Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Carved "Antique" French Style Cabinet


I bought this beautiful cabinet at auction months and months ago. I have be so indecisive about how to paint it. Initially I painted it bright white but thought it looked too new and clean for that beautiful shape. I then thought I would paint it how I painted the coat hooks that i made from the top part of the cabinet. However once I had started painting it Duck Egg Blue I thought how it really limited the people who may purchase it. While I think it would look stunning I think it would be very limited in whose house it could live. Sometimes it's not about the art but about making furniture that sells relatively quickly. Unfortunately.


Anyway I then decided to paint it in ASCP Old White with dark wax for antiquing. the inside is Duck Egg Blue for a pop of contrasting colour.



The cabinet is not vintage but comes from probably the last 30 years and was made in Australia.  I wanted it to look old and something that may have come from France. The dark wax is perfect for this. 



Using dark wax to antique this is a big job. It also didn't help that the cabinet sat for about three months in my bedroom half finished while I came to terms with how it was progressing. Not that I'm unhappy with how it is, I just got busy with more pressing pieces and also probably because I'm not absolutely in love with using dark wax that I kept putting it off and off. Yesterday my nephew came and helped me with some other work and then looked after my kids while I finished it.


The light in my bedroom in the late afternoon is not the best for photos in this particular spot as there is a ray down the front of the cabinet that makes the colour look different - see on the RHS door. it looks very pale but it's just the sunlight. I didn't have time to take more photos this morning.

Here are a couple of progress shots. It started out badly discoloured pine with a bookshelf hutch on top. Can you believe I forgot t take a photo with the hutch on top but here is the base.


I then painted it bright white but the pine bled and bled even with Zinsser.


The side panels are amazing also.


So I sealed the pine bleeding and looked at different colour options.
I would have loved it like this: but would it have sold? too late now...



oh well it is finished now and for sale. The top is super smooth and glossy. I spent ages getting a beautiful surface, lots of buffing.

If you are interested in purchasing or viewing this, please let me know.

If you've had a piece that you are painting that you can't make up your mind on can you leave a comment so I feel a bit better about how long this one has taken me!

cheers Fiona



Sharing at Power of Paint

25 comments:

  1. Fiona!! this looks time consuming but what a beautiful finish. It is one of the most beautiful cabinets I've ever seen. Worth all your hard work

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    1. thank you Adele - yes it was so much work! but i lvoe how it turned out. you are very kind
      Fiona

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  2. wow- look at those gorgeous details!!! what a unique piece!

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    1. thanks Cassie - such a unique piece - i've never seen anything like it at all.

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  3. Really great piece - is this the style Australia was producing while no. america wrestled with that monstrously heavy "carved" (perhaps molded mdf??) so-called Spanish Style? OMG my credibility as a designer is undermined by just being alive during that horrible period!

    Now to make you feel better: my fav Canadian carpenter-designer-upcycler-refinisher-blogger is Kristy at 4theloveofwood.blogspot.ca. I just marvel at her talent, I mean "how could I ever do that?" Then her partner posted on her sight, going on about how she will work and do and redo until she is happy, and just doesn't sweat it while it sits around acting discarded. It's not about speed - she works on what is ready to be worked on, and lets what isn't just stew for a while.

    Just like you did with your cabinet!

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    1. It is absolutely gorgeous. I love the detail! I often have trouble on deciding what colour a piece should be but you can never go wrong with Old White.

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    2. hi Angela - i've never seen anything like this so not sure we can escape spanish style tag also. LOL.
      I love Kristy at 4theloveofwood also. she is very talented isnt she.
      so many clever people in the world isnt there.
      thanks for your lovely comment and taking the time
      Fiona x

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    3. thank you - yes Old White is very classical isnt it.

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  4. I really like the dark wax on it - it's made the carving stand out more I think. LOVE the pop of duck egg blue when you open the cupboard doors - perfect! I have a small balinese-timbered plain little side table with drawers that I've painted a putty colour but am changing my mind to a sunny, warm yellow, however I've left it too long and the horrid stain is seeping through. Ugh - I've got my work cut out for me!

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    1. thanks Petra - OMG I went back and forth and back and forth on this one. go the zinsser on your stain -it's the only way
      good luck with it
      Fiona

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  5. It looks gorgeous and I love how the dark wax really brings out the details. I agree that dark wax is time consuming but worth the effort in the long run!

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    1. thank you - i think this piece really needed the dark wax to make it authentic.
      Fiona x

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  6. Oh this piece is spectacular, if you didn't live in Australia, I would definitely bid on it. It is so beautiful, I love the detail work and it is such a unique piece. You have done a beautiful job with it. I hope it goes to a very appreciative owner! I have enjoyed it from afar!!

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    1. thank you Deanna, Much appreciated. I am thrilled with it and if it doesn't sell quickly i think that's okay as I'm enjoying it next to my bed.

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  7. It's not pine. It's mahogany. Which is why it bled. Mahogany is infamous for that. You always have to seal it first. I use a shellac sealer. It goes on clear and dries quickly. That being said, you did a fabulous job. It's a beautiful piece and that dark wax adds a ton of dimension to the finish. Very nice.

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    1. Hi Beth – I’m not 100% sure it is Mahogany but not that it matters now as all painted. I did seal with shellac based primer (two coats) – it eventually stopped bleeding. Thanks for your informative comment
      Hope you are having a lovely weekend
      Fiona

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  8. That piece is gorgeous! Just love what you did with it.

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    1. thanks Sandy - it was a long and indecisive process

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  9. Love old white and dark wax. Beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Paula – it’s very effective isn’t it. I usually prefer a cleaner look but felt this piece needed to be antiqued.

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  10. You did a terrific job on this piece. I'm a bit cautious about using dark wax but if I can get results like you got, I'm willing to try it. Thanks for the inspiration. Ann Marie @ Iris Abbey
    https://www.facebook.com/irisabbeyfurniture

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    1. definitely try it! you might like to check out my guide to dark wax
      http://www.lilyfieldlife.com/2013/06/how-to-antique-furniture-using-dark-wax.html
      thanks Fiona

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  11. Oh... I love how you painted it!! Featuring it in this week's Power of Paint Party Spotlight

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    1. thrilled MaryAnn to be featured
      thank you so very much
      Fiona

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  12. Mary-Beth PattersonMarch 20, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    I absolutely LOVE this cabinet. Unfortunately the cabinet I am to transform is lacking all those gorgeous details!!! This is my dilemma. Have a new bathroom vanity...in white. Long story...wanted gray with black glaze...not available so pushed it out of my head. Granite installed. Looks more gray and much too dark against the stark white cabinet and marble-like porcelain tile. Want to do an antiquing finish. Was considering to paint a light gray first then go over with a dark glaze. As I said not a lot of nooks and crannies to highlight with glaze. Would love to hear what products you suggest to acquire a similar finish to your masterpiece! Thanks.

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