The Violet Vanity
This sweet vanity went from white shabby to antique chic! And it only took me about a month to finish her (almost but not quite!).
I found this painted white vanity on the Facebook Marketplace and fell in LOVE. She was actually pretty overpriced, especially without a mirror, but I went ahead and took the plunge. I knew I could work some magic on her. $75 including delivery is more than I would normally pay for something that needed so much work, but what can I say? Love is LOVE!
Once she made it to my garage, it was clear she was going to have to be stripped. As usual, a big bottle of CitriStrip came in handy, along with a heavy dose of elbow grease and good bit of sanding. Oh, the things we do for love. Who can resist an antique with dovetail joints? I mean, come on!
I figured the tannins in the wood from this old girl would bleed through my paint (I wanted to go chippy white), so I hit her with a couple of coats of spray Shellac. Once that dried, I mixed up my Sweet Pickins Milk Paint in Flour Sack and got to painting. I did two coats of paint for full coverage, and got some nice crackle and chippiness. The only problem was, once I started to sand her smooth, I could see the yellow of the shellac coming through. (I wound up with an unexpected problem by trying to prevent another problem! *facepalm*) So I sat back and stared at her for a few more days before I decided to proceed. Sometimes it just be like that.
In the meantime, I was on the hunt for a suitable mirror! I found this gorgeous antique mirror that perfectly complemented the circular shapes already on the vanity. The wood on the back of the mirror had to be salvaged, as it had clearly been exposed to the elements. Go-go-Gadget wood glue! I also used a few clamps I had around the shop, and by the next day the glue was all set.
Back to the vanity now. I decided to mix up a new color to go on top of my white, and I would sand it back to show some of the white when I was finished. I did a little of this, and a little of that (I'm not sure how much of each), and mixed my Flour Sack with Adelaide. Mmm! I just loved the violet color I wound up with. More painting! I do love milk paint because you have to do it by hand. I really feel a special bond to the pieces I do all by hand. A couple more coats of my special blend, and the painting process was complete.
I let the vanity sit for a couple of days before I sanded and waxed. This step was not necessary, as milk paint generally dries pretty fast. I went after all of the surfaces with a 220-grit sanding disc on my orbital sander, and soon all of the surfaces were smooth. I had just the right amount of white peeking through. I wiped off the paint dust, and then brushed on some clear wax. I used a synthetic-bristle brush for the cracks and crevices, and a Wooster foam brush for the flat surfaces.
The wax also dries really fast, so the next step was to add some new fancy knobs. If you've read my blog before, you know how much I love the crystal knobs from Amazon. They're inexpensive, and they seem to match just about everything! Then I put the wooden wheels back on her feet, and the final step was to attach the salvaged mirror. Perfection!
A labor of love is always worth it in the end. Don't you agree?