Thursday, 27 November 2014

Blue and Gold Dresser with Sticky Drawers

I love this colour combo.  I confess, I do it a lot.  Eeek.  Its hard to always be creative when something is so popular and you love it too!  The colour is so sophisticated and warm, and as a bonus, it has good coverage.

I picked this piece up at a really good price because the drawers were sticky. 'no, problem' I thought, 'easy fix'.  Bah. How wrong a girl can be.  I spent hours Hours HOURS running the orbital over drawer edges sanding and plaining away to get things to fit and run smoothly.  I suspect its fair to say that I spent more time fixing the drawers than actually painting the piece. 

I actually almost forget the painting part, because I am still shuddering (literally and figuratively) from all the sanding.  I do remember that I was able to detach the legs and bottom trim and paint them separately,   I used the critter sprayer to paint the blue, and the gold was done with Krylon Spray paint.

I topped the piece with satin sheen polyurethane.

Hardware got a dose of rub-n-buff in antique gold.

And the before (minus the legs which were off prancing around somewhere).

Strangers in the night featuring a MINT ARMOIRE

Quite the experience it was getting this beast home. It involved a near frostbitten finger in the premature winter that hit southern Ontario.  Yes, it was minus 20 in November.  That's how we role in this country. 

I went to pick this armoire and the matching dresser up myself, with icy roads and a blizzard blowing all around me.  Saying they weigh a tonne is an understatement.  They actually weigh an Elephant.  Fortunately I had some sturdy young men who belonged to the owner to help physically place them on the truck bed, but all extra hands seemed to 'poof' into thin air when it came time to navigating the tie down straps.  Am I the only person in the world who holds a special place of hate in her heart for these things?  It's probably just that I am a moron, but I can never get them to work properly, especially alone in the dark when my fingers are chattering away and nipping at frostbite.

Fast forward several hours and I finally got them home. Then the waiting began for Mr. Chuckles to also arrive home and help me unload them, all the while the snow continued to rain down and blanket them. He arrived about 10:30 pm and was really enthusiastic to be stood on a snow covered truck in the blizzard doing most of the lifting himself.  'Rae. This is why I love you so much,' he cooed, 'Its because you always make me feel like a man.'  (just a bit of paraphrasing, I promise)

It was one of those nights where you vow to never again pick up a piece of furniture that weighs more than 60 pounds.

But alas, despite the shifting difficulties, the piece proved pretty easy to finish.  The hardest part was sanding, getting into all those little groovy bits was no picnic, but the priming and painting were done with my CRITTER sprayer which made the job super quick. Aim, point, and pull the trigger 'Kapow Kapow!'.

I mixed up some mint which was a matte finish, and then I used both a dark brown glaze, as well as Annie Sloan dark wax to get the antique 'time worn' look.  I also distressed all of the edges as well which took quite a lot of time.
I used my vintage Eaton's wall paper on the drawers inside, I am slowly starting to run out of this wonderful stuff, the roll is getting thinner which makes me sad.  Best $1.50 I ever spent.

And a before

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Red Ming

Its early in the morning here.  I can't be sure if the clock adjustment of daylight savings is still playing tricks on me, or if I have finally made that final leap into early-onset geriatric-ness, but I can't seem to sleep in past 6:30, even on those days when I have no business getting up so early. So why not do a posting I thought?


I call this beast 'The Ming' because she just might be a communist.  Im not entirely sure yet, as she was a bit cagey when I probed her on it, but I suspect communist leanings here. I found some suspicious looking pamphlets under her drawers.

I had some red left over from the chair I did for my sorta-sister-in-law (Mr. Chuckles and I aren't married, although we sure do bicker like we are, in fact last night, amid blizzard like conditions I picked up two of the heaviest, chunkiest, most solid 9-drawer, and armoires of my life.  I kid not when I say that each drawer weighed 15 pounds alone, and each piece would tip the scales at 300 lbs.  Chuck arrived home at 10pm and I swiftly harnessed his lifting skills to aid me in removing the heffers from the truck...not 2 minutes later we were both standing on the flatbed with gusting snow billowing all over us, hurling criticisms about lifting ineptitude. 

But enough about the marital bliss, on to the transformation.  This piece really was a bit of a delight. Unlike the Sumo-twins above, this lady was constructed from pine and was pretty light and airy to shift around.  She was also tall (36"), I love tall dressers, more statement making. 

I turned my paint into 'chalkpaint' with PoP, and painted on a few coats, I went for something different here by allowing some of the knotty-pine to show through the paint.  It almost looks like I glazed the piece, quite a neat effect, and one that isn't really visible in the pictures, of course.


I left the hardware original, as I thought the oil-rubbed bronze complimented the red nicely and really tied in with the 'Ming' theme.


I hand waxed this piece and buffed.  It produced a really nice sheen, but as usual, Im not enamoured with the result of the wax on the top.  I find wax is wonderful on small areas, but tends to look splotchy on large tops.  I decided to persist with it on this piece anyway, as I was going for the 'rustic' handfinished vibe.  So it works.

The before. Blandissimo.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

A two-tone Cabinet

This was a nice straight forward re-do. I love doing a two-tone look, because so often the drawer facings are in good enough condition that you can just give them a clean, and touch up the small scratches with gel stain.  It saves a lot of time.
This cute cabinet caught my eye the first time I saw her, but her price tag didn't..fortunately, I went back to the store a second time and she was 75% off.  YES PLEASE.  She actually had a hutch component as well, but it didn't look nearly as stylish and I opted to leave it behind at the store. I know they were a pair because they had the same hardware and bone detailing, yet despite that, the top looked like it was country-kitsch, where the bottom look chic and cool. 

I had to completely strip the top, which is not something I do when I am painting if I can avoid it, but there were too many scratches that went straight through to the wood, and it mar the final look of the paint.  So I broke out my stripper and went through the motions.  After I had lifted all of the old finish off the top, I gave everything a smooth sand with the orbital.  For the rest of the piece I just gave a good once over scuff-sand.

Because I sanded back to the wood, my inner voice-of-experience warned me I would get some heavy bleed-through.  I ignored that voice and painted one coat with my gripper primer.  Within a few minutes large yellow blotches formed everywhere.  Yep, dreaded bleed-through.  So the next two coats were applied with Zinsser BIN.  Its shellac based and it dries up lightening fast which makes it troublesome to work with. It was cold outsid so I was working with the garage closed, I made sure to put on my respirator, because although the fumes from this are akin to a nice bottle of Kahlua, they rip your lungs raw if you inhale them..(luckily Kahlua doesn't effect the same result)

I sanded the Zinsser smooth and finished with two or three coats of my Cabinet coat paint in an off-white.  I kept the hardware original, but I buffed it up for a soft golden sheen.

I also wiped a coat of gel stain on the facings just to darken them up ever so slightly.

And I remembered to snap a before.  Hallelujah~

Friday, 7 November 2014

Dry brush nightstands

I picked up this pair of nightstands for $4 each.  They were solid wood, pine I believe) and I liked their large chunky size (in addition to their petite price tag)
I thought I would try something different and use this as an opportunity to brush up on my dry brushing skills.
I focused on keeping the brush really dry and using both short strokes as well as longer ones to make the piece look more dynamic.  I see a lot of dry brushing techniques out there that feature short strokes, and to me this looks great on the small detailing, but it doesn't look nice on the tops of pieces, particularly larger ones.
One issue I did find was that the paint didn't want to stick all that well because it was going on so lightly.  I had to use a few good topcoats of polyacrylic to make it all a little more durable.
Overall, I thought they turned out nice, and I am bolstered with some confidence to try dry-brushing again.
The before!


Teal and Gold..oh so bold

Call off the search party.  You can stop over turning rocks, looking in ravines and casting your eyes out to sea looking for my remains bobbing along.  I am alive.  I assure you!  When not being held captive by episodes of Boardwalk Empire, I have even managed to do the odd transformation.

This piece features a new colour I have never used before.  It is a bright greenish shade of teal, and the pictures, as per usual, don't quite capture the actual colour, but she was stunning in real life, and I didn't even custom mix up this colour, it is straight off the self.  I believe it was called tantalizing teal by Sherwin Williams.

I have actually refinished this exact same dresser before in a two tone HERE (wood wrap and white drawers), but there was some damage on some of the drawer facings of this one that couldn't quite justify all of the work necessary to strip the piece, so I opted to try out the new tantalizing shade of teal.
I love mixing bold and bright colours with gold, so I highlighted the legs and the hardware with some gold.

I also applied a light coat of glaze on the piece, and rather than distressing the edges, I 'kissed' (the technical word) the edges with some gold rub-n-buff.


Right, Ill see you all in a couple more months!  ;)