Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vintage Sideboard in Graphite

When I was visiting my family in Sacramento a couple weeks ago, my sister-in-law took us to a local thrift shop that was having a closing sale.  I spotted this vintage, Thomasville sideboard that was 50% off.  I was glad we had the truck with us, so we could haul this beauty back to Santa Cruz for a little makeover.

It had some damage on the front and side veneer, but that is nothing a little spackling paste and sand paper can't remedy.

I love the size and shape of this sideboard and there is nothing like the impeccable quality of vintage Thomasville furniture.

I painted the whole piece in Graphite Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan and then distressed all the edges so the brown finish underneath shows through and brings out the details and adds dimension.

I wanted this sideboard to be black rather than dark grey, so after I clear waxed it, I mixed the dark wax with unscented mineral spirits to make a dark wax glaze.  This really deepened the color and turned it into a gorgeous, soft black.

The paint and distressing really highlight all the beveled edges of this sophisticated piece of furniture.

I left the hardware brass as a contrast against the black finish.

One half of the sideboard has drawers behind the cabinet doors and the other side is shelving.  This is a versatile piece and would work in a bedroom as a dresser, living room as a sideboard, or dining room as a buffet.

This post is linked to the parties on my sidebar.

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.  

This post is linked to the parties on my sidebar.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Paris Grey Bedroom Set

This amazing, vintage bedroom set came from an estate sale.  It is difficult to find full vintage sets of furniture and this one even came with a vanity, that you might remember from this post

The bedroom set was in great condition with an orange wood finish before.

I painted the set with Paris Grey Chalk Paint with Old White on the trim. I love the details on the the headboards and footboards and the paint really makes the them stand out.

Above is the way the bed looked with just two coats of Paris Grey.

To soften the Paris Grey, I applied a wash of Coco Chalk Paint and water over it before waxing with clear wax.

I distressed the Old White trim and applied the Coco wash over the white too.

This bedroom set would be so pretty for a classic sisters' bedroom or guest room.

Here is the night stand before.

...and after

This bedroom set just has gorgeous detailing!

The dresser is nice and tall with five drawers.

Here it is with just Paris Grey.  Notice the third drawer is missing a piece of trim on the left side.  I measured the gap and looked online at woodworking sites, but could not seem to find a trim replacement.  Looking through the online catalog, I got the idea to try some reed spline that is used on cane chairs to hold the caning in place. I measured the gap and ordered the spline, which only cost a couple of dollars for a whole roll.  When it arrived, I cut it to the right length, applied some wood glue, and wedged it into the groove.  It was a perfect fit!

I love the way the Coco wash softened the Paris Grey & Old White and aged them in a subtle way.  

This bedroom set is a show-stopper now and gets lots of attention at Loot.  

This post is linked to the parties on my sidebar.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Graphite and Napoleonic Blue Coffee Table

Like most of my pieces of furniture, I picked up this coffee table at a yard sale.  I love the simple, primitive style of this table and the two drawers.

The finish was not bad before, but it was scratched all over.

I decided on Graphite Chalk Paint for the top and I wanted a slate blue color for the base. 

 I thought that Aubbusson mixed with Old White could work, but when I went to mix the paint I realized we were out of Abbusson.  I went with Napoleonic Blue with a Paris Gray wash and it came out close to what I was visualizing.

This post is linked to the parties on my sidebar.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Whitewashed Farm Table

My brother is a contractor in Sacramento and he does what I do, only on a much larger scale; he fixes up run-down houses to resell.  He found this table in one of the houses he was rehabbing and offered it to me free of charge.  This table is the heaviest, most solid table I have ever had to lift.  I would be very strong, if I had to move a table like this everyday!

The table was in pretty bad shape when I got it.  I forgot a complete before picture of the table, but here is the top after I sanded the old, polyurethane coated finish.  There were a couple of issues with the top, one being that there was a deep stain on one side.  I had originally planned to use a wood stain on the table top, but I was concerned that the dark spot would show through.  

The chunky legs had very chippy, dark blue paint on them.  I wanted this rustic blue paint to be exposed in the final finish of the table base.

I painted one coat of Old White Chalk Paint over the apron and legs and then distressed them heavily, so the old, blue paint underneath was exposed.

Since my idea for a natural wood top was not going to work out, I opted to whitewash the top, so that I could still see some of the wood grain on the top.  I used Old White mixed with water, painted it on, and wiped it off with a rag. After the whitewash dried I used a scouring pad and water to scrub away the white in places, exposing some of the wood grain. It was a little too stark white when I was done, so I mixed some French Linen with water and applied that over the whitewash to tone it down.  

I waxed the entire table with Annie Sloan clear wax.  It looks like a weathered, beachy, farm table now.

This post is linked to the parties on my sidebar.


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