|PIN IT for future reference|
I love it when a project goes to plan and the piece of furniture gives you no grief. Almost every piece of furniture I paint has something that makes it difficult: maybe it bleeds, or the drawers need sanding down to make them slide smoothly or I can't get one of the handles off. This piece however was an absolute dream to work with.
This English oak dressing table was looking a little worse for wear when I bought it. There was a large split in the timber top and lots of water marks. I decided to remove the top which was easier than I thought as there was no glue, just big old screws. I then sanded down the edges and re glued, clamped and used metal melding plates to rejoin it. There is a slight split at the end but most of the top is perfectly joined again. I then sanded it all smooth removing all the old varnish completely. Because the oak was very dry, I knew it would be a good candidate for limewashing.
I forgot to take a before photo but I do have just the one poor old photo - taken once I had rejoined the top and sanded all the old varnish off the top. You can see the original finish on the backing board. I can tell you that that was an absolutely paint to hand sand.
The most important thing to remember when limewashing is that you need raw timber ... so that means getting off every last piece of varnish. Do not be tempted to skimp on this step, otherwise the old varnish will stop the limewash getting into the timber grain and you will be left with a patchy streaky mess.
Once I had sanded the piece down and cleaned it, I used watered down white chalk paint and brushed it on evenly. Working quickly, I brushed on, then wiped off. You want to make sure your watery paint is evenly absorbed into the raw timber. Once you are happy with how pale the timber is, let the piece dry. Once it was dry, I then further enhanced the timber grain with the application of white wax. This will also seal the timber and give your piece a nice sheen when you buff and make it very smooth to touch.
How fantastic does it all look.
And those gorgeous old handles.
If you are interested in learning how to lime wash also read this blog post I wrote a few years ago.
and also pin the graphic below (or the one at the top) so you can find this article again easily.
have a lovely day