A little more than one month ago there was snow on the ground and my workshop was bare. I was shopping thrift stores and yard sales in search of the perfect pieces to refinish only to come up empty-handed during most trips. Then, in an instant, it all changed…
In just one week, the two bays of my workshop have filled up with amazing furniture finds. I was lucky enough to have a relative put me in contact with a friend renovating an old home that had old furniture pieces left behind. Did you notice I used the word “old”. In furniture talk, “old” is synonymous with “solid wood”. Aaaaahhh…
Back then (and I’m not sure how far ‘back then’ really is) all furniture was made of solid wood. There was no manufactured (MDF) wood that, when it got wet, was destroyed. There was just beautiful… solid… wood.
When I first began refinishing and painting furniture, I would accept just about anything that came my way. It didn’t matter that it was cracked (I could glue & fill that), or had a broken leg (I could re-attach that), or was missing hardware (I could replace that). Whether it was wood, MDF, metal, plastic, or covered in laminate, I painted it.
I practiced my craft with different paints, stains, colors, glazes, waxes, and clear coats. My technique and my expertise has come a long way and I’m now a little more particular about the pieces I invest my time in to refinish.
How do I know my technique and expertise has drastically improved?
Two weeks ago I visited a local seaport town that had several small shops. The first three shops were adorable and places I would love to shop and collect one-of-a-kind home decor items. They also had refinished, painted furniture by local artists.
Now we’re talking!
It was here that I could compare apples to apples and see how other people were painting dressers and tables and bookcases. I admired the layers of colors, touched the finish, and made sure the drawers slid smoothly. I even removed drawers to see if the painter took enough care to clean them up and neatly paint the areas you only see when the drawers are out.
You see, if when I flip a dresser on it’s back to load it into a buyer’s truck, the inside or underside edges are messy, I actually get embarrassed. It’s unfinished. So I always pay extra attention to those hidden areas.
But, it wasn’t until I visited the fourth store, #VintageChicBoutique, that I knew I was in the company of a quality painter. Store owner Kim, paints all of her furniture pieces herself. The furniture pieces she chooses, the way she layers colors, and the way she applies the clear wax finish coat (which is a technique in itself!) are all on par with what I expect of my own work.
This sideboard you’re seeing pictured is one of those solid wood pieces I picked up from that “old” house being renovated and one I refinished this past week. I’m so happy with how it turned out. It’s truly a statement piece of quality.
Here’s how it looked just after I finished sanding down the brown stained finish…
I was originally planning to paint this one basic black so I tinted some primer to blue-gray using a mix of white & dark gray. The blue-gray color just worked on this piece so I decided to go with it. I applied a wash of white semi-gloss (a 50-50 mix of water & paint) by brushing on the mixture and then wiped it off with a rag, letting it settle in the groves. I then took the dark gray paint with which I originally tinted the primer and did a similar wash. The final coat was a clear, matte Polyacrylic by Minwax (affiliate link).
The result is a like a beautiful stone finish with tons of depth.
The brass Hepplewhite drawer pulls were really tarnished so I cleaned them up with some brass cleaner and a wire brush to remove the majority of the tarnish. Thank you to Suzanne over at #ThePaintedDrawer for posting the video today where she used a wire brush to bring brass back to life. I would have been worried about scratching the brass, but it worked like a charm!
The two pewter pulls on the cabinet doors are new. They complement the Hepplewhite pulls well, don’t you think?
The top drawer has built-in silverware dividers. This was lined with velvet, but due to its age, was dirty and had to be removed. Both drawers were sanded down inside to clean them up. I also plan to clear-coat them.
This blue-gray sideboard is now available in my Shop. Act fast, I’m thinking this one won’t be around too long.
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Thank you & Enjoy!