Why Did You Paint That?!

So often, folks are appalled when others update vintage or antique furniture using paint.  It’s easy for them to blame us for “ruining” a piece, however they often don’t stop to consider that perhaps someone else ruined it already and we are just reviving a well-built piece so it can be recycled and enjoyed. 

If folks collectively took such great care of their furniture, then we wouldn’t end up with things like the following:

Discolored or Water-Stained Wood 

Sometimes it’s the old linseed oil finish aging gracelessly; sometimes it’s sun bleaching or water leaching.  Any way you look at it, it’s not pretty. 

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Damaged Veneer

Surprisingly easier to fix than you may think – if  painting.  It’s an enormous endeavor if you hope to patch with matching veneer and stain.   Most of these pieces aren’t going to be worth the time and effort of replacing with stain-quality veneer, so the choice is often to cut, patch and paint in order to keep it’s life going!

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Chips and Gouges

Life Happens

 

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Paint Splatters and Mishaps

Oh the stories some of these pieces could tell!

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Burns!

Cigars or cigarettes left on the edge of a table “just for a minute” only to burn down to a nub when forgotten; ashtrays that spill their flaming contents; and don’t forget the occasional candle left seriously unattended….

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Barns

(AKA Droppings & Mildew)

Don’t get me wrong – barns are great places to find buried treasure – you just need to be prepared for some serious cleaning….and then some more. Think sparrows, bats, cats, moist hay, rodents….but don’t think too hard about it or you may miss a real gem.

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So, why did I paint that piece?!

Revive. Refresh. Restore. It’s all about Sustainability.

Because Reviving beauty doesn’t always mean bringing it back to original condition;

Because Refreshing is restoring strength to piece of furniture;

Because Restoring function is what keeps a well-made piece in circulation and out of the landfill.

We would LOVE for you to share pictures here of some of your most desperate-looking diamonds in the ROUGH! 

All of the products to complete these projects are available at our Online Shop

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After
Before

After
Before

Explore other posts in our blog for more transformations and tips – and don’t forget to venture into the second page of oldie but goodie posts!

1920’s Dressers – So Versatile!

The Before

This is one of my favorite styles of furniture to work with; well made, lots of storage, easy to repair and open to any style of finish from traditional to rustic.  These pieces of furniture can be used in just about every room in the house too.  A server in the dining room, entryway storage, bathroom vanity, and of course, for clothing or winter blanket storage in a bedroom. 

This particular dresser is Enormous (50 inches wide!).  It had definitely seen better days. Although the wood veneer was beautifully grained, there were lots of scratches, a few gouges, several spillage or burn marks, and a few other hard-use scars that would require complete stripping and thorough sanding to bring back to beautiful wood – with no guarantees that all that work would save the deepest of the stained areas.  Not to mention, sanding something this size is an outdoor job; but not during the winter in Upstate NY.

The Top

With the level of discoloration on the top, I opted to use FUSION’s Double Espresso Gel Stain, which is a nearly opaque, tinted polyurethane.  It leaves a nice, durable wood finish while blending in some of the color variations. While it isn’t necessary to sand before applying, I hand-sanded as many of the stains out of the top as I could for a more uniform final finish.

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BEFORE

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AFTER Gel Stain

The Body

Homestead House Milkpaint carries a line of historic colors that look fantastic on antique pieces.  The finish can also be very rustic and chippy, which gives an authentic modern farmhouse look without having to deal with furniture originally painted with dangerous, lead-based paint. I love blues, and have been wanting to try Rideau Blue on a large piece! Keep in mind, authentic milk-paint must be in powdered form.  If it comes pre-mixed as a liquid then it is not actual milkpaint and contains all sorts of other fillers that are not part of historic, authentic milkpaint; this is often referred to as “simulated” milkpaint – and it won’t perform nearly as well as the real deal from Homestead House or Miss Mustard Seed.

Milkpaint fun!

One of the fun things about using milkpaint without adding a binder, is that it will perform uniquely and chip where it wants to in a natural, authentic way.  It can also be used as a more solid finish by adding an acrylic bonding agent, however I like to see how it’s going to go on it’s own first.

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After it dries, a light sanding reveals where the paint would like to stay and where it would like to randomly chip off.  Application of a little FUSION hemp oil brings out the true depth of milkpaint color and enhances the chipped areas beautifully!image_b9457dc4-784a-43e6-baea-8134b1951b8e.img_9539If you haven’t yet tried painting with milkpaint, it’s a must-try! It is capable of such a variety of finishes; a solid stain on raw wood, a solid rustic finish using binder, and a chippy farmhouse look – it’s so much fun! Lakeside Restoration and Vintage Matters will be offering milkpaint workshops in February, so keep an eye out on the events page on Facebook for your chance to play www.lakesiderestoration.net

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After applying Hemp Oil on the Left; Before applying hemp oil on the Right. You can see how it deepens the color a bit and enhances the chipped areas.

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Just a few minor repairs along the way to make sure the drawers are working well!

 

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It’s starting to come together!

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Oh, yes….the GIGANTIC mirror! I tweeked my back hefting this one in to place. But look at how nicely the mirror finishes off the piece!

 

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LOVE THIS!!!

After a thorough cleaning, the drawer interiors were in pretty nice shape for the age of this piece.  I opted to re-hydrate them and polish the interior finish using FUSION’s new Lavender scented furniture wax.  Not only does this wax brighten up and seal the wood, but it also smells incredible!!!fusion_mineral_paint-wax-lavender-200g

All of the products used to refinish this dresser are available at our shops, Vintage Matters at 7060 Ridge Road Sodus, NY and Lakeside Restoration 1476 Monroe Ave Rochester, NY  – or at our online store at https://lakeside-restoration.myshopify.com/

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FINISHED!!

Revive. Refresh. Restore. Lakeside Restoration.

 

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Farmhouse Pantry Refinish

Painting a Farmhouse Cupboard

It sounded simple enough; paint a farmhouse cupboard to be used as home office storage.  After searching far and wide for the perfectly sized and shaped piece, the customer picked up this awesome antique pantry cupboard at another local shop and brought it to us for refinishing to coordinate with her beautifully appointed modern farmhouse.  It turned out to be much more than simple painting and is one of the more interesting and satisfying pieces we’ve done!

As you can see, there’s quite a bit of history worn on this cupboard along with some water damage on the lower portion, to the point that the door became warped and kicked out at the bottom. Repair need noted.  You can also see the gouges in the side that was previously built-in but would now be exposed on a free standing cabinet. Repair noted.

There were also nail points poking through the side and a slew of general cosmetic needs requiring replacing fasteners, patching and sanding.  Most significant, however, was the fact that this massive cupboard would not sit flat.  In fact, it rocked so much on it’s uneven base that we promptly laid it flat on it’s back for our own safety.  Another charm of a formerly built-in piece; it was previously nailed to the floor and to surrounding walls/cabinets, so a flat bottom was not a priority for it’s original use.  Safely sitting level in a freestanding position was now the new priority for it’s next life.  Major repair noted.  Otherwise, we were in awe of how well-built this cupboard really was!

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We added large, square wood blocks to the bottom corners set back enough that they wouldn’t protrude and be obvious add-ons.  To those, we secured adjustable feet for leveling once in place at it’s new home.  The first and most important repair done and now we could set it up for other repairs and painting!  Oh, but first choosing the paint color…

Milkpaint or Fusion Paint?

So, if you check out the Instagram page, SimpleDecorWithAmy, you will see how beautifully appointed this customer’s home is and how intentional her color choices are.  So of course, we planned on a custom color mix!  What I hadn’t planned for, is that the perfect color would be a mix of a Homestead House milkpaint color (Cartier) and a Fusion Mineral Paint color (Brook)!  Can they even be mixed??!!  Time to research and experiment!  Turns out the answer is YES, these water-based paints can be mixed, and the finish turns out to be a glorious hybrid with the best qualities of both!

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We started with a wash of Algonquin milkpaint since the piece was practically raw wood in spots, it soaked in beautifully, creating a color block that toned down the red to a more neutral brown and will never chip because it is incorporated into the wood.  

Then, we mixed up a batch of Homestead’s Cartier milkpaint and introduced just the right amount of Fusion’s Brook. You can see how much more opaque the finish becomes with this step.True to it’s milkpaint roots, this color mix also distressed beautifully and chipped where we had strategically pre-applied a light wax before painting.  image_1dabc659-d229-43da-853c-2a82d7463ff9.img_7384

Final Touches

image_282b4867-b022-442a-8e8b-533f310abdb8.img_7485After making and adding a wood latch to pull the warped door in further, it was time to seal the exterior with hemp oil and paint the shelves with durable Fusion Raw Silk to create a clean and inviting space for storage.

The final photos from the customer’s Instagram are of this cupboard in it’s new home and beautifully styled to show off how well it fits into it’s new space. I especially adore the winter decor photo!  Such a transformation from where we started!  This customer could clearly see this aged piece for it’s potential in her beautiful home.  Cheers to new life!

 

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Revive. Refresh. Restore.  Lakeside Restoration.

All Homestead House and FUSION products used to update this Farmhouse Cupboard can be found at our shops; Lakeside Restoration in Rochester, NY and Vintage Matters in Sodus, NY.  www.lakesiderestoration.net      They can also be purchased at our online store www.lakeside-restoration.myshopify.com