Friday, November 29, 2013

Painting a vintage bookcase white step by step

Well the computer geeks came (GEEKS2U) and assessed our computer and all the other electronic devices as "non functional" but I did find that my photos are all backed up and saved so I'm relieved about that. I will be happy once we have a new desktop computer that I can work properly from. Thanks for your kind words this last week. 
I'm back. Phew!

I am always on the lookout for sweet vintage furniture that is in need of the magic that is white paint. When I spotted this lovely ornately shaped bookcase cabinet on Ebay a few months ago I decided to buy it even though it was located in Sutherland (and not in my 10km local radius that I usually search under).  I arranged to pick it up one morning and set off after school drop off but after 40 minutes crawling in traffic and still within 1 km from my house I cancelled the pickup. The lady then was heading away for several weeks on holidays and agreed to hold it for me.When she got back I drove down to the Shire one evening after the kids were in bed to pick it up. Luckily I was able to kill two birds with one stone as a lovely blog reader had some furniture to give me and she was located in Gymea and I managed to fit both pieces in the car so it was worth the trip!

I thought you might to see the evolution of a paint job. There is always a stage when you are painting that it looks terrible and you might wonder what you have started. This is a stage that lots of people give up at and think that they can't paint furniture. But you can! Have confidence! Don't stop. You just need to push through the disconcerting part and keep going.

Sand your piece lightly. Your aim is not to remove the previous finish (unless it is flaky) but just lightly scuff the previous surface. If you use Zinsser Primer or a Chalk Paint then you can often skip this step. I think it only takes an extra 5-10 minutes to sand using a sanding sponge that I usually always sand my pieces. Clean your piece well. Dust, grease and paint don't mix. I just use a damp cloth to clean unless there is greasy residue. If there is I wipe the piece down with Diggers Wax and Grease Remover. This product is fantastic as a pre-painting cleaner and allows the paint to adhere to paint very well. It can be used on all sorts of surfaces including previously painted pieces. If I had an air compressor I would definitely use the air attachment to clean the piece. For this piece I actually vacuumed it as well as wiped it down.

Even though I used chalk paint I gave my piece two coats of Zinsser primer. For this piece there was no danger of bleed through so I used water based Zinsser Bulls Eye 123. I save the more expensive shellac based Zinsser for pieces that bleed. You may wonder why I decided to prime even though I was planning to paint the piece in Chalk Paint. Because the wood was quite a dark orange colour and I like full coverage and was using a white with not a lot of tint in it I would need 4-5 coats of paint. Long ago I decided that when I'm painting white that two of the coats may as well be primer and then 2-3 of them can be the white paint. The photo below is after the primer. I actually quite like the look at this stage in the photo but in real life it looks quite messy.

Below I have done one coat of paint on top of the primer. You can see that it is starting to achieve full coverage but there are still patchy places. Keep on painting.

I didn't take a photo after it was fully painted but before I started distressing it. I had a hectic week and forgot this stage! I distressed this piece by hand using a medium grit sandpaper and also a sanding sponge. Always wait till your paint is dry before you start distressing. This is especially important with latex/acrylic paints as your paint is more prone to ripping / peeling than if you have used chalk paint. One of the biggest differences between regular paint and chalk paints (eg Annie Sloan Chalk Paint) is the way that it distresses. Chalk Paint is beautiful to use for a distressed shabby chic look. Once I have distressed a piece I dust off all the sanding residue and then make sure I am happy with the way it looks. Can you see the little distressed patch on the curved upper part of the cabinet below? It looks a little like a fly has landed on the cabinet. I didn't like this so I repainted that section again (I gave it a few coats so that for my final reveal of the cabinet this indented section is not distressed).

I waxed the cabinet to "set" the paint and protect it and to make it easy to keep clean.
Stage your piece and admire your hard work.

For this piece I didn't paint the inside of the cabinet, This timber is a nice contrast and is in relatively good condition. I do paint the top and sides of the doors and a strip along the base of the inside so that when the doors are shut you can't see glimpses of timber along the door line.  For more paint tutorials read here.

This little cabinet is now for sale. It's fantastic for a narrow hallway. Dimensions are 90cm wide by 30cm deep by 78 tall. Please email me if you are interested in inspecting it or for purchase.  I really love the shape of this piece. The lady who sold it to me said it holds heaps and heaps of books. I think the cupboard would be great for a couple of school bags also. Get them of the hall floor.

People ask me all the time where do I find such fantastic furniture? I can tell you that I'm a little obsessed and never stop looking for good vintage pieces. I have regular internet searches on eBay and other online auctions, I have several places that sell second hand furniture local to me that I pop into regularly weekly and I have a this blog that means lots of people approach me with pieces that they no longer want and either sell me or give them to me for free (thank you!) 

Hey, what can I say. I'm a furniture magnet :)

Have a great evening. I'm settling down with a glass of champagne. Time to relax.

Fiona xx

Paint: a mix of whites (Dulux Whisper White and ASCP Pure White)
Top Coat Wax: ASCP Clear Wax
Christmas Tree: Orange Grove Markets
burlap from Reverse Garbage
Christmas Reindeer ornament : Pashom stall, Orange Grove markets

Primer: Zinsser Bullseye 123
Corbels: second hand painted by me
Leatherbound Books: vintage , my mum
Silver Dish: my mum
Bird Door Wedge: Bed Bath n Table
Persian Rug: wedding present from wonderful friends who bought it in Iran

Sharing at Frugal Friday

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Lightning strike, Peonies and a Carved White Cabinet

For a while there, I thought I may never be blogging again :)

Our house was struck by lightning last Friday night and it wiped out all our electronic devices (TV, Tivo, Apple tv, modem router and my computer etc) Luckily we were all okay although it was very scary - such a loud noise, weird feeling and bright light. The neighbours across the road said it looked spectacular!  Great...

Anyway I have dragged out my mum's old computer and bought a new modem and finally am back online. I am pretty sure I've lost about 2 years of photos but have all my documents backed up and photos of the kids as babies. It's possible the more recent photos are in the Apple "cloud" but I'm not sure how to access that until we get a new Apple TV device.I've got a company comping tomorrow morning to assess all the damage for insurance and to try and rescue my photos off the old computer. It's been a trying week, I'm currently recruiting for a Social Media Admin for one of my clients and I've been assessing resumes on my husband's laptop sitting at my bedroom window accessing the internet from the neighbour's wifi across the road. Less than ideal conditions! It's good to back online even on my mum's old computer. I had nearly given her computer away, so glad I didn't get that organised!

Anyway onto some pretty white painted vintage furniture. I recently painted this sweet old cabinet with white chalk paint and love how it freshens it up and makes the carvings pop. 

This cabinet is very similar to the cabinet I inherited from my mother. I would never paint hers so it was nice to try my hand at this one. My cabinet has a lot of worm holes but overall the timber is in better condition than this one was. I think that's my mother and her penchant for oiling furniture regularly. It really pays off to take care of your furniture. Wood needs regular oiling and waxing to feed the timber and ensure it doesn't dry out.

This little cabinet had peeling veneer and the base plinth was loose so I removed the veneer from the base and sanded the timber underneath and used Liquid nails to secure the plinth. I then used two coats of Zinsser BIN to stop any bleed though) as I could tell that would definitely happen with this vintage piece.  I then gave the cabinet three coats of ASCP Pure White, I distressed it to bring out the details and waxed it or durability.

Just like the peonies, it's perfection - even with all it's imperfections. One of the things I like best about vintage furniture is all the little quirks and imperfections. A life fully lived.The other thing I love about painting furniture is recycling, reusing and reducing landfill. It really pains me that we live in such a throw away society. I love that I can contribute to reuse in a very small way. (and how fun is painting furniture anyway!)

This cabinet sold very quickly. Such a good functional piece as well as a spot of fresh beauty. I'm so pleased it's going to someone's home for another life.

Here it is before. 
Needing a lot of love from white paint.

Because the timber inside on the shelves was in a bad way I lined one shelf with wall paper and the other one I painted.

My peonies are fading fast but still beautiful.

Hopefully I can get back to uninterrupted painting soon. 

Hope you are all having a good day.
Fiona xx

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Retro Pineapple Lamp Makeover

Do you love a bit of pineapple d├ęcor?

This is a stunning lamp base that I found a few months ago. I was tempted to try and make my own lamp shade for it but in the end deferred to the talented team at Shady Designs who are located around the corner from me. They suggested this magnificent palm frond shade to complement the turquoise base.

This isn't a makeover in the strictest terms as I have done nothing to the actual lamp base except remove a tonne of dust but I did have the lamp professionally rewired and it's now tagged and safe. Thanks again to Lisa and Arif from Shady Designs who organised that for me.

I just love this lamp but it really needs to go live near the beach or in a funkier house than mine.  It's is for sale. It's going to make someone very happy.

If you are in the market for lampshades then you must check out Shady Designs when next in Rozelle/Lilyfield. Lisa started the business a few years ago and the business has grown and now Lisa's husband Arif has also joined the business. It's fantastic to see handmade businesses flourish and I am beyond happy to collaborate with Shady Designs for this project.

The lamp is just a fraction under 1m tall and weighs around 6kg so pickup from Lilyfield is preferable.

What do you think of the shade? My natural inclination is for something plainer but after having the lamp in my house for the weekend I think it can definitely carry this design and really needed something fabulous.

and fabulous it certainly is!

Fiona xx

Monday, November 18, 2013

Painted Turquoise Hall Table Makeover

Sometimes you just have to embrace colour and one of my favourite non-neutral colour for furniture (away from white, linen, putty, soft grey and black) is turquoise. I've done quote a few pieces over the years in this gorgeous part of the colour spectrum.  I think it's a gorgeous colour for furniture and while bright it goes with so many other colours that the piece will sit well in a room (well my house anyway!)

This sweet little mahogany table is rustic but sturdy. It would be great for a hall way or side table, perhaps even a bedside table. One single drawer that I painted ASCP Country Grey.  It seems a good colour to complement the custom mix turquoise.

Love the legs on this piece  and the whole rustic nature of it. Beautiful imperfections...

Dimensions are: 80cm wide, 67cm tall and 40cm deep. Email me if you need a pop of colour in your life.

While we are talking turquoise I thought you might like to see some other pieces I've painted in this colour (although not all the exact same colour - most of these are custom mixes, I don't think you can really go wrong with these shades)

This industrial sideboard was one of the first pieces I painted and got snapped up pretty quickly.

A lovely long console table

Atomic Drawers

this little chest of drawers

I'm sure there is more I've painted but, see, it's not all white on my paint brush!

What colour is your favourite piece of furniture? 
I'd love to hear.

Fiona xx

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Jarvi Armchair Makeover and Saturday's Vintage Treasure

Yesterday I was out all morning; first at a business consulting meeting, then to a sale where I picked up a couple of cute cabinets then to Balmain where a couple of pieces of my furniture are on consignment in a shop (D. Molineaux's Pop Up Shop, opposite the Town Hall pub). When I got home I was ready for some furniture renovation! I got busy with my paint brush and upholstery tools and supplies and refreshed a beautiful Jarvi Armchair. I love the look of these chairs and lounges and this one was in beautiful shape except for some slight wear to the timber and also the upholstery fabric needed replacing.

I decided to paint the timber in ASCP Graphite. I could have oiled it and left it but you have no idea how hard it is to sell brown wooden furniture. People just don't want it.  I did however want the timber to show through the paint and for the distressing to look soft and natural as though it had worn over the years.

The old upholstery was tacked AND stapled on and it took me an hour to remove it which is always the worst part of upholstering I find. Here is the before photo.

I was half tempted to just upholster over the original fabric but I thought that was just being lazy and I'm not very good at taking the easy way out.  So using my handy staple remover and pliers I stripped off the original fabric and shook out the dust and stuffing then put it all back together again, cut out the damask fabric using the old fabric as a guide and got stapling.

I had fun styling this just now next the beautiful carved cabinet that was my mum's. We are having a slow afternoon here today as my daughter has been vomiting since getting home from Little Athletics this morning and she and Phil are now having a sleep while my son and I potter, keeping the house quiet. Poor little girl. I hope she wakes better.

The chair is extremely comfortable to sit in and also looks good with a cushion.  Not just a show chair. It's for sale if you are interested.  Dimensions are 60cm deep, 58cm wide and approx 80cm from floor to top of the timber back. 

This morning my boy and I had a little wander around the school's car boot sale. I found a fabulous pair of matching silver serving tray dishes. $30 for the pair! They are heavy and well made. I didn't even try to barter as the old lady selling them was so lovely and even offered me some furniture that she is getting rid of. Nice people that you meet. 

I think these dishes will come in handy. Love them. The little handle works as a key and you can take it off and use the top as a dish also.

I love a vintage find on a Saturday.

Oh and here is my white cabinet in D Molineaux's window display!

and this little table

Have a great weekend
Fiona xx