This piece breaks quite a few of my 'paint or don't paint' rules. It's very early, I'd say about 1830-1855, it's handmade, as evidenced by the fact that the original maker signed his initials twice in pencil, once on the underside of the top, and once on the bottom of the beautifully made drawer. But I had no doubt that I would paint it nonetheless, for several reasons- first, there's a good chance that this piece was painted originally, in face I saw traces of a deep red wash on the underside. Second and related, it was no longer painted. I'd wager this sweet little washstand was on something like its fifth surface, and sometime about 100 years ago it had been lye dipped. So the surface retains no historic importance or original integrity. Finally, and probably the reason I paid a whopping $10 for this beauty, it had a large shrinkage crack on the top. The crack was repairable, but if I was already glueing and clamping, I might as well paint too.
And with all that in mind, I selected a pale smoky blue that I've named 'Mist'. Totally unrelated but 'The Mist' is one of my favorite scary movies. Have you seen it? It's based on a Stephen King book and it's super scary. Probably my second fav scary movie after 'The Mothman Prophecies', which I also highly recommend.
But back to the topic at hand, I also happen to have on hand a spectacular antique pitcher and bowl set that looks lovely with it. I'll be selling them together.