Friday, January 30, 2015

A Week of Prep Turned into This!

China cabinet gets a new coat with a "little" bit of prep

I'm an equal opportunity furniture rescuer. Sometimes I'll find an antique or vintage piece that others overlook because of its condition. But I'm drawn to bringing these misfits home just to see what a little bit of TLC can do to them! I've rescued many pieces that usually have one (or several) of the following issues: loose dovetail joints, drawers not opening properly, shimmying, deep gouges, cloudy mirrors, peeling or chipped veneer, missing hardware, scratched glass, water marks, or a really bad paint job.

This beautiful vintage china cabinet had great bones but was the perfect storm of repair issues. It had a few drawers that had loose dovetail joints, no hardware, deep scratches, chipped veneer on the base, water marks on the shelves, scratched glass, and a misguided (but well-intentioned) paint job.

I knew once I started inspecting it that I would need to strip it. The paint scratched off easily, which I presumed was because the piece had not been primed. Additionally, all of the lovely details were globbed with paint and lost in the layers.

So after many days of stripping, sanding and patching, this cabinet went from this...

To this....

To this on day seven...

In the meantime, I was approached about selling this as a custom order, and I was thrilled with my client's vision for the piece! And so this misfit, with a whole lot of prep and love, General Finishes Lamp Black, new hardware, new glass, and a fabric backing, went to this!

My client loved this fabric by Waverly that I used on a previous piece...

New hardware from Hobby Lobby....

So, yes it was a lot of work. But sometimes just putting in the extra effort of prep can make all the difference in the world in bringing a piece back to life so that it can be enjoyed and treasured for the next generation!

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

A Bright New Look for an Old Bedroom Suite

I knew as soon as I saw this bedroom suite at an estate sale that it needed to come home with me. The set consisted of a dresser, desk, chair and a nightstand. It was a hot mess - layers of paint jobs that had chipped over the years, but I saw past this and thought I could rescue it and transform it into a bright new bedroom suite.

So out came the stripper and sandpaper. As soon as I finished with the desk top, I knew it needed to be stained. It had such beautiful wood grain I couldn't paint over it!

The refinished top looks gorgeous with General Finishes Antique Walnut Gel Stain.

The body of this set received an updated clean look with Benjamin Moore Fresh Start in White (oil based) and the drawers were painted in General Finishes Milk Paint in Halycon. I call this my "Buzz Lightyear" blue; it's a really bright blue that paired with white looks fun and whimsical!

The original hardware received a spa treatment with a thorough cleaning and gold spray paint:

An adorable little nightstand....

I was thrilled when I was able to keep this set together when it was purchased by a lovely young lady!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Experimenting with Glaze

I have several pieces of painted furniture in my home that I redid about ten years ago using glaze. I wasn't proud of the results for a number of reasons, but namely, I had no idea what I was doing! My mistakes were numerous: the glaze was homemade, I applied too much glaze in a section at one time which made the glaze difficult to manipulate, and most importantly, I didn't realize how important prep and finishing coats are to achieve professional, gorgeous results.

So when I discovered the General Finishes glaze products, I decided to face my fears and try again. (By the way, this is not a sponsored post, I just love General Finishes products!)

This was a headboard that was not a custom job so I wasn't nervous about making mistakes. After I used a deglossing product (TSP) to thoroughly clean the surface, I primed the headboard with water-based primer. and then painted the bed in General Finishes Antique White. I thought all of the lovely curves and raised areas would be lovely highlighted with General Finishes Burnt Umber Glaze.

I sent several pictures to my sister who had been visiting here in SoCal and was driving home to Texas. She was my captive audience and critic so I sent her these pictures (via my phone - sorry for the picture quality).  I wasn't feeling this first take - we didn't like the stark contrast between the glazed and unglazed areas.

So I painted it over - that's the beauty of glaze - if you make a mistake, or don't like the result you can always paint over and start again!

This time I just added the glaze to the raised areas and I was much happier with the result!

After the glaze was dry, I sealed the entire piece with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin.

The great news is that the lady who bought this from me became not only a repeat client but a great friend! She is restoring a Craftsman bungalow and has a whole house to furnish! And so when I purchased this side table from a garage sale....I knew immediately it would be a perfect nightstand to complement the headboard.

It came without the hardware which I initially thought wouldn't be a problem because it looked like two drawers originally had French Provincial pulls and the middle one (which actually should be the top one) some sort of drop pulls. I could not for the life of a me find replacement pulls - except for a seller on Ebay that wanted $55 a pull! Well, that wasn't going to happen!

Not a problem - we decided I'd fill in the holes and add crystal knobs instead. Filling in previous holes isn't difficult - it just takes a really long time and patience to prepare the finish for paint. I used an epoxy wood filler and for the final coat, a joint compound to get a perfectly smooth finish.

Didn't she turn out beautiful! Her granddaughter loves turquoise, so I added this paper to the drawers for a little pop of color.

So the moral of the story is, don't be afraid to use glaze. It's actually very easy and if you don't like it, repaint and try again!

I'd love to hear about your own success (or epic fail) stories using glaze! Have a fantastic day and thanks for stopping by!

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Friday, January 9, 2015

The Goodwill Buffet

Have you ever found something in a thrift shop that was an unbelievable find? My heart started racing when I found this buffet in my local Goodwill and opened the drawer to see the manufacturer mark of "Drexel"!

Here's the only "before" picture I have as I waiting for my husband to come meet me and help me get it in my car.

I wasted no time at all in prepping this piece so I could get to the good stuff! There was a pretty deep scratch on the top that took a little bit of elbow grease to get out with a palm sander. I wish I could have stripped the top to for a stained wood finish, but unfortunately, there were several chips in the veneer and I knew the stain wouldn't look good on the repaired areas, so it became a candidate for paint.

I decided to use my "go-to" black paint by General Finishes in Lamp Black. This only took one solid coat and then a light second one for touch ups. Then I lightly distressed it and sealed it with wax. The hardware was lovely and just needed a gentle cleaning and polish.

I sealed the top with several coats of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin for durability. There was a ridge in the back of this piece, which I think may have been a slot for an upper cabinet at one time. At any rate, this wasn't an issue for my client as she was going to use it as a media center and it wouldn't be visible.

I've been by this particular shop about five times since then and haven't found anything similar to this find. I guess it's true that lightning only strikes once in one place!

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!

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Friday, January 2, 2015

A Fabulous Facelift for a China Cabinet

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season - we had a lot of good food, drinks and merriment with family and friends. But I'm ready to get back to work and share a project I completed a few months ago.

I had this china cabinet in my "queue" for a while before I finally decided what I wanted to do it. It was a typical vintage piece from the 30's - 40' - in really great condition, but just needed a little "pick- me-up" for today's decor and lifestyles.

I took the fretwork out of the china cabinet doors. Not necessarily because anything was wrong with them, I just didn't want the complicated fretwork to compete with my idea for the interior.

It was in such great condition, it barely needed any prep aside from the usual sanding and priming. I wanted to paint it white, but decided to try a little more muted white in General Finishes Antique White. Several coats later, a topcoat by General Finishes, and a fabric backing by Waverly, it turned into this!

Here's a closer look at the fabric - it has a subtle blue and mocha pattern that is just beautiful!

The original hardware was in fantastic condition - just a gentle polish and she was good to go!

Lovely dovetailed joinery on the drawers....

I wish I had my camera with me the day I delivered it to its new home. It went to a home that is located in a Historic National Register Discrict. The new owner had just finished a gorgeous kitchen remodel and this piece looked right at home!

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

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