Decorating & Design

November 27, 2008

Painting Furniture Black

Bedroom drawers get a classic makeover with the right paint and finish.

Q. I would like advice on painting a chest black. The black I like is not glossy or a lacquer-look, it has a slight sheen and is more classic than contemporary. I am planning on putting this in my bedroom, which I want to paint rose or pink.

— K.S.

A. Look for a black latex paint in either an eggshell or satin finish. This will give just the right amount of lustre to your finished chest. Milk paint is another alternative. Used widely as furniture paint for more traditional applications, such as shaker or colonial interiors, milk paint is derived from casein (milk protein), and lime (calcium), and is coloured with natural pigments and minerals. Once dried, milk-painted furniture has a subtle sheen, and though often thought of as a rustic finish, a milk-painted dresser or chest would be an interesting, stylish mix in a more classic space, especially placed against a pink background. Think about using black and white wool in a hounds tooth pattern for pillows, or mix black and white stripes with toile for classic, never-out-of-style accents. Black and white prints or photographs in black frames hung above your dresser or various-sized mirrors arranged in a grouping would create a stunning focal point.