Wednesday, October 9, 2013

3 Decades of Ugly Gone in a Day

I was thinking about this book case and the title of today's post. But actually it was ugly long before I was introduced to it. Maybe you needed to hear that today: that someone who has wounded you was that person before they knew you. That a situation was in disrepair before you came on the scene.

On a lighter note, a much lighter white one, I just wanted this piece to be different. I didn't care what color it was or how the hardware looked as long as it didn't look anything like this.

Have you ever just wanted something to be different? I am a great fan of change, I think it's exciting. But I could have smashed this furniture with a sledge hammer (actually that isn't true because it's the most indestructible thing I've ever seen) and it would have been "different." But would it have been better?


If you are making an important choice, make sure you are opting for improvement and not just a change. Even though I hated this item, when I made an honest assessment of it, it actually quite a few positive qualities: It was functional, sturdy, a lot of storage in little amount of floor space, etc. It was just grating on my style how ugly it was. So instead of throwing it out, I remade it.

Chalk paint is all the rage and at $35.00 a quart I was keen to make my own. It was unexpectedly simple. This piece was perfect to experiment on because I disliked it so. I'm getting around to redoing a French provincial dresser and didn't want to experiment on that. I wanted all the mistakes to be made with this piece. Here's how I did it.

I gathered supplies and did a little research online that scared me about using the Plaster of Paris. Read the instructions carefully! I wore gloves and a dust mask. And sunglasses. In the house. It rivaled my bee suit as a sexy ensemble.

I took the book case off the base and laid it flat to make it easier to work on.

Before I even started painting I used a can of spray paint on the hardware so it could thoroughly dry during the day. It was a drastic change!

Then on to the painting.

Chalk Paint Recipe:  3 parts paint
                                       1 part Plaster of Paris
                                       1 part water

I mixed it up as a cup of paint to 1/3 C. of water and 1/3 C of Plaster of Paris

The wonderful thing about chalk paint is that it can go right on the wood without priming or sanding.

I put 3 coats on this bookshelf. It was a big project and pretty much took me all day. The key to using chalk paint is the waxing over the paint after it dries. I went to the hardware store and picked up plain old Johnson's Wax. The kind in the can that our mothers use to put on floors. The smell gave me flashbacks.

Or maybe the room just wasn't ventilated well enough.

You cover the piece, let it dry to a haze and then buff it off with a soft cloth. Now generally for this look people use an aging wax to give it some character. I went VERY light on that because of how shiny the hardware looked when I put it back on. I can always add more later.

The last step is to sand as much or as little as you want to give it a worn look. You can buy an aging wax to use for this. I made my own with the paste wax and some stain.

Hmmm...maybe a little more aging and sanding...

That's better.

This entire process is very forgiving. And that is a much needed part of any restoration process...

1 comment:

  1. This looks fantastic! I have some ugly bookshelves that could definitely use this done them too!