The Ugly Duckling!
Have you ever come across something that was hideously ugly, but you knew it was hiding something beautiful underneath? Take a look at the legs on this creature! I found this antique buffet on a local online auction that I like to hit up from time to time. I like to buy furniture that other people wouldn't buy because it's wonky in some kind of way. This piece certainly fit the bill! Somebody had slapped some ridiculous shiny red paint on her. It was drippy and sloppy, and even had hair stuck in it in a few places (yuck!).
When I went to pick up my new project I knew it was a genuine antique right away! It smelled a little funny, but it was clearly solid wood. Score! Upon further inspection, I realized that it had an old style of dovetail joints that dates back to ancient Egypt. This particular buffet appears to have been handmade somewhere between the late 1800s to early 1900s.
Read more about dovetail joints here
I knew my big red beauty had an old soul, and she was begging for a makeover! But first she had to get stripped of all that nasty red paint. This took a lot of work and several hours' worth of elbow grease. First, I used Citri Strip to take off the bulk of the paint. This took several coats and lots of scraping. After that, it was time to sand! I like to use an orbital sander. It saves my arms from doing all the work, and I really like the smooth finish I can get. Next, I decided to use a couple of coats of shellac to seal in the tannins from the wood. (Old pieces like this tend to "bleed" through paint, especially light colors.) Now all I have to do is decide what color paint to use!
I originally thought I would paint my buffet white, but even with a couple of coats of shellac, I was still concerned about bleed through.
So I decided to go with one of my favorite colors - green! I used milk paint because it works best when painted by hand. It's a little bit unpredictable, and I think we could all use a little creative unpredictability every now and then!
True milk paint like this has great coverage, so I just had to touch up a few spots after the first coat, and I was ready to seal her up!
One good coat of clear wax, and I sat back to take a look. Sometimes I have to sit back and admire my work for awhile before I can decide how to proceed. I was putting the handles back on the drawers, and I knew I didn't like the way they were looking. So I took them back off and had a flash of brilliance!
I wanted to keep the antique look and feel of the time period, but also bring this piece into the modern age. I added a transfer to each of the drawers and some shiny new crystal knobs. Perfection!
I congratulated myself on my masterpiece (I know, I get a little excited sometimes). I love every single little detail.
I know green was a bold color choice, but I'm in love with the end result!
If you'd like to recreate your own work of art with the materials I used, check out my links. I hope you'll enjoy painting as much as I do! Be sure to send me a photo of your projects.
And don't forget to find the beauty in all of your imperfections!