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From Habitat magazine - issue 10, step by step

Ros de Coek transforms a tired piece of furniture with this French-inspired paint effect.

Resene Gold Effects - furniture
Resene Gold Effects can also be applied to your furniture.

An imaginatively painted piece of furniture will easily become the centrepiece of any room, whether you choose a whimsical theme, floral, heavily distressed or just a smart simple design.

Don’t be too concerned about competency or technique as these painting techniques are easy to master.

Choose an interesting piece to work on for this paint effect – something with nice shapes and forms. Consider where the piece will be placed then choose a colour to enhance the room, as well as one or two contrasting colours for the highlights.

This piece uses a combination of paint and gold leaf gilding, as well as gilding within a stencilled area.

Unpainted furniture
Before Painting
French style - painted furniture
After Painting

You will need:

Step 1
Step 1: 
Briskly wipe over the piece of furniture to clean off dust and grime. Remove any handles and hinges. Paint with Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer by following the directions on the tin. Liberally paint any areas to be highlighted with the secondary colour.

Step 2
Step 2: 
Cover over the areas that will eventually show through with masking tape. This will give you sharp edges and corners, and save having to overpaint the highlights with a steady hand.

Step 3
Step 3: 
Paint over the entire piece with your main colour then gently remove the masking tape to reveal the highlights.

Step 4
Step 4: 
Now gild on top of the highlight colour. Practice first on something small like an old picture frame. Gilding isn’t difficult, just delicate. Follow the instructions on the gold leaf sheets – the gold leaf is applied on top of the sizing liquid. Work quickly and don’t try to remove any – it can be gently sanded off later. Overlay sheets liberally and if applying in strips as shown here, cut several sheets with a sharp blade before beginning so there is less wastage.

Brush off the excess leaf with a soft brush, being quite brisk.

Alternatively you can paint on a gold effect using Resene Gold Effects, either directly onto the furniture or create a stencil and use that for your design. If a little distressing is required, rub all over with steel wool or (very carefully) with a hand sander. A high-gloss, such as Resene Aquaclear, or flat polyurethane can be used to protect the painted surface.

See more furniture like this in Ros de Coek’s stunning French-style house.

styling and painting: Ros de Coek
pictures: Rossi Gannon

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Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

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