Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Before And After: Massive Mint Dresser

Well hello!!

I have a beautiful, beautiful piece of furniture to show you today :-)

It is a huge dresser and not a style I come across all that often around here, and definitely not something that I would normally be drawn to in it's natural state. But phwoar...it does come up a bit special when it's painted!! ;-)

I'll show you first, then bang on a bit about it, if you're interested ;-)

You might wonder why I'd normally not be drawn to this style of furniture? Or not. But I'll tell you anyway. 
You see, its laminate veneer. Or fake wood. Faux timber. Whatever you like to call it...it was going to be a challenge for me. I've never painted laminate veneer before.
But I have taken on challenges before, and this one turned out better than I could have hoped!! To the uninitiated, the challenge with laminate veneer is getting paint to stick to it and stay stuck so it doesn't scratch off.

Wanna hear the story?

Ok, I'll take that as a yes ;-)

So I was asked by a neighbour if I was interested in some furniture they had. Well yes, I was. 
When I first saw it all, I thought wow...that would look so fantastic painted! Then I got closer and saw it was laminate veneer...bummer. I loved it, but I didn't love it that much. 
I had ages ago given myself a rule about real timber furniture only. I'm not really sure why!

Anyway, they were having a garage sale and I said I would wait and see what they had left after that and if I missed out...well too bad.
Obviously I didn't miss out. I bought this dresser plus the three matching bedsides.
(You'll see the bedsides soon)
I did two of the bedsides first. They are done differently to this and if you follow me on instagram, you would've already seen one :-) The third bedside has a side base board that is crumbly and it isn't really sale worthy, so that has been my practice one!

I did quite a bit of research before I started, both on the interweb and chatting to one of my go-to people at Mitre 10. Plus in the back of my mind I had my own experience of getting paint to stick with metal primer.

What to do, what to do??

I knew I had the practice bedside to get it right on, but if it took me three goes to get it right...it was going to cost me a lot more than I wanted to pay!
So I went with the most expensive option...go figure...and what was recommended by my mitre 10 man...laminate primer. Kinda makes sense, doesn't it? A product specifically designed to get paint to stick to a laminate surface. But even still...nobody else had used it on the blogs I looked at and so I was a little dubious.
But they don't often steer me wrong at Mitre 10 (thanks BJ!), and this one worked like a charm :-)

And it only needs one coat, bonus! Most primers I've used need at least two coats.

Then I just painted like usual, lightly distressed like usual and waxed like usual. Easy!
I don't know what I was so scared of!

I also used dark wax immediately after waxing for a different look. Dark wax takes away the 'freshly painted' look, which really suits this one.
It has cured really quickly (I definitely let the primer cure before painting the colour on) as did the colour and now just waiting for the wax to cure.
I know that it's not going to scratch off in a hurry, as the distressing step took me the same amount of effort that it usually does on solid timber furniture. It didn't distress easily!

This one was sold in it's 'before' state, so it's new owner and I discussed it's re-design before I got started. It was so fantastic to have a practice one to do for us both to see how it was going to turn out. I could see how technically it worked and she could see design/colour wise how it would look. It all worked out perfectly, I'd say and I can't wait to see photo's of it in it's new home! It is going to live in an office that is currently being renovated and will be a statement piece as well as provide awesome storage ;-)

What do you think? Is this your style?

Courts xx

Friday, 4 April 2014

Before And After: Cedar Side Table

My client picked this gorgeous cedar table up recently and found it a spot out on their verandah in the morning sunshine where she and her husband like to sit and have a coffee before they start their day.
It was gorgeous as is, but has come up even more so, now that it's been 'extroverted' ;-)

And the brief I got from my client?

'Do whatever you want, Courts!!' I used to love when clients said that to me when I was hairdressing and I gotta say...I love it now too! ;-)
It doesn't mean that I go all crazy and cover a piece in rainbow colours or anything...it means I'll choose colours and the design that suits my client, the piece and the room...or in this case the verandah where it will live. That gives me my boundaries and then I go crazy within those boundaries!

The only time those words 'do whatever you want' scare me (and did a little when hairdressing, too) was if I'd only just met the client. It takes a little while to get to know a person and their style, likes and dis-likes when it comes to interiors. Or hair for that matter. 
I am definitely an observer of things in general and usually like to visit a client in their home so I can see other rooms and how they're styled/furnished etc. It helps enormously in re-designing a piece that's going to live there.

Sometimes I know straight away what I want to suggest, and sometimes - especially if their style is vastly different from my own - it takes a while for it to come to me. Which is what I'm currently experiencing on a future project, but I know it'll come to me eventually :-)

Anyhoo...I guess you want to see what I did with the cedar table?

Well wonder no more, my friends!

I used a greenish grey for the main colour, and on the rails underneath and the back piece I used the same colour but in double strength, if not triple. Sorry, I can't remember!!
The two colours are subtle, yet...not! If that makes sense?! They blend...but don't quite.
And the heavy distressing...well, that's just where I'm at, at the moment. And it just suits this style of table perfectly in my opinion. 
It didn't need to be modernized, although the colour is definitely a modern one. On trend, if you will. But a modern geometric design wouldn't have worked. 

Ok, some technical stuff -

*DIY chalk paint.
*Heavily sanded to distress and show some of that beautiful cedar back through again.
* Sealed with a new-to-me product - Sceneys Old Fashioned Weatherproof Oil - which is a linseed oil based product and is perfect for furniture that will be outdoors. Plus look at the shine it gave!!

It could perhaps double as a mirror? ;-)

Another one done and dusted and many more in my immediate future...I literally cannot get into the shed for furniture!
Speaking of the shed, I can almost, almost call it 'mine'!! Tony has given up trying to claim it back and has gone out and found himself a space to rent that he'll use to store his plumbing supplies. I'm a little excited and am already dreaming up how I can rearrange the storage and make it functional as well as look a little nicer. ;-)
It is going to be a mammoth task when the time comes to clean it out, but still...I'm looking forward to it!!
It might even lose it's shed title and be referred to as 'the studio' ;-)

Courts xx
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