Japanese Inspired Chalk Paint® Chest of Drawers

by JustRestore

A second project by Sabah of JustRestore which takes inspiration from traditional Japanese artistic motifs and national history. This piece depicts a geisha in full regalia, artfully painted on a textured ombre background with highlights of Gold Transfer.

Painter in Residence Just Restore Japanese Inspired Chalk Paint Cabinet

The penultimate Chalk Paint® project from the brush of our very talented Painter In Residence, Sabah Bardhan of JustRestore. This design has been carefully considered to emphasise the unusual characteristics of the tallboy on which it’s painted; the elegant length of the furniture is reflected in the lithe figure of the coy woman, who shields her face behind a fan painted using Old White and, of course, Emperor’s Silk. 

First, JustRestore chose her subject. She considered the height and elegance of this piece and realised she could highlight the slightly unusual dimensions by drawing a full-length design. Having spent her childhood in India, her married years in Dubai, and the intervening time working on airlines, Sabah is incredibly well-travelled and has a whole world of cultural inspiration to draw from for her work. Japanese artistry is a particular inspiration for her, as is the rendering of traditional cultural figures.

Annie Sloan Painter in Residence Sabah Just Restore Japanese Inspired Cabinet
Annie Sloan Painter in Residence Sabah Just Restore Japanese Inspired Cabinet

We spoke to JustRestore about this transformation from a plain but useful piece of furniture to a unique, one of a kind, future heirloom and she shared the step-by-step process for those of you who want to try something similar at home. Especially useful if you’re looking to upcycle a tall piece of furniture!

1. After thoroughly cleaning the drawers, JustRestore painted a base of Chalk Paint® in Old White, Old Ochre, Country Grey and Coco using a criss-crossing  brush stroke to give texture. She used the darkest colour at the bottom (Coco), then worked her way up to her lightest colour (Old White) to create a gradual ombre. Ombre’s work best on taller furniture.

2. When using Chalk Paint® to give a textured look we recommend using the Large Chalk Paint Brush (as JustRestore did here). The Large Chalk Paint® Brush is ideal for creating texture because the tightly packed bristles pick up a lot of paint.

3. Once her base was dry, JustRestore sketched the outline of her geisha in pencil.

4. Next, she filled in the details using fine brushes and an array of Chalk Paint® colours including Athenian Black, Pure, Barcelona Orange, Oxford Navy, Aubusson Blue, Emperor’s Silk, Cream, Old Ochre and Old White. Using small brushes gives you much greater control when painting detailed work and means any mistakes will be small and easily fixable!

5. To add some glamour to this intriguing figure, JustRestore turned to Gold Transfer Leaf. This is used by first applying Gold Size with a clean brush, allowing it to oxidise and become tacky, and then laying Gold Transfer Leaf over the top. You can then brush away excess Gold Leaf once dry, giving you brilliant control and the ability to apply even tiny highlights of gold, as well as covering greater areas. JustRestore opted to highlight her geisha’s obi sash and her hair accessory. 

6. She then painted extra details over her Gold Leaf belt using Old White. 

7. Finally, two coats of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax finish and protect. 

As always, please let us know if you try this project at home! We love seeing your work on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and you could even be featured on our website. Please remember to use Chalk Paint® colour name hashtags e.g #OldWhite #EmperorsSilk #OxfordNavy and to tag us @chalkpaint when you share.


Featured Products

Just Restore Japanese Geisha Tall Boy Chalked Painted Piece Close Up
Annie Sloan Paint Swatch Old White

Old White

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Annie Sloan Paint Swatch Old Ochre

Old Ochre

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Annie Sloan Paint Swatch Country Grey

Country Grey

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Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Brushes in all 3 Sizes Product Shot

Chalk Paint® Brushes

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Annie Sloan Paint Swatch Athenian Black

Athenian Black

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Annie Sloan Paint Swatch Emperor's Silk

Emperor’s Silk

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Transfer Metal Leaf Booklets in Brass (Gold Imitation), Aluminium (Silver Imitation) and Copper by Annie Sloan

Transfer Metal Leaf Booklets

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Annie Sloan Gold Size 100ml pot

Gold Size

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Clear Chalk Paint® Wax

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