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

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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!

Executive Desk Makeover

It’s A Hot Mess….

“We’re not bringing that home…the leg is broken off!” … “it’s too heavy….too big…” … “it’s ugly”…

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These are actual words that were spoken as we stopped to retrieve this sad desk.  There were also others that will not be repeated here…

All were quite true, except for the part about not bringing it home.  It desperately needed to come home with us!

The very first thing we did was use Bondo, epoxy adhesive and some creative carving to reattach the broken leg.  Since it’s a weight-bearing part, glue or putty would not have been strong enough, and there were also a few chunks missing which required re-creating the profile by carving into the dried Bondo surface. After carving, sanding and painting, it is hard to tell unless you know which leg it is and look very closely!

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img_2787Decor trends go through phases; faux-painted furniture was all the rage in the 1960’s, and you can find lots of pieces painted from that time frame in mustard or avocado with this faux wood grained antiquing finish.img_2783

  Say what you will about them, I credit these sometimes heinous finishes for protecting lots of beautiful wood for decades!  Paint doesn’t harm wood furniture; in fact, it can preserve it nicely as you will see on this particular desk.

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This desk had one potentially fatal issue; Mildew or mold infestation can be a serious and sometimes unfixable  problem with older furniture stored in damp places.  No one wants strange odors lingering in their furniture and they certainly do not want spore contamination to spread from furniture to the items stored in it.  Fortunately, the paint on this desk actually protected the wood from mold/mildew that had started growing on the painted surface; the mildew had not infiltrated the interior, and once the paint was chemically stripped, the wood beneath was beautiful and free of any mold infection.  A light wash inside and out of the entire piece with an anti-mildew agent ensured any sneaky spores wouldn’t take hold elsewhere.  Probably unnecessary in this case but better safe than sorry. (Using a mask and gloves is important anytime mildew issues are addressed).

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As you can see here, we started sanding off the painted finish to get a peek at what was underneath before deciding to use a mild chemical stripper on the rest of it.

 

 

 I don’t know about you, but I was THRILLED by what I found underneath this corner – look at that wood!!!  Sanding can take a LONG time, and can be physically demanding both on the person sanding and the veneer (as was the case here).  Chemically stripping off old paint can be an easy – but messy – first step with just minimal sanding required after to even out the finish.

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We did find a few cigarette burns in the surface (another sign of past trends) that were gently sanded out; creative wood stain application camouflaged the remaining scars.  A couple of coats of polyurethane on top, and this desk is well-protected for another few decades!

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Did I mention in previous posts that I’m a sucker for Fusion’s Midnight Blue paint? Well, here’s more evidence!

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While moving this desk into our spare bedroom/home office, we realized how the leg was initially broken off….this heavy desk is huge and required some creative angling to make it through the undersized doorways in our older home!  But it was SO worth it, and she will not be moving again unless we do!

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

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

 

 

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things; Missing Veneer, Broken Handles, Mysteriously Absent Trim

This project is True to our Mantra:

Revive. Refresh. Restore.

BEFORE

This duo was on it’s last stop before the trash heap, so despite having no room … they came home with me.   After further inspection, most of the parts were contained in the drawers, and the interior was in great shape!  Bonus!!

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Transformation

Whenever someone suggests that simply slapping paint on wood shouldn’t take too much skill or time…. I recall how every clamp in my shop was doing double duty for weeks splicing these dressers back together.  And did you ever notice how a dresser seems to triple in size once you remove the drawers?  Then comes the washing (inside and out) dewaxing (yes, that is an invented word), and lightly sanding wood filler and years of blemishes.  Each drawer interior then gets cleaned and sealed, often with hemp oil for an invisible finish that freshens up the interior wood to look like new.

 

Midnight Blue to the Rescue

One of my all-time favorite FUSION Mineral Paint colors, Midnight Blue is the perfect Little Black Dress for just about any piece of furniture.  To obtain a smooth finish, I used a microfiber roller and a handmade Staalmeester Ultimate One brush for the Perfect Finish! I highly recommend the Staalmeester Ultimate brushes; with the caveat that you may never be able to go back to using a ‘common’ brush.

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Tip Top

I’m partial to the look of real wood on the top of my dresser, so after piecing veneer back into place (the ultimate puzzle!) and patching some spots on the tops, I used the subtle opacity of FUSION’s new Double Espresso Gel Stain to camouflage the repairs while providing a durable wood finish.  This product is great – especially for a piece that may not take well to sanding off the old finish to raw wood due to the veneer’s fragility.

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AFTER

 

Capturing the true color is challenging in my space, I’ll keep trying to get a good glamour shot – but the After is definitely an improvement, even with substandard lighting.  Along the way there was a brief trip to Rochester’s ReHouse Architectural Salvage to secure a single matching handle to replace a missing piece….that place is a life saver!!!

All of the products and tools used on this project are available for purchase (along with how-to instructions) at our shops on Monroe Ave in Brighton and Ridge Road in Sodus as well as at our online store;

https://lakeside-restoration.myshopify.com/

What projects have you painted in Midnight Blue?  We would Love to see them – share them below!!