Heather started browsing the Artisan Markets, and she knew she wanted to get one of the furniture artists on that site to re-finish her antique washstand. This piece belonged to her great-grandmother, so it is a family heirloom.
The collage below shows the piece as it was when I received it. I didn’t think it would be too terrible to strip, but I knew it had to be stripped, because I recognized the old, yellowing, drippy shellac from early last century. That stuff is hard to cover!
It was a lot of work. Day after day, every afternoon, I used Heirloom gel stripper, a scraper, sandpaper, and a lot of elbow grease. I had to get right into the little cracks and crevices with a knife and a wee pointy spoon. If you look carefully at the bottom left picture, you’ll see the “decorations” some little child decided to add to the top…it was gouged pretty badly. I sanded and sanded and sanded some more.
The picture of the piece looking a bit gray was after a coat of BIN sealer, then a coat of Fusion’s Concealer. The BIN is necessary when you are sure there is going to be bleed-through. Tannins from the wood seep through the paint, unless you have a very strong sealer like BIN.
Fusion’s Concealer is half the price of the regular paint, and makes a great first coat.
I added two coats of Raw Silk, waiting a few days between coats to let the paint cure well. What a gorgeous, soft white that is. I forgot to take a picture of that.
After the paint had cured for another few days (this is not necessary, but I was working on other projects, so I had time to let the paint harden) I took some wet sandpaper and went over the whole thing, leaving a silky smooth finish. Then came the distressing: with a coarse 80 grit sandpaper, I scuffed along edges where an old piece of furniture would naturally wear from plenty of use.
Next, I made a custom glaze, using 4 parts of Fusion’s Clear Glaze to one part of a mixture of Ash and a wee bit of the Silver Metallic. I applied the glaze to the edges, making sure that the distressed parts were coated, and to creases and crevices and corners that would have gotten a bit grungy over the years. I wiped back the glaze, then added a bit more, wiping back again, until I was satisfied there was enough aging.
I love the result:
The best part? My customer loved it, too!
Add Some Flair does custom paint jobs, listening carefully to the customer’s vision, and making it come to life to transform the ordinary into extraordinary. If you have a piece that you don’t want to tackle on your own, come in and talk to Janet.