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Coat of Paint Can Make World of Difference

March 20, 1993|KATHY BRYANT

The handcrafted furniture at Taylor Bowen Industries is done completely from scratch, but it's fun to try your hand at painting furniture you already have or something you've picked up at a garage sale or flea market.

Obviously you never want to paint over a genuine antique because that would make it lose its value, and that includes the 1930s country furniture that's in style right now.

However, good solid furniture made from wood, metal, wicker and even plastic can be repainted and given new life.

Lamps, picture frames, baskets and anything else that is serviceable but perhaps a little shabby-looking is a candidate for painting.

Painting or staining can be a good way to pull together diverse furniture styles. And stenciled details can add interest to otherwise bland pieces. Shellac, varnish and wax can be applied for a tough finish.

Design magazines and books, such as Jocasta Innes' "Painting Furniture: A How-To Guide to an Ancient Craft," can be good sources of inspiration.

The real secret, though, is to use your imagination and not hesitate to add personal touches.

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