Thursday, 18 December 2014

For the set of the MARILYN MONROE film !

So as I have mentioned previously, I am having a love affair with a particular shade of deep blue combined with gold hardware.  In fact, I currently have two dressers in the shop being fitted out with the exact look.  I just love it, simply love it.  I realize it isn't the most creative to keep recreating the same look over and over again.  But, well, I don't really have an excuse.

This beauty here was such a good find.  I paid more for her than I usually would because I just loved that oversized hardware.  I picked her up in our November 'Polar-Vortex' blizzard and nearly skidded off the road getting her home. 

I actually finished her about a month and a bit ago, I am a little behind on blogging about some of my posts.  Im proud to say she will be gracing the set of an upcoming MARILYN MONROE film being shot in Toronto.  I will definitely be watching that film (I think its release date is 2016) to see if I can catch a glimpse of my handiwork.  Pretty exciting for ol' Rae Bond!

I had Mr. Chuckles help me add the legs custom to give the grandeur of extra height.  I used rub n buff on her hardware, it came out so beautifully.  The piece itself was finished in Dulux Diamond with POP and finished with Satin sheen polyurethane.  I think its lovely that the oak grain is still visible.

I toyed with the idea of accenting some of the raised detailing with gold as well, but I was concerned that it would compete with the beauty of the hardware so I just let it be.


And the before

Linking up to Miss Mustard Seeds final furniture feature party of 2014!

Triplets working a two-tone

The Christmas countdown is officially on.  I'm not sure how many more viewings of ELF I will be able to squeeze in, but at this point - and I don't mean to brag - but I just may be about to break a personal record.  In fact, its on TV in the background right now.  I just love that movie.  'Singing's my favorite.'

I have been busy shopping for all the nieces and nephews as well as Mr Chuckles, and I have perhaps even squeezed in a new gift or two for myself.  Its strange, I'm usually pretty conservative with my spending, but come Christmas time I turn into a shopaholic. 

If you read my last post then you know I was teetering about not buying my cranky 7-year old niece a gift after she balled me out for asking her what she wanted.  But in the end, I caved and bought her something.  I'm going to pack it in a box of coal though and wrap it in a dirty diaper.  
Just kidding.

So I actually finished the pieces in this post a little while ago, but I haven't yet posted about them.  They are some more two-tone MCM pieces (which I tend to a do a lot) so I suppose I wasn't in a hurry to post them.

They were a great find and were pretty straight forward to transform.  I sanded back the bodies, vacuumed and wiped clean.  I then primed with gripper and I also had to use Zinsser BIN on a few places where I sanded back to the wood and was getting bleed through.  I followed up with several coats of Cabinet coat paint. The wood facings and legs are original, but I cleaned them up and used gel stain to dab some of the imperfections. Works a treat.

They turned out pretty spiffy. I love the legs on these ones.

Monday, 15 December 2014

A 7-year old with attitude and a FREE Buffet

If you follow my blog, then you know free is my favorite.  But then again, who doesn't love a freebie!  Free is especially appreciated at this time of year when it sometimes seems that a tornado is tearing through my wallet.  I open it up to find cash billowing in circles before leaping free from it.  I just can't seem to keep it in check.  Or maybe I'm just a generous 'giver'.  ;)
No kids of my own, but six nieces and nephews are shared between Mr. Chuckle's and I. Actually, I was asking my one niece who is 7 and 1/2 years old what she wanted for Christmas last night.  She snapped at me that everyone kept asking her that and it was 'wasting all her time' trying to think of things.  She went on to lecture me even further about how it was impertinent of me to keep pestering her about what she wanted.  'huh?' I thought dumbfounded.
Now, admittedly this niece has always been a real 'bolshie', but is it just me or does that take some gall?  When I was a 7 year old, I didn't even get presents from Aunts and Uncles. I would have been over the moon to get anything, and nowadays kids are so spoilt for choice that apparently its too much work to even verbalise what they want. Bah!
I'm considering donating $30 on her behalf to the  Make A Wish Foundation.  Let the money be used for someone who will appreciate it, I say.
Does that make me a super mean Aunt?

But alas, lets get back to more pleasant topics, like furniture. As I mentioned, this beautiful buffet was a freebie that I picked up months ago with my sorta-sister-in-law.  She ended up deciding she didn't want it and passed it along to me (thank you!).  I have been having a love affair with this blue and gold combination and used it again on this piece (I currently have two pieces getting this same treatment in my workshop as we speak).

I was a little nervous at how the cane door facings were going to look, but they ended up looking great and even quite modern.  I removed the legs and spray painted them gold separately, and I painted the rest of the piece with the CRITTER sprayer.  Hardware was touched up in gold rub-n-buff.

I love the height.  I think it makes this piece look really great.

I used a DIY chalkpaint with my Dulux diamond, and I sprayed polyurethane over it in Satin finish for a final protective coat.  I love the nice smooth and even finish this gives instead of wax, especially on non-distressed pieces.

There is one drawer on the inside which I relined with some blue and gold fabric.

And the before again.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A Midnight Heist

Of A Blue and Cream Cabinet

  • a conversation that 'never happened'
  • a covert operation
  • dumpster diving
  • a homeless man

I confess, I am not above dumpster diving.  I have, on occasion, fished discarded pieces of furniture off the curb in order to bring them home and treat them to a make over.  This piece here is one of those lucky ladies.

It all started when I went to my favorite restore to pick up a 9 drawer that I spotted in the 'back room' the previous night. Don't we all just love that 'back room'?  There you are, out shopping when you find yourself drifting toward it in order to try and catch a glimpse of the gems that will be gracing the 'showroom' floor in the next day or two.  The shops I go to staunchly refuse to have a conversation about those elusive back room pieces until they are actually out on the floor.   So in this case, I was simply promised the 9-drawer would be priced and on the floor by high noon the next day. 'Come back then,' they gavelled.

So, the following day at 12:05, I sauntered in, holsters dangling at my thighs, ready for a fight if need be, when a problem presented itself..  A quick lap revealed the absence of a particular 9 drawer.  'where is the matching 9 drawer for this armoire?' I panicked at the first employee I found.

She did a lap of the 'back room' and came back empty handed informing me  the piece must have 'been sold already'.  This puzzled me a bit, because although I liked the piece, it really wasn't a show-stopper, and I doubted  it had been purchased and departed so quickly.  I went on a mission.  I drove the Mazda 3 around the back of the store, and sure enough, there was my sought-after 9 drawer dresser perched in the dumpster - minus the drawers.  The drawers it seems, had already been picked up by the garbage trucks, but the body was still sitting skeleton still in the cold noon air.  Vaguely I recalled the store clerk telling me how they  had been 'inundated' with donations recently.  No room at the Inn it seemed. Dang.

But wait! She wasn't alone.  Stood amongst her and several other abandoned pieces was an adorable petite china cabinet.  After sizing her up good and proper, and dancing a little jig, I pranced back into the shop and asked the store clerk if it would be ok if I rescued one of the orphans in the dumpster.  'Oh no, you mustn't,' she replied ' that would be stealing'.  

Stealing???? How is it stealing if its in the dumpster preparing to make the long walk to the garbage tip?   'Oh no you just can't, we NEVER HAD THIS CONVERSATION' she responded. Oh, I get it, I thought, she's giving me the wink and the gun!  Perfect.

Fast forward five hours and pan in on a certain Ms. Bond, and a Mr. Chuckles hunkered down in a Mazda 3 under the cloak of darkness.  'Do you think he's homeless?'  I muttered, 'Um, I'm not certain, but he's digging in the dumpster at, uh, quite possibly.'  Yes, it seems Mr. Chuckle's and I were not alone in our efforts to 'steal' some refuse from the dumpster during the witching hours.  We cowered in the shadows and watched the homeless man for about 15 minutes.  He seemed to be interested in many different things in that dumpster, but fortunately our china cabinet was not one of them! Chuck and I had a good laugh at the depths to which we had sunk; both bedecked in black toques and matching black clothes, sitting in the shadows, waiting for an opportunity to 'steal' an old cabinet.  But hey, a free piece of furniture is a free piece of furniture. 

Finally homeless man peddled away and Mr. Chuckles and I were free to move in and close ranks around the cute china cabinet.  Like a good formula one team, we had that piece loaded in 8 seconds flat.  No cop stood a chance!

As for the transformation.  I sanded everything back and wiped her clean.  I used a duck egg(ish) chalk paint on the outside, and I used cream Cottage Paint chalk paint on the interior.  I then used clear and dark Annie Sloan wax to 'age' it up.  I also did some light distressing.

I'm not making excuses, but the lighting was really bad for these pictures, it looks cuter in real life.  Below is the pic of the before.

Ok, so tell me what you think?  Is it stealing if it is already slated for the dumpster?

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Energetically 'aged' Dresser

This is the twin of the mint armoire (HERE) that I recently painted.  The pair of them were quite the handful and nearly resulted in an emergency room visit with amputation due to frostbite.  This piece itself is almost 80" wide.  It is a mammoth, in both weight and stature.

I custom mixed up this colour using remnants of other colours.  I actually mix up my own paint all the time.  I buy the paint in gallons un-tinted, and then I get the tint separately in quart sized cans.  It is more cost effective this way, and also I am not committed to a huge can of any particular colour. I actually popped into my local Dulux store last night to ask for some of my favorite cobalt/navy blue tint, I only asked for a quart's worth of tint, but he cheerily offered me a whole gallons worth of tint.  I think this offer may have had something to do with the packet of Twizzlers I waved under his nose.  No one can resist a licorice strap.

I can't remember the colours I used for this piece but there was a lot of green in it as is evident in the pictures.  I didn't want the piece to be so bright that it looked too 'childish', so I made sure to be liberal with the dark wax.  The piece was painted with chalk paint, and then I waxed it with Annie Sloan Clear and Dark wax.

I kept the hardware original on this piece, I just buffed it up a little bit to refresh it.

The most time consuming part was the distressing which I did by hand.  Getting into all of the details shown in the picture below took a fair bit of time.

I again used my vintage Eaton's wallpaper on the drawer facings.  This paper is so versatile, I have used it on so many pieces now.  It goes great with blues, greens and turquoise colours.

Here is the before during the sanding process.

Vintage Set with Great Hardware

The pictures really don't do this set justice.  It is such a quality set, it was manufactured by a company called 'Canadian Furniture Company' which I have never heard of, and I would estimate that it was made in the 1960s.  It is solid and very unique.

I picked up some Benjamin Moore Aura for this set.  I actually mixed up to shades of the Aura, one in a creamy white and the other in a more pure white to create this shade which is just a bit creamier than a pure white. 
I sanded everything back enough just to take off the original sheen and ensure that my primer would stick well.  I vaccumed up all of the dust, and then I washed everything down to make sure that there was no dust remaining.  I then let everything dry before spraying on my primer coat. I used my Critter sprayer to spray the primer and the first two coats of Aura. I am currently in the process of writing a review for the 'CRITTER' sprayer, but one thing I notice is that the sheen of the paint changes in the spraying process.  So this aura was a Satin finish, but it sprayed almost like a matte/eggshell.

To overcome this, I did the last coat by hand with a roller/brush combo so that the satin sheen was accurate and even.  This really allowed me to appreciate the levelling power of the aura.  It levelled out so nicely that you could barely see the brush strokes.

I love the hardware on this set, and in truth, if it didn't have this hardware, I don't think I would have purchased it.  It just gives such a wow factor, especially the hardware up the top.  It was pretty aged and mottled looking, so I buffed it all up by hand back to a soft gold sheen which took at least an hour.

I did a top coat protection of satin sheen polyacrylic just on the tops of all the pieces to help prevent scratching on the paint as they will get the most use.

Im really happy with the AURA, I had read some reviews (after I bought it) that suggested that it had a long 'tacky' period after being painted and that it didn't harden that well, but I have to say that I haven't noticed it on these pieces.  I think it turned out great and feels very durable.

The blurred before!