Monday, November 23, 2015

An Antique Maple Stepback Cupboard

Funny thing about this sweet antique cupboard, when I purchased it I was told in no uncertain terms that it was not old, as in basically new. I was immediately suspicious of that claim. I could clearly see oxidation on the undersides of the drawers, and the construction and materials-solid maple- didn't at all seem recent. Finally, it was painted in a bright red oil paint, over the maple, and I could tell that wasn't original to the piece. If it was basically new, who would have bothered to paint it so recently, and in such a dated style.
             Once I got started on the piece I found the original furniture maker's label on the inside of the top drawer- "Leaven's Furniture Specialists, Boston".  Leaven's shut its doors shortly before WWII and was in it's heyday between about 1910 and 1925, so finally proof positive, this is indeed an antique.
              I painted the case in a custom mixed bright celery green, and the backboard in another custom color, Frosty Morning. I distressed the case because I liked the way the earlier red peeked through, swapped out the white enamel pulls for salvaged antique turned knobs, and the sealed the case in dark wax. I fully sanded the top of the lower section, which took foooooorever, but was absolutely worth it. A glorious slab of maple was hiding beneath that thick red paint.

A Vintage Cushman Maple Dresser in Cream

This handsome vintage solid maple dresser was brought to me by a client last week. It's Cushman brand, beautifully built and in lovely condition, but dated and tired looking. The client choose a simple cream for the case and we went with a darker tone to really play up the spectacular wood graining of the top. I kept the original brass pulls but recolored them to suit the new cream color. There is also a large matching mirror that I painted to match.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Fresh Federal Sideboard

This was a custom refinish project for a client, part of a set of mid 20th century mahogany pieces from G.Fox, which for you out of staters was our big fancy schmancy department store for generations in downtown Hartford. The set also includes a china hutch, which I'll be starting tomorrow, and a six chair dining set, which is already refinished and back in its home.

        I created a custom color for the client, the palest palest shade of green with a heavy dose of warmth to make it an earth tone. I sanded, stained, and sealed the old mahogany veneer top to make it shine with its original luster.

And here she is, all done!


An Ethan Allen Update

Carl the Furniture snagged this awesome solid rock maple Ethan Allen sideboard at auction. As soon as he offered it to me I snapped it straight up. A new client spotted it and I agreed to custom refinish it for her. We went with a satin black for the case, cottage red interior and english chestnut stain for the spectacular highly figured maple top. I replaced the pulls with brushed nickel cup pulls for the drawers and matching knobs for the doors.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Vintage Pine Dry Sink

A client brought me this little woe begotten vintage pine dry sink to see if anything could be done for it. The drawer runners were both broken, it had a weird piece of pressboard over the solid pine top and it was as dark and dreary as a piece of furniture can get.
       Luckily this client had a wonderful vision for the piece and wasn't willing to give up on it. We selected a bright coral-y, salmon-y, orange-y terra-cotta and I painted the interior in soft white to balance the exuberant exterior. I swapped the old pulls for turned wood ones stained to match the top. I removed the top pieces that compose the 'sink' to sand and seal the pine top, then put then reapplied the painted sink portion.
It's much much better now, if I don't say so myself!