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headboard before

Headboard 1

Headboard 1

full headboard

full headboard

painting

painting

Bed Linens with headboard.

Bed Linens with headboard.

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you the chest of drawers and nightstand that I painted for a client.  The latest project was a headboard.  She had this lovely, but out-of-date mahogany headboard from her husband’s grandmother.  We decided to paint it and make it a feature in the room (which isn’t finished yet or I would post pictures).

So, once she delivered it, I got busy with the base finish and the glazes.  Then I was going to get into the fun part—painting birds like the ones in her bedding and some greenery across the surface.  Whoo…hooo!  Even though I hadn’t painted in a good while (on furniture), I was awesome, so this should be fun and easy!  Yeah…little rusty…by the time I had the birds looking anything like what I would admit I had painted, they were 4” thick, and I was still unsatisfied.  So, I got out my paint pens, and tried to add 4 more inches of detail, which softened the acrylic paint.  Next thing I knew the paint was rubbing off—a little like nail polish remover on a manicure.  Crap!  Well, I guess that was the universe telling me that I needed to start over.  I got scraping and sanding, all the while, a little relieved that I didn’t have to surrender to the birds being “good enough,” but still frantic, that I wouldn’t be able to paint any bird well.

I decided to take a more subtle approach to the image, and did some research on birds.  The main reason, was that I didn’t want the headboard totally designed to the Pottery Barn linens—I wanted my client to have the option of changing them at some point.  I decided to paint a single mourning dove sitting in the branches that are in the bedding, and then glaze over it so that it would look gauzy and serene.

This one went much more smoothly, but don’t let me kid you, the bird still gave me fits!  I suspect it took me about 30-40 hours for this project!  Nothing like a learning curve slow a person way down!  Let me know what you think…