Sunday, September 13, 2015

An Oak Sideboard in Maple Leaves

This sideboard was given to me by a friend as he was cleaning out some storage and didn't ned it. It's a nice vintage solid oak chest of drawers made by the Otter Creek company of Vermont. I ignored it for about a month as I worked on other more exciting things, but I finally got to it yesterday. Now clearly the oak (solid oak top sides and drawer fronts!!?) is the star of the show, and it would have been a sin to paint it. I was worried that only refinishing all the wood, however, would make it into a big boring brown box. I decided to think outside said box and looked to moth nature for inspiration. We've got huge maple trees all over the property and their juuuuuust starting to drop their leaves. I set dozens out across the top, side, and drawer fronts and arranged them until I was pleased with the effect.
Next I traced each leaf in pencil on the freshly sanded oak. I hand painted each one in three shades of yellow, then a top coat of oil based gold. I then sanded the top coat back so give the leaves a shimmery distressed gold leaf effect. I stained the entire piece, and then sealed it. The piece never had drawer pulls and I decided against adding them to keep the clean sleek lines. I felt like it was squatting too low to the ground so I also raised it up and added salvaged antique casters. I'm thrilled with how it turned out, it practically glows!

Deciding which leaves to use and where to place them. There are 27 leaves on the sideboard, each one is unique. 

First coat of paint on the leaves. I decided after the first coat that there were too many on the top and it was crowded, so i sanded about half of them off. 

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