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! 😉
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!