Friday, August 31, 2012

Total Makeover: The Lions Cabinet

close up of detail on door and inside
of Lions Cabinet (when done)
I have nearly completed a new project !  I have begun experimenting and learning to use Chalk Paint and Clay Paints to make over furniture pieces.  Or maybe I mean little ugly duckling or plain & ordinary pieces.  And finish them off with a bit of distressing, and then sealing with wax finishes.  Not long ago I made over a sweet shabby little timber table in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  This was a second project, and this time I used Volvox Clay Paint.  These have very similar properties as ASCP does.  However, without the ASCP waxes, and with the paint not yet available in Australia, I have been looking for other paints with similar features and attributes.  The Volvox Clay Paint is no VOC, all natural, and very lovely, adhering and covering quite like Chalk Paint.

So below, here are a few snaps of my latest Makeover Project:  The Lions Cabinet.

Lions Cabinet:  Before State
First, I found a fabulous petite wall cabinet that had a plexi glazing (plastic) in its door and the timber finish stained in dark wood, a mahogany-like colour.   With  a great looking carved crest at the top, featuring two lions, and nice turned and raised relief patterns on the door.  (found at Bowsers of the Barossa, a terrific source of vintage items of all sorts).  The timber finish, especially inside the cabinet, was a bit rough cast and not of a fine finish, which made me think it would take well to some textured paint, a bit of distressing, and dark wax to bring out the carved relief details.  So, a piece with potential and I was sure would makeover nicely, even though I am still learning to work with these paints and also wax finishes.

First I decided to paint the inside of the cabinet a vivid blue.  I made a custom colour mix of two of the five I had on hand of the Volvox Clay paint.  I love the colour,  like the deepest cornflower blue.  A soft sapphire.

Gorgeous deep cornflower blue
Then I mixed two more of the colours, a mocha grey with good depth and a light creamy white.  These made a fabulous french grey colour.  That went on the rest of the cabinet, back, sides, top, etc.  I know this looks oh so neat, and the photos do show it that way.  I was working at Salon Rouge that day and took this cabinet painting with me, including all my supplies in and out, to be tidy !  Hence the need to be  bit tidier, in some one else's space !

Custom mixed french grey paint
for the outer cabinet surfaces.
I always intended to paint the lions and some of the detailing on the little cabinet door in a creamy white, to light the look and detail of the piece.  When I got this done, it was very exciting to see how great it was coming along.

Lions get a coat of rich
creamy white.

And to this point it was all about the paint.  Then time to put on wax.  I have used a lovely emulsified beeswax, with a soft buttery consistency.  And that smells really good.  I worked it into the painted finish.  And gently distressed a bit of the edges of it lightly with sandpaper.  A bit more clear soft beeswax.  Before putting on some Fiddes & Sons wax in Rugger Brown.


dark wax antiques finish
on side of cabinet.

The dark wax is amazing and really gives a rich look to the piece, though initially it looks a bit scary, like you are going to ruin the paintwork !  But I have read so many other blogs and accounts of using this, I was prepared for the same to happen.  Still, it takes a bit of practice to get the hang one  what is enough and what works to get it just right !  I used brush and rags to push the dark wax into the relief and edges, rubbing it back a bit with clear wax to better blend into the paintwork.  I waxed the inside of the cabinet too, which made the deep cornflower colour absolutely glow.

Lions Cabinet:  After State.
Painted and finished in clear and dark waxes.
So here is my finished painted and waxed cabinet.  It still needs glazing work to put glass in to the door.   A job to complete on my return from business travel.  But I am pretty chuffed with he job on this lovely piece excited to see it on display.  What do you think ?

close up detail of lions and cabinet door,
carved relief detail highlighted with dark wax

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