Saturday, September 20, 2014

Drexel Side Table in Creme

Yesterday, while waiting to get football pics done with our boys, someone who follows my page said she hadn't seen me posting much lately.  Now that school has started again I will be posting more, but sometimes "stuff" happens.  Last week I finished 3 custom pieces, but because of circumstances I didn't get pictures taken.  So, I have been painting, just not posting! :)  This next few weeks I have some fun projects coming up though and this little Drexel side table is part of a small set I will be working on. 
It's so classic in cream with a dark top and dark hardware. I never get tired of this combo. 
It was a little rough.  The finish was so worn and I was worried about bleed through because it's mahogany and I was doing white.  I decided to sand it all down to the bare wood and start from scratch for the best finish possible and to minimize any problems.
After sanding it down I followed with three coats of shellac (just to be safe!) and then used  a modified latex (which means it's latex but levels out like oil, so nice) from Sherwin Williams in Crème. I also did one coat of Java Gel from General Finishes for the top and then followed with 3 coats of poly. 

I could just hear it saying, "Help me!" :)

I distressed lightly (it always scares me when it's mahogany or cherry and I'm doing white) and had no problems with bleeding around the edges.  Phew!
I have a soft spot for this kind of hardware.  I just  gave it a coat of Oil Rubbed Bronze. 
I love the modified latex (ProClassic).  It levels out beautifully and minimizes the need for sanding (although I still do).  It's silky smooth.  Gorgeous!
She's come a long way!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Antique Vanity and Sunflowers

I've had an awesome lowboy sitting in my garage for a couple of months now and I've been deciding on what to do with it.  I finally decided, but time has gotten away from me and I haven't gotten around to doing it yet. I wanted to do it the first week school started, which was the first week of September and I knew I wanted to stage it with sunflowers when I was done.  My neighbor across the street had a beautiful patch of sunflowers and I asked her if she minded if I cut a few.  She said I could help myself (so sweet!), but I didn't want to cut them too early and have them wilt before I could use them.  I was almost as excited about the sunflowers as I was about the piece. haha  

Well, I still haven't gotten around to doing the piece and the sunflowers are quickly fading now! We've had a lot of rain and it's been windy and I was worried I would  miss out.  I went over yesterday and her hubby let me pick the two they had left.  They were beautiful but I needed more.  So, I drove around town until I saw another patch in someone's yard and went right up and asked her if I could cut her sunflowers.  I never do stuff like that, but I was desperate! :)  She said I could!  So, here's a shout out to all you lovely people in my community who were willing to help a gal stage her furniture for her blog! 

Like I said, I haven't completed the lowboy yet, but a client brought me this antique vanity, so I used the sunflowers on it. ;)

Not only do you get to see the before you get to see all the junk in my garage!  Well, that's life folks. :)
This piece had burled maple veneers over mahogany! Can you believe that?  The veneer wasn't in great shape anymore, it's a little warped, and someone had already stripped white paint off of it.  It had also been sitting in a basement for years and the wood was discolored. It's a solid piece though and I love the details! 


Black has the ability to dress any piece up, but what I love about this particular one is it still has a rustic feel after the distressing.  

 All the original hardware had been removed at some point.  We decided on keeping the pulls for the bottom drawers because they were unique and then just filled holes in the smaller drawers and added new knobs. 

 I love a beautiful piece of wood, but I also love the pieces that carry scars.  These tops have so much character and keep the piece from feeling too stuffy.  Maple is a hardwood so it doesn't stain as darkly as a piece of mahogany or cherry would. 

 I used to hate cracks and dings because I felt like they marred the finish, but I'm embracing the imperfections more and more.  This baby has lived a long life and is still kicking so I will celebrated her cracked facade and salute her many years of service to come (and looking awesome while doing it)!

 It was raining buckets while I was taking these pics, but I had a little sunshine in the garage with me. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cherry Vanity in Stampede (BM)

This vanity gave me such a hard time I'm not even sure I can write about it! It's a beautiful, cherry reproduction vanity in Chippendale style with claw feet and gorgeous details, and that's all the nice things I can say about it. 

A friend had messaged me and told me she had it sitting in her garage with plans of refinishing it one day, but realized she would probably never get to it and wanted it out of her garage.  I'm so glad she thought of me.  She has beautiful taste, so I knew on the way over there that it was going to be good.  I was thrilled when I saw it and told her I would take it.  We were both happy campers and she told me she couldn't wait to see what I was going to do with it.  So sweet of her. 

When I got it home I told myself it would be no big deal, an easy paint. Ha!  I knew it was cherry, which is terrible for bleed through, but I was armed with my two cans of Shellac and was bent on showing it who was boss. 

I started by sanding it down to remove the flaky finish on it, and also sanded the top to the bare wood.  I then gave it (not the top) two coats of shellac letting it dry really well between coats.  That should do it.  Or not!  3 coats of paint and shellac later, and having to repaint all the details 3 times I was tempted to throw it in the fire pit!  I knew there was no way I could. ;)

I think my perseverance paid off. :)


Since it's a reproduction it was in beautiful condition, minus the fact that it was so stinking humid here that all the drawers swelled so badly I couldn't get them back in when I was done painting and ended up having to take my grinder to the bottoms of the drawers to shave a little off.  
Now, all you wood lovers, this was a beautiful piece of furniture, but it was just lacking.  Again, details lost in the color of the wood. 


Isn't she a sight?!  Tweet twoo!

 I taped off all those details (3 times) so they would be crisp.  I knew I wasn't going to distress this one because I didn't want pink to show around all the edges when I clear coated it. I love the clean lines with the pretty detailing. 

 I did dry brush the details in the corners and on the legs at one point, but it just didn't look good.  Too froo frooy or something.  I opted to keep them the same color as the desk and pick out the more prominent details with Cream Silk by Behr. 

 I love the pulls, so kept them and gave them a few coats of Oil Rubbed Bronze.  I happened to have four of these knobs and they were so completely perfect for this piece I knew it must have been fate. ;)

 Love the applique on the bottom of the middle. 

 I adore ball and claw foot so opted to just paint the "ball" to let it pop a little. 

 The top is a beautiful piece of cherry veneer, so I carefully sanded it down, gave it one coat of Java Gel (wipe it on, wipe it off), and 3 coats of Minwax Polycrylic.


 I dry brushed all the details on the mirror and love the soft look it gives.  I did distress the mirror slightly and painted the flowers a little more opaque. 

 Glamour shot. :)

So thrilled this one sold already!!

color = Stampede by Benjamin Moore color matched at Sherwin Williams
            Cream Silk by Behr also color matched at Sherwin Williams

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Antique Chest of Drawers

There's actually a funny little story behind how I came to own this pretty chest of drawers.  

About 6 months ago a friend texted me and said she had the chance to buy a cute antique dresser and she sent me the picture of it.  I was jealous and told her so. ;)  She said she was pretty sure she was going to keep it, but in the event she decided not to she would sell it to me.  I told her I would gladly buy it if given the chance. :)

Fast forward 5 months:  Someone had tagged me on our local classifieds page on FB.  It was the chest of drawers in the pic below.  The man who was selling it was having an online auction for it and said whoever had the highest bid by 9 pm would get to take it home. So, I was watching and bidding, and all of the sudden the post was gone at 7:00!  I thought the man had sold it behind the scenes and was completely bummed and a little perturbed. ;)

At the same time this auction was going on my friend that had texted me 6 months ago texted me again and said she had decided not to keep the dresser and asked me if I wanted it.  I said sure even though I could not remember what the dresser had looked like.  I was happy and then told her about the auction on FB and that the posting had just disappeared.  At the same time I had also posted on the classifieds page if anyone knew what had happened to the post with the chest of drawers for sale. 

My friend saw my post on the FB page and quick texted me and said no worries the chest of drawers was mine.  Lol!  Here, I was the behind the scenes sale!  She had never picked the dresser up so the guy that was selling it to her still had it and posted it on FB.  She called him quickly and told him she had a buyer for the dresser and so he quickly took the post off! Go figure.  So, I ended up with it and was thrilled! 

Oh, isn't she lovely?!  Look at all those details! 

Upon closer inspection there was a lot of veneer damage and on one side the whole side had to be stripped off.  There were also lots of chips on the drawers fronts.  After taking the old veneer off I sanded smooth, filled in all the little chips with wood filler, and gave it two coats of shellac to prevent any bleed through. 

I had a little trouble deciding on a color so asked on my FB page and gave a few options.  Most people liked choice A (which is the one I was leaning towards anyway) and so it's the one I settled on.  It's Smokey Slate from Behr.  I knew I was going two-tone on this one, so I paired it with this creamy white.  I think it's so becoming on this chest and am completely happy with the choice!


I get a few comments here and there about not painting wood (lots of comments on Hometalk).  Please, please don't anyone ever tell me that again! :)  All those lovely details just pop now and you can appreciate the craftsmanship of the piece so much  more when you can actually SEE the details.  I am getting off my soapbox now. ;)

 I love the applique on the middle drawer.  I sat in my garage with my tiny paintbrush, listened to my music, and watched my daughter paint flowers while I did the inside of the applique.  It was a happy moment for me. 

The top tier is mahogany and was on good condition.  It stained up beautifully.  The bottom tier was not mahogany and it was a little rougher.  I sanded it all down, stained it, and was a little disappointed with it.  But, I realized it is what it is and just went with it.  It's not perfect but it's beautiful in it's own way.  After all it's already lived a long life and is wearing its history. 

I had considered keeping the pulls that were on it, but realized they weren't the originals, so decided to go with new knobs (which is one of my most favorite parts).  I will simply say they look incredible on this piece. 

I lined the drawers with this sweet fabric.  So glad Hobby Lobby finally got something new! ;)

 She's also sporting this cute little hanky drawer.   How sweet is that?

 It originally had wooden casters, but one was missing and one was broken so I just took them off.  I hate to do that, but...

colors = Smokey Slate from Behr
             Cream Silk @ 75% from Behr
both color matched at Sherwin Williams

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Country Style Empire

I know I said I wouldn't be painting this summer (eh hmm) BUT I had a wonderful opportunity to work with a local business owner and I just didn't want to pass it up.  So, here I am. :)  

She had this sweet little empire chest of drawers that just wasn't selling.  The veneer was cracked right up the middle down one of the sides, the bottom drawer bottom was broken in half, and it had these not-so-great shiny brass pulls on it.  A few minor character flaws but such a great shape--I just love an empire.  She asked me what color I thought it would look good in and "green" just popped out of my mouth.  Which is unusual because I'm really not a ginormous fan of green.  Go figure. 

She has a fabulous little store which I was thrilled to be able to take a tour of and thought this cutie would be right at home there in a soft country green.  


I know, I know it's Tiger Oak (which is just quarter sawn oak btw), but seriously, the veneer damage was severe on the top two drawers and the one side.  


I ended up peeling the veneer off the top two drawers and there happened to be oak drawer fronts underneath.  Love when that happens. :)  I just sanded them smooth and painted.  I also had to remove the veneer on the side panel.  There was two pieces of crummy sub underneath that didn't even meet in the middle, so I had my hubby cut a piece of luan for the side and we simply glued it to the sub like veneer.  I then sealed it and painted. 

 She wanted to keep the existing pulls so I sprayed it dark and now I like them so much more than that tacky brass.  You know me though, the hardware is my favorite part so I switched out the knobs for these vintage patterned ones.  They've always been a favorite of mine. 

 I felt a little guilty painting over all the oak veneer so I opted to keep the top natural.  I sanded it down to the bare wood and then sealed it with a coat of hemp oil.  It turned out beautifully!  And, it dried nice and hard which I was a little worried about.  


This piece is available at The Rustic Shed in Bonduel, WI
Roxanne has such a lovely store!  If you are in the area please stop by and pay her a visit! 

color = Ryegrass SW