Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Monday, July 23, 2012

Live with what you love. Change what you don't.

With a little paint, you really can transform anything.  Somehow, I missed taking a before shot of last week's bathroom vanity project (oh, big surprise...sigh), but I know all my American readers have seen it.  The basic "builder oak" model installed in just about every home in the last thirty years.  For those of you who don't live in the US, I'm pretty sure you can google "Home Depot oak bathroom vanity" and get a jillion shots that all look about identical.  Nothing wrong with oak, but it's so common anymore that it's no more exciting than off-white paint.  Yawn.  My client, Jean, asked me if I could paint the vanity something like the finish on the mirror that hangs above it...

The finish, actually the two finishes, on this mirror inspired the paint finish on the vanity below it.
Someday, sooner than later, DM will invest in some photography lessons, to learn to shoot better photos of these tricky spots.  I'm sure investing in a fancier camera and lights would help. Ah, well, imagination, Dearhearts, imagination, please...

Metallic silver, champagne, warm gold, and bronze, over a red oxide base, overglazed with umber.  The panels are sponged in two of the metallics, the edges, rails and stiles brushed in four of them.  This photo is pretty accurate, though in the room, the contrast between the doors and the cabinet box appears a little softer.  Jean is shopping for new pulls, so we left the original shiny brass ones off.

The other project I featured in last Thursday's post was Jean's curio cabinet.  In this case, I used more paint stripper than paint.  I took most of the "shabby chic" style paint job off, then rubbed in a black antiquing glaze, and my usual umber glaze.  On the top, I used a little of McKlosky's lime wash with the glazes, to instantly gray the wood. 
this was the inspiration...
this was the before shot...

...and here's the finished piece.
Like I said last week, it was a perfectly sweet piece to begin with.  The white worked well with the pottery inside, but it didn't work with the room, so it had it's orders: Change or go. Change is so much more fun!  Don't be afraid to try it. 

Painted finishes can be added to, or removed and altered.  And if it's never been painted?  Well, just because it's wood, doesn't mean it's good, even if it's vintage or antique.  If you are worried about mucking up something valuable by painting it, find out if it's rare.  Very few things produced since the late 1800's are, and a dealer of fine antiques can easily tell you if you have something of significant value, if you can't figure it out yourself, with a quick cruise through craigslist or ebay.  If you're living with a piece you don't love, why not change?  Life is better in a home as unique as you are! 

Questions or comments can be left below, or email me at dawnmariedelara@gmail.com.  Really, if you want more detail on the techniques mentioned above, I don't mind sharing.

Want my help altering your furnishings?  My portfolio and the information on how to hire me can be found at theartofthehome.com.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

I love this blog. I have a few vintage / antique pieces that I love but could love more with some color. I bought a mid-century armoire from the antique store up the street several years ago; the dealer gave me an extraordinarily good discount on it because someone had painted it shabby chick with robins egg blue over a pale yellow... I LOVE the finish, even if it makes it less "antiquey". I've felt guilty about having and loving an imperfect antique, but now I'm beginning to look at it a little differently. It doesn't matter if it's perfect, it wasn't perfect to begin with, and it brings joy to my life. Now, after reading your blog, I'm inspired to do the same sort of thing with my other not-so-perfect mid-century dresser. : )