Remember that awesome “cubby” I found a few weeks ago? I spotted it when I was out shopping once, but I passed it up, because it was a little pricey. I kept thinking about it, though, and decided if it was still there the next time I stopped in, I would buy it.
Well, it was still there and I snapped it up. (It’s so funny that I get so excited about buying things I’m just going to turn around and sell!)
The only problem with this piece is that it was shedding paint everywhere. If you would just breath near it, flakes would fall off. I love the “chippy look”, but I don’t want actual chips of paint littering the floor.
So, I have a standard way I deal with pieces like this…
Before I get into the process, please check the EPA website for safely dealing with lead-based paint if that’s a concern. This process is only for pieces that do not contain lead-based paint.
I start out by vacuuming the entire surface of the piece. This is to remove cobwebs, loose dirt and flaking paint. The vacuum and I got well acquainted with this piece, because of all of the cubbies! I used a brush attachment for the flat surfaces, in order to be gentle with the chipping paint, and a wand for the cubbies.
If you do decide to scrub your piece, just use warm, soapy water and a cloth or sponge or spray on an all-purpose cleaner. If you can, put the piece outside in the sun, so it can dry. (It also helps with musty smells to let the piece air out in the breeze and sunshine.)
I lay it on really thick so it “glues” down the edges of the chipping paint and really seals it.
…and then I brush out the finish with one or two strokes. They key to a smooth finish is not over-brushing.
Another key is using a quality brush, roller or applicator pad. I used my favorite Parsons West brush, naturally, but you really can use any well-made brush.
You can see how the finish will bring out the character of the wood and paint underneath.
Now the piece still has that wonderful, chippy look, but it can actually be used in a home. I would just keep an eye on it over the years for any new chipping.
Today, I cranked my music, worked hard and focused on my space for The Market on Chapel Hill. Here’s where that newly-sealed piece ended up…
I still have a few small pieces to work on and some finishing touches, but the booth is almost done!
Here are a few pictures from around the space so far…
And I got in a big shipment of antique hemp sheets. These might be some of my favorite I’ve ever received.
I’m keeping some for my own upholstery and slipcover work, but I’m bringing along a bunch to sell.
More market preparations and makeovers to come…
Another post about cleaning and sealing painted pieces…