Using Overhead Projectors With Hand Painted Finishes


This dresser was originally a plain white dixie dresser which was first painted a gloss navy blue, and then hand painted with gold flowers using an overhead projector.  The pattern of the flowers was taken off of the IKEA pattern from their cardboard storage boxes.

An overhead projector typically consists of a large box containing a very bright lamp and a fan to cool it. On top of the box is a large fresnel lens that collimates the light. Above the box, typically on a long arm, is a mirror and lens that focuses and redirects the light forward instead of up.

Transparencies are clear pieces of plastic with images or writing on them which are placed on top of the lens for display. The light from the lamp travels through the transparency and into the mirror where it is shone forward onto a screen for display. The mirror allows both the presenter and the audience to see the image at the same time, the presenter looking down at the transparency as if writing, the audience looking forward at the screen. The height of the mirror can be adjusted, to both focus the image and to make the image larger or smaller depending on how close the projector is to the screen.

Projectors are old fashioned tools for classrooms that are out of date with the technology of computers.  In fact, it is very rare to see them used in classroom settings anymore.

Though they can be a painters best friend.

Sometimes it can be very difficult to paint an image over the lip of a dresser top, or on rounded surfaces such as table legs.  If you feel as though you are not talented enough to do a very complicated pattern, you are certainly not alone.

For a painter such as myself who wants a finish to be top notch, and doesn’t have the years experience of hand painting, an overhead projector is the perfect cheat tool.  It allows you to transfer any image, at the size you want perfectly saving you time and energy.

Copy your favorite graphics from books and magazines onto furniture with perfection.

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  • Jacqueline Gonzalez

    I am strongly interested in hand painted furnitures I would appreciate if you can inform me of websites where to find ideas for thisbeautifull work

    I hope to hear from you


  • Jacqueline Gonzalez

    who is the artist that paintede this fantastic dresser? I would like to visit his website


  • admin

    Hi Jacqueline,

    This piece I painted myself. This website is a blog of painted furniture I find inspiring. I would suggest finding painted furniture on ebay, there are large amounts of hand painted furniture.

    With this chest I copied an IKEA storage cardboard box. I traced it on to the dresser, and then I painted in the design with gold paint. It was lovely. I did it just for this site. I always loved the color blue, and getting it on to this piece was the most difficult part. After many coats, the blue wasn’t covering that I had to spray paint it. It did turn out lovely, so I thank you for all the complements.

  • Lisa S

    I have a tall white french provencial dresser made by Dixie. I am thinking of selling it. Do you have an idea of what a fair price is for this type of piece. It was my childhood furniture and is the only piece I have of 7 pieces :(. YOur painted pieces are spectacular. If I thought I could do this I would keep and update this piece. Also the top has yellowed and feels very slick. Can the top be sanded so it would accept paint?
    Thank you for your response.