Restyled antique radio cabinet

Restyled antique radio cabinet

Remember this little one? I started working on her a while ago and she was sold before she was even done, to us! I’m sorry everyone but we’re just too in love with her and for practical reasons, we needed a bar.

I spotted this little one on kijiji over a year ago. What “had me at hello” were her amazing door mouldings. Rare to see this kind of detail on a piece – it made me swoon! The inside still had the original radio shelf (large u-shaped hole near the back) and someone had nailed two planks to the bottom. Even the feet had been altered and cut into squares (weird!). But, I’m a “I’ll deal with later” kinda girl, so we loaded her up and took her home.

Over the years I’ve learned quite a bit on how to repair and modify pieces but this one was a challenge. First I started with the legs. The radio/bar was just a little too tall for my vertically challenged body and since I prefer no cross joint on furniture legs the decision was easy – take off the bottom half. It immediately looked so much better!

 

Then I had to deal with the shelves. Despite my business name, I’m actually quite a perfectionist. Not only did I have to replace the shelves, I also needed the right mouldings to butt up against them. Did you know that if you buy wood at any hardware store they will cut it to your dimensions at no extra cost? This is so amazing when you have big ideas on how to fix things but no time to do it. One small-ish board made two shelves. Wood trim was added to bring it all together. Oh, and anytime I get to use my air-nailer is a good day. Love that thing!

The final repair (exhausted yet?) was to fix the moulding I loved so much. There was a small piece missing on the bottom of the right door. I sanded and cleaned the part that was missing and then used regular wood filler to make my moulding. It was like playing with play-doh or I imagine the more mature would call it sculpting?! Regardless, once wood filler dries, it’s as hard as wood. I sanded it down to the right shape and thickness and it looks exactly the same as the other side. Pretty proud of that achievement.

Once everything was fixed and in place it was time to prime and paint. I knew the minute I saw the ad, that this little one would be painted in one of my all-time favourite colours, Mustard. Not only is it my go-to yellow, it just happens to be milk paint. I won’t go on… you know how I feel about milk paint.

The finishing touches were papering the back in a honeycomb pattern and the tiny bubble-gum knobs. It just all worked together. All that’s left to do is to fill it and You’re all invited! 😉

Artissimo empire sideboard with bubblegum knobs

Artissimo empire sideboard with bubblegum knobs

   
 
Remember I asked a few weeks ago if you thought a sideboard could be blue? I always stay pretty traditional when it comes to dinning room furniture: greys, blacks and whites are usually my go to. But I thought to myself, navy is also a neutral! Why not! I picked up this gorgeous empire sideboard a few weeks ago and knew immediately, she would be the one!
 
Again, MMS Artissimo was the paint of choice. I literally have to stop myself from painting things in this colour. My kids moan when they see another piece in this blue… that’s how much I use it. It really reminds me of a worn pair of denim jeans with varying shades of blues. The wood colour of this sideboard was the perfect canvas.
 
Of course, as you may know, empire styled furniture is one of my favourites. The curves are so stunning and the craftsmanship, second to none. I’m always in awe when I work on one of these. They are truly made to stand the test of time.
 
I have about 20 different style of knobs in stock and yet, I always go back to these little white knobs. They pop against any colour yet they don’t compete with the beauty of the piece – they just compliment them. I use them so much I ordered another 40 last night.
 
I’m in love with this one, and I hope you are too. Picked up the little yellow flowers (weeds?) on the side of the road today. Love the combination with the pretty drawer liners. Navy in the dining room? A definite yes!
Pitch Black, milk painted sideboard

Pitch Black, milk painted sideboard

This gorgeous vintage piece with stunning appliques hit all of my furniture criteria; unique, intricate and striking. One of the heaviest and biggest pieces I’ve ever worked on, but definitely one of the most beautiful.

 

 

I used my go to paint these days, milk paint, in Pitch Black.  Again, the milk paint did all the wonderful things I wanted it to: different shading of black and crackling and scaling. This stuff is fascinating to work with. I swear, when I start talking about my obsession with milk paint, people’s eyes glaze over. I’m nuts about this stuff!

 

 

After I painted and sanded her back to near wood, I focussed on the finishing. I rarely talk about this step, but topcoating is really the most important part of the process. It is also the most frustrating, time consuming, confusing and for most people, the most boring part of furniture refinishing but if you don’t do it, you’re certain to regret it. The first time you put a hot mug or wet glass on the piece, you’ll ruin it. For all you wanting to learn how to do this, don’t focus on the paint, focus on the topcoat.

 

 

I always say I put three layers of topcoat on the surface of the piece and two everywhere else, but that’s really the minimum. I topcoat until it’s near perfection and sometimes that takes 5 or 6  coats. I obsess about it!  I pity the person that will ever have to strip down my work. They’ll be swearing on my grave for sure. 😉

 

 

Once the finish was done it was time to accessorize. Furniture hardware can be so much fun! I have a ton of knobs on hand and I think I tried everyone of them on this piece and none of them were right. In the end I realized that her original hardware was made for her. Whoever planned her out knew what they were doing. Although they were the perfect match in shape and size the brass was too brassy, so I painted and topcoated them too. I love how it all pulled together in the end. She’s a stunner!

 

Stunning vintage china cabinet, milk painted and polka dotted!

Stunning vintage china cabinet, milk painted and polka dotted!

 

Over time I’ve come to realize that it’s important to love every inch of every piece I buy. If that voice inside my head says “I love everything about this except for…” the warning bells go off and  I move on. This small, divine, vintage china cabinet hit all the marks for me. From it’s delicate appliques to the curved legs and the sweet pulls, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind. She was a definite buy.

 

 

She’s close to 100 years old (made somewhere between 1907-1937) and the only sign that points to her age, is her gorgeous patinated wood. I really wanted to highlight the crackling and beauty of her exterior. Old Fashioned milk paint, in Pitch Black, was the go to paint for this one. The pigment of milk paint almost seems to absorb into the wood. It’s so fascinating to work with and this shade is stunning! I distressed the black quite a bit to get some yummy wood to show through.

 

I also wanted to use this adorable Spoonflower polka dot paper I had stored away for just the right piece. I papered the back and painted the interior with General finishes Snow white milk paint. Love this white! It matched the paper exactly.

The exterior was top-coated with General finishes Gel Topcoat and the interior with their High Performance Topcoat. A ton of work to get this one done but so worth every minute. One of my all-time favourites for sure! She’ll be hard to top but I’ll give it a try! 😉