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Free Ultimate Furniture Painting Guide

Old World Carousel Whimsy

Painting custom furniture is much more than just "painting furniture"! It is more like putting a puzzle together…..especially if it is to be the feature piece in the room. There are many things to consider during the process….and this custom order is the perfect example of that. I am going to share with you my design process.

I was contacted by a local woman named Jade. She is in the process of planning both a baby nursery (she's expecting a new baby girl) AND a big girl room for her daughter. Two projects at once and she's feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Jade was only certain about ONE THING…..she wanted me to make THIS vanity dresser into something really special for her oldest daughter Ivy. It was passed down to her from her grandmother and had been in the family for years!

Jade had NO plan or idea as to what to do with it as far as painting. She did send me this photo of Ivy's bed which she had custom-built to include two antique carousel figures. From this photo, I begin my plan. I took note of the very pink walls….and instantly knew that I would not include pink on the vanity. I also took note of the "old world" color palette of the bed and decided to pull from the sage green headboard….and the colors on the horses. This would allow Jade to change out wall color and/or bedding in the future….while the bed and vanity remained cohesive.

* This post may contain affiliate links. I could make a commission at no charge to you if you purchase my recommended products. Please read my disclosure here and my privacy policy here.

I chose to use paints by Dixie Belle. The paint is amazingly durable, which I felt would be the best fit for a young girl's vanity.

I began by cleaning the piece very well with an amazing product by Dixie Belle called White Lightning. I then coated the entire piece in a thin coat of BOSS in white. I chose to base coat the piece in two tones of neutral…..Fluff (white) and Drop Cloth (tan).

I wanted an "old world" carousel look to pair with the bed… I chose patterns to add whimsy and keep the vanity from being too adult in style. Harlequin pattern, stripes and polka dots are a very easy way to keep pieces from being too serious.

Below you see harlequin pattern drawn….and painted with Burlap (a tan with a golden cast to it) over Drop Cloth. I painted the alternating harlequin shape in Caviar.

I then paired Fluff white with the fresh sage green (like the headboard of the bed) called Vintage Duck Egg. Below you can see my taping process for all the striped areas (mirror, small drawers and the lower sides).

I painted a little positive affirmation on the surface of the vanity….the Hello Gorgeous message for little Ivy to see every day! Below you can see the before and after of the framed out area for this message.

I painted the inside of the top little cabinet area with a touch of blue….Dixie Belle Blue. And lastly, I added polka dots to the door fronts of that little cabinet and the vanity surface below the full length mirror. I freehanded these jumbo dots with Fluff and trimmed them out with Caviar.

I finished off the piece with a little gold gilding wax for highlights.

And here it is…….check out the before and after!!!!

And here you see it with the bed. Notice how they compliment each other? I especially like how the dark harlequin shape really pulls out the dark manes on the carousel pieces

I was so excited to share this vanity dresser piece with Jade and her husband Brett. Below is their response via text message when they received the finished photos…..

"I love it! It's so fun! It's Awesome! It goes so well with the bed!

My husband, Brett, says that it's totally RAD!!! He's blown away, as am I!

It is so cool! Thank you! You are amazing!!"

Love the Whimsy Wonderland?

If you are considering painting a piece of furniture in your home.....and you like Whimsy....(which you MUST or you wouldn’t be following me right???)....but you are scared....or hesitant....or just don't know where to start.....I am here for you!

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I do my best to take photos from every angle to depict not only the design….but also to show you the quality of the paint. Below you will find a gallery of photos of my whimsical vanity dresser for your viewing pleasure! You may click on each one to enlarge for better viewing.


The products listed here are exactly what I used on this vanity dresser! Dixie Belle Paint company offers amazing products that will make all of your projects successful no matter what your skill level!

If you would like to paint your own furniture ....but lack confidence with where to start....I offer furniture design consultation!  Contact me here and we can get you started on your next project!

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See you next week!



Please please please share my Whimsical Carousel Old World Vanity Dresser pin and follow me on Pinterest!!






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