Just a couple of materials and a few simple steps is all it takes.
I have done this look on a couple of different dressers now. It all began with the beautiful dresser below.
I had previously refinished this dresser in turquoise (HERE) and was over-the-moon to find the exact same gorgeous dresser in excellent vintage condition. It has wonderful raised detailing and I added the legs to give it extra height.
There was nothing wrong with the hardware in its original state, but it was so dark that it was difficult to appreciate all the ornate carved detailing. Lightening it up and glazing it really highlights all of that beautiful craftsmanship.
I drew inspiration from a technique I have used on some old candlesticks to get a 'pewter' looking finish. This candlestick used to be glossy red and it really suited the Japanese inspired furnishings of the house I shared in Sydney (yep, I brought these guys all the way home to Canada), but I gave them new life to fit in with the decor of my new digs.
I washed the hardware well using baking soda and vinegar to get the gunk off. I noticed this did leave a film on the hardware after it dried (probably a chemical reaction) and so I gave all the pieces of hardware a good sanding. Just to give you an idea of the finish. The middle is the original finish, the left is after I sanded/buffed it to a soft gold, and the right shows the residue post soaking.
I sanded all the hardware really well in order to promote good adhesion for the spray paint. This was the most time consuming and unpleasant step. I wore a mask to prevent any of those nasty particles tainting my pristine nostrils. I want to be able to taste my Honeycombs after all.
I wiped on the glaze with a dry paper towel and then used a damp cloth to hastily wipe it back off. I didn't over wipe as I wanted the glaze to gather into the grooves of the detailing and create a darker shadow. If there were any areas I felt were too dark I just worked the damp cloth a little more.
The picture above shows the difference in steps. Starting on the right you can see the plate with spray paint, the middle is what it looked like when I covered with glaze, and the left is the end result after the glaze was wiped off.
I allowed the glaze to dry overnight before I sealed everything with a few spray coats of polyacrylic. I used a satin finish, but I did find that it dulled the finish down to more of a matte finish. I would definitely consider using a gloss polyacrylic spray for the next time to encourage a bit more luster.
The end result makes a stunning contrast with the white paint of the dresser. You can see another example of where I used this technique below.
It really is amazing how much of a transformation you can make with a little paint, a little imagination, and a little effort. Magic!
If you have any tips for hardware transformations please leave a comment or a link!