Thursday, October 29, 2015

Antique Chest of Drawers

The woman I bought this dresser from said it was her grandmother's and that she, herself, had used it as a little girl.  There was a spot of nail polish on the top and she remembered how it got there. I love stories like that. 

My client actually emailed me saying she had been following me for a while (love that, too) and wondered if I had any 3 drawer dressers for sale.  I just happened to have this pretty thing waiting in the wings and it was a perfect fit.

She sent me pictures of her room and said she liked when I kept some of the drawer fronts wood.  Well, I got to looking at this baby and realized, because of the detail, refinishing the drawer fronts instead of painting them would be a big ol pain in the rear.  So, I put my thinking cap on and came up with a way to make both of us happy. :)

I actually hand sanded the middle sections of the bottom two drawers.  My son had a friend over while I was doing it and he said, "Wouldn't that be easier with an electric sander?"  Why, yes, yes, it would, but I didn't want to take the chance of sanding through the veneer or accidentally popping the appliques off by hitting them with the sander (yes, I have done that before). I then stained the drawer fronts with Antique Walnut from General Finishes to match the top (Java would have been a little too formal looking for the room it was going in, IMO) and painstakingly taped off the middle section so I would have a nice crisp line when I painted.  It was a lot more work but the result was worth it. 

The first time I painted it I did all the detail a different color than the body and it was just too much.  I didn't like it and ended up painting over it (sometimes the reality of a vision just doesn't work out).  Then. I was afraid it was too simple, but I love how the simplicity lets the design of the drawer fronts stand out. 



The top drawer was actually oak while the rest of the dresser is mahogany, maple, and cherry.  I didn't like how it looked especially with the designs in the middle of the drawers being black.  I like it much more all white. 

I love the finish and the light distressing. 

Her room is pretty neutral with pops of turquoise so I love how these knobs are understated yet have just enough color to give them some interest.  The antique brass edge also ties in with the original pulls which I had to leave because they had made such deep grooves in the drawers that I couldn't sand them out and it looked funny with different hardware. 

I lightly glazed the details.  See the curly cues in the wood?  I'm still on the fence about painting them white, cuz once I do it's done, there's no going back!  Hmmm....

The top was pretty rough looking before and now it's just lovely. 

I really like the warmth of the wood with this soft white. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Vintage Lowboy in Tuscan Red

This lovely little lowboy came to me by referral.

**  I just want to take a minute here to say thank you to all of you who support me.  I feel so honored and humbled when people tell me someone was telling them about my work.  Actually, it still amazes me.  I just sit in my garage and do what I do and other people talk about it.  I really am so thankful for all the comments, likes, and shares on FB and IG and for those of you who tell your friends you've had a piece done by me.  :)

My client said she had been looking for something to put her TV on and when she saw this piece she jumped on it.  I'm so glad she did! Isn't it just the perfect size and shape?  I did my little happy dance (happy dances occur internally, just so you know, as not to scare off any random on lookers). 

She was a little hesitant about what she wanted and came to my house prepared with her fan deck.  We discussed the color she had chosen (remember, when choosing colors it always looks a little lighter and brighter on a piece of furniture than it does on the color card...I'm not sure why that is, but it has definitely been my experience) and looked at the rug going in her living room.   I asked her what she thought of Tuscan Red and she loved it. 

**side note.  Ironically enough I did a vintage lowboy in Tuscan Red this same time last year.  Must be the fall colors that inspire it. :)



Red just suits this piece so well.  I'm thrilled with how it turned out.  And, it goes to show that you can change a piece of vintage furniture into something more modern.  Antique doesn't have to look antique!

I changed out the original wooden knobs for these large antique brass ones.  They have a design on them that gives them a little bit of interest and I like the weight of them with this piece. 

General Finishes always flows out so nicely and leaves a great finish.  I highly recommend their products!  I haven't tried one I haven't been extremely happy with. 

 Let's talk about the top.  This piece had previously been refinished.  The finish was uneven and there were still carvings in the top.  Now, I am all about a piece having character and history.  But, sometimes when it's not your history or the history of your family you don't want it there.  I see no need to leave a name carved into your furniture that has no meaning to you.  So, I sanded it all down (and it took a lot of it to remove those etchings!) to the bare wood.  There's just something about a naked piece of wood that I love. ;)

 I promise you a little more effort to refinish a piece correctly will give you big rewards.  There is nothing like a beautiful piece of God's handiwork in your home. :)

The dark marks on the refinished top are the marks nature left there and I have no issue with those. ;)
I also love how the depth of the color brings out the beautiful grain of this piece of wood. Lovely.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Vintage Oak Dresser

I picked up this cute little oak dresser several years ago.  I removed the top two drawers, added a shelf and had been using it for my tv stand.  UNTIL, I kept the gorgeous vanity I refinished a few weeks ago.  I can't tell you how happy I am I kept it, but it meant this little gal needed a new makeover and a new home! 

Thankfully I never re-purposed the drawers ;) and I kept the support that goes between them.  So, I simple removed the shelf, added the support back in, and replaced the drawers.  I also had to replace the top as it had warped.  My hubby simply used the old top as a template and cut a new one out of a piece of pine. 

I loved this little dresser in white, but I thought it was time to do something fun with it. Of course, you already know I am in love with almost every shade of turquoise out there so I mixed up a custom color, which looked gorgeous in the can, but when I put it on the dresser it just looked anemic.  I let it sit for a day to give myself time to evaluate and hated it just as much the next day.  SO, I went back to the kitchen and mixed up a different, more vibrant color and tried that one out for size.  This dresser has been 5 colors in the past 3 years (3 shades of white and 2 shades of blue).


Like I said, I liked it in white, just wanted to do something different with it.


It's a simple, little dresser so I kept the design simple: All one color, all the same knobs (that's unusual for me!).

 I like how the rusty centers of the knobs pull down the dark from the top. 

 It's pine so it's not perfect, but I like it dark and I love the knots and grooves in it. 

 It doesn't have a lot of detail, but I love the simple side panels and the cute skirt. 

 I distressed it enough to bring out it's previous colors. :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Vintage Cedar Chest in Tiffany Blue

A few posts ago I told you about a couple that was cleaning out a relative's house and had invited me to come over.  I was able to take a tour to see all of their amazing treasures.  When we got up to the attic is was full of things and we did a little poking around.  I happened to see the corner of this cedar chest peeking out of the corner off the back wall.  I said, "What is that?"  They said, "I don't know.  Let's take a look."  He uncovered part of it and it was all I needed to see.  I told him I would take it when he dug it out. :)  Fast forward a few days and I get a message saying she would like to keep the cedar chest, but would like me to redo it for her.  Yea!  I love that. 

She said she didn't know exactly what she wanted but she did want Tiffany Blue. I don't work with really bright colors a lot, so I was happy to oblige! 

This seriously is the sweetest little chest.  It's very petite and has the prettiest feet on it.  



 Because this color is very bright and the chest is very small I wanted to leave the top wood to contrast the paint (and to give the eye a place to rest).  It is a beautiful piece of mahogany and refinished nicely.  I love the deep tone of the wood with the paint. 

 I tried gold in the groove and didn't like it, so opted to just sand the edges of it instead.  I like the simplicity of it. 

 See? Cute feet!

The key hole cover was missing so I replaced it with one I had in my stash.  I like the detail it adds. I didn't want to create holes where there weren't any (in case they want to strip this down someday) so I adhered it with Modge Podge.  Love that stuff!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Antique Dresser

I was fortunate enough to buy this dresser along with the vanity I posted yesterday.  You can imagine how giddy I was to bring them home.  

When I listed the vanity yesterday I had a client say that she loved it and only wished it was a dresser.  I said, "Oh?  I happen to have the dresser, too!"  She said she wanted it refinished the same as the vanity and I was very happy about that.  They are truly stunning together. 

The vanity is still available and if it doesn't sell by the end of the week I think I am going to keep it! 



I just have to stop and stare. lol

I had to sand the top of this one down as there were deep scratches in it.  Instead of staining it and sealing it with poly (my normal routine) I stained it and finished it with Minwax Antiquing Oil.  I love the soft luster it gives.  Poly has the tendency to look "cold" and oil brings out the warmth in the wood.  I think it might be my new go-to.

The detail is so striking.  I love this deep neutral behind all that creamy white. 

There isn't any part of this dresser that isn't amazing. 

The burled maple was lighter on this piece than it was on the vanity and I didn't like it with the white, so I sanded it down and then gave it two coats of Danish Oil in Dark Walnut. 

I sanded the bejeebers out of the drawers so the finish is like silk.  

Monday, September 28, 2015

Antique Vanity

I almost don't want to say anything about this vanity.  It really is one of those pieces that you only get your hands on once in a lifetime (although I pray that's not the case!).  It's a beautiful piece and it was in very good condition (just some minor veneer issues on the inside panel). 

I was so excited to get to work on it that I forgot to take a before!  I can't believe I did that! 

The wood was beautiful.  It's made of mahogany, walnut, and maple.  I wanted to keep as much of it as possible, but still help all that detail stand out. 

I had a very hard time deciding what to do with it, so chose to keep it neutral.


The top was in such beautiful condition that I chose not to refinish it.  I used Minwax Antique Oil to revive and protect it. 

Same with these burled maple drawer fronts.  Just a little bit of oil and they looked amazing. I also chose to keep the original hardware.  I couldn't picture anything that would look more appropriate. 

 I also chose to keep the mirror frame natural and to contrast it by painting the spindles. 

 I painted the drawer fronts Hardware from Sherwin Williams and then painted the body and all the detail in my custom off white. 

 The feet are incredible and I glazed them to help the details pop. 

She is so beautiful.  Nuff said.