Furniture Painting

Archived Q&A and Reviews

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Seeking Furniture Painter/Restorer

Oct 2013

hi wise parents, i've got a few pieces of furniture that are meaningful to me, but may not be worth much to the world at large. i'd really like to keep and refresh the quirky pieces i have rather than swap everything out for whatever the stores are hawking. they're wooden pieces, like an old 1970's lane chest, or a chinoiserie-inspired armoire, and i love 'em and don't want to get rid of them. being a daydreamy-pinterest-collector type, i have often thought it would be wonderful to restore/paint them, but i have had zero luck finding anyone who seems interested in that type of work. i've got my colors picked out, and can even offer a workspace and help out if need be... i'm looking for someone reliable and experienced. i'm not terribly crafty, so i hesitate to take on a job like this myself since they are pieces i actually would like to showcase in my home and not cut my teeth on. thanks a bunch! quirky home maker

Mignonne at does this sort of work, and I like her style. We had her recover some wood and fabric dining chairs (thanks to my cat's destruction) and it was a very professional job. She does repaint and redesign older items and does a great job. She will willingly work with items you have, as well. I thought her prices were pretty reasonable, and she also encouraged us to find the fabric we wanted and bring it to her so we wouldn't have to pay extra by choosing her fabric. The store is on San Pablo Avenue at Dwight Way. Kirstin

Have you seen the article in Tuesday's SF Chronicle? They have a website with contact information and other photos of their work. Good luck! SF Chron reader

Decorative furniture painter needed

Nov 2006

I have an old rocker that belonged to my grandmother, and I'm looking for someone who can turn it into a keepsake for my daughter. What i have in mind is colorful decorative painting, maybe flowers, something really beautiful. Does anyone know of a local artist who does that kind of work on commission? Thanks so much for your help! B of Berkeley
expecting stormy weather in the E. Bay

If you are looking for a decorative furniture painter, you couldn't do any better than Heidi Tarver. Her work is absolutely stunning, and her prices are amazingly reasonable. You can check it out for yourself at her website, Take a look... it is a pleasure just to look at the images of some of the furniture. She is located in Berkeley... give her a call, you won't be disappointed. Her phone number is 510-928-5591. Good luck with your project! r.d.

Magpie Decorative Painting is FANTASTIC. Two women with a wonderful aesthetic, creative and great to work with. They have done furniture for us as well as glazing and decorative painting of walls and cabinets throughout our house. Magpie Fan

I have several chairs, including a rocker, that were painted by Heidi Tarver. Two of the chairs have been in my family for a long time (I don't actually know where they came from originally) and were old and pretty ratty, but had a lot of personal value for us. Heidi worked with us to transform the chairs into beautiful family heirlooms which are both functional and highly decorative. We love them, and it was a real pleasure working with Heidi; I felt that she really listened to what we wanted and worked with the chairs to create something special that we will treasure for many years. I would really recommend her work to anyone who is looking for a decorative furniture painter b.

I have bought painted furniture from Heidi Tarver-- she also gives classes, and I'm sure she would do a commission piece. Her contact info last I knew was 510-549-1538 and htarver[at] (from a commercial postcard of hers that I've kept). Good luck-- her work is amazingly beautiful luisa

Laura Cusack just painted an old bed frame and desk for my teenage daughter. She was great to work with, very clean, and did a beautiful job. I would highly recommend her. Her number is 655-0678. Joan

Hi, I met a muralist and furniture painter yesterday. She does regular oil painting as well, and I saw one yesterday and it was quite fanciful. You might want to give her a call... Suzanne Pershing 510.415.5498 sjpershing[at] Good luck! Kimberly

I would like to highly recommend Julia Storrs 510-533-5688 Painted furniture and chairs in particular is her specialty! She is very creative and talented. Please call her to discuss your project!! Debra Debra

Faux finishes on furniture

Jan 2005

Does anyone have a recommendation for someone who does faux finishes on funiture? I'm looking for someone who can skillfully paint (blue) and give an aged apearance to my antique vanity and kitchen cabinets. Thanks! Michelle

Contact Mike Brown. He does beautiful faux finishes on furniture.
Michael Brown, Preservation Painting Decorative and Faux Finishes 955 Jackson St. Benicia, CA 707-748-0447 fauxbea AT

I know an amazing artist who does lots of furniture work, just as you're looking for (she also does faux work on walls, and beautiful murals). She has a keen eye for detail and color and she is incredibly fast. She has done several things for me -- most recently a faux finish on my new bathroom wall. Much of her furniture work is sold at specialty shops. Her name is Chris and you can email her at Christine6940 AT Good luck. Susan

Can I paint child's bedroom furniture myself?

Aug 2003

I am wanting to have my son's furniture painted and am wondering if this is something that I can easily do or if I need a specialist. It is all very high quality furniture that is currently painted white (I purchased it painted) and I would like to have it painted a different color. Any recommendations on someone who can do this well? Thanks Amy

I painted a futon and a dresser for our kids room and it came out great. It did take time and some effort (most annoying: sanding down the existing shiny top coat), but I enjoyed it (not to mention that it would probably cost a fortune to pay somebody else to do it).

I just went to Lowes (Whipple exit on 880 S. - they still have knowledgable people working for them who can give you advice and help you chose the right equipment). As far as I recall, I got: drip cloth, 2 kinds of sand paper (I think 60 and 120 grit; they have a brand that has some sponge on one side, which made it easier to sand corners), brushes, and paint (I chose Laura Ashley, which can be bought in pint size and have nice bright children's room colors). They also have a large section with books about furniture painting techniques.

You can probably do it over a weekend - one day for sanding and first coat, and then second coat on the next day. The one thing I did not do and wish I did: finish the dresser with a clear (matt finish) top coat, as it got a little abused after a while.

Good Luck, Li