A week or two prior to Lucketts, I spotted an amazing primitive cupboard on Craig’s List. I intended to buy it to sell at the event, but I was absolutely smitten with it and decided to keep it. Believe it or not, I’m usually pretty disciplined about that sort of thing, but this piece was just so special and I could imagine it filled with ironstone and other pretty things.
I actually bought the piece sight unseen. I was busy painting and I sent Jeff & my dad to pick it up for me. I gave Jeff “override authorization” if it wasn’t as amazing in person as it was in the pictures, but it was and he brought it home. The lady he bought it from was delightful and a blogger/photographer and was very happy it was going to a good home. I actually got to meet her at Lucketts a few days later.
From the pictures, I thought the paint was original, but once I saw it in person, I realized the blue was just the most recent coat of paint. Roller marks kinda gave it away. The paint had a flat finish with a lot of depth, patina, crackle and character, though, so I wanted to retain that as I worked on it. I liked the blue better than the cream color it was, but it was a little bit bright. It doesn’t look like it from the pictures, but it was pretty in-your-face blue.
So, I painted it in a more subdued blue – a custom mix of MMSMP Trophy, French Enamel and Shutter Gray. Don’t even ask me the ratios. It was just add a bit of this and a bit of that until it looked good.
The top portion in the picture below is painted and the base isn’t, yet. See how I carefully worked around the established patina?
…and it’s going to look even better once I’ve distressed and antiqued it.
I created some of the texture by working with what was already there…basically dry-brushing lightly over and around cracked, chipped and worn areas…and then manufactured it in other places by using my newest toy, a heat gun.
I looked like such a girl using this thing. I was holding it at a full arm’s length, wincing as if the cabinet was going to burst into flames. I started getting used to it, though, and learned the best settings for what I was trying to accomplish.
I’m really happy that I didn’t lose the character of the piece in repainting it.
I can’t wait to see it finished and in place.
(As an aside, I opened the bottom cabinet door as I was painting it and just about fell off my stool. There was a huge black spider inside and I am more of a girl about spiders than I am about heat guns. Once I settled down, I realized it was the plastic variety!)
There are a few other things I have in my workshop, waiting to be finished…
I bought this wooden horse when I was shopping in Virginia. The design of it is so clever, but it was just painted a bland gray. I painted it in Grain Sack, defining the curve of the front legs and added a saddle blanket in Shutter Gray. I also painted the wheels in Shutter Gray, but, as I did with the cupboard, I tried to retain the chippiness and character of the existing finish. I still need to do the hand painting, detail work and finishing, but it’s coming along nicely. I’m stuck on the details, though, and waiting for inspiration to strike.
The other project I’m really excited about is the antique phonograph. It was basically a freebie with some furniture I bought, but I’ve wanted one for years.
The case needs to be striped and refinished and some veneer needs to be replaced. I’m just working on it bit by bit, but I’ve really enjoyed listening to it. There’s something amazing about music coming out of a machine that’s about 100 years old and works when it’s cranked by hand.
As I mentioned a few days ago, our entire family (even our 5 & 7 year old boys) are using real dishes. No more plastic cups and plates for the kiddos. I took it a step further tonight and added an ironstone pitcher with hydrangea blooms clipped from the yard, a mangle cloth runner…
…and I even pulled out the blue & white paper straws.
I have several boxes of these and I’ve just been hanging onto them for photo shoots. As I dropped the straws into the glasses, I realized how sad that was. I would buy a flowers and paper straws and runners, use them for photo shoots and then put them away. It’s not that they were off-limits, but I didn’t think of them for everyday use. Well, gone are the days that pretty things are for photo shoots only.
And we had a very yummy Chipotle style dinner…
…and talked about our highs and lows of the day…
…and the guys took on dish duty.
Not a bad way to end the day.