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

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Repurposed Hutch Top

Do you ever feel like you're in the Twilight Zone?  I'm totally a routine person.  I don't function well without one, so the beginning of summer is always a little hard for me.  I stink at transitioning from the school year to the summer routine.  And, my sweet little daughter asked me to not paint this summer so we could spend more time together and I agreed (I needed a break anyway). This piece was my last custom until school starts again.  It was originally the top to the buffet I just finished up.  

My client wanted to use the pieces separately, so she had the same cabinet maker that made the tops put legs on the hutch so it could be used as a book shelf.  I really love the idea and thought it turned out so great.  It was definitely dark and in need of a pick me up! 



I love this color.  It's subtle and sophisticated, especially paired with the dark wood top.   

 *Confession:  People always ask me about glazing and I never tell them that I absolutely hate glazing.  I'm not sure why, I just do.  But, I do like the way it looks when done lightly.  

I'm not sure when you'll see me again, but I hope you're still around when I finally make another appearance!! :)

Have a terrific summer!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bow Front Buffet in Coco

I'm back from our little vacay to Arizona.  We had a lot of fun and I think it was a good little get away for all of us.  Ania asked me what my favorite part was and I think climbing Camelback Mountain was it.  Which is funny because I honestly thought Flight for Life was going to have to remove me from the top.  Thank goodness coming down was easier on the ol' ticker than going up!

I have a few customs to finish up before I'm done for the summer.  I can't say, at this point, that I'm sad about that.  I'm hoping the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" will be applicable in September. :)

This buffet is actually the bottom of a buffet/hutch combo.  My client wanted to use them as two separate pieces so the bottom will be used as a media console and the top will be repurposed (next project so stay tuned!).  When they took the hutch off, the top of the buffet needed to be replaced which is why it looks new. :)  A good friend, who happens to make custom cabinets, made the top for my client and then she dropped it off for some TLC.  And, boy did it need it!

It's all mahogany veneers and they were in pretty rough shape in parts.  I ended up having to remove all the veneer off of one of the drawers, the edge of the top drawer, and the whole bottom strip.  I sanded it  smooth, stained it dark with java gel, then sealed with shellac before painting. 



I never really jumped on the chalk paint wagon, so still pretty much use latex.  But, I do love some of ASCP colors.  This one is very close to Coco, but is really Virtual Taupe by Sherwin Williams.  I then glazed it with a dark brown glaze. I use a damp cloth when wiping the glaze off so it's not so dark (as opposed to wiping with a dry cloth) or streaky.  The only problem with this is if your paint hasn't cured you can rub it off easily.  Of course, I was too impatient and ended up having to repaint parts because I rubbed too much paint off.  You would think I would have learned by now, but nope!

One of the original pulls was missing so I replace them all with this cup pulls (my favorites) and kept the originals on the doors.  The pulls had been sitting in my garage for a while so they were pretty dusty.  When I washed them off it dried them out and they were really dry looking (which is not what I was going for), so I simply rubbed them with some vegetable oil and then wiped clean.  Good as new! 

 The top was new so was very easy to work with.  I used  Java Gel by General Finishes and then finished with 3 coats of Minwax Polyacrylic in satin. Ga-orgeous! 

I almost always paint the insides too!  

I'm still getting over some hard feelings this baby left me with so I can't quite say I love it...check back with me tomorrow. ;)