Monday, December 2, 2013

For the Love of Paint

The re-finished kitchen set

We've had another ultra-busy week. On Wednesday we traveled to Raleigh for Thanksgiving. While home, we attended a hockey game (with eight children, most of whom are under age 6!), cooked and ate Thanksgiving dinner, then my dad and brothers-in-law took all the little boys to a Carolina football game while Jerry and I took our teen to the Porsche exhibit at the NC Museum of Art. The next night we held our littlest one's birthday party, put up my parent's Christmas tree and outdoor lights, and decorated the tree. I made a race car cookie cake, requested by the birthday boy, for the party, using miniature Porsches for the race cars. Then yesterday we had to rush home so our son could march in a Christmas Parade. The kid whose mother was supposed to drive the carpool got sick so we had to drive it instead. After the parade we attended the town tree lighting. Today, I have band fruit sale carpool to drive. Whew!

The color-washed table top

This is not to say we haven't been hard at work on the house. As you might have ascertained from reading this blog, I love painted furniture! Jerry finished painting the kitchen table and I color-washed the top. Right before we left for home, Jerry finished the table top with polyurethane because it takes so much abuse. In fact, we've only eaten three meals at the table and the paint is already chipped off the base on the kids' side where they've banged the bench into it. So, now we will have to touch that up.

In the photo of the kitchen, the china cabinet was "antiqued" with chalk paint and Rub-N-Buff wax in Grecian Gold, the table and bench bases were painted with chalk paint, and the table and bench tops were color-washed. Many of my posts over the past few months chronicle these projects. You can find the recipes and instructions for making the paint and using these techniques in my previous posts. The recipe for the chalk paint and instructions for "antiquing" furniture are here: The recipe and instructions for color-washing are here:

All we have left to finish the kitchen are the Windsor chairs. Our plan is to paint these with the same chalk paint in "Serendipity" by Olympic and then I want to paint some rosemaling (decorative Scandinavian painting similar to that on the cuckoo clock) on the backs. I may also put some metallic wax accents on the chairs if I don't feel like it's too much. I will show those as soon as I finish them, of course.

Antiquing materials

Before we left for Thanksgiving, Jerry painted a little side table from my grandparents' barn. I wish we'd taken a before photo because it was a mess. We found it in the barn, but I think before that it was used as a plant stand outside on the porch or deck. It's a sturdy table, but the original dark stained finish was completely trashed. The top and the shelf were covered with white water rings and the grain was dry and uneven.

The "antiqued" side table

We used the same homemade chalk paint as the kitchen set, with Olympic's Serendipity in semi-gloss as a base. The bedroom walls are one shade lighter, Olympic's Oasis in satin finish. I love the look of monochromatic d├ęcor in bedrooms especially. It's very soothing. It can be rather boring, however, so  good tip is to vary the saturation of the same shade by accenting with a slightly lighter or darker version.

I painted the wax over the carving with a tiny brush.

Today after we returned home from the little one's speech therapy I applied Rub-N-Buff metallic wax in Grecian Gold to the table to bring out all the carving. I can't believe my grandparents or whomever originally owned this table left it outside! I rubbed the wax on the turned legs with a makeup sponge and accented the thin curve and diamond carving with a tiny brush dipped in wax.

The wall and table are one shade apart.

The table is the perfect size for our new chair! The shelf will be great for holding the book or magazine I'm reading. I'm debating whether to place a lamp on the top. I found a gorgeous little capiz shell and chrome lamp at Homegoods that's just the right size and style, but I can't decide if I want to limit the movement of the table with a breakable lamp. Right now I move the ottoman to the side and swivel the chair toward the window to save space when I'm not sitting in it, and a lamp would make the table stationary. I don't need the light since the window's there during the day, but it would be nice to sit in there at night and read as well.

My grandfather's "valet"

Another addition to the bedroom is my grandfather's 1940s "valet". Every night my grandmother would get my grandfather's clothes all ready for the next morning and place them out on this piece of furniture. There is even a little shelf for his watch and ring and the cuff links he preferred. Grandpa was a pretty snappy dresser for someone who owned an auto parts store! He and Grandma both loved clothes and fashion and they were famous around town for their style.

This piece was originally stained the dark mahogany so popular in the 1940s, but Grandma, who loved the airy Scandinavian and French Provincial styles, painted it pale, creamy yellow in the 1950s. This finish is naturally distressed, not painted for effect, after all these years! Jerry offered to paint it the same blue as the table and I did consider it, but in the end I decided to leave it. It looks the same as I remember and I like it that way.

With addition of this little reading nook, the bedroom is almost finished.

The bedroom is just about finished. It's very exciting, since we've never had a decorated bedroom in over 16 years of marriage. Jerry requested another mixed media painting to hang over his dresser and I'd like to do another small piece to hang above this little table. I may knit or quilt a throw or sew a pillow for the chair as well. This table was a fun little project, and a useful accent in the room!

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