Friday, February 6, 2015

Using Photoshop to problem solve.

I thought I'd share my solution to confounding paint dilemas. Sometimes I look at a piece of furniture and think, "Well, there's about a 100 ways I can approach this. Where do I start?"

I've just started working on a dresser that has been in the garage for over a year. It has a matching nightstand and they both have a lot of Art Deco/mid-century detail.


But I procrastinated. I had this idea that I would strip areas and paint others to have a pretty white-and-stain look. But since I hate stripping furniture, I never got started. Until about a week ago. I stripped the areas I wanted stained and discovered to my horror that every kind of wood had been used to make this dresser and the fake pecan finish had hidden it completely. The nerve!

So I gave it a shot but each type of wood took the stain differently and with a gigantic sigh I was on to Plan B, what ever it was.

I have a system for figuring out color-ways on complex pieces of furniture, using PhotoShop. It keeps me from diving into something with wild abandon only to repaint when a clearer mind prevails. 

Here's how that works. Or doesn't work.

{Maybe, but this is a manly dresser.}

It's a chance to get the crazy ideas out of the way. It's also a chance to happen across something to save for a different, more appropriate, piece of furniture.

 {Too dark}


 Winner! This is what I decided to do.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

If I'm painting something for someone else it really helps to be able to email comps.


 {Mustard on your elk, anyone?}

{Dated before it began}

This is the final painted desk, ready to go.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •


 {The requisite bad idea}

 {Metallic. I'll save this idea for later}

 {I like!}

This is the final painted desk. It's pretty darn close to the mock-up.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

I don't have all the versions I did for Walter the Clock but believe me there were many!

 This was the final Photoshop mock-up I did, from here I winged it.

 Ahhhh Walter, I miss you, clock.

Stay tuned to see if that dresser ends up looking anything like the mock-up!

Sharing with
miss mustard seed
shabby nest
the dedicated house
mod vintage life
my uncommon slice of suburbia
home stories a to z
elizabeth and co


  1. You are brilliant!! That a time and frustration saver! I love the Rogue Charters desk.

  2. Surely this is a site well worth seeing.

  3. heavy hearted whenever I see pieces painted. I can't do stripping due to arthritis, so I am always on the look out for antiques that haven't been assaulted by a paint brush. This is the tackiest trend I have ever seen.

    Reply Demir Leather