Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hidden Beauty Revealed

Sometimes life just knocks you around. Kind of like this dresser in my daughter's room for her entire childhood. It suffered a lot of damage but is finally getting the new beautiful life it deserves. There was just a lot of hard work first.

Can you relate?

Here's where we started:

It has beautiful lines but it isn't anything special...yet.

The top of this piece was the problem. I wanted to strip it down, restain, and wax it. Remember what my inspiration piece looked like?
Photo from Miss Mustard Seed's website
I started off sanding but moved on to scraping and chipping the shellac off with a variety of tools. If I'm being honest a flat head screwdriver was the thing that worked the best. I was working on this piece upstairs and didn't want to use harsh chemicals. I listened to a series of philosophy lectures while I did this. 'Cause I'm all weird like that. Working on a project alone is my "happy place."



I was so excited when I finished. The crusty old shellac was really holding the beauty of this top back.


Okay, I was beside myself when I wiped on the first coat of stain. Minwax Sedona Red. How gorgeous is that? I stopped midway so you could see the difference.


But the real excitement came when I finished painting the bottom and stepped back to look at it.


 On to the drawers which were to be a lovely French blue. The handles got cleaned with dish soap and a toothbrush and were set aside to dry.


I used so much less chalk paint on this piece than I did on that bookcase on the previous posts! I mixed the paint up 3 times. Here I mixed 1 batch up and finished the top with plenty of paint left. I took out about a cup and added blue acrylic paint for tint.


I brushed on two coats and waited for it to dry


 For some reason on the top if this one drawer the paint crackled. What a charming happy accident!


While I waited for the paint on the drawers to dry I set about waxing and aging. In the pictures below you can see the before and after.



After waxing and aging the entire dresser I reattached the hardware. The drawers turned out a shade or two darker than I would have liked but overall I am just thrilled with it!


Let's go over the chalk paint technique once more:

Paint your piece with chalk paint. No sanding or priming required!
When it's dry wax it with clear wax.  Work it into the paint.
Buff.
Sand it in places where you want to "age" it: corners, around handles, edges.
Brush on aging wax making sure to get into all the cracks and crevices. 
Buff again.



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