Apothecary, Quite Contrary!

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I finished this custom order for a client yesterday. It was for a very nice couple- the piece is the woman’s grandmother’s. They needed the piece to be updated so it would go with their home decor. I appreciated the fact that they wanted to keep this heirloom out so it could be seen, and continue to be a part of their lives.

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The piece was in great condition. It had some minor chips that I was able to fill. It had a very thick coat of poly on it, and I knew I had to sand it well and rough it up so the paint would adhere. Many times I paint the inside of the drawers as well because it gives the piece a wholesome finished look, but I noticed this piece had been done before and they left the wood inside the drawers natural. I felt it was best to keep it the same way. So like Magiver (remember that show?), I used trash bags to tape around the drawer, so the overspray would not get inside the drawers.

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This was a custom order, so the couple picked the color.  They chose Olympic Paint’s “Rum Raisin.”  It’s a nice bold color!

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The prep work was done, the piece was patched and sanded. The two decorative points in the front were chipped so I re-pointed them. With my spray gun I painted it and sealed it.  We left the original hardware on there: adorable porcelain knobs.  Finally this is what it looked like when it was all finished!

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Sleeping Soundly…. Finally!

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WOW, I didn’t think this bedroom set would EVER get done. There were so many problems, I went through two paint guns, and had to purchase another one just to finish the job! Although I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out. I had done some staging for a lovely couple who was moving to North Carolina. They had this 1940’s bedroom set that they weren’t taking with them, and we made arrangements to have it Renewed Reloved. The bedroom set was in wonderful condition, it has really been taken care of over the years.

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I love the original hardware on this set, and knew I was going to keep them untouched.  Ok, so begins the sh*t show.  I lightly sanded all the pieces so the paint would adhere nicely.  I used colors that I had left over from painting my own house.  I try not to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint if I can help it, no offense.  I used “Mesa Verde Tan” for the outside, and the drawers were down in “White Down,” both by Benjamin Moore.

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At first I painted the entire end table “White Down,” but I thought that it was just so boring, and didn’t do the set any justice.  However, I liked the dark original hardware against the off white. I loved the “Mesa Verde Tan” that I used for my master bedroom, and thought it looked really good against the off white.  So there you have it- a two tone set.  So I set up shop, ready to paint.  Little did I know that I would soon have a mental breakdown.

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Honestly, every time I tried to attempt to paint this set somethings went wrong.  Both my paint guns stopped working.  Finally the new Wagner one I purchased did the job.  It was a long battle, and a big under taking, but when all said and done I think it came out incredible (yes I am patting myself on the back, but shush).  Check out the finished product.  All of which can be seen and purchased at 23rd & Bird located inside the WinSmith Mill in Norwood, Ma.

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My handmade “Book Ends”

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I have been dying to share this post, but I obviously had to wait until work was completed!  Well I’ve had a dresser for a long time that I knew I wanted to use in my house, but just hadn’t gotten to it.  Well I figured being in my new place would be the perfect opportunity to do my bedroom with new pieces, but OLD Renewed Reloved pieces.  I had been on the hunt for end tables that met the following criteria:

1) Taller than wider

2) Antique

3) The legs needed to match the legs on the dresser

4) Drawers/Storage

5) Ornate hardware

After stalking Craigslist for weeks, and looking in antique stores I FOUND THEM! A pair to boot!  I managed to get them both for $50!

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 So I went and got the tables and was all excited.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I work on furniture all the time, but these end tables were a b*tch.  The veneer was peeling/chipping… I patched some of it with wood filler, but in some places it looked like sh*t, and I’m too much of a perfectionist to stand for that.  So, I do what all rational people do in a dilemma- make more work for myself.  I decided on the sides that had the worst peeling I would just chip off all the veneer.  At first it went smoothly:

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And then…. it got nasty, and I couldn’t quite get under the veneer to lift it with out denting the wood underneath.  So I experimented.  I knew that the veneer was held on with glue… I grabbed a damp facecloth and used my iron to heat up and steam the facecloth.  This helped loosen the glue, and made it easier to wedge my razor and putty knife under the veneer.

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A pretty genius idea if I do say so myself, and I should probably let you know that the face cloth I used was thrown out….

Next I sanded the sh*t out of them.  There were lots of dents, they were worn, so I really made sure to get a smooth surface.  On the middle drawers I discovered an ornate design. Of course the veneer was chipping, so I peeled it off.  I knew I wanted to preserve the pattern, so I took a pointed metal nail file and traced the shape.  I didn’t know what I would do with the design but I knew I wanted to keep it and incorporate it some how.

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 I sanded everything down, and they were ready for paint!  I used Annie Sloan’s chalk paint in “Old White.”  I love the color because it is so versatile, and really highlights pieces.  I decided that I would use left over paint from one of my bedrooms to enhance the design on one of the drawers..

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I hand painted it with Benjamin Moore’s “Shabby Chic” that I used in one of my guest rooms.  They came out gorgeous, and believe it or not,  they matched the same pattern I have on my dresser (but you won’t see that until later <<wink wink>>).

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I had to do 3 coats of paint (shoot me now), because the wood was so dark and aged that it was bleeding through.  This is usual because Annie Sloan Chalk Paint covers pretty well, but sometimes it does happen.  This like weird yellow or sometimes pink stain comes through.  You need to apply another coat.  I distressed them, waxed them, buffed them, and polished the hardware…. here is the finish product…. DAMN they are gorgeous!

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Now wait until you see the dresser- it looks like a complete set!

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