color and yummy texture. I also ran my putty knife along the edges of the piece for a chippy look.

To add even more dimension, I dipped my putty knife into pure Saffron Thread and applied all along the bottom portion, spraying with a water bottle, allowing for a drip effect.

I’m gonna level with you… at this point, I wasn’t digging the top. The plan was to go to bed, get up the next day and completely start over… there’s that panic mode again!😅

Sometimes you just gotta walk away for awhile.🚶🏻‍♀️

I woke up the next day, added some more blending, sanded again and then… I had a light bulb moment!💡

I had purchased a transfer a few weeks ago that I’m planning on using for a different project and knew I wouldn’t be using the entire transfer, so I cut a portion and added it to the top.

If you need some pointers on applying, check out my post on applying transfers HERE.

Now we are getting somewhere!

Once the transfer was applied, I gave the entire piece a coat of Matte Varnish. Then I sparingly brush on Black Walnut Glaze, concentrating on nooks and corners and wiping back with a damp clothe. One more coat of Varnish and she’s all done!

I’d love to hear your thoughts, comment below and let me know what you think!

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