Friday, August 24, 2012

Vintage Aqua Dresser and Vanity Set


When I spotted this dresser and vanity at a yard sale, I knew that a set like this did not come along very often.  I was surprised that no one had snatched it up before me, since I did not arrive at this particular yard sale until around noon.  I suppose that I had a bit a good luck that day.  Of course, I rarely miss a weekend of yard sales, so I guess I am bound to come across something spectacular once in a while. 


The woman and daughter that I bought the dresser and vanity from were still attached to them.  The mother told me that she bought this set for her daughter forty years ago and when she got them, they were really old. I estimate that this set is from the 1930s or 40s.  


The original paint was beautiful and I left it like this for several weeks at the shop.  I had one customer tell me that I should never paint over the original paint because it was a gorgeous work of art.  While I agreed with him that it was, I also told him that the veneer was severely damaged and it needed to be repaired and repainted.  Since no one purchased the set in its current state, I started the many repairs and got to work on creating a new work of art.


Since there were several small pieces of veneer cracked or missing, I used Crawford's spackling paste and a putty knife to fill the cracks on the top and sides of the vanity.  I waited for the paste dry and harden and then I sanded it flat before painting.  


Before I start working on a piece of furniture, I have to visualize it completed in my head.  I pictured this set   in soft aqua, with gold gilding accents.  Achieving the perfect color was the challenging part for me.  I mixed several different shades of blue which were either too grey or too blue until I finally found the perfect hue: Three parts Old White and Two parts Provence Chalk Paint.  

I painted Old White over all the scrolling details.  Because this set is so old, I wanted to antique it, but I did not want to lose the blue by covering it with dark wax.  Instead, I mixed Graphite Chalk Paint with water and created a wash which I applied over the blue and white to age them.


Can you believe how incredible this vanity mirror is?  I never saw the mirror attached to the vanity until the whole project was finished.


The mirror even has beveled edges and it is so old that it shows the lovely antique, age spots.


Look at those curves!


Since this vanity is so elaborate, I wanted to keep the fabric simple.  I chose a classic, aqua ticking stripe for the vanity bench.

The completed set!


I did not get a good picture of the dresser before Mr. Rubbish carried in all the drawers from our storage unit at Loot.  It was a tight squeeze to get the drawers back in, so I just photographed them separately.


I wish I could have got a picture of the top of the dresser.  The veneer required so many patches before I could paint it, but I finally got it all smoothed out.


I painted the dresser and vanity on a hot day and I am not sure if it was the heat or the kind of paint underneath that caused the paint to crackle in places.  I used a blow dryer to help the Chalk Paint crackle more as it dried.


The crackle and Graphite wash helped me achieve the antique finish I was trying for.


The original hardware is as detailed as the pieces of furniture they came on.  They had such a gorgeous dark patina that I struggled with whether I should cover them up with paint. Once I put the dark hardware on the newly painted furniture, though, I knew they had to be painted to create a cohesive look.  I gave the hardware the same treatment as the vanity and dresser by first painting them with the custom blue Chalk Paint followed by the graphite wash and a finishing touch of gold, gilding wax.


I applied the gold, gilding wax with a fine artist brush after I waxed the furniture with Annie Sloan clear wax.


This is the lovely, carved piece attached to the top of the dresser.  Don't you love how the gilding wax catches the light?


The final finish is antiqued, crackled and gilded to perfection.  



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49 comments:

suzyq said...

Ok now it's just getting ridiculous how jaw dropping your pieces are!!!
Really? My all time favorite makeover in the blogmosphere EVER!
I could not sell that - absolutely not
Going to get some tissue - because I'm drooling all over my keyboard.
This is really SPECTACULAR!!!!!!!!!
I see a lot of features in your future!
I could go on for 1 hour over this makeover - but I'm going to sign out so that others have space to comment LOL
Hugs,
Suzan

Revi said...

Though it was still lovely, you repaired and reinvented it and still honored the details and history in the piece. Nice work!
-Revi

The Far Fifty said...

Gorgeous! Really, really gorgeous! That must have been hard work, but what a pay off!

All Ways Designing said...

Oh my...it's gorgeous!

The Paupers Castle said...

This is stunning!

Vintage Gal said...

Oh my gosh ~ these pieces are absolutely fabulous ~ how gorgeous ~

Rachel said...

what a lovely treasure! It went from fab to fantastic! I love the color and the all of the gold gilding.
Rachel

Paint Me White said...

What a stunning transformation you have done. Cannot believe it was still at the yard sale by noon. It was just waiting for the right person to buy it YOU.

Danielle said...

Totally beautiful! You did a great job on this!

Emily said...

Exactly what Suzan said. :)

mariondee-designs said...

Oh my! Just gorgeous! You did a wonderful job and I'm sure this beauty will go flying out the door now... take care, Maryann

EnchantedBella said...

WOW!!! That is so beautiful. You did a wonderful job. I have always wanted to paint some of my old wood furniture bu have been a little intimidated to do such a big prodject. Hopefully I will have the courage some day soon.

sandra said...

That was just breathtaking before, but it is really gorgeous now, and it will have many more years of beauty. Did you notice, on the second pic below the photo of the "before" drawers, about halfway down on the left, the paint crackled into a perfect heart shape?? I collect all sorts of hearts, so it caught my eye immediately. The perfect finishing touch!

Fiona, LilyfieldLife said...

you are such a good furniture painter. i love your makeover of this stunning piece. what vision you had. love it all
cheers Fiona xx

Beth@Makemeprettyagain said...

Love what you did. Beautiful color. And I would suspect it's a lot older.....Victorian would be my guess. They didn't use that type of drop hardware in the 40's. Also, just the shape of it and the mirror suggests turn of the century. Nice score.

Shabby chic Sandy said...

You did a beautiful job on this piece. I love this color! Great piece.

Anonymous said...

In all the blogs, in all the shops, I don't think I have ever seen a set more beautiful that this set. Not only did you start with gorgeous pieces but what you have done with them just makes them jaw-dropping ....absolutely stunning.

Ally said...

I'm your newest follower after being bowled over by this furniture refinish. Wow is all I can say.

Rita said...

Superb! I'm loving the color.
rita

kathryn cain said...

This is by far one of the most beautiful makeovers. It proves the power of ASCP when in the hands of a creative pro. This is exqisite and would be hard to let go, now finished in this devine look. Congrates,and thanks for your efforts in the heat.

Debbie @ Fine Point Creations said...

This set is stunning! I admire all your pieces but after seeing this particular one I finally purchased ASCP! Thanks for the inspirations!!

pink*cherub*moon said...

This turned out beautifully! I have an old vanity that has a tiara mirror very similar to this one - lots of curves! I've considered painting it for years but haven't gotten around to it. Partially because I know that the mirror is going to be a lot of work and partially because, while I paint other furniture all the time, I have a hard time making the decision to paint my own. Have no idea why LOL! Seeing how gorgeous your's is, I may just have to take the plunge! Hugs, Leena

Dawne at D Magazine said...

Wow! Just wow!

I've been thinking about something for the guest bedroom in something that looks exactly like that very same color and finish! Very nice.

(I'm thinking a armoire for a tv and storage maybe.....

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

whistle...whistle...so beautiful!

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

These are stunning! You truly did creat a new piece of art...

LOVE this!

Lou Cinda :)

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

these are just stunning! what a gorgeous finish!

Debra @ Common Ground said...

This is just absolutely gorgeous you did a wonderful job, and i LOVE the paint technique!

Luvmystuff said...

I beleive that when your connected with your passion that the peice you are wanting to create will talk to you how it would like to be reborn...:-) you listened, you created..Amazing :-) Bea luvmystuff :-)
www.facebook.com/luvmystuffhappyhome

Shanna Gilbert said...

I love this piece it is beautiful!


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