Tuesday, August 23, 2016

An Antique Oak Dresser in Blue

I'm determined to get caught up on my backlog of blog posts today! For those of you who follow me on other social media, some of this content will be a repeat. For those of you who only follow the blog- Today is your lucky day!!!

I bought this sweet c.1900 solid oak dresser as part of a group from a gal out in the country in Columbia, CT. It is SUCH a pretty drive between my house and hers and I have to say, that is one of my favorite parts of the job. Connecticut is a gorgeous place in every season, and the drives to pick up furniture are always a treat. The drives to deliver furniture, on the other hand, are white knuckle torture sessions as I imagine every possible thing that could go wrong before I get the furniture safely inside the client's house.

           So I knew as soon as I saw this dresser and mirror that I wanted to paint it blue. I mixed up a custom medium blue with a hint of duck egg and highlighted the raised carving on the mirror with a lighter shade. I was so pleased with how nicely the top sanded out, a hundred years of use and now it looks brand new once more. I stained it a honey color and sealed it. I opted to keep the original stamped brass drawer pulls because they're funky and silly and wonderfully Art Nouveau.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Solid Oak Dresser and Mirror in Blue

Can I whine for a minute or two guys and gals? Will you indulge me?
My teeth hurt SO MUCH. I had a broken wisdom tooth that I was actively ignoring, and ignoring and ignoring. And then a dentist told me I needed a double root canal, but I ignored it, cause it didn't hurt and who was $6,000 sitting around to throw at a miserable experience where someone claws at your mouth and tries to murder you via pokey metal instruments for several hours. 
And now both the wisdom tooth and the two molars are screaming at me. I am in.so.much.pain.
And my truck broke on Saturday. I *think* it needs new brakes, buuuuuuut it might also need something else since the grinding noise continues even when I'm not braking. 
Needless to say I'm feeling very sorry for myself. I can't even sip my coffee without lightening jabs of cold white pain. Yay. 

The only way I think I'll ever be able to afford this is to sell all my antiques. The collection I've put together for a decade, the things that I found that were good and good deals (because I could never afford them if they were full price). 

Anyway, here's a dresser. It's a nice dresser. It's solid oak. It comes with a matching mirror. Probably one of you should buy it to help fund my dental torture. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Dresser with Jelly Fish

Ack! I'm sorry, I've been lazy and not posting nearly enough!! I've got a backlog of about seven pieces of furniture to blog about! Pro-tip, when I'm this lazy I still post my new projects on all my other social media fronts as I finish them, so if you want to stay in the loop, be sure to follow me on one of these



Fair warning- I swear a lot on my twitter page.

So back to business. Here's a great solid maple vintage dresser that I picked up from the ReStore in Cromwell last week. That place is fast becoming my FAVORITE furniture source!!

It's a fabulous piece of furniture in great condition, but was a little ho-hum. I refinished the top, painted the case, and then to add a little zip, I hand painted jelly fish swooshing across it.
I've got a new technique for painting detail work on furniture. I've found that by using highly waterlogged acrylic paint I can get a watercolor effect. I paint directly onto the painted ground, then distress the whole thing, then seal it with wax. It's just as durable as the rest of the painted surface!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Vintage Maple Dresser in Yellow

Ready for a fall preview? I am! Pottery Barn put out their Halloween sneak peek this week, and I've already poured through page after page of pumpkin-y goodness. I've got three candles burning on my desk right now: Caramel Apple, Rustic Apple, and Farmhouse Pumpkin, and I'm already dreaming of sweater shopping. It'll be fall before we know it, which is fine by me.

              I picked up this sweet vintage maple dresser at the flea market on Sunday morning and set to work on it right away. It's quite a large piece, both tall and wide, and offers considerable storage in its big deep drawers. For me its greatest charm is in the oversized bracket feet, they're sweet as can be! Often these mid 20th century dressers have smaller, plainer ogee feet, so these bracket feet are a standout- handsome and playful. And with that playful theme in mind, I painted the case in a warm medium yellow, not as bold as a mustard, not as simple as a butter. I kept the original turned drawer pulls, and refinished the top in a classic english chestnut shade. The entire piece is rock maple throughout and not surprisingly and it's nice and solid.

A Vintage Maple Desk in Pearl Gray

My home is a study in earth tones, primarily shades of ochre, terra-cotta, and olive, and I love it that way. I've gravitated towards those warm, deeply saturated hues for most of my adult life, and since they're not particularly popular and sell poorly, refinishing furniture for my house is often the only time I'm able to paint with those colors, an opportunity I always treasure.

          That being said, sometimes I end up refinishing a piece of furniture so enchanting and so far outside my own color scheme I want to burn my house to the ground and start from scratch with an entirely new scheme. This desk is just such a temptingly wicked piece. There is no gray in my house, it would stick out like a sore thumb, but ye gods I lust for this desk. Somewhere, somehow, I have some last store of self control, which I now must call upon. I will sell this desk, one of you will own this beauty.

              The piece started as a fairly mundane vintage solid rock maple executive style desk by Pennsylvania House. Though wonderfully built and well preserved, it was dark, dreary, and dare I say, very sticky for some reason. I wanted to breath new life into the piece, fresh and airy and elegant as possible, so I painted it in a new custom mixed shade of the palest gray, Mother of Pearl. To further the iridescent effect I distressed and sanded the painted surface and then sealed it with a custom burnt sienna toned wax. I don't often use wax tones other than my typical dark walnut shade, but I am blown away by how superb the result was on this gray. I'll definitely be using this technique again!
              The ho-hum brass Chippendale pulls were holding the desk back badly, so I removed them, filled the old holes, and replaced them with re-colored salvaged brass pulls, the silver giving the desk a tone on tone sophistication that plays up the ornate detail of the pulls against the soft sheen of the pearl gray paint. I refinished the solid maple top in a pale honey color. It's flawless and beautifully figured. I know I've basically just written a love letter to this desk. Apologies but I'm obsessed with it.