The history of painted furniture is as old as organized society. The ancient Egyptians perfected the art of painting and gilding. Objects required for tombs were all the furnishings one owned in life. In addition to the decorated sarcophagus, one’s household equipment accompanied the owner into the afterlife. Worldly possessions were seen not only as works of art, but as elegant accessories in the hereafter. Ritual objects and furnishings became part of the immortal existence. The examples indicate a decorating process that has not changed a great deal over time. Wooden pieces were painted with a white undercoat and color and gilding was applied. Due to the dry Egyptian climate and protected in tombs, the artistry of these furnishings indicate the importance they had in Egyptian culture.

Artifacts, frescoes and sculptural reliefs all reveal the importance of this art form in the ancient near east. As Greece and Rome absorbed and redefined artistic expression, decorated furniture retained the importance of previous eras. The middle ages employed the talents of wood carvers, painters and gilders to enhance secular furniture and objects of religious devotion as altars and cathedral interiors became more elaborate.

As with all art forms, painted furnishings mirrored the societies they decorated. The changes brought by the Renaissance and the exposure to oriental culture, altered European décor. Notable was the introduction of Chinese lacquer. As imitations of this precious material were developed, painted furniture and décor in the 18th century achieved new levels of refinement. Through different eras, design has moved from the curve to the rigid, the fanciful to the severe. Furniture has proved an ideal medium for society to enhance surroundings. Color and form introduced into our homes can provide personal expression and vibrant visual experiences. What began so long ago is now a part of our interior environment.

Painted furniture and mirrors offered by the studio are often older pieces suitable for painting. Pieces are restored as needed and the painting is done to reproduce period designs. Surfaces, detail work and gilding are aged to create a patina or distressed appearance. In addition to traditional effects, designed finishes are also available. The services of a cabinetmaker can provide custom work if needed.