Thursday, April 14, 2011


Okay...I know I already posted today but I just had to show you this fabulous antique that I painted for my booth at A & J's. I found it in Denver for a song. It was missing a shelf but other than that, it was in perfect condition!! The carving was beautiful and I had a plan....PAINT IT!! I know some of you are cringing, but decorating is an artform. It is the expression of what human beings find beautiful and my version of this piece at it's best was being painted. It screamed for it!! When I brought it home I realized that it smelled quite a bit like smoke, so I dipped a rag in 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water and saturated all surfaces and let dry. Then I repeated it twice more. Works like a charm. Here is the before piece...
Bear with me on the photos of this piece. I wanted to show all of the detailing and the photos don't even do it justice.
Basically I put two messy coats of off white Behr paint and primer in one. I picked it up off of the oops rack at Home Depot. Got a quart for $1.00.
Wanted to show you how well that just the first coat covers. It is a great product. This is in a satin finish.

First coat. Look at the detailing already coming out on this piece. I love it! When you are painting an antique, you really just have to jump in! You can't hesitate and overthink it. I gave this piece new life...just watch.

This was with the second coat. I left it messy. I wanted it to have some character. I didn't want it perfect like factory. Older paints performed differently than today's products and I wanted it to look like it came from my Grandmother's house.

This is the corner detailing with the second coat applied. This is how I left it. This is the messy look I was talking about. You can see brush strokes and some of the wood showing through.

I let it dry about 20 minutes. No kidding. This product is very thick and dries so fast. It was even snowing and wet today. This is what the 3X sanding does for the cabinet. One or two swipes and it takes off a generous amount of the paint.
Here are more photos of the detailing with the sanding done.
More of the detailing as I kept sanding. With every time I use the sandpaper I get more confident on a piece so I always have to go back where I started and take off a little more. This was a medium distress. I focused on corners and detailing.

This is how the detailing ended up after two messy coats of paint and the 3X brand sand paper. I love it!

The difference between the distressed side on the RIGHT and the side not yet distressed (LEFT)

This is the distress on the drawer. Look at the corner. I worked from the edges down and across and then just randomly sanded on the drawer's surface.

More detailing on the legs. I am sorry for all the pics, but it is important that you see it up close. The far away photos just don't do it justice.

More of the detailing. This is just a medium distress, but the piece could have taken a heavier distress. It had enough lines and character. I just wanted to make it more formal. If a piece is too distressed it turns sort of country. You have to be careful and know how much paint you want to remove before you start.

A closer look at the detailing on the finished piece. I didn't put a satin polycrylic over this because it will allow the piece to grow with use. Every nick and scratch will become a part of the character of the piece.
Another look at the piece from a different angle. I painted the back as well and I distressed the legs and sides to match the front.
This is the after shot of the piece after it was completely finished. I put it in my booth at A & J's this afternoon and it sold in 30 minutes. That really is a record! I didn't even set my purse down when I got home before the phone was ringing and it was Susan at the front desk telling me it had sold.  I had trouble parting with it myself because it turned out so beautiful. This is encouragement for those of you who think you don't like antiques. Look at how wonderful this piece looks and it was a full on antique piece. Take courage and paint! You are honoring the piece by allowing it to have a new look and a new life. Here is another look at the before and after.
I got this piece on craigslist, gave it a new life and now a new home. Happy Thrifting! XOXO the thrift addict.

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