A French Provincial Faux Zebra Print Dresser Makeover

Painted-Dresser-By-Meranda-Devan-500x333I don’t know about you, but it seems like any time I come across vintage French furniture, I am always tempted to buy it because it is so versatile.  I can always find a way or another to re-purpose it.  Dressers, chests and cabinets are great pieces to buy if you want to add pattern and turn it into a statement piece.

I have found zebra patterns to be a pattern you can play around with.  You can add splashes of color by mixing two like minded colors, such as an orange and a salmon pink together, or baby blue and cobalt, or go for creamy yellow with a pop of canary.  Or you can go more traditional by painting it black, or staining the wood.

When I painted this dresser, I originally wasn’t planning for a wood effect.   I believe when I purchased this piece, it had it’s original white and gold finish that you often see with French provincial furniture, so I simply painted over it.

I first started off with a cream base coat, then added brown paint and created texture using packing foam sheet that I cut notches into.   Sliding the packing foam, (which sort of looked like a large comb you would use in your hair), through the wet paint, it created a bit of interest I could play off of.

You can use almost anything to create texture with, from sponges, to soft plastic, or even garbage packing, which I used.  Using an overhead projector, I hand painted zebra stripes in black, using the graphic provided on the transparency.

At this point in the project, I found that the zebra stripes were a bit too bold, so I decided to tweek the finish using poly-stain for rich wood look. Adding the poly-shades blended the two colors together nicely, so the sharp contrast was concealed.  Poly-stain is wonderful, because it gives you a translucent finish, and it doesn’t need to penetrate the finish, it sits on top of paint.

What do you think?  Do you love it?

Meranda Devans Chest 1Meranda Devans Chest 2    Meranda Devans Chest 3Meranda Devans Chest 4

How To Add Animal Prints Into Your Home


Zebra Louis Chest Sultan Chic 110 Norwood Avenue Ekberon NJ

Want your home décor to really make a statement? Incorporating animal prints into your décor is a fabulous way to do it. Zebra, leopard, cheetah, and tiger are just a few of the animal prints capable of making any room in your home have that wow factor.

1. Go Subtle With Patterns

If you want to add just a few splashes of animal print to a room, do it with accents. Work with throw pillows, hand towels in the bathroom, or an upholstered chair. A print here or there can add that much-needed flair without going overboard. Picture frames, trinket boxes can also be used to incorporate a hint of print if you’re going for a soft look.

2. Work With One Bold Piece

Animal prints doesn’t have to be limited to accent pieces. If you want to take it a step further, introduce one boldly patterned furnishing into the room. A sofa or chair upholstered in animal hide fur, or a faux-painted chest, or cow printed zebra rug will command attention in a space.

3. Mix and Match Prints

Mix and match one animal print with either solid colors, or one other print to avoid a look that can be too busy. If choose to go bold with a sofa upholstered in a zebra print, work in colorful accent pillows or another pattern with a brighter color scheme. Solid upholstery mixed with animal prints will give you control over the level of boldness in the room. Neutral solids work well to tone down animal prints, while rich or bright colors can really spice things up.

4. Larger Prints Look Fantastic On Furniture

There are a variety of animal prints to choose from. Smaller sized animal prints tend to look more sophisticated in throw pillows, while larger prints work better for focal pieces such as furniture and floor coverings. Avoid working with too much of the same-sized print, as the room will look over-worked. Decorate with one dominant pattern, work it in one piece, and make a statement out of it.

There are many ways to make a statement with animal prints. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a piece in order to get just the right look. Go for one piece and work it into your decor, to get the right spicy look you are comfortable with.

French Cheetah Print Commode From Alibaba

French Cheetah Print Commode From Alibaba

William T Baker

Floral and animal prints together

William T. Baker

Pair Of French Gilded Louis XV Style Armchairs Little Paris Antiques

Pair Of French Gilded Louis XV Style Armchairs Little Paris Antiques

Entrance of a Manhattan apartment decorated by Miles Redd, a leopard-print stair runner adds a subtle graphic touch- Elle Decor Magazine

Entrance of a Manhattan apartment decorated by Miles Redd, a leopard-print stair runner adds a subtle graphic touch- Elle Decor Magazine

Charles Spada ~ In NormandyCharles Spada

Charles Spada’s Normandy Home

Sally Wheat Interiors

Sally Wheat Interiors

5 Ways To Decorate With Tortoise Shell Print

Patterns can add flair to even the most muted color themes in your home. Tortoise shell pattens are both organic and geometric in design, making it a pattern that works well with a wide range of colors and styles.

To incorporate a new pattern into your home decor, you will want to begin by evaluating the existing patterns in your space.  Look for ways to make small changes, which would allow you to fit the pattern into each room nicely.

Reduce The Amount Of Patterns In A Room

Tortoise shell accessories act much like animal prints, in that they go with almost every color scheme, and texture.

One of the simplest ways to add a new pattern into a room is to choose just one or two patterns that work well together and eliminate all others.

Look over your room to determine if you have too many patterns that are competing against each other.  Solid colors always provide a great foundation for more ornate and complex patterns in your home. When choosing an accent pattern, look for colors in your home that may already work.  Shuffle things around in your home to find a balance in every room.

Showcase Your Best Finds, And Reduce The Rest

Sometimes people have too much stuff in their house, that when a guest comes into their space, they don’t know what to focus on.  They may gravitate towards something of less importance, and miss out on a really spectacular piece, because it isn’t showcased well or hidden amongst too much clutter.

Even if you are on a budget and can’t change everything in the room, look carefully at what you already own, and decide what is worth displaying, and what is worth putting away.

  • Display little valuable items in a collection.  Caddy boxes, small picture frames work best if they are grouped on a table.  Keep all your smaller collections in one area.
  • Look for glass shelving, or wood display cabinets, and don’t fill them up.  For bigger items, work with 2 or 3, or even just one item per shelf.  Putting up less on a display shelf will make your items appear more valuable, and seem as though you carefully collected every item with great precision.
  • Opting for accent rugs and throw pillows as an inexpensive way of changing the look of a room.   Most accent rugs, and pillows are available in a wide range of colors and sizes, that it can be simple to throw together a new room fast and on a budget.
  • If you are handy with a sewing machine, you could also purchase tortoise shell fabric and use the fabric to add edging to a plain white pillow.  The contrast would look amazing, and would be a soft way of introducing the pattern.

Where Tortoise Shell Works Best

Tortoise shell patterns work best with a traditional styled interior.  English or American styled interiors work nicely with this complex pattern.  Smoking rooms, leather furniture, polished furniture, crystal liquor decanters are all things you might see paired with tortoise shell.

If you aren’t sure that this pattern is right for your space, you may want to begin by adding just a pair of throw pillows to the room to test the pattern. Test the fabrics to determine how well each color and pattern will work against it.

Design Master Spray

Creating Faux Tortoise Shell Finishes On Furniture

If you are wanting more of a glossy appearance after painting a faux tortoise shell pattern, Michael’s Crafts sells a line of floral spray paint called Design Master.  In that line they sell a “cherry 756” and “walnut 758” spray paint which is transparent. The finish almost appears like  furniture stain.   If you decide to work with faux painted burl or tortoise shell finishes, and it does a remarkable job of blending paint strokes for a deep rich appearance.

These sprays do need to be experimented with, before applying them to a final project.  They dry very quickly, and don’t work like polyshades or any other wood stain.  If you buy both stains and start spraying with the cherry, consider dulling down the color with the walnut finish, as you may get a richer finish that isn’t bright in the red tones.   Consider working with thin even sprays than thicker applications of the product.

Collecting: Tortoise Shell Glassware

Tortoise shell glassware has been a luxury item dating back to the Egyptians. The Egyptians used to sell tortoise shell luxuries to the Romans for decorative items. It became popular again when Napoleon conquered Egypt and took back with him artifacts of ancient Egypt which then influenced design at that time in general.

It is interesting to note that tortoise shell is not from real tortoise but rather from the Hawksbill turtle which are land based.

Faux Imitation tortoise shell was first created in glass in the 1880s. The complex process involves three layers of glass which produces the beautiful amber patterns.

Later faux tortoise shell was developed out of plastic and in Bakelite in the early 1920’s which saved these turtles from extinction because the mass popularity of the pattern.

Today it is illegal to use real tortoiseshell in most parts of the world which is a good thing because no luxuries should cost a living thing its life. Today we can enjoy God’s great design seen in creation without causing harm to these precious creatures.

A Tortoise Shell Faux Decorated Desk 101-5406 Greenwich Living

A Tortoise Shell Faux Decorated Desk – Greenwich Living On Ebay



Tortoise Shell Set of 6 Hand Blown Drinking Glasses

Tortoise Shell Set of 6 Hand Blown Drinking Glasses On Ebay

5 Ways To Decorate With Tortoise Shell Furniture And Accessories- Hersite- Tortoise Shell Frames The Art Of Framing Blog

Luxury framing materials can range from lustrous gold leaf to mirror inlay, exotic woods to modern resins. Real tortoise shell has been prized since ancient Roman times as a veneer to accent everything from furniture to jewelry- and eventually frames. In 1973 the trade of tortoise shell was banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Read More at the Art of Framing Blog