I must confess that when I started painting furniture as a child I knew that what I was doing wasn’t always ‘kosher’. Fortunately, most things came out rather well, so my mother let me continue. Decades later, in Umbria, we had this ancient prayer chest – also known as a kneeler – translated directly from the Italian inginocchiatoio – an upright chest of drawers with a space to kneel where the devout could pray at home.

Painted wooden chest kneeler

Painted wooden chest kneeler

It was a dark wood that I never liked and even though it was an antique, much to my husband’s dismay, I painted it! Some of the wood I painted directly with an acrylic paint and on the drawers I applied mulberry paper and my water and flour glue mix and then painted on top of that with tempera. I added different knobs as drawer handles that I have collected over the years.

Side view of painted wooden kneeler

Side view of painted wooden kneeler