Paint on a Furniture Focal Point
Use an overhead projector to trace a pattern or whimsical image onto plain furniture
Transforming a tired piece of secondhand furniture into an artful heirloom doesn't require stencils. Brooklyn Limestone and Glidden's My Colortopia blogger Stefanie Schiada faked a freehand design with the help of an overhead projector to outline a world map onto the tabletop of an old sideboard. You can use the old-school tool to project your desired design onto a piece of furniture—or even a wall. (We found used models on Amazon for about $70.)
To prep the surface, sand down the piece, concentrating on the area you plan to cover with the design.
Apply your base color of paint and let it dry. (Stefanie used less than a quart of leftover paint on her sideboard.)
After the base has completely dried, position your furniture so that you can cast the overhead projector's shadow on the desired surface.
Position the template—you can cut it out on printer paper or print it onto a transparency—on the overhead projector.
Feel free to trace the template using a pencil first if you feel queasy about jumping straight to paint.
Use a small paintbrush and a contrasting paint color to fill in the cast shadow.
Wait for the design to dry and coat the piece in water-based polyurethane to clear coat and protect the design. Satin will look the best.
For more details, see step-by-step images of Stefanie's world-map sideboard project.
See how Stefanie used an overhead projector to paint a design with negative space in the similar octopus dresser paint update.