The secret's out: it's scandalously easy to transform plain wooden furniture into objets d'art with a personal flourish. The popularity of the art of decorative painting for furniture has given rise to numerous books on its instruction (such as Painted Furniture Patterns and Painted Wooden Furniture). Add to this growing list Fresh Paint: New Looks for Unfinished Furniture, which combines simplicity of design, layout, and directions with vibrant photos of finished projects. (Note that the focus here is solely on painting new wooden furniture, not antiques or garage-sale finds.)
After a brief but thorough tutorial on tools, materials, and basic priming and painting techniques, author Lane LaFerla lists the necessary materials and tools for each project. Then, in easy-to-follow, numbered sections, the 45 projects unfurl. Many of these projects--which include tables; chests, nightstands, and dressers; benches and stools; bookcases; chairs; and accessories--are suitable for the novice furniture painter and require no more effort than sandpapering, priming, painting, using whatever medium (leaves, napkins, old photos, etc.) adds that special detail to the project, and applying varnish. From these easy steps we get some extremely fanciful objects: a pizza-parlor table, a cabinet with faux rustic punched-tin inlay, a "plaid" footstool, a coat rack decorated in a rainforest theme, a gold and silver mosaic shelf. In the back, you'll find all the design patterns used in the projects; you can copy them and use them over and over.
Many of these projects are perfect for children's rooms and activity areas, especially the chalkboard dresser, which is just made for little hands to scribble on. --Stefanie Durbin
From Library Journal
Nineteen designers have contributed to this book of colorful step-by-step projects for decorating purchased unfinished furniture, mainly chairs and small tables. The projects are brightly colored and somewhat whimsical, making them suitable for children's rooms or informal living areas. Particularly notable is a faux pizza table (its round top painted to look like a pizza) and a celestial rocker with astronomy motifs and glued-on wooden spheres. Introductory material about supplies and painting techniques is minimal, making this a good addition to a crafts collection already having a basic furniture painting book such as Decorative Painting Sourcebook (LJ 6/15/97).
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.