…let’s talk about paint lines, baby

I have a great illustration of the beauty of paint lines. I work with a local interior designer that is currently working with some big name clients. She found a beautiful Baker cabinet and originally thought she was going to laquer it. She then brought it to me while dropping off another dresser. The Baker had been sprayed with an undercoat to prep it. The wood brown color was completely covered and the surface was completely smooth.

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When I started painting it I found that I was not getting the joy that I usually feel from covering up a brown wood. Aside from that, I realized that my beautiful brush strokes were covering this very static primer paint adding character and life. It was transoforming the cabinet into a custom piece before my eyes. I was changing it with my own two hands. It was very personal. It was special. It was this way BECAUSE of my brush strokes!








Do you hear what I’m saying? It was the brush strokes that made this piece come to life!

I get a lot of emails from people asking how to eliminate brush strokes. A) I don’t think this is completely possible B) I would not want to eliminate brush strokes completely.

You can dull strokes by adding water to your paint. You must be careful if you add water to your paint. The color will change and lighten. This means that if you go back to do any quick touch ups and you don’t use your watered down paint and just use it from the can then you will get a different color in those spots. This means that you will have to paint your piece over again to get a consistent color. Be wary.

You can also lightly sand out some of the strokes after painting.


Either way, you will probably not get all of the paint strokes out.

I grew up watching my dad design and create custom jewelry. What set him and his father apart from the rest was that they did not cast anything. It was all hand soldered.

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This meant that every piece was maybe just a tad different because it was hand made. It was not done by a machine. There is a purity in this which I value. I think the same goes for painting furniture. The brush strokes say to me that this piece was painted by my hands and is special. It is a style choice for me, but also a way to put my stamp on a piece. Christen was here. Not Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware or Ikea. Christen.





  1. Well said! Love your work!

  2. Lori Vaterlaus says:


  3. When I first saw the pictures of the sprayed on primer I was in SHOCK! Christen! What has HAPPENED to YOU?! Whew, so relieved to see you are still using the brush 😉 And you are so right – I find when I have to do a “pristine” (not distressed) piece, I’m a bit sad because that’s the mark of me! That’s the character of the piece. The piece talks to you as you paint it and I’m tellin ya, they KNOW where they want to have and have not paint! 😉 We must listen… <3

  4. Donna Dell says:

    Love it! So true.

  5. Where do you paint when it’s too cold outside? And how cold does it have to get before you can’t use the ASCP?

  6. Betty in Arlington says:

    Christen. Your work is exquisite. You make the furniture scream! What lovely work! Pray you are recovering from your fall. Beautiful work; show the finished product!

  7. Yesterday I was admiring the brush strokes on my hand painted dresser and chest of drawers in my bedroom and how lovely the furniture looks. You are so right! I found them at a local antique shop and they had already started painting them and I couldn’t resist!

  8. I’m with you Christen, I’ve just been hired to hand paint and transform some spray painted reproduction pieces. They look so much better and more authentic hand painted. I don’t have too much brush strokes and my work feels lovely and smooth but i’m definitely not into spray paint and I find perfection in the imperfections.
    great post once again
    Fiona x

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