We had a gorgeous weekend here in the GTA! My daffodils are finally poking their heads up so I think spring is finally on her way!
This inspires me to start spring cleaning. I don’t know how long this inspiration will last. Anything remotely connected to cleaning usually lasts about a New York minute for me 😉 …but we’ll see.
Along with my cleaning, I’ve decided to focus on a few pieces of furniture that have been in my inventory for waaay too long. Last week I shared the Dijon DIY Chalk Painted Side Table that had been hanging around for years.
This week, it’s this salvaged storage bench.
I’ve been ignoring it for months. It was plain-jane…but with a little paint, added wood spindles for detail, hand painted graphics and distressing, this bench looks amazing now!
The best way I know how to get a professional hand painted graphic is by using an overhead projector. I was lucky enough to find mine on Kijiji for $50. If you don’t have one, I found a great tutorial on how to make a DIY Overhead Projector from simple supplies like a box, a light, and a transparency sheet.
Finding A Graphic
The French Graphic I used for this storage bench was found on The Graphics Fairy. It’s usually the first place I look because Karen has over 70 categories to choose from and there’s 1000’s of downloadable images for free. Thanks Karen!!!
Printing The Graphic
To print images for the overhead, I always use an everyday-run-of-the-mill ink jet printer and a multipurpose transparency sheet. You can even use self-adhesive laminating sheets which can often be found in dollar stores.
The ink stays wet on the transparency sheet for a good few minutes when first printed, so I have smudged my graphics a few times, but the great part about this is once dry, it’s easy to wipe off and reuse. Another bonus, when I project my image, it doesn’t need to be printed in reverse or even enlarged.
Projecting The Graphic
I position the projector so my image is the ideal size. To change the size of your image, manually move the projector closer or farther away from the piece of furniture.
Then I measure to make sure my graphics are aligned straight and centered. I tape the transparency sheet down to the top of the projector so it won’t slip or move. Finally, I use a piece of painters tape on the floor to mark the positioning of the overhead projector (just in case I accidentally bump into it).
Now I’m all ready to start painting.
This entire graphic took me about 2 hours to complete. I love the look of a hand painted finish, although it can be time consuming. Well worth it, in my opinion.
I don’t worry about applying the paint accurately. It usually looks thick and slightly messy…but no worries. Once the paint is sanded and distressed, the graphics will look perfectly imperfect!
The pink hat and ruffled throw pillows remind me of springtime in Paris. They pair perfectly with my “Fabrique de Bijouterie” graphic. A fun addition to this newly painted storage bench!
Graphics are a wonderful and creative way to add interest when restyling a plain piece of furniture. With so many different styles to choose from, I know I’ll be using my old projector again soon! 🙂
What’s your favorite way to transfer graphics onto furniture? Chime in…I always love hearing from you.
Have an amazing day!