The second I laid my eyes on this piece I knew it was going to end up super special. The details, the size, and unique look to this piece had my heart fluttering.
I love my blues and saw this one in a deeper blue with bronze details. Every piece I have refinished I prep with cleaning. I have used many products. “Amazing” is a fantastic product and cheap if you are on a budget and can be found at your dollar store. It cuts through grease and dirt well. I have also used Green EZ Degreaser – which you can find on my products page. This stuff while more expensive will take the gunk off your project from deep inside!! Blew my mind!
Now you ask why do you clean it before you sand it? Well, I do not want all that gunk and dirt to get into the grain of the wood when I’m sanding it. Better to get the dirt off first, then sand. Here you can choose to sand, or “scuff” sand. This means just to rough up the surface. This just gives something for your paint and primer to “grab” on to. Once you are finished with this part you will want to rinse off good with just plain water. This will get your cleaning product and the dust from scuff sanding off your piece.
This now is ready for some paint. After scuff sanding, I decided to tackle the top first. If I choose not to paint the top, I will typically sand and stain or whatever I plan on doing to the top first because if I sand the top to raw wood all of that dust is going to land on the rest of my piece. I do not want that to land on my finished piece.
The top to this piece was incredibly orange! It did not fit with what I was feeling for this piece, so I decided I was going to lighten it with bleach. Get your gloves and eye protective gear. I used wood bleach found at my local Ace Hardware. You basically mix it with hot water according to the directions and put it on your raw wood using a sponge. You do not want it to “pool” on the top but wipe it on and leave it for 10 to 30 mins. This will lighten your wood and take out any spots from water rings and so forth. Then you should use vinegar water 50:50 mixture to deactivate the bleach. I let that dry overnight and the next morning it was so gorgeous. Then chose to use Varathane Sunbleach stain on the top to keep it light and varnished it with Wise Owl Satin Varnish (also found on my products page).
Now we need to wipe down again with water our entire piece. We need to remove any debris or stain that may have dripped so it doesn’t affect our finish. Primer. I used was Wise Owl’s Gray Primer because I wanted to protect any tannins from coming through my finish, I wanted to make sure my paint would bond, and gray so that I could cover in less coats. Two coats of gray primer and two coats of Abyss in the Chalk Synthesis Line of Wise Owl Paints (Products tab once again).
Well just one color wasn’t going to do it for me. It needed a WOW factor. It needed some shading. I painted each area with a thin coat of Abyss and took a detail brush to put black around the edges. With a dry brush I blended the two colors together for just the right color. I did this for all the areas that I wanted to create more depth.
What else? It needs bling, well because this piece was extra special. I used the Heavy Metals line in Bronze (on my products page. Do I sound like a broken record?). I took my detail brush and brushed on the Bronze in the detail areas on this piece. Then once dry I went in and dry brushed some of my Abyss back over in certain areas to give it a more rubbed off over time look.
LASTLY! The “pearls” needed to be added. I always thing of the handles I put on a piece as the pearls that go with the little black dress. I ended up using the original hardware. I cleaned these by soaking in 50:50 vinegar water for an hour or so and scrubbed with a green scrubbie. After drying I took my detail brush and painted with the Bronze (2 coats) and attached to my piece.
I stood back in awe. It’s such a magnificent piece and was maybe a little sad when it was scooped up and taken to it’s forever home.
Rachael Dunham - Top Expressionist