Tuesday, August 13, 2013

ASCP Graphite Serpentine Chest of Drawers: Lilyfield Life


I was about to say Good Morning but it's now just past midday - where has the day slipped away to? I am feeling a little stressed at the moment with my to do list - and one very complicated sewing project and a big old French desk to restore, I woke at 3:30 this morning tossing and turning trying to work out how to customise the dress to fit my daughter who is size 10 height and shoulders but size 7 around the waist. Luckily our brains are quite creative at this early time and I came up with a plan to make her not be swamped in it. I did take some time for myself this morning to do a work out with a trainer and it was fantastic to get back into lifting some free weights. I love weight lifting so much and I'm not sure why I haven't keep up with it these last few years. I'm sure my quads and pecs with feel it tomorrow but I'm so glad I went and didn't put it off because I was busy. Not making myself a priority is what got me unfit and overweight in the first place.

Anyway before I start sewing again (and gathering 7 metres of tulle for the lining ruffle of my daughter's Holy Communion dress) I thought I'd share with you a piece of furniture that I have just finished. This is such a beautiful chest of drawers and it was such a pleasure to paint with it's serpentine curves and pretty lines. I have wanted to paint a chest of drawers in ASCP Graphite for a while and this beautiful piece of furniture was the perfect candidate. I think it is very stately now.


This chest of drawers is made by Burgess, one of Australia's prestige furniture makers. It had been brought to Sydney from Armidale by a guy who lives in the next suburb to me. It had been residing in a stately old homestead on a country property.  The finish was a red lacquered varnish that was quite brittle and dated. I think with its new paint job, it looks beautiful once more.


I am a big fan of curves and French style furniture  The extra effort that has gone into manufacturing pieces like this is so worth it. The drawers are on runners and are dovetailed.   I misplaced one part of one handles (thanks for your comments yesterday on my frustrations) but I found some matching handles that I had taken off another dresser so it all worked out well in the end.  The black drop handles with their hints of gold look beautiful against the charcoal black of ASCP Graphite.

the specks on the dresser are just dust - removed now.
I fully stripped this chest of drawers with my orbital sander as the original finish was scratched and brittle. Taking the extra time is always worth it for a good finish.  



The little bits and pieces on the dresser are some of my favourite pieces at the moment. My gelungan that I bought last year in Bali and painted, a candlestick from The Works in Melbourne and some old French keys. 


and of course the drawing I did on a chalkboard. I still really love this piece of art based on Lillian Bassman's photograph. I have plans to do some more drawings when I find the time. Don't hold your breathe!


This piece is for sale, please contact me for details.

and because we all love a good before and after photo session...


cheers Fiona

37 comments:

  1. i am so smitten with this piece!!! LOVE! love those curves and the color is perfect!

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    1. Thanks Cassie – I knew you’d like this one – just your colour and boldness xx

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  2. Stunning! they turned out beautifully Fiona, and good luck with the sewing. Your daughter will look beautiful
    Beth

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    1. thanks Beth - I am thrilled with the drawers and hoping the dress is finished tomorrow so I'm not up late handstitching the hem the night before
      cheers Fiona

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  3. This is such a gorgeous piece and love the elegance it has in the dark color!

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    1. thanks Reeves - I was glad to be able to do this piece justice

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  4. hi Fiona, firstly thank you so much for your advice yesterday. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into answering me and also how generously you share your knowledge. This chest of drawers is so beautiful , I love the colour you have chosen. No wonder your blog is my favourite!

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    1. thanks Adele -happy to help any time. Hope you got it sorted
      Fiona x

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  5. It is really lovely Fiona.I love the colour you have chosen-love dee x

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    1. Thanks Dee, I love this piece also. Graphite is gorgeous on it.
      Hope you are well
      Fiona

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  6. Love the colour Fiona. Any suggestions or recommendations for / against homemade chalk paint? Cheers K

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    1. Funny you should ask that Karen, I am formulating a blog post at the moment about it. I also use homemade chalk paint a lot (have been doing for 2 years now) . it is much easier to use in light colours - darker colours it's a bit more tricky when you sand to get rid of the white spots. it's way cheaper, same finish but more work (lots more sanding).

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    2. Just noticed this as I was scrolling down. I use a dark coloured additive and it takes away pain of the white spots. It also makes the colour stay true, even deepens it a little. Hope that helps :)

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    3. That is fantastic news. I haven't actually used chalk paint yet and didn't want to outlay a big cost until I have practised. Also am not able to buy it locally. I'll take extra time with the prep and wait for your homemade chalk paint blog. K

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  7. Gorgeous! I love your blog Fiona. I'm in WA and have just started doing furniture make overs. Thanks for all the tips. Great photography as well!
    ps. What kind of orbital sander do you use?
    - Ange

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  8. Replies
    1. thanks so much, yes graphite is a favourite

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    1. oh thanks and the feeling is mutual Sandy xx

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  10. I just found your blog. I love this chest and what you did with it! It's beautiful. I wish I had more time in my life to refinish furniture. I would do it for a living!

    Becky

    I've just added your blog to my blogroll! Would you consider adding me back? :o)

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    1. I am doing it half half for a living - sandwiched in between my other business consulting work etc. I just don't watch tv much. it makes a big difference! thanks for the blog love. will check out yours later tonight
      cheers Fiona

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  11. Hi Fiona, It's beautiful! I've been looking forward to seeing a piece in Graphite, I have a large library style bookcase I was thinking of doing in either Graphite or Navy. But need to work up some energy to tackle it ;) Great job. Jo x

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    1. your bookcase sounds beautiful -it would look beautiful in graphite I am sure. I know what you mean about the energy - I'm trashed at the moment! have a lovely week
      Fiona x

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  12. Gorgeous as always, love The colour and shape. I don't know how you part with all those beautiful pieces.

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  13. You know when you see something amazing, and you just "gulp" on the inside? Well that's how I felt when I saw your drawers! Glad you showed the before photo - what a contrast! Loving the deep colour you painted it. Wish I had a need (and the space) for a another chest of drawers!

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  14. Fiona,
    Well done with the Graphite! Perfect choice for that piece. And no glitches with the waxing? The finish looks stunning!
    Robin

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  15. Beautiful!! Can I ask you if you paint in drawers? The sides, inside etc? Or line the drawers? I haven't done, because I always thought that paint could much up the way the drawers slide. But noticed people doing it and just wondered... Thanks :)

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    1. Hi Catherine – I am totally opposed to painting inside or the sides of drawers. I really hate it. I leave the drawers plain - if it doesn’t look good (marks etc) I just line with wrapping paper (not even stuck down). Just the edges folded under. I paint the front and about 1.5cm down the side (over the dovetail joins basically). So if the drawer is not properly closed, you don’t see the raw wood. I will often sand down then wax the sides so they slide more smoothly.
      I especially hate when people mod podge inside drawers- the glue will eventually disintegrate and leave a mess.
      Cheers Fiona

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  16. Simple is often the most beautiful. I love the before and after shot and have pinned it to my "painted furniture board." Good vision nicely executed.

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  17. oh, wow! I love this dresser! Graphite is one of my favorite colors, and it looks great on that piece! And the chalkboard art? Oh my! Gorgeous! Great job!

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  18. Gorgeous! I love the dresser and how you paired it with that drawing.
    Sara

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  19. SUch a gorgeous dresser! Love the black! If you get a chance, please link up to my linky party going on now: http://suburbsmama.blogspot.com/2013/08/sunday-linky-21.html

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  20. BEAUTY ~ I'm lovin' graphite... such a gorgeous color! I'm featuring it in this week's Power of Paint Party.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! (Sorry if you have trouble commenting, I'm trying to sort it out)