Thursday, September 3, 2015

The 50 Week China Cabinet Makeover

There really isn't a solid reason why, but this china cabinet took me 50 weeks to finish. I wasn't feeling a big creative push when I started working on it, and I think at the time we were transitioning out of an antique store we were in. I.e. I didn't have a big need for additional inventory. Regardless of why, it actually took 50 weeks from start to finish.

Here it is "before"...

As always, a little repair work was needed before painting.

So there are a few things that lead me to believe this is from the 1920s - 30s. I think it has some definite Art Deco elements like the original handles on the bottom, the feet, and the trim work. (And who said I don't use my degree on a daily basis?! Those Furniture History classes come in handy more than I ever thought they would.)

So after 50 weeks, here is the after.

Obviously there was a color change. I made my own "chalky" paint from scratch using Benjamin Moore's Danville Tan. Painting was necessary mainly because of the repair work needed. I also changed the glass on the front. I created a "mercury glass" type of finish instead of clear glass. There are lots of methods for creating mercury glass if you search for it on Pinterest. It's not my first time doing this technique, but a word to the wise: Just like a crackle finish will never turn out the same way twice, mercury glass will never turn out the same way twice. Let's just say I thought long and hard, was definitely sure it was what I wanted to do, took some long, calming breaths, and said a prayer before I started it.

I'm happy the "mercury glass" turned out well!

It would have been fine without the mercury glass finish, but it didn't seem quite complete to me without it.

The handles on the bottom are unique. I'm all about using the original hardware whenever possible.

Here's the before and after...

What a big difference! I know it's hard to tell from the pictures how big this is. It's only about 64" tall, which is on the smaller side for a china cabinet. That's typical for the time period it's from though. I can totally see this being used as anything from bathroom storage to a bar or bookshelf.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Soft Aqua Dresser

Another new dresser! I don't know why I'm so bad about showing these off to everyone once they're finished. I'm really going to try to be better about that.

Here's a small dresser that I picked up a while ago. As always, it needed some repair work. I don't tend to paint quality wood furniture unless there's something wrong with it. I do make exceptions for "ugly" furniture that needs a makeover though.

I usually try to paint furniture in neutral colors so that more people will be able to use them. But I have this one particular blue color that I love to use. It's a custom color that I make. I make my own "chalky" paint. There are recipes galore on Pinterest.

I've had a hard time capturing the true color in photos. I like to describe it as the perfect, soft aqua/blue/teal color.

I'm happy that I was able to keep the original hardware. It still looks great, and it's usually higher quality craftsmanship that what is currently available.

This is fairly small, just 35" tall. Perfect for a guest bedroom or even bathroom storage.

I also just finished an Art Deco era china cabinet that I'll post about soon. I seriously started working on it 50 weeks ago - almost a year! I'm glad it is done.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dresser Makeover, Hardware Too!

Sometimes I forget exactly how many pieces of furniture have come and gone through our hands. It doesn't seem like that many until I start scrolling through the files on our computer. It's a lot, y'all. There's a lot of learning and hands-on experience that have resulted from doing so many pieces, but from time to time I still come across problems that need to be solved.

Here's a dresser that I just finished. Sorry, I don't have a great before picture, but it's the one on the right. It was blah, painted brown, and nothing to be desired. It's wood, but the wood was painted over with a brown color. Not sure why.

I decided to go with gray and blue. I'm holding off on the "after" picture because I want to talk about my hardware problem first. I may have mentioned it before but ALWAYS, for the love of Pete, ALWAYS count the hardware before you buy it. Why? I promise you that you WILL spend more on new hardware than you did on the piece. And I also promise you that you won't be able to find new hardware that matches up to old holes. Trust me.  So anyway, I counted the hardware, but failed to notice that some of it was damaged. Take a look:

Pretty brass hardware (y'all know it's back, right?) with some faux tortoise cabochon type thingies. Except, some of the cabochons were broken and some were missing completely. First of all, let me be completely honest: The cabochons were ugly and plastic-y feeling. But I would have TOTALLY left them on there if they had all been intact. Not gonna lie - I would not have spent a dime to replace them. 

However, that wasn't an option. I played around with several things, but I ended up coming up with this:

I married the old, original drawer pull with a new, pretty knob. And....I love it. But wait, there's more. The next problem? Screws. Yep, turns out it was annoyingly difficult to find screws that worked. I got some blank stares at a local hardware store, and one morning I had two employees at Home Depot finally help me put together something that worked. I needed 8 screws exactly, but...

Instead I got 7 plus this screw ^ that someone didn't turn into a screw. (Another trip back to Home Depot.)

Ok, finally. Here's the after:

The hardware certainly wasn't an issue I anticipated, but I think it completely transformed the piece. What do you think?