One day I saw an ad on Facebook for this dated cherry armoire. Nobody commented it on for the first few days and I kept wondering if people didn’t see the same potential I did.
It was missing hardware and it was scratched up, but look at those lines.
And that detail!
Things like that make my heart flutter.
She could be such a beauty with just a little magic.
I often have to bring my treasures home by myself and since this two piece armoire was huge, I called my friend Lauren to help me pick it up. She met me at the guy’s house. I had recently purchased my dining room table and chairs from him and felt safe going there without Stew being along.
Let me tell ya…my crazy friend showed up in high heeled, clog boot –thingies.
Those were not furniture moving shoes!
Those were going-to-lunch-after-furniture-moving shoes!
The guy, who was a foot taller than me and twice my weight, was sadly not twice as strong as me. I’m sure we were a sight to behold. Lauren in her flopping clogs leading the way…literally leading the way and not helping, tiny little me carrying one end of this huge armoire, and the big guy carrying the other end. He happened to be struggling as much as I was.
It was big and cumbersome and that would be an understatement of the year my friends.
“Girl you gotta help me before you find me buried under this thing!” And so the flopping clog-wearing girl helped. Thankfully. And I still appreciate it :-).
After the three of us struggled to get one piece out to the driveway, we decided the super strong hubs was going to have to come get it after all.
Like with most pieces I paint, I had a grand vision in place for this beauty.
She was going to be aqua!
And I was only going to paint the base. The top of the T.V. cabinet was going to be converted into a little girl’s dress up closet. Look at the detail on the top portion! Can you imagine how pretty that would turn out?
I sanded the entire cabinet top and bottom, removed the hardware, and filled in some of drawer holes so I could use single knobs instead of pulls.
I then sat down one night and started painting the details black.
I never, ever, ever paint anything black. I’m not even sure why we had black paint in the garage, but we did and that’s what I was using.
And as I was going along, I really started to like black paint!
When I’m doing very detailed work, I’ll fill in bits and pieces to see how it looks. Sometimes, like in the picture below, I will paint over an area that I decided shouldn’t be highlighted. The black area around the feather was eventually painted the base color.
Obviously by now I realized my aqua theme was out the window and so I went to Home Depot to look at color samples. I wanted a color that would not only complement the black highlights, but would also enhance them even more.
I chose Pebble Gray by Behr and used a homemade chalk paint recipe.
I loved the subtle gray and the strong black together; however, it would be remiss of me if I didn’t point out how very difficult painting color combos like this is.
My touch ups caused me to do more touch ups of the other color. And that little scenario played out over and over again. Gray touch ups followed by black touch ups followed by more gray touch ups. Ugh!!!!
Since this gal had such a sleek and contemporary look, I decided to add some oversized crystal knobs. I purchased these from Home Depot.
Gorgeous, aren’t they?
Don’t skimp out on purchasing nice knobs. If you’re going to put a ton of work into a project, then don’t stop short on these nice finishing touches. The hardware will make or break your project in my opinion. If you purchase furniture instead of painting it yourself, I’ll give you a little insider info. Many furniture flippers (not all of course) will use the cheapest knobs they can find (the $1 spot and I’m not kidding). Be aware of what you’re paying for when you buy a piece of furniture. Quality of work and quality of materials used are often reflected in a higher price. The old saying is true. You get what you pay for.
And here she is in all of her glory…
This was one of my most difficult paint projects ever.
Using single knobs instead of pulls added a touch of sophistication, while also making the front of the chest less busy. The eye would now be drawn to the highlighted details instead of being drawn to the heavy, dark pulls that were original to the chest.
So much detail work!
And really, it all comes down to the details in a project like this. The right color combination, the right areas being highlighted (Again the right color choice for the highlights is just as important as picking out the two colors to use to begin with. Reversing the gray and black on this piece wouldn’t have worked imo.), and the right style of hardware. I never pick hardware until the painting is completed.
Love the rope and feather details. This was one of my most favorites of pieces of all time and I would have kept it if we’d had a place for it.
I don’t remember how many hours of prepping and painting I put into this project, but I do remember it was a lot.
It was a labor of love and surprisingly to me, it was a testimony of my artistic ability.
It’s easy to paint furniture, but it’s not always easy to highlight the right details or to use two tone colors that complement each other instead of each color fighting for attention.
When I finally finished this Bombay chest I realized there’s a huge difference between basic furniture painting that most furniture flippers do (and that I had done in the past) versus the artistic finishes that are not only time consuming, but also are done with a more advanced level of skill and patience. This was a great challenge and learning experience for me, and I’m so glad I stuck with it instead of caving in and going the easier route!
Hope you enjoyed the transformation.
Linking with Vintage Charm Party at My Thrift Store Addiction.