Friday, August 13, 2010

Before & After: Treasure chest ...

I think the word 'brocante' is so much more charming than 'secondhand.' The French sure know a thing or two about vintage goods and furnishings, so aptly called brocante. They rarely toss out anything, no matter how worn or distressed from use or time. I can only guess that's why there are so many French antiques.

Not all of my finds are rare or even gems, but then again, they are generally found at flea markets, consignment shops, and yes, I confess to some dumpster diving as well. But, these ugly runts with great bones make the very best 'Before & After' projects. A little stripper, sandpaper and a can of paint can transform trash to treasure (like this little chest I bought for a song.)

With a bit of elbow grease, this darling little chest took on a striking new life. After stripping, she was given a new coat of bronze paint, then, I applied silver leaf and finished with a subtle sanding to create a distressed look.

Even when refinishing an old piece, I often like to leave a bit of distress to encourage the story it tells through wear. What makes a piece interesting to me is its history (real or imagined). So, allowing furniture to show some of its age makes it all the more appealing.

Whoever painted this tragic green paint on this lovely little chest (Before, left) did not simply stop at the wood. It took a great deal of work (After, right) to remove the paint from the handsome, bronze decoration on the leg tops and bottoms.

Just remember to refinish the inside of drawers as well. Chances are some guest will want to ooh and ahh over your little find (and simultaneously sneak in a quality-check of your work), so give the hidden surfaces a good update, too.

Don't forget the 'unseen' surfaces, like drawers and backsides.

1 comment:

Parisian Bijoux said...

I love so many of your before and afters! Your blog is awesome!!!

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