Friday 20 November 2015

Back from the dead

It felt pretty strange hitting that 'new post' button.  Wow, it has been months since I have done a posting.  I have no excuse, life has just been rolling along as per usual, I have been painting furniture, I guess I just haven't felt like blogging about it.  But I'm sitting here and have finally found the motivation to do a post...although apart from my mom - Hi Shazza - there probably aren't too many other followers left! 

First up, France was great.  The picture above is me navigating a map on the way to Mount Saint Michel.  Mr. Chuckle's and I biked our hearts out and I thoroughly enjoyed the countryside and sleeping in our little tent every night.  So simple, so serene, so peaceful.  We didn't get through as many KMs per day as we thought we would, but usually averaged about 60 which wasn't too bad given we were riding our regular mountain bikes, nothing too fancy.   It is really such a beautiful country, and Paris is a gorgeous city, its so sad to hear what is going on there at the moment.  Such a mad mad world.

I have been painting furniture since we have been back and rather then do a lot of separate postings, I am just going to post a few of my most recent pieces together to save some time.  The piece below was such a stunning and high quality piece.  It stood at 36" and was so grand (and heavy). 

This was also a gorgeous piece and super well built.  I painted it in a soft cream with a taupe overlay.  It looked so much better in real life, I just couldn't get the camera to capture the beauty.

Mr. Chuckles was given this piece by his uncle.  It has great medieval strapping on the corners.  We opted for a rustic teal look.

I love this dresser.  I bought it from a couple from Cuba who were living in Toronto but were moving out east to New Brunswick the morning after I bought it.  It was so ugly in its original wood state, but that gorgeous raised detailing came out a dream in this rustic teal look.  Great oversized hardware!

When Mr. Chuckle's brought this piece home I was like 'meh'.  But I think we managed to make it look more unique by adding the bun feet and new middle section hardware.

You know I love a good two-tone MCM, this highboy was in great condition.  The drawer facings are original, I just needed to two-tone the wrap.

Ive done this combo of cobalt and gold so many times that I don't even want to post about it anymore! lol.  But I really like the legs and hardware on this one, so I thought, why not.

A couple of vintage mirrors, I painted matte black, distressed and a touch of wax for an instant update.

Another two tone, but I opted to paint the bottom drawer as well for a slightly different look.  I don't usually love hardware on two-tones, but this original hardware is pretty cute.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Cycling through France!

Yay, summer is finally here!  I know I have been MIA for a while, but I've got some fun news to share to explain why!  Mr. Chuckles and I have been busy planning for a trip to France in July.  And not just any trip, we are flying our bikes over with us, along with our tent, sleeping bags and camping stove and we are going to make our way around the countryside on our bikes, camping as we go.

So we have been really busy trying to get things organized and accumulate all the gear we will need.  We have tried to keep costs low, so a lot of the gear we have purchased has been second hand or from thift stores.  I did splurge a little though and buy a good quality hikers tent as well as a mini stove and good sleeping bag. I can't stand being cold at night.

I have managed to get a little bit of furniture done over the past few weeks though.  Rather than do a separate posts, I am just going to showcase them together here.

First up are these neat little bongo-style side tables.  They were not much to look at in the original state, but their bright new shade perks them up a bit!


Secondly, I used a vibrant shade of purple on this buffet.  I never use purple, but I had done a French set for a friend in this colour and really liked it, so I thought I would put it to use a second time.  It pulls a little blue in the pictures, but it is most definitely purple.

The oak grain is still visible through the paint, I love painting chunky oak pieces vibrant colours, they always turn out so great!


Right, I'm off to do more trip organizing, have a sunny day!

Thursday 28 May 2015

Restoration Hardware Inspired Dresser Set

A couple of new pieces to show today. I don't use black very often, I can probably count the total number of black pieces I have done on less than both hands.  But after having done the Restoration Hardware Inspired black mirrors HERE and nightstands HERE, I thought I would try the look on these very unique dressers (which is part of the matching set for those nightstands.)

 This is the picture that inspired me!

I succumbed to an impulse purchase with this set.  Once I got them home I had a 'what was I thinking?!' moment and they just sat in the corner for a while.  I then thought I would just turn around and sell them as I wasn't feeling too inspired by them and I was busy working on other things like the three piece purple French provincial set for a friend that I forgot to snap pictures of. Doh! Ive asked her to send through some pictures of them in their new home. The purple was pretty cool.
After a few weeks, I didn't have any hits on them, so I decided to paint them up.  I sanded everything really well and I even used a bit of a deglosser (liquid sandpaper) on the curvy legs and drawers and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with how great it worked and how user friendly it is. I will definitely use it again on hard to sand detailing.

I decided not to prime as I didn't want bits of gray or white sticking out from under the distressed parts.  I had a large gallon of Dulux Diamond Black in semi-gloss on hand, but I didn't want a semi gloss look, so instead I grabed my plaster of paris and whipped up some chalk paint.

I sprayed on two coats and then sanded. And my word did it need sanding.  It dried very gritty, in fact the piece could have been used to sand another piece!

I sanded everything smooth, and then I wet sanded everything to get it even smoother.  This step took F-O-R-E-V-E-R and left me covered in wet black sanding dust.

I then had a decision to make.  Should I use wax as a protective topcoat, or should I use a wipe-on-poly or tung oil.  I have not been overly impressed with how wax turns out on dark pieces.  It dries extremely streaky and produces a really uneven finish.  I decided to go with the wipe on poly.

I wiped on two thin coats, just enough to seal the porous chalk paint.  It turned out good, although you can still tell it is hand-rubbed (as opposed to a perfect factory finish).  I distressed all of the edges prior to this step, and in hindsight I wish I had distressed a little more as it is a bit too subtle.

The tallboy got the same treatment.  I used oil rubbed bronze on the original hardware to keep everything dark. It was originally a garish gold and would have made the pieces look too Asian inspired which wasn't the look I was after here.

Here are the originals.


Tuesday 12 May 2015

A different kind of two-tone MCM

I tossed up what to do with this piece.  When I picked it up it wasn't in as good of condition as the picture made it seem, but there was very few serious dings or chips in the veneer.  I was going to do a white wrap, but the wood was so nice that I decided to strip and re-stain the entire piece.

The old finish came off really easily, it wasn't one of those super-duper thick finishes.  After I wiped all the dust down, I preconditioned the wood, and once that was dry I re-stained the piece in special walnut by Minwax.

 I really wanted a low sheen finish so that it almost looked like bare wood, yet I still wanted to offer some protection for the wood.  I opted for wipe on poly.  These pictures show how a bit of a sheen is still visible, but Im planning to knock back the sheen with some steel wool.

The legs had a lot of wear on them, and I have learned from experience that I have a very hard time getting my legs to stain to the same darkness as the dresser.  This has happened on several occasions, and it baffles me.  It must be that it is a different wood and it doesn't like stain.  When I look at the existing stain I can see it is more like a paint-stain.  I have even tried gel stain, but no luck.

So in this instance I decided to paint them off-white to add a bit of a contrast with the wood, but still keeping it fairly traditional.

This is the picture from the ad listing, it was the only picture, so not much to go on, but I instantly loved the crosspiece that connects to the two legs. The finish looks like it is really good, but pictures are so deceiving! In real life all of the drawers had wear marks everywhere, so she definitely needed to be taken back to the raw wood.

A Two Tone With Adorable Legs

I love this cute piece.  I opted for a reverse two tone as the wood was so beautiful. I particularly love the curviness of the legs. Very unique.

I stripped the wrap and finished it in 'special walnut' by minwax.  I topped with a few protective coats of polyurethane in satin. I still need to rub the finish back a bit in this picture, but I was so eager to take the pictures I thought Id stage it first.

The hardware reminds me a little of a bee.  It kind of goes with the whimsy of the whole piece, so I opted to leave it original.

The before is stood on the side, but you get the idea.