Monday, August 24, 2015

A French Desk Makeover

We've all seen these vintage pieces that have leather tops - on coffee tables, end tables, and desks. I've generally steered clear of these pieces before because I wasn't sure what to do with the leather top.

But I couldn't resist bringing this vintage desk by Sligh home, because I loved the scale, lines and storage space. It sat in my shop for months before I got the courage to give it a makeover.

So I decided to paint it! Surprise, surprise.

But first there was a lot of prep that had to be done to make sure that the paint would adequately adhere to the leather.

I gave the leather a gentle hand sanding with 220-grit to loosen any dirt that had accumulated over the decades. See the discoloration? That sanded right off!

I then filled any gaps between the desk and leather with wood filler. After it was dry, I sanded it smooth, so that we would have a seamless transition from the wood and leather.

After that, I primed the leather parts with an oil-based primer. I wanted to make sure that the paint was adhering properly, so I just left it for about a week and moved on to the other parts of the desk!

I painted the rest of the top in General Finishes Seagull Gray and the body and drawers in their Snow White.

I wasn't wild about the white on the top, so painted the entire top grey as well as the drawer fronts. The crystal knobs I added give it a little bit of bling! The entire piece was then sealed with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin.

One of the things that I loved so much about this desk is that all of the sides were finished and it would look great floating in a room.

So that's my solution for a leather-topped desk. Paint it, of course!

Thanks for stopping by!

 photo signature_zps552cb1e1.png

I'm Sharing At:

Monday, August 10, 2015

They Just Don't Make Furniture Like This Anymore!

This dresser has a story. A story about quality construction in furniture they just don't seem to make anymore, and a lovely little town in North Carolina that I'd love to visit one day!

It had a very dated yellow finish. And it was dirty and grimy, with chips in the paint.

 And somewhere along the line someone had lost some of the hardware pieces and "matched" (and that's putting it loosely) the original hardware.

After I spent DAYS prepping this piece and sanding and cleaning away decades of dirt and grime, I realized what a solid, well-built piece of furniture it was. Gorgeous construction, perfect dove-tail joints, drawers that worked perfectly, no wobbles and 100% solid wood. I was kind of falling in love with this piece!

I noticed a faint furniture mark on one of the drawers that I couldn't quite make out. So I took a picture and magnified it to figure out what company manufactured it.

The bottom line says, "Mount Airy, North Carolina". It was hard to tell what the top line said, but it looked like it started with the word, "Mount".

So I did a little detective work. And to take a break from the stifling heat of the garage - gotta love hot summer days! Turns out Mount Airy, North Carolina is a quaint little town nestled among the hills of North Carolina that at one time had a bustling furniture industry. I'm pretty sure that this came from the Mount Airy Furniture Company and was so pleased that my clients had picked out such a lovely piece from true artisans! Sadly, the company is now defunct. A fire completely destroyed the factory in 1997.

Mount Airy Furniture CompanySource: North Carolina Museum

But wait, there's more! Mount Airy's other claim to fame is that the town is loosely based on Mayberry R.F.D. from the Andy Griffith Show.

Mount Airy, North Carolina

This was Mr. Griffith's hometown and he is lovingly remembered here with Opie outside the Andy Griffith Museum.


So with my curiosity satisfied, it was back to the furniture makeover! I primed the dresser, and painted it in a custom white color mix of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I mixed Pure White and Old White, in equal parts. Sometimes Pure White is just too white, and Old White is too yellow. This seemed like a perfect compromise of the two colors!

My clients picked out new hardware from Hobby Lobby. The existing holes had to be filled in and sanded smooth. And then new holes for the hardware drilled (thanks, Dad!). The new hardware really gives it an updated, modern look!

My clients requested a worn look, so I distressed it slightly in areas where it would have been naturally worn over time. The entire piece was sealed with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin.

So that's the story of a makeover of a dresser that had seen better days and the lovely little town it came from. I'd love to visit this area one day and explore!  I'm so happy this gorgeous dresser went to a wonderful couple who are thrilled to be this generation's owners!

Photo courtesy of owners

Thanks for stopping by and enduring my little history lesson!

 photo signature_zps552cb1e1.png

I'm Sharing At:

Monday, August 3, 2015

One Bedroom Suite, Two Different Looks

I scored on this French Provincial bedroom suite a few months ago at an estate sale, and if I wasn't driving, I would have skipped all the way home! I get so excited when I can find an entire bedroom set, especially when it's in excellent condition.

I really didn't want to separate this set, because from a business standpoint it made more sense to sell the set together as one custom job. But when I was approached about refinishing the highboy and nightstand, and then the long dresser and mirror independently, and on the same day, I knew they would be fated to be separated!

Here's the before shot of the set. Gorgeous, lovely lines by Bassett. And check out those yummy serpentine drawers!

Each client wanted completely different looks. The highboy and nightstand would be part of an "Old Hollywood" bedroom design - complete with a crystal chandelier, white faux fur rug, and probably a martini shaker! The design would be channeling Carole Lombard, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies and other gorgeous Hollywood screen icons from the 30's and 40's!

Carole Lombard
Source: Ebay

And so we decided on General Finishes Snow White for the body, and Seagull Gray for the drawers.

The original hardware was refinished using Rustoleum Metallic Finishes with a high gloss polyurethane sealer.

I get weak at the knees over gorgeous drawers! And yes, everything was sprayed. No brush strokes,  dah-ling! (Sorry, that was Carole speaking!)

Gorgeous, Glamorous, and Grey

My other clients were looking for a dresser for their daughter's room. They wanted a neutral color design that would grow with their daughter and her changing tastes. We agreed a crisp, clean white would be the perfect choice for years to come. My go-to white is General Finishes Snow White.

I knew the dresser would get a lot of wear in its life, so I sealed it with numerous coats of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin for protection and durability.

The hardware was kept simple and elegant: Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze with a matte sealer.

So there you have it. One bedroom suite, but two completely different looks. Isn't it amazing how just a little bit of paint (and love) can completely transform furniture?

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

 photo signature_zps552cb1e1.png

I'm Sharing At: