Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Ugly Cheap Cabinet

Not long ago, I found this sideboard at an estate sale. 
 It was in the garage
lost under a mountain of boxes, magazines, and paint cans.

I think you'll agree it was in rough shape!

But that also meant a modest price tag. 
 I couldn't resist.
 SOLD for $15.

It's been sitting in my workshop for a while,
because I didn't know quite what to do with it.

I was waiting for inspiration to hit.
Meanwhile, it needed some repair, sanding and primer.

 I cleaned up the hardware,
just in case I decided to use the handles again.

Which reminds me.
Here's a tip for cleaning paint from metal hardware:
Place them in a pan of boiling water - and simmer. 

The paint will bubble up and easily come off.
Use an old toothbrush for those hard to reach spots.

This week I decided to give the cabinet some paint.

For some reason, I'm in a blue mood,
 so I reached for my favorite blue-grey color
 Benjamin Moore HC 146,
Wedgewood Grey.
Then antiqued it with a grey glaze.

A quick trip to Hobby Lobby snagged these handles.
Of all the handles, these were the only ones
with a 4" spread, that would fit the original holes.

The simple lines of the cabinet with the handles appeal to me.

But I've gotten ahead of myself
and shared the project before it's completed!
The drawers need to be lined
and all the hardware put in place.

Sometimes, I just get excited!!!
I promise a full photo when all the details are finished.



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Plastered in the Kitchen

One of the many things I enjoy about my job
is that every day is different.
The unexpected, the challenging, and the creative
are just a phone call away!

Recently I was called to do a repair in a kitchen.
  Isn't this a cute room?

The room had been done over ten years ago.
 I wasn't the original artist, but whoever did this job,
did it very nicely.
 Unfortunately, the plaster began to fail over the refrigerator.
Could I fix this, somehow?

My first question was 'why' did this happen.
Moisture?  Heat?  Poor surface prep?
Once I was satisfied that there were no hidden problems
that first needed to be fixed,
I scraped the plaster from the wall
and began to work.

Decorative painting, much like handwriting,
is unique~
no two people do it the same.

Here was the challenge:

Not only did I need to match the product
the previous artist used,
but also her colors and style.

At this point, there's no turning back!
How well could I copy this?

I roughed up the surface of the wall,
primed and painted,  
then stenciled the grapes
 and glued the wine labels in place.

Texture was added on top of this.
You can see some was skimmed over the painting
so that in the end,
it would look as though they
were hidden in the plaster wall.

The final touch was staining
 and blending into the original work.

Now, things are back to normal
in  Mrs. C's kitchen.
And her phone call to say 'thank you'
was one I ws glad to receive.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ceiling Medalions

One of my little projects this week
was painting a ceiling medallion
 to blend with a client's dining room decor.
A very simple combination of 
 bronze and antique gold
would do nicely in her room.
It took me less than an hour to do this.
But what surprised me most
 was seeing the same ceiling medallion
at a local lighting store
for $314 ON SALE!

Medallions make a stylish addition to any room. 
Typically, I like to use the colors
of the chandelier on the medallion.
This gives a little more "zip" to the chandelier
and visually ties the two elements together.

Like this:

It's not often that I'm asked to paint
medallions in pastel colors,
but aren't these unique?

Wish I'd seen them installed.

And sometimes, I paint a quick 'faux' medallion,
right on the ceiling, as in this nursery.

This client thought beyond a simple medallion.
The light fixture in her den became the center
of a large mariner's compass rose.

More and more people are looking up
and bringing their ceilings
into the total design of their rooms.

I'm delighted to see that ceilings
are being painted with color and pattern.

No longer is the ceiling just an expanse of white,
but another canvas for self-expression.  


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Small space - big impact, a Butler Pantry.

Seven years ago (!) I painted this client's dining room. 
The walls are multiple layers of plaster
tinted olive green and ochre
with bits of gold leaf peeking through.  

Next to the dining room is a butler pantry. 
And this week I was asked to paint it.

The client wanted something
 that would relate to the dining room,
but nothing serious....
 whimsical and fun, please.

We settled on two patterns --
a contemporary design of metallic
rectangles and squares.
Copper, bronze, silver and gold.
A backsplash of sorts.

Here's a close up of it in progress.

Lots  and lots of tape for this project! 
You can see that I used Benjamin Moore's Metallic Glazes.
In fact, it was a Ben-Moore brochure
that inspired this project.
Where the squares overlap, secondary colors are made.
Silver over bronze. 
 Gold over copper.
Yummy all over!

On the opposite wall,
the client asked for stripes of random widths.
But only on the lower portion of the wall, please.
She plans to hang some bold art above.
The space isn't large,
but it makes quite an impact --
and that's just what we wanted.

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