Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pretty Pretty Pretty Peggy Sue


At least 10 years ago, when Mr. Quirky's grandmother downsized to assisted living we were the proud recipients of several furniture pieces that no one else wanted.  Sue (that's grandma Quirky's name) was an incredibly talented china painter and lamp maker.  One of the pieces I brought home was a recycled radio (or television?) cabinet that her husband had converted to storage for her lamp making supplies.  It wasn't in very good shape when I got it, and many years of storage in my basement and then garage, filled with heavy metal lamp parts, did not help any.  The drawers didn't really pull out.  The drawer fronts were falling off.  The top hinge on one door was disconnected because the wood was cracked and missing.  Part of the decorative edge on the cabinet base was broken off.   ETC ETC ETC..... So this lovely cabinet just sat...and sat....and sat....



Then one wonderful day I met the man of my dreams.  A man with a fabulous wood shop and 50 years of experience in woodworking.  BEST "MEET" EVER!   He was kind enough to help me through the extensive process of taking the whole thing apart, fixing the broken parts, replacing missing wood - basically doing whatever was necessary to make the cabinet function again.  FYI - when I say "help me through the process" I mean he did the hard stuff and I did the easy stuff.  This all took place pre-blog thoughts, so of course I have no pictures of any of that.  

But I have pictures of the rest - so here goes. AFTER REPAIRS - BEFORE:



This cabinet was very dirty so I sanded it quite a bit just to get the grime off. 

We reinforced the drawers by inserting trim pieces into all the seams of the drawers - nailed and glued.  I never would have thought of this on my own - I would have just kept putting in nails here and there - but these drawers are sturdy suckers now!


Once this was cleaned up I did the following:  WARNING!  Imagination required for this segment:

  • Painted two coats of pink paint from my paint stock - flat finish.
  • Used a large stencil I had on hand (from Hobby Lobby) to draw on the decorative painting pattern. I did not stencil this on because I was using bits and pieces of the stencil pattern and because the trim didn't allow for the flat surfaces needed for stenciling.
  • Added the accent painting - green from paint stock and bronze acrylic - on the legs and cabinet.
  • Filled in the decorative painting.
  • Waxed with Walnut Briwax and Clear Minwax.  Note:  I wasn't really happy with the pink color so I used the dark wax first to alter the color as much a possible,  I then had to remove a lot of the color with the clear wax, sanding, more clear wax, etc.  Note#2:  The acrylic bronze did not take the dark stain well because the nature of a metalic is to resist stain.  I did not anticipate this.  The more muted application of true stenciling would have been preferred on this piece.  I had to do a lot of distressing to get even this close to the look I was going for.
  • WAXED THE BOTTOM OF THE DRAWER EDGES AND DRAWER SUPPORTS IN THE CABINET.  This should be done periodically for drawers that function without glides - when the wood slides on wood.

AFTER:


This lovely pitcher is an example of Sue's china painting skills  You can see much more of her work here
These dried Quickfire Hydrangeas are an example of my hydrangea growing skills :)!


Close up of accent painting.  You can also see the distressing/waxing here.


I lined the drawers with scrapbook paper applied with decoupage medium.


Then loaded her up with all those crafting supplies that I had stored in random spaces.  These shallow drawers are perfect for miniature supplies like thread, etc.  In drawer #1 I used tea cups and saucers as holders/dividers for all things sewing.  I really needed a space (with good lighting) to lay out my thread and this works perfectly.  A lot of this thread actually belonged to Sue -



On my "Happiness With Complete Projects" scale I rate this a 6.  There are a lot of things I would do differently if I had it to do again.  However, I love having this piece finished and usable - and that brings it up to an 8.5. 

Most important:  I cherish having items and furniture that connect me to lovely talented people like Sue.  When Mr. Quirky's family visits it means something to them, too.

Make something wonderful today! 
And as my dad says:  Have a day...



Karen


14 comments:

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Awesome makeover. Love the lining.

Chrissie said...

just beautiful! What a great piece!

Cottage and Broome said...

Your redo came out great, the stencil really makes it look elegant! Laura

tree-shades said...

OH.MY.WORD! Absolutely love it! You have inspired me. (came over from Miss Mustard Seed)

Val, Malaysia

somewhat quirky said...

Thanks Laura. Just checked out your blog. You must be channeling me - I too crave wall to wall shelves - but I have kept my book craving in check up to this point. Love the turquoise dresser. I'm a bold color kind of girl.

Amanda said...

What a beautiful piece! You obviously put a lot of love and hard work into this hutch! I love the stenciling...it just gave it that extra "wow" factor! Nicely done!
Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda

somewhat quirky said...

Thanks Amanda. Funny - I was just admiring your vanity makeover this morning. I am envious.

somewhat quirky said...

Thanks Val. I was reading on your blog about your trip to Botswana over the holidays. What a wonderful way to spend Christmas!

somewhat quirky said...

Thanks Rosemary. I've been wanting to try out your gesso technique for a while now. I think I found the perfect piece for it.....

stephanie said...

I love that piece. IF you recall I included it in my post about you. I read this earlier and was left wondering why you would call him Mr. Quirky. I was thinking that wasn't very nice. I don't think he's quirky. Then later it hit me. Duh. The husband of somewhat quirky is Mr. Quirky.

somewhat quirky said...

So funny!!! Jennifer and I got a big laugh out of this. Thanks for that!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

So sweet- love how it came out!! Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

oh wow, that is one beautiful piece! i love it- and it is so useful, too!

Little Miss Maggie said...

Karen, I just love this makeover. You did an awesome job! I'm working on a radio cabinet right now and you have so inspired me.

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