Spiffing Up Your Flea Market Finds

I’m up to my old tricks again rescuing furniture that was formerly tired and ready to be replaced. I usually get antsy this time of year, drag something from a corner of my home to the outside, sand it, paint it and give it a fresh makeover. I enjoy refinishing furniture, but sometimes my hard work produces less desirable results than I had intended. To be honest, I often become impatient with laborious projects and my overall scheme loses steam when I become distracted by something else in my busy life. I do like the idea of spiffing up some of my flea market finds, but when it comes to the complicated jobs that require many hours of work, I often turn to the many talented artisans and craftsmen in the design industry for help. [expand]

Take my IKEA wall unit as an example. This blonde, admittedly boring armoire has pocket doors and two gloriously large spaces with many compartments to hold all of our garments. I had purchased the unit years back and enjoy the abundant space it provides. Even its plain vanilla façade initially seemed to fade into the woodwork and worked for us. I grew to love the wedded bliss it provided for me and my husband because it is not fun to share a closet with your loved one. However, over time it morphed in my mind from a nondescript armoire to a monochromatic eyesore, and I have been searching for ideas to spiff it up and help it blend better in the room. I came upon the work of local stencil artist Angela Gorini Perrone, and I knew instantly she could help me with my conundrum. Angela is a prolific artist and derives much of her inspiration from travel. She has embarked upon a series of collaborative trips with other artists to various countries where the group paints together. They just returned from an adventure to Spain. They also recently went to Morocco and worked with Maryam of MyMarrakesh on the Peacock Pavilions boutique hotel. She feels these trips allow her to come home with a fresh perspective and bring her projects artistic inspiration.

Angela and I hit it off quite well and got busy working on a plan to stencil the inset panels of the wall unit. She offered up a large selection of design stencils from a reasonably priced website which sells the stencils online, The Royal Design Studios. We decided upon the pattern called Eastern Lattice Large. I chose it because it looks like a David Hicks-ish repeat shape that resembles a Quatrefoil. It has a modern, graphic feel and we anticipated it would hold up in scale to this large piece of furniture without overpowering it. I matched the color of the stencil to my Tiffany Blue-colored walls using the pale wood as the background to the stencil. Once the stencil arrived, Angela returned with paint and supplies in hand and two quick days later, I had a stylish new piece of furniture.

Painting the stencil onto the piece was a little tricky because the veneer doesn’t have much tooth, but

Angela tweaked a couple of different techniques in order for the paint to adhere (this is only one reason why a professional is needed here). My IKEA wall unit is now the focal point in the room, so I am off to find something else to fix up. [/expand]

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