Paul has a thing for color.
We both do, really. But Paul rarely thinks in terms of whites and neutrals. When he sees a great piece of furniture, his gut almost always says, “put color on it.”
I’ve often written and spoken to people about how we purchase furniture that we like but we won’t do anything to it until one of us has a clear vision of what it should look like – or at least a clear vision of how it should start. As a result, some furniture gets painted right away and others sit for a while.
Sometimes a couple of years.
We’ve owned this beautiful, old cabinet for two years and have often discussed what we’d like to do with it. The veneers on the sides were badly damaged and the back needed to be replaced but overall, it was solidly built with lots of gorgeous details.
A few weeks ago, Paul pulled it out of storage and said he had a vision for it. He started by removing the loose veneers which came off entirely without a lot of coaxing, leaving a very rough finish. Paul was completely OK with this roughness, since his vision was to make this cabinet rustic and chippy with a hint of other colors suggesting layers of old paint.
The first color Paul applied was a textured coat of Cream Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan to which he added some sawdust to create even more texture. Later in the process, the sawdust will be scraped off leaving a beautiful chipped paint look.
Next came a bolder color. Paul painted the entire piece in Antibes Green Chalk Paint® and again, let it dry. Things were getting exciting now, this was coming together nicely, I thought.
The next step was a little unnerving, Paul randomly placed a selection of colors that would appear here and there giving the look of even more layers. For this he used English Yellow, Barcelona Orange, and Emperor’s Silk Chalk Paint®.
It looked insane.
I'm not gonna lie to you here, I was worried.
But Paul just kept plowing forward like a man on a mission. Finally he applied what would become the top color: Florence Chalk Paint® that had a little Provence Chalk Paint® pulled through it while it was still wet.
The interior of the cabinet was brightened up with a coat of Cream Chalk Paint®.
OK, it was all painted.
“Now what?” I asked.
Paul smiled, pulled out a paint scraper, a putty knife and 60 grit sandpaper and started scraping. The floor was covered with chipped paint. As he worked his way around the cabinet, the most beautiful textures and colors were being revealed.
Paul’s vision was definitely coming to life. There was just some waxing to be done and it would be finished.
The entire cabinet was waxed with Clear Chalk Paint® Wax then Paul made a custom mixed wax by combining Dark and Black Chalk Paint® Waxes. He applied this wax to the entire piece, making sure that he really worked it into the crevices and details.
The dark wax added such a richness to the Florence/Provence top color. It was definitely the right choice to make for this piece.
Paul finished up with a little more Clear Wax applied just to the high parts of some of the carvings and raised details. This removes a bit of the darker wax to enhance the contrast between the high and low parts.
We stood back and looked at the cabinet. It was beautiful. It wasn’t a quick process but it was a labor of love for Paul. It’s always thrilling to have your vision become reality. Especially when the reality is even better than the vision.
We can't wait to show you what's next!
We're Paul and Johanna and we write about our life in the furniture business. The things we love, the places we go, and the treasures we find along the way.