Painting Pattern: Green Herringbone

The Art of Furniture Restoration

Creating a herringbone pattern with paint is a fun and creative way to transform a piece of furniture. The process takes a bit longer than painting in a traditional manner but with some patience, the right supplies, and creativity, anyone can do it.

What you'll need:

I learned of this technique by watching an instructional video created by the people over at Martha Stewart. Because their instructions are so thorough, I won't go into repeating them, rather, I'll let you know what I experienced by following them.

First thing I needed to do was to decide on colors. Martha has several recommendations for color pairing, but these require getting two cans of paint. In an effort to save some money and create an original mix, I am going to use one color, while adding a bit of white to this color in a separate mix for the base coat (it's almost impossible to not match colors using this 'add-white method'). I went with a lovely green that Orinoco, one of my favorite restaurants in Boston, uses so well for their benches. The color is called Medieval Times by Benjamin Moore.

I applied the base coat, which comprised of 1 part Medieval Times and 1 part Ultra-White paint. I allowed this base coat to dry overnight before going to the next step of taping and glazing.

After taping the top and sides of this nightstand I applied my glaze mix (1 part paint, 1 part glaze, 2 parts water). It was a little bit messy, and after combing through once I noticed that the lines I created were bleeding into each other. So I didn't hesitate to comb through more a couple more times, each time wiping the excess glaze mix off of the rubber comb. If I were to do it again, I would have used a bit less water in my mix to avoid the bleeding.

I let this dry overnight, and taped again applying the same process as the step before, but this time taping over the herringbone pattern. After this was complete, I then painted the inside of the shelves solid with the Medieval Times. All this dried again overnight, and the project was complete.

The result is a charmingly messy herringbone pattern that I really like! To get it as clean as they do over at Martha Stewart, I would recommend mixing a bit less water than 2 parts. But in the end, the effect was achieved and I must say, I love the way this pattern looks. It adds a very real texture to a piece that would otherwise be very boring and flat.

For the full video tutorial see Martha Stewart | Herringbone Chair.

Hooray for Herringbone!

Images: Nick Siemaska