I've recently sourced some beautiful antique french pieces. At first I hesitated buying this beautiful display cabinet only because I wasn't sure if I could be trusted with all that lovely old glass and the very fragile mirror at the back of the cabinet. The mirror is only a few millimeters thick and is glues onto ply at the back as is the case with many antiques. However I decided it was too beautiful to pass up and worth the risk. Luckily I didn't break any of it.
I'm so glad to have been able to give this lovely piece a Lilyfield Life makeover.
It was timber and wasn't in terrible condition. There was some evidence of borer but that's pretty much to be expected in these very old imported pieces. The borer had been chemically treated and there was a little lingering smell so I cleaned the cabinet thoroughly. Timber that has been chemically treated can be a hassle to paint white so I decided this piece needed to be moody ASCP Graphite. A great backdrop to whatever would be displayed inside.
Each pane of glass is bevelled edged and so beautiful. The huge door is just divine and I was terrified of breaking it. While I was working on it, I had an antiques dealer come to the house and he was amazed by this piece, it's age and good condition. He said I sold it for an absolute bargain but that's fine by me. Good value is what I'm all about.
I had a customer Kathy who I knew was looking for a display cabinet for her shop, Kate Devine, in Newcastle so I sent her a photo, dimensions and pricing and she said Yes Please!
Below you can see the graphite unwaxed and how it changes depth and colour once you apply the wax. You can also see that I didn't tape the glass or anything when I painted - I just painted right over the edges and then when the paint was dry, I carefully used a razor blade to scrap off the paint. This is very easy to do with chalk paint.
The cabinet had glass shelves but the brackets were just wonky screws so I bought Kathy some more secure brackets but I didn't install them as I wasn't sure at what height she wanted the shelves. I also replaced the dodgy screw that was being used as a handle with a pretty crystal knob.
Oh I think this piece is so pretty!
If I owned a shop I'd keep it myself. Oh wait, if I had a shop it would be a painted furniture shop so I would be selling it anyway :)
I was a bit worried about the piece being transported to Newcastle considering how fragile the glass and mirror are but my fears were allayed when Kathy's husband turned up - he's a courier and he came very prepared!
I love seeing how Kathy is using it in Kate Devine. I'm definitely going to have to check out her beautiful shop when I'm next in Newcastle.
Another beautiful piece of furniture that I've had the pleasure to work on. I'm so honoured to be part of this one's history. I know that sounds funny but it's honestly how I feel about some old pieces.