Custom Curio with wallpaper and a unique stencil design!

Retailer Nika Hipsher, owner of UNika Custom Creations LLC, in Middletown, DE, shares how she created this beautiful curio using American Paint Company  Cannonball and Navajo White paint and top coat to finish her masterpiece.


I was dropping off some unwanted items at Goodwill, while I was there I spotted this cabinet in their back room getting ready to be put out on the floor, I told them, don’t bother, I would like to buy it, let’s load it up! I actually had it for about 6 months before I was finally able to get to it, which is like most of the stock pile in my garage at the moment.

I had been toying with several bold colors and instead of paint, I wanted to add my touch of UNika-ness.


A while back I had purchased a roll of wall paper on clearance with a Damask Pattern, couldn’t tell ya where exactly I got it. You know how it is, we buy things without exactly knowing what we’ll be using it for, but can’t pass up on it because it may just come in handy for something, not to mention it’s on sale! As luck would have it, the roll of paper happened to be the right width to cover that back panel. Yay, love it when a plan starts to come together!

So using the original panel as a pattern, we cut a new one, but before applying the wallpaper, just made sure it fit correctly. I quickly understood why the wallpaper was on clearance however, because it wasn’t pre-pasted or pre-glued. That would have saved me the step of having to apply glue, but with the help of my husband we laid the paper down. He held one end up and I applied the other end pressing down with just my hands, working out any air bubbles and making sure the paper was going on smooth. The trick was to make sure the paper remained straight, because while using just basic white glue, it made it more difficult to remove once it was down.

Now it was time to transform the shell of the cabinet; following the black & white of the Damask Wallpaper, Cannonball was the pick.


I love how thick Cannonball is, however for this project I did spray some water into the paint I placed into a separate container to thin it out just a bit.

Applying two thin layers using my Vintiquities brush, it actually didn’t take very long to paint.

I did sand between the two applications, but didn’t distress as I wanted a more polished look for this particular curio. Then I applied top coat, twice over.

The drawers I hadn’t initially painted but decided with the black and white background, I needed to tie it all together. Navajo White being a lighter color, in my experience has worked better when it is used full strength and using two coats for fuller coverage. After the drawers dried, I lightly distressed the outside of the drawers and I applied APC’S top coat for durability and a nice sheen.

But it still seemed as though something was missing. That’s when I started digging through my stash of various stencils and came across one that seemed to look like the damask design on the back panel. I stenciled the sides of the drawers in cannonball, and when they dried, applied more top coat to seal the stencil.

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Now, what was I to do with the original drawer pulls. I could’ve painted the hardware, but once again, I decided to go through my stash and see if there was anything I could use. Much to my surprise, I had found some drawer pulls that I had purchased over the summer, but completely forgot about. I was so excited because these ceramic beauties were also black and white and were the icing on the cake or in this case, the curio!


I love that my shop is my workspace.

Folks come in throughout the day and they can see me painting with APC paint which allows me to do demos on the spot!  I talk to them about the product and tell them it’s all natural and ask “do you smell the paint while we’re standing here?

And they realize there’s no smell or fumes and they are very impressed.  

The bold color pallet and the versatility of the paint, makes for painting furniture easy to apply, and is limited only by ones imagination.


I’m sure this unique curio won’t last long as someone will come along and snatch it up for a perfect spot in their home.  I do love when folks take the time to send me pics of items they’ve purchased and placed in their home.  It’s a good feeling.  And when they come back to visit, I get to ask how the item(s) are doing, just as though it was one of my own kids!

Well, in some fashion I suppose painting furniture is kind of like that, the sweat and time we put into restoring, saving, refinishing and falling in love with a piece, it’s hard at times to let go!  This is one of those pieces I’ll be sad to see leave.  But I have plenty more items in storage to pick from, so I’m off once again dig through my stash. Happy Painting!

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Thank you Unika Custom Creations, LLC!



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