A Passion for Painted Furniture - How One Woman Turned DIY Furniture into an Art Form
There is a good reason why Ann Eppler’s internet community sometimes call her Annie Sprinkles. She seems to sprinkle passion and professional creativity to every piece of furniture she touches. Rescuing vintage pieces from landfills and turning them into highly sought after signature furniture is her speciality. Her sophisticated yet modern vanities are especially in demand.
Eppler started her craft to pay tribute to her father. “He was a junkman. He collected antiques. After he passed, I wanted to do something in his honor, so I painted a dresser and it sold.” Eppler knew she just might have been on the brink of a new career in painted furniture.
“I was amazed when I sold my first piece, and how quickly all of my pieces sell. They don’t even last a day online.” Eppler uses a local Facebook group to advertise her works, although she plans to create both a “Passionate Painted Lady” profile on HomeandGardenDesignIdeas.com and a new website to showcase her pieces. “I don’t even know what will happen then. I don’t think I could keep up with the demand.” Eppler said that she recently had one customer who travelled all the way from Ireland for one of her pieces.
Eppler’s infectious laugh may seem joking, but the truth is that home owners recognize both the artistry and the craftsmanship that goes into each piece. “I like to rescue furniture and turn it into something beautiful,” she says. “There is a lot that goes into it.” Eppler starts by selecting only quality pieces to upcycle, looking for dovetail joints and vintage hardwood. “I want it to be a quality piece from the beginning,” she says. “A lot of painters don’t like Mahogany, because it bleeds through, but I love it. The color and the wood is just wonderful.” Each piece that Eppler sells comes with its own “tear sheet” that tells the new owner about the piece and how to care for it. “This is one of a kind furniture,” she says. “You have to treat it right.”
Eppler’s preferred paint is chalk paint, which she often mixes herself. Her signature style usually incorporates a unique combination of beach themes and metallics.
When starting a new furniture project, she sands, putties, repairs and selects the right hardware all before picking up a brush. “Sometimes I will find a piece with hardware that is worth a lot of money if I sold it separately, but if goes with a piece then I just put it together.”
To find a potential piece she searches thrift and clean out companies, but sometimes her reputation proceeds her. “A lot of the time, people come to me with furniture,” she says. “If it looks good, I’ll paint it.” It is that attitude that Eppler likes to teach to many new DIYers who come to her for advice on painting furniture. “I tell them to ‘just do it’ because it is only paint. If you don’t like it, you can always change it.”