My Bamboo is Peacock Blue

July 13, 2011

I have to say thank you to all of you for your suggestions on what color to paint the faux bamboo chest I scored last weekend while out thrifting.  Quite frankly, it’s one of those pieces that would look really good in any color, but there were a few comments that coaxed me toward peacock blue. 

brenda quote

Ooh, rich bluey-turquoise . . .

monica quote

Make the gold hardware pop, yes that’s a must!

andrea quote

Yes, me likey colors of the ocean, thanks for reading my mind Andrea.

conni quote

Amen sister, peacock is da bomb. 

So I busted out of my ‘just paint my furniture white’ box I fit so nicely into, and pulled off a bold shade of glossy peacock blue.  You saw the faux bamboo chest a few days ago that I dragged home from a thrift store.  faux bamboo chest

Check out this hottie now:

peacock blue faux bamboo chest with curtain

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

I love it, don’t you? 



From the start, this find required some minor repairs.   First, there was the chipping veneer around the top that I peeled off, then patched with some wood filler.

peel veneer wood filler

Next came the broken leg, with a piece of bamboo falling off.  Some wood glue and something heavy on top (two cans of primer) while the glue dried saved the day. minor repair job


Now it looks like something you’d pay top dollar for on 1st Dibs (double fist bump to the chest, followed up by peace sign to the crowd):

kates blue bamboo chest

Paisley print panels in vivid shades of teal, lime green and soft yellow found on sale at Pier One.


kates gold lamp bird art white bowl vase

The genie lamp was also a Pier One find, on sale and very pretty in brushed nickel, but given a coat of gold leaf spray paint, it plays off those awesome campaign pulls. 

Bowl from Marshalls ($3 dolla, holla!), the vintage framed partridge bird patches also found thrifting last weekend, funny how they fit right in, I LOVE them.  That vase was on a clearance rack at Michaels for $5 bucks and since I collect white ceramics in all shapes that are priced under $10 I just had to have it.  Collecting simple white modern ceramics in all sizes is an addiction of mine because they’re just so darn versatile and look good anywhere from tabletop to bookcase to mantel.  Those fat jungle leaf clippings are from my royal empress tree in my backyard, yo. 

After all these years of teaching myself how to refinish furniture and working with all sorts of paints and products, I still believe if you choose to spray paint a piece of furniture, you can achieve a really nice look if you follow certain steps.  

Here are the ones I followed for this faux bamboo chest:


Remove all hardware and/or hinges. 1) Clean off any debris, fill holes and make repairs (mentioned above, and here); then coat your furniture with a bonding primer;  2) when dry, lightly sand with a fine grit sanding wedge to remove any drips or residue; 3) wipe down any dust with a cloth; 4) freshen the hardware with metallic spray paint (I used ‘Gold Leaf’ by Krylon); 5) apply two light coats of paint with two cans of Rust-Oleum spray paint in ‘Night Tide’ gloss allowing to dry in between coats 6) when dry, wipe down any residue with cloth; 7) apply protective coat to seal and protect. 

Tip #1:  when spray painting furniture, especially drawer or door fronts, it is best to apply the spray paint when the surface of the door or drawer is facing up, meaning don’t paint where it naturally sits in place.  Remove the drawer or door and and lay it down on a painter’s tarp so that the surface you’re about to paint is facing the sky.  I find that makes for more even application and reduces the potential for drips. 

Tip #2: often with spray paint, along long surfaces especially on furniture you will see  a splotchy finish, which I mentioned in this article about spray paint FAQs.  This is frustrating because in any light, the color is even, but the finish is not.  I’ve grown increasingly bothered by this, which is why I often turn to a safe bet: painting a piece with a roller/brush combo and latex paint.  However, there is an appeal to knocking out a quick paint job on a small piece of furniture with a few cans of spray paint, so I’ve been experimenting to get rid of the potential for a splotchy finish.  I think I found the solution. 

The best way to get rid of a splotchy surface that results along long flat surfaces from spray paint is to coat it with one of these protective brush-on formulas with a cheapo sponge brush.  Either one works great (Varathane or Minwax Polycrylic).  They are both water based, and they can both be applied to fully cured oil based completely dry  spray painted surfaces.

final protective coat

Don’t worry that they look milky in the can, they always dry clear.  Choose satin or gloss depending on your preference, and be sure to work with them when the temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees because they dry fast, and even faster in really warm weather. 

To appease both myself and my friend JJ, I chose a gloss finish:

jj quote


And that, my friends, is how this funky faux bamboo chest . . .

bamboo before


. . . turned into this fabulous accent piece. 

peacock blue painted faux bamboo chest


K8 I hope I’ve convinced you:

k8 quote

I spent $25 on this chest, and $8 bucks on spray paint.  By the way, Rust-Oleum’s Night Tide is the perfect shade of peacock blue, I’ve used it here and here in the past and I find it at Lowe’s and Orchard Supply Hardware, but all stores vary their selection.

The rest of the supplies I had on hand, so this is a $33 dollar investment for me and I couldn’t be more thrilled!  What I mostly love is the statement in now makes in the guest room.  Lesson learned: as tempting and lovely as it is, don’t always play it safe with white, black or gray.  Every room needs a pop of color so why not make it a piece of furniture?  We should all push ourselves to embrace bold colors to bring personality to our spaces. 

Now it’s your turn, so go on.  Paint something blue or pink or green or yellow or red.  It will make you feel really really good.

Thanks so much to Apartment Therapy for this feature!




Tags: , ,

210 Responses to “My Bamboo is Peacock Blue”

  1. Melody says:

    This project is beautiful! I am going to be repainting some furniture for my son’s room and will definitely use spray paint now! Have you ever used navy or orange spray paint? Any product recommendations? Those are the colors my son has picked for his room. Thank you for any information you may have…and also thank you for sharing your beautiful work.

  2. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Melody, I’ve used gloss navy by RustOleum, it’s really great!

  3. Gelria says:


  4. Lisa says:

    It looks so fabulous! Love how the gold hardware pops on the blue. I am in the process of painting my bedroom a peacock blue and it’s such a beautiful color!! Where has it been all my life?

  5. Wow! I’m so impressed. You made an old beat up piece of furniture that I probably would have thrown out look so cool and modern now. I love the Peacock Blue color on it! Fantastic job!

  6. robinanne says:

    Thanks for your link back to this spray painting blog. I’m working on my RENTAL and this is going to be very helpful.

  7. Shelly says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Great job!

  8. Lucy says:

    Does the polycrylic/polyurethane ever dry with a yellow-ish hue? I’ve heard other people say that it tinted their projects so I’m afraid to use it. I’m painting the lids of my food storage bins (for pet food). First I primed it, then painted it with acrylic. I’m wondering what I should use to seal it. We use it multiple times everyday so I want it to be scratch/chip resistant. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  9. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Lucy, I haven’t had an ambering problem with any color other than cream or white, so if you’ve used a color, don’t sweat it. If it’s just white, you can use a clear wax to protect it.

  10. the results are stunning! I’m in the midst of redoing a set of nightstands and a campaign desk. I’m paintng them both Kelly (Kermit) green. My next piece will be this peacock blue for sure!

Leave a Reply