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.

A Touch of Whimsy

Well Mr. Chuckles may not like this piece. Ahem.  But I think she looks excellent!  Once in a while it is fun to just step outside the box and experiment a little bit.  Mr. Chuckles clearly doesn't understand this kind of thinking, as he took one look at this girl and said "why didn't you leave it plain blue?"  Isn't it nice to have such a supportive man in my life? You betcha!

I added the adorable gold legs which I tend to do a lot to these big pieces.  They were off a vintage MCM sofa that we bought for ourselves but had traded out those legs for more straight ones.  Unfortunately I took one look at the sofa in our living room and went "What was I thinking?!" Even more rash was my decision to sell our other one before seeing this one in the space. We are now using a recliner until we buy a new one. Its a shame, it had great vintage lines, but that green fabric overpowered the room.

This piece is a darker blue in real life, but blogger likes to 'brighten' things up without being asked.

I added lots of bits of turquoise, black, yellow, mint, blue...etc.. to create this look.  I also used a variety of tools to add a textured look.

The hardware got a dose of rub n buff.


The before.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Restoration Hardware Style Nightstands

Finally some warm weather here!  Where was this weather when I was chattering through the night on that canoe trip!  Things have been a little busy around here lately, my dear mom had to have one of her kidneys removed as it was no longer functioning.  It's the first time we have had to deal with a serious health issue in our immediate family, so it was a learning curve for us all on how to handle the bundle of emotions that comes with something like that. True to form she handled it like a trooper, and we are all so happy to have her safely home convalescing. 

I picked up these nightstands as part of a three piece set. When I saw the set in the store, I love the bubbled drawers on the tallboy and longboy and chunky feet straight away, when I got them all home...hmmm...not so much. But alas, I had already committed, so may as well start painting.
The nightstands were tackeled first as they were small and easy.  I really liked the restoration hardware style mirrors I did HERE, so I decided to recreate that look again.
I sanded everything down and then cleaned all the dust off, aka the boring part.
Next I painted everything matte black.
Another good sanding to smooth everything out and to distress all of the edges.

Lastly I protected the piece with wax. It has that hand finished look to it which isn't really visible in the pictures. But I think it suits the pieces and echoes the look I was going for.

I also traded out the hardware for something a bit more chunky and rustic looking. It also matches the metal feet on the bottom of the legs.

The before!