Whenever I’m considering how to paint a piece of furniture, my go-to for inspiration is usually Pinterest. If I’ve purchased a empire style antique dresser, I’ll go on Pinterest and search “painted antique empire dresser” and see what comes up.
But it was pretty comical when I started researching “painted linen press” recently because the majority of photos that came up first were all my own pieces staring with this one.
This was one of my early postings here on the blog back in June 2014. It’s painted in Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg and I applied vintage wallpaper to the insets.
Let me note here that in my own personal lexicon, a ‘linen press’ is any piece of furniture where you open up doors on the outside to reveal inner drawers like the ones shown above. I believe that pieces like this were initially intended to store linens.
I suspect that not very many people call them by this name and that’s why, when I searched Pinterest for examples of linen presses, photos of my own pieces dominated the screen.
In addition to that wallpapered piece, there were also a few shots of this piece …
I painted that one back in 2017. It’s painted in Homestead House milk paint in a color called Bedford on the outside and has an early prima marketing transfer on the front.
The inside on this one was a little more unique in that it was half shelves and half drawers.
I painted the interior in a custom mix of Fusion’s Liberty Blue and Coal Black.
Pictures of this one from October 2018 came up several times as well. This one is absolutely one of my all time favorites.
It’s painted in Dixie Belle’s In the Navy on the outside, and Fusion’s Limestone on the drawer fronts followed by the French Ceramics transfer from re.design with prima.
It had a gorgeous wood top that I stripped and then just waxed with Dixie Belle’s brown wax.
Another piece that showed up in the search was this one from April 2018.
This one was a bit of a challenge. I initially painted it with milk paint that pretty much entirely chipped back off. So I sanded it down and started over with Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth on the outside, and their Mint Julep on the inside. I also added my old favorite Seeds transfer from Prima to the front.
This piece from March of 2016 came up as well.
It’s painted in Rachel Ashwell’s short-lived line of chalk paint in a color she called Caribbean Sea. I added some vintage wallpaper to it as well.
I have to say, all I can think of when looking at the photos of that one is how much I struggled to try and make my shed work as a photo cottage. It took a lot of photo editing to get those pictures to look even semi-decent.
This piece from September 2014 came up as well.
You know what stands out to me in that photo? Look how small my Limelight hydrangea was in 2014! It’s the one on the right side. It’s about twice that size now.
Anyway, it’s painted in American Paint Company’s mineral/chalk paint in Navajo White.
The inner drawers are painted in Annie Sloan’s Louis Blue.
I guess you could say that I’ve painted a good number of linen presses over the years. And I’ve used quite a few different brands of paint. I was really hoping to get inspired by someone else’s linen press makeover on Pinterest though! There were a handful of other painted versions, but nothing that really jumped out at me.
As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, I am about to start working on another linen press dresser.
But so far I haven’t entirely decided what my plan is. For now I’m going to get started on the prep work. I will sand it down and give it a coat of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. because if you look closely in that photo above you can see that this piece is a bleeder. The stain and/or tannins in the wood have bled through the white paint. I also may (or may not) attempt to strip the paint from the top and the front legs. I don’t know, we’ll see. So be sure to stay tuned, I want to get this one finished up before the temps drop too low to paint outside.
In the meantime, tell me, do you call these linen presses? And which one of my linen press makeovers is your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know.