Mondays are never easy. But the worst is the Monday after a week of vacation – you never know what’s going to hit you when you get slammed with a week’s worth of work. To give you a better idea, I found this video on youtube which pretty much sums it up 😀
Yup! That is exactly how my morning was when I went to the office yesterday. LOL. But on the bright side, being a very busy bee, I didn’t even know how the day passed, and even better, I caught up with all my work! YAY!
Now it is time to catch up with my blog posts, since I am behind schedule with that too. I know, I know…what can I say? My brain tends to shut down when on vacation, hence I forgot to write about my very first furniture painting project as I said I would. [Woman, you’re getting old! hehehe -Greg]
We found this guy at Put & Take, and he was a real castaway, as no one wanted to pick him up. Actually, he looked pretty handsome for something you’d find at Put & Take, but his shelves were warped and he had scratches all around. I guess that was the reason why no one bothered to take him home. But he looked good to me!
At the time, I didn’t have any experience with furniture painting. I mean, I painted small frames and things like that but never a big piece that would count as furniture. Therefore, I thought this could be the perfect opportunity to try furniture painting, as it was free. In a way, what did I have to lose, right?
First, I took the drawer and shelves out and gave the entire body a good cleaning with our vacuum cleaner. Then I wiped the body with a damp cheesecloth. Thus far, it felt pretty much the same as my smaller-scaled paint projects, as I always start with cleaning.
Meanwhile, I asked Greg if he could somehow save the shelves. This project was before we started blogging, so I only have two progress pictures of the entire project. But I will try to explain what he did to best of my ability: he soaked a big towel into hot water and wrapped it around the shelves. Then he left the shelves under the sun with some weight on them. He waited until the towels dried. He did all these steps several times. This whole thing was to warp the shelves the other way, so they would become normal. Although at some point I totally gave up on the shelves as I thought his ultra-genius un-warping method was going to ruin them all, to my surprise, the shelves turned out normal… I mean they were no longer warped! [in other words – I’m a super-genius! -Greg :D]
I prepared some homemade chalk paint custom color-matched to old white and gave the body and the shelves 2 coats of paint. Little did I know, the bookcase was made of mahogany and the sap would usually bleed through the paint when you paint the mahogany. Unfortunately, my project was no exception, and the top of my bookcase turned into a splotchy mess – the bleed-through was brownish in some areas and pinkish in other areas.
Not knowing what to do, I asked Greg, and he suggested that I use oil-based primer. I sprayed primer on only those areas where I saw bleeding, but that didn’t work. I gave it another go with the primer, but again no luck! Since Greg’s suggestion didn’t work [she probably didn’t do it right – Greg], I tried Google and found out that shellac could work for such cases. So this time, I tried spraying shellac on the problematic areas. Once the shellac dried, I painted once again to see if it worked. Guess what? It worked like a charm! Ok, maybe I had to re-apply the shellac and paint it again for those stubborn areas, but as a result the shellac did the job, and the bookcase was painted with at least 4 good coats of paint. I know… what a pain in the back project for a first timer, right?
After the final coat of paint, I sanded and distressed the body and shelves of the bookcase. Then I applied Annie Sloan’s clear wax all over and got on working with the drawer.
As this was my first time furniture painting, I didn’t know if the drawer would slide back in nicely with the paint layers on the side of it. Hence, I decided not to take a risk with painting the drawer, but instead I would decoupage the drawer’s front face with a nice fabric and be done with it.
To do so, first I took the drawer pull off then applied Mod Podge to the drawer face…
…and I glued the fabric on it. Once the fabric was glued, I turned the drawer upside down (face down) and trimmed the excess fabric with my rotary cutter.
In the last minute, I also decided to spray paint the drawer pull with Rust-Oleum’s Heirloom White to create some contrast with the fabric, and that was the end of this project.
Here is my very first refinished furniture.
How do you like him so far?
As usual, here are some close-up pictures for you to see the details better.
Here are some close-ups of the drawer.
I have to say rotary cutter is the way to go if you want to have clean cuts with your material. I don’t think I would be able to get such a result if I were to do the trimming with a pair of scissors.
Did you know this was hand painted? Yes! At the time I didn’t have my paint sprayer, hence this whole project took me a week and a half to complete. Well… then again, it was my first time refinishing such a big piece, so I was really taking my time with it.
- painting with very thin coats. By thin coats I mean 2 or 3 coats that makes what you would call one good coat. The thinner each coat is the better results you’ll get with big and flat surfaces.
- taking your time with the final sanding of the chalk paint. It makes all the difference in the world.
And this is the back.
As you may see from the decoration, it has been exactly one year since I refinished him. The paint is holding up great. He first lived in our dining room for a while, but then I found an ornate etagere to replace him and he ended up in our laundry room. Since that is the first room you see when you enter our home from the garage, I wanted something decent in that room, and this guy made the cut for that.