Painting the World...
one Shabby piece of Furniture at a Time!
Repurposing is a constant theme in my life! Obviously, with my business, I repurpose a great deal of furniture and it's so therapeutic and exciting that I often don't think too heavily about the actual ramifications of what I do on a larger scale.
But this piece, this lovely built, ornately solid piece of furniture that had been so neglectled and discarded made me think a little harder as to why we don't take care of the things we have.
Of course, that is to my benefit because I know how to repurpose it and I profit from the neglect. However, this piece was missing hardware, scratched, dirty, dinged, carved (someone carved their name, or tried to at least), one drawer was not gliding on the track. Overall it was also pretty grossily designed with the jade looking metal on the small drawers. Yikes! But that's another discussion for another day. Likewise, the tiny little knobs on the jade looking drawers were tiny and dysfunctional.
Most people would have definitely walked away from this dresser. But when I saw this beautiful heavy carved and ornate piece, I was drawn to it! I could see that given a little bit of love, it could be magnificient!
I found myself asking a deeper question while I was transforming this dresser. "Wouldn't it be nice if we could do that with everything that was neglected and discarded? Give it a new life; a new purpose? Well, I guess it is one of the main reasons I do what I do. I love to see something broken or neglected and fix it. It makes me believe I am helping the world, in a very, very small way. Then I thought.....wouldn't it be great to paint the world? Maybe not literally but figuratively? To take the neglected and discarded and make them beautiful again?
I suppose, there is a bigger question of neglect, disregard and purpose that I don't have the answers to,when it comes to people. I do know that God does and that he helps us find our purpose. He certainly has helped me find mine and I 'm sure that he has more plans for me that I don't know about yet! This piece of furniture is just a thing, not a person, but significantly it made me think of the grander scale in life, to be appreciative of our gifts, to take care and to feel that in some small way, we can all help paint the world! Pretty deep thoughts, huh? I do have my moments, and for some reason this piece of furniture inspired those thoughts!
So, I'm grateful that I could transform something neglected into something beautiful and hopeful it will bring joy to someone who will love and treasure it!
So, on that note, let's talk paint!
Do you love before and after pictures as much as I do? The before pictures of this dresser shows the damage, but the after will show you just what can be done to fix it. It was not difficult but a little more time consuming than usual! However, the extra work was definitely well worth it!
Are you ready for the big reveal? Here you go!
I love this after so much that I hate to sell it! The color combination that I chose at first was the brownish gray base with a cream for the drawers. I will often spray paint a dark brown over the piece before I chalk paint especially if the wood is yellow in color or there is a element that I don't like. I do this so that when I distress it, I will see the dark brown instead of the ugly color (wood or other feature) underneath that I didn't like.
Distressing means to rub the chalk paint off in places to reveal the wood underneath. I knew I would have to spray paint the jade metal ornate pieces on the top drawers before I could paint them with chalk paint. (We definitely did not want to see that jade color). I used my go-to paint of Rustoleum Dark Walnut in a satin finish. After I spray painted the top drawers this dark brown, I began to see this piece differently than I had originally pictured in my mind.
The dark walnut brown would look infinitely better than a cream for the face of the drawers. I decided rather quickly that the combination of the brownish gray and dark walnut brown would give this piece the richness it deserved.
I used a Shermin Williams base color called Black Fox and made a chalk paint with it to paint the overall piece. This is officially my new favorite color! If you want to mix your own chalk paint, click here for my chalk paint recipe and easy directions.
I then spray painted all the drawers with the Dark Walnut Brown. I had previously sanded and repaired the surface damage and cleaned the entire piece with liquid TSP. This stuff is great for repainting furniture because it really gets everything clean and also dulls any really slick surface to prep for painting. As you can see, I used q-tips for the crevices since this piece was so ornate with detail.
One of the many reasons I use chalk paint, is that paint can be very forgiving and hide smaller nicks and scratches. Once painted, those few nicks that I leave that isn't filled with paint, actually gives the piece character if still visible. I will leave some on purpose knowing how it will look!
I lightly distressed the edges of the gray; leaving the drawers solidly painted brown with no distressing. After it was chalk painted, I used Annie Sloan's clear wax to seal and polish the piece to a nice satin sheen. I replaced the hardware on the top drawer and then duplicated the same hardware on the second drawer that was missing a piece of hardware. I think the new drawer knobs match perfect to the rest of the piece! I spray painted all the hardware using Rustoleum Bronze. It's a great way to blend new and old hardware together.
Here is the full view of the piece in my dining room! I just adore it! I will be sad to see it go! But that is usually how I know a piece won't last long if it is something I want to keep! LOL!
I hope you enjoyed this transformation series piece and love it as much as I do! I can't stop starring at it! My daughter was laughing because every time I would go by it, I would stop to look and then touch it! I'm such a goofball! My whole family and then friends who have seen it, all said it was really awesome. I decided it was a designer's dream to have all the richness of the paint colors, and the new and old elements all come together so perfectly. I will lovingly call this my Designer's Dream Dresser! :) Just for fun!
I would love to here your thoughts in the comments below!
Until next time......
go paint the world!