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Free Ultimate Furniture Painting Guide

Whimsical Alice Nightstand

Whimsical Nightstand with Alice Completed (aka Pink Nightstand part 3)

Well this took a turn I didn’t see coming!


I had no intentions at all of using the Alice design transfer on this small chest. I had every intention of using paint and gold leaf only…… but once I completed the sides….. with the checkerboard and old world gold….. I immediately saw Alice sitting in her chair in a field of flowers under a shade tree in her Land of Wonder!

Adding Texture:

I used Sea Spray…. which is a paint additive that allows you to thicken your paint and add texture to your project. I mixed a small scoop into about 3 ounces of paint and mixed well in a small bowl. This begins to harden quickly so you need to move fast. I applied this to the corners above and below the checkerboard pattern using a pouncing technique to ensure I’d have peaks and valleys. I left this to dry.



Stenciling drawer fronts and top:

While the Sea Spray dried I used the Harlequin stencil on the drawer fronts. I actually cut my stencil to size rather than using it in a whole piece and this made it really easy….. however I know this is not best for the project budget. I stenciled with Sawmill Gravy over the Tea Rose base coat. I used the same stencil on the top surface of the chest as well.



Transfer placement:

Once my paint was dry on the whimsical nightstand, I decided where I wanted my Alice in her chair to be placed. It is important to keep in mind what layering you are planning to do so you leave room for the rest of your design. I placed the chair high enough for the planned flowers but low enough for the shade tree branches I was imagining.



Floral decoupage application:

I can’t believe how well the Spring Flowers rice paper worked with this overall design! I tore my sheets by hand leaving a raw edge which actually fades away when you apply the top coat for adhesive! I used the Top Coat in Satin and painted a thin layer onto the drawer fronts. I then carefully placed the rice paper and immediately topped with another coat of satin top coat. You can smooth out any wrinkles with your brush or even your finger. Its that easy!



Gold Leaf Application for a Whimsical Nightstand:

I allowed my Sea Spray to dry overnight…. although that is much longer than needed. I chose gold leaf adhesive cream and applied it using a small craft brush. Once the adhesive is applied you must wait at least 30 minutes for the cream to become tacky and clear. If you begin to apply the leaf before you let the cream “tack up”….. your sheets of leaf will become gummy and never cure properly. Once the cream was at tack…. I begin to apply the gold leaf sheets one at a time until all tacky areas were covered. I brushed away any excess leaf.



Would you just look at that shimmer of leaf over the Sea Spray texture!?!



Burnishing Transfers:

As you can see I added more transfers to the front. I used magnolia stems from the Magnolia Transfer to build tree branches from my imagined shade tree. I couldn’t love that part more! I then chose two pocket watches and a tea pot to hang from the tree branches. I hand painted the ribbon and teeny tiny little bows onto the tree branches. Creating this scene brought me so much joy!



It is important to burnish your transfers. This means using a fine grit sand paper or finishing sponge to rub back and forth over the transfer to make sure all air bubbles have been released and any lifted edge of the transfer is released. This will keep your image from cracking or lifting. Remove all dust from burnishing with microfiber cloth or brush.



Top Coat BEFORE Black Wax:

I brush coated the entire chest in a single coat of Top Coat in satin PRIOR to using black wax. This will keep the dark wax from soaking into or “grabbing” onto the chalk mineral paint too quickly…. it’s a trick that gives you more play time with the wax. Must dry to touch before applying wax.

Dark Wax:

I liberally applied dark wax over the entire chest. I apply it with a brush and wipe back with baby wipes. This is something that takes guts….. and many people are afraid to try…. but it offers the most dramatic finish to your piece. It’s really quite fail proof as long as you remember to top coat prior to waxing. I covered every surface including the stenciled areas, the transfers, and the top surface. I then just remove wax from areas that I want to appear lighter. Best Dang Wax is water-based and wipes back beautifully with a damp cloth or baby wipes.



I used the same technique of liberally applying dark wax and wiping away with baby wipes on the gold leaf/checkered sides of the chest.



Applying gold gilding wax:

I chose gold gilding wax to give a hint of gold on the corners of the drawers as well as a light dusting of it around the top and lower trim. Gilding wax is oil based and offers amazing coverage with tiniest amount…. so very little is needed.


The whimsical legs:

AND finally…… the whimsical legs (or maybe you’d call them feet)! I first flipped the chest upside down. I base coated the leg in Sawmill Gravy. I used a small craft brush to paint every other stripe in Gravel Road. I repeated this on all four legs and ALMOST called it done!


Top coat:

This entire piece has already been top coated in satin and then again in black wax and it certainly could just be left like this and remain well protected. I personally don’t like the feel of wax as the last coat…. and I prefer to place a final coat of satin top coat. So the chest was coated one last time in Top Coat Satin for a beautiful sheen and lasting protection. I hope you see the beauty in her that I do! She brought me a heck of a lot of happiness over the last few weeks. And I have LOVED sharing the progress with you on live videos.





This is the final blog of a 3 part series…. By clicking on the photos below you can go to the blogs for PART 1 and PART 2 of creating this Whimsical Nightstand. We have also put together a fully edited YouTube video if you’d like to watch this last process come to life and you can watch that HERE.







All the products used:

For your convenience, the products listed here are what I used for the Whimsical Nightstand! Dixie Belle Paint Company offers amazing products that will make all of your projects successful no matter what your skill level! Just click on any of the products shown below! You can also find my favorite products and tools in my Amazon influencer list HERE.

Here’s how it works… these products are attached to my name. When you purchase by clicking from my blog….. then Dixie Belle offers a kickback to me for referring you! It doesn’t cost you any more to use my links…. and the support helps me to bring you new projects! So I thank you in advance!!!


White Lightning Cleaner


Gray BOSS Primer by Dixie Belle


Tea Rose Chalk Paint by Dixie Belle


Clear Coat Satin


Apply top coat to protect from wear and tear


Dixie Belle Clear Coat Flat


Sawmill Gravy chalk mineral paint by Dixie Belle


Gravel Road Chalk Paint by Dixie Belle



Gilding Wax in Gold by Dixie Belle


Best Dang Wax in Black by Dixie Belle


Spring Flowers with Stems – Rice Decoupage Paper


Magnolia Garden – Transfer by Dixie Belle


Alice in Wonderland


Harlequin Stencil


Whimsical Check Stencil by Dixie Belle


Sea Spray


Dixie Belle Finishing Pads


Best Dang Brush by Dixie Belle


Premium Chip Brush by Dixie Belle


Gold Leaf Foil Sheets


Leaf Adhesive 2oz


Painter’s Tape (Amazon)


Fine Mister Spray Bottle


1″ Flat Princeton Brush


Dixie Belle Synthetic Brushes


1/4″ Angled Princeton Brush


Clean as a Whistle is a brush cleaner and conditioner that removes build-up and dried paint from brushes. This product is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, no VOC, biodegradable, and non-flammable.


Natural Soap Infused Scrubber! Made in USA! Easily removes paint, grease, dirt, oil and more and smells soooo good!



It’s crazy to me to believe that this nightstand was just brown. It looks SO natural and beautiful with the transformation completed! Here is a peek at the before and after.



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