I am a VERY sentimental person! Like very!!!! Both my mother and my father have passed….and I miss them greatly! I use items that belonged to them in my home as decor….for comfort…..and a gentle reminder on the daily….as to where I come from….and wanting to honor my past. So I love that my work allows me the opportunity to help others do this same thing!
A good friend of mine had this "not so pretty" Early American circa 1958 china hutch that she acquired in WAY BACK in 1983 and she really wanted to incorporate into her new home. It did not, in any way, mesh with her current decor! But if you could see the look on her face when she looks at it….or talks about it. I love that she shared with me the memory of dusting this piece of furniture every Saturday morning. Dusting was her "job" as a child…and she loved this piece because she got to play with all the little tea cups and tea pots that were displayed on it….while she brought everything back to a beautiful shine. She said it made her feel "fancy"….and ya'll know what a sucker I am for that word!!!
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So….what to do!!!! There were very large and deep carvings on the lower doors. We chose to remove the upper doors…but the lower doors needed to stay. I filled the cravings with wood filler (maybe should have used bondo but I am not sure it would have made a difference) and sanded back. I repeated this process several times….fill/dry/sand/repeat…..until all cracks were filled.
I then covered the entire piece with shellac. It is an extra step in the process but is just necessary when working with older wood to block wood tannins (google wood tannins if you aren't familiar…they are a pain in my butt) especially if you are going to use a light-colored paint. The shellac process is fast and easy so it's not really a big deal.
I chose to use the color Manor House of the Heritage Collection by Heirloom Traditions Paint. It is a wonderful new and revolutionary product that has a primer and sealant built into it! With this product…had a been using one of the darker colors….I could have eliminated the shellac step. They offer it in 12 colors and you really should try it! I have listed all products used in my "SHOP" section below for your convenience.
I coated the body of the piece (not the top surface…I wanted to keep it raw and enhance the wood grain even more). Here is a quick video showing a technique I used on the door fronts that you might want to check out….
I used a total of three coats on this piece with less than half a quart. The coverage is fantastic…but going from dark wood to a white finish almost always requires that third coat. I had hoped to be finished here…but the door front carvings were giving me a really hard time! I decided to move onto the wood top and revisit the door fronts after a break.
Heirloom Traditions recently developed a gel wood stain that is just amazing. I was an avid user of another brand….shhhh!…..and was hesitant to switch. I gave this a try…….since HELLO….I am a brand ambassador AND they always produce amazing products….so I did! And what a piece of cake it was to win me over! It has a very low odor in comparison to the "other brand" I have always used. It applies easily with just a chip brush….and wipes off with plenty of open time! I brushed on/wiped off one coat…..decided I wanted just a bit more depth and did it just ONE more time….for a rich and beautiful finish! NO sanding….no prep…..right over the existing finish!
The photo below is BEFORE…
And this is AFTER!!!! Just look at the richness of that grain!!! AND just maybe you noticed the door and drawer fronts have crocodile texture on them now??? Yeah…..they do. The carved flowers were giving me hell….so I went with texture…..and even glaze (client satisfaction plays into the glazing decision….stay with me….it was a process and a test of patience).
Look at this photo though….it is the best representation of the finished product…..and I have videos below to explain how we got here……
I am a little bit obsessed with the croc pattern….and I've listed the stencil in my SHOP section below so you too can become obsessed! Here is my video with the WHY and HOW of this process using Venetian Texture Medium.
Ok….so the hutch is now looking so fresh with its new Manor House color and textured doors. My friend comes over to see it and tell me she loves it and we plan delivery for the following night. But then this happens…
You still with me??? LOL! Sometimes its just easier to say it to you in video than to type the whole thing out!!! So thanks for watching!
And here we are!!!!! Delivery still happened on time! And the hutch now sits in Linda's beautiful new home! I really wish I had recorded a video of us loading her china into it. This hutch sat in her storage for 34 long years just waiting to be used! She was so precious to watch as we loaded both her parents' china and her husband's parents china into this cabinet. It was at this moment that she held that blue and white tea pot in her hands and reminisced about being a little girl and dusting this piece every Sunday. She is boasting with pride to display this cabinet in her home….honoring her family memories.
And this my friends….is why I do what I do!
As always……I hope to inspire you! The process of upcycling, redressing, updating, repurposing….whatever you want to call it…..it is so fulfilling!!! You really should give it a try!
A great big hug to Heirloom Traditions Paint for sponsoring this post with free paint supplies….and for continuing to develop amazing products with amazing support! I am not paint to represent HTP but I just love working with their products.
Here are the products I used and recommend. You can also see my entire list of favorites on my Amazon influencer list here.
If you want to admire these raised gator stencil projects, look at these pieces:
Now go make something fancy!! And sign up for more of my furniture makeovers here.
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