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 china cabinet with calligraphy papered back

Pitch black china cabinet with calligraphy papered back

After a few delays, she’s finally complete! This beautiful little hutch, with everything going for her, has been transformed inside and out. I’m still using and loving milk paint. On this one I went with Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Pitch Black, but mixed it with a bit of Snow White, which looks better with the papered back. Since starting with milk paint, I’ve been wanting to do a piece that’s really chippy and uber distressed in some places. Although this was something I wanted to do, it wasn’t easy giving up total control to this incredibly unpredictable and wilful paint. I just had to close my eyes (not literally of course 😉 ) and give it a whirl. I’m so happy I did! It chipped, cracked and pealed in all the right places. I really love how she turned out and couldn’t reproduce the same effect twice I’m sure. She’s just strikingly gorgeous!
 
I lined the back with this pretty little calligraphy paper from Spoonflower and painted the interior with GF Snow White for added contrast. I had originally painted the pulls she came with but after trying out both sets, I went to my go-to white knobs. So simple and delicate – they don’t take any attention away from the beautiful Queen Ann legs or the amazing curves of this piece.
 
Had to replace the glass in the door as you may recall, but in the end it all turned out fine. Brought the door in on Tuesday and it was ready by Wednesday. The price was more reasonable too. I can afford to break glass all the time! 😉
 
She might have taken some time to do but as I said before, you can’t rush perfection… or perfect imperfections. Since I gave myself a pedicure, sandals seemed appropriate for the photo shoot. Hope you love her as much as we do!
Snow white, milk painted, adorable night tables

Snow white, milk painted, adorable night tables

 

The minute I spotted these two, I knew I had to have them. Gorgeous night tables with Queen Anne legs and curves abound. I couldn’t wait to get them home to give them a much needed makeover.

 

 

When planning how to paint pieces I usually start with paint colour and then pick accessories as I go. This time was very different. You might remember that over a year ago (if you followed my fb page way back then) I received an order of knobs (photo inserted), and in it, were these amazing, milky green glass furniture jewelry, or knobs as some of you may call them. 😉 I was dying to use them but hadn’t found the right pieces until these little ones came into my life.

 

 

After the knobs were picked I had to decide on paint. If you know me, you know I have a fear of painting things white. I’m always afraid it’s too safe, too plain, too overused, too difficult to topcoat but, for these knobs and these tables, there was no other option. White was the perfect non-colour!The challenge of painting with white was even more so since I used Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Snow white, for the first time. I won’t go on about how much I love this paint since you all know by now. It did what I loved and turned out amazing.

 

 

I used Rustoleum Chalked Protective Topcoat (only one finish option, matte) and it turned out beautifully. You can’t even tell it’s there. So happy to have found this product.

 

 

I also had the drawer liners stashed away for the perfect piece(s). The perfect finishing touch for the perfect pair of night stands. They might even be too pretty to hide in the bedroom! 🙂

 

Lamp black night stands with patterned drawer fronts

Lamp black night stands with patterned drawer fronts

When I picked up these beautiful bowed front night tables, I knew I wanted to do something completely different. It took me a while to decide what that would be, but after I received my shipment from Spoonflower, things became much clearer.

 

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First I prepped and primed both stands and painted them with General Finishes, Lamp Black Milk Paint. I sanded everything down in between coats and then moved on to the paper. When picking out a pattern to apply to a piece it’s important to consider the scale of the pattern. On the Snow White china cabinet, it was fine to use a bigger pattern for such a large surface but on these drawer fronts  I had to use something more proportionate. This pattern was my favourite.

 

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I planned that the arrows would point in opposite directions and that the patterns were at similar distances on all drawers. It was a little time consuming but you only want to do this once. My brother’s a contractor and his voice kept on echoing in my head ” measure twice, cut once”. I might have measured 3 or 4 times. It’s was late into the night and I was afraid to make mistakes. Better to be safe than crying. 😉 I applied the paper with Modge Podge and once it was perfect with not a single air bubble, I let it dry. After it was dried I added another layer of Modge Podge over the paper and finally it was time to finish them.

 

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I always do three coats of whatever topcoat I’m using on the top and two everywhere else. Lately that topcoat is General Finishes High Performance in semi-gloss. Make sure that if you’re painting, you don’t skimp out on this step. There’s nothing more disheartening then doing all this work only to have it ruined when someone puts a glass on it. It takes time and it’s probably the most tedious part of painting but it’s so essential.

 

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Finally, it was time to doll them up with a bit of furniture jewelry. More Spoonflower paper on the inside and these round black ceramic knobs. It would be hard to find a room that these wouldn’t look good in.

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Dazzlingly ever after periwinkle Gibbard vanity!

Dazzlingly ever after periwinkle Gibbard vanity!

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I’ve been meaning to write this post for a month now, but the craziness of life never subsides long enough! Whew! I’m taking a few minutes to reconnect with all of you and to tell you what I’ve been up to.

On October 10th, Perfect Imperfections turned one! I can hardly believe a whole year has passed since I started this business and I’m truly overwhelmed by how successful it has become. Every day I receive emails from people asking for advice, complimenting my work, or wondering what piece I might be tackling next. They also want to know if I’ll do custom work.

Up until now, I’ve refused custom work. I dreaded having to work on a piece that I wasn’t in love with or having to contend with fussy customers. For me, the pleasure of painting furniture is buying pieces that I love and then painting them any darn way I want. I recently decided to test the waters of custom work when I was contacted by a small business owner about refinishing a vanity to showcase some of her retail products. She sent me a photo of her solid walnut Gibbard vanity—it was gorgeous! After some back and forth on colour, I agreed to refinish the piece. Here’s her before picture! So much potential!

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The colour the customer wanted was periwinkle. Eek! I have a bad history with that colour! In the late ’90s, I painted my kitchen walls with a way too bright, pukey, and ugly shade of periwinkle, then added a matching wallpaper border…ugh! I was struggling to make ends meet and couldn’t afford to repaint or repaper, so I put up with it for two years. With this custom project, I was determined to finally get the shade right and overcome my periwinkle phobia.

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Here she is, beautiful as can be in periwinkle. The mirrors were taken out by the customer so I could easily paint the frames. The top was refinished in Minwax’s Walnut and Classic Gray. When the customer picked up the piece today, she couldn’t stop hugging me. I took that as a positive! 😉 I have to say that I may have rekindled my love for periwinkle. Not so bad for a first custom job!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Happy painting, everyone!

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