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I got sharpie on the furniture, and I'm thinking that's not such a bad thing (at least for this dresser).  I spotted this dresser at the thrift store.  It was sort of unique and in good condition. It seemed like a good option to fix up for my son, who could use some extra storage in his room.  Figuring out how to paint it in a way to go with the arrangement of drawers and large door on the right, would be tricky.  A huge plaid would've been a great option, but I've done plaid a couple times...So

I began thinking of ideas for something that would be a bit cooler than just another paint job, like decoupaging it or something like that. Why is it so hard to find cool ideas for boy decor?  I also wanted something that wouldn't be too baby-ish a few years from now.


Anyways, I finally came up with making it look like a vintage illustration from a book (or at least trying).  I became stuck on lions and finally found this vintage drawing of the extinct cape lion.  I changed it up a bit and turned it into an Aesop fable theme.  It's not exactly how I wanted it, but it's good enough.  The composition was tricky.  I had to find a font I wanted and a pic of a mouse to use too.  I like how putting the mouse on the word small seemed to work with the story. :)


After a lot of work fixing the drawers on this dresser and adding a skirt board over top of a girly-looking scallop at the bottom,  I rolled onto it this tan color.  I honestly think this is the lamest color I've ever painted a piece of furniture, but I wanted something different from other things I've painted, I wanted a color that would go well enough with our floors and trim, and I wanted it to look like an aged page from an old book.  (I took an old book into Lowes with me so that I could match the color to a sample.)

Sharpie Dresser

I put the pic into photoshop and enhanced the contrast so that I could project it onto the dresser and copy more distinct lines, I also changed it's mane and underbelly.  In hindsight, I should have made it so that the projector couldn't move because when I'd stop between working on it, the slightest movement made it really hard to move back into it's original position.  BTW, If you've ever sketched, you can pull this off.  However, don't think that projecting it will make it magically more simple, the image will still be very pix-elated while working close-up and you have to fight with the shadows you make over the very spot you're trying to work.  


Okay, that lettering?  The first time I did it, (you can cringe with me on this) I spent four hours with a sharpie (after the kids were in bed) working on the lettering.  The next day I hated it.  I'm not that fickle really, but the projector does not give an exact enough image for the quality of lettering that I wanted, I kept making the letters thicker here or there and ended up over-correcting them.........SO, all that work got sanded off and painted over for a do-over.

Then, I remembered that you can transfer laser-jet prints onto surfaces with acrylic medium or transfer gel.  Which can still be tricky (as my second effort can attest to)  I brushed the acrylic medium directly onto a print-out of my (reversed lettering that was sized to go where I wanted it), but I couldn't get the paper smoothed down without ripping it and I had the medium too thick.  If you've done this before you know there are a lot of ways to go about transferring images like this.............I even had practiced on the inside of the cabinet and still botched it......back to sanding and repainting those drawers. Finally, third times a charm.  I marked out where I wanted the reversed words (AGAIN) and (this time) rolled my acrylic medium onto the two drawers with a foam roller and then quickly pressed my prints onto to medium and smoothed them out.  I let those dry over night and crossed my fingers as I scrubbed off the paper (you can't scrub too much or you rub off the lettering).  

Now, hopefully, I can move on to simpler projects.  It was fun to sketch the lion, but sharpies have no forgiveness and I was constantly over-correcting.  It was difficult to make myself finally clear coat it because that would mean no more corrections could be made, but I finally did it.  After some reading, I've realized sharpies can fade (especially in direct sunlight); also, you can not just use any clear coat over top or the sharpie might run.  Luckily, I didn't mind adding a slight amber tint over my work, because I used a foam roller and rolled an oil base Varathane over top (which would not affect my sharpie drawing unless I rubbed the finish on).  There are no assurances whether my work will fade or even how much I can expect it to. (However, I'm not too concerned and it's possible the clear coat will prevent some of that.)  Finally, I added my antique brass handles (which I'd saved from my last house).  

When I first drew the lion it scared my toddler, lol.  Luckily, they're now friends and whenever she sees lion, she roars at him.  Anyways, I try to teach my kids to be compassionate and (of course) to do the right thing.  The fable of the Lion and the Mouse represents several concepts I would like to have embedded in their minds, so why not have a visual reminder. :)    

  me. It's easy.

Sharpie dresser Aesop DIY Lion and Mouse Fable
Sharpie Furniture Aesop DIY Lion and Mouse Fable
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