When I first saw this buffet, I knew that it was special. It had beautiful detail that was going to be spectacular once it was highlighted. Overall it was in excellent condition aside from the giant chunk out of the top and several deep scratches. The chunk eliminated any chance of staining the top, as camouflaging a patch that large would be next to impossible.
The trick to a gorgeous finish is prep work, prep work, and more prep work. First things first, I needed to fill the holes and scratches. There was also some loose detail trim at the bottom of the body that needed to be reattached and secured. Then came the issue of the original mahogany finish. If you have ever painted furniture, you know that as beautiful as mahogany stain is, if you ever hope to paint over it you need a ton of patience. You see, once you break through the lacquer of the existing finish, the red component of the stain will bleed through relentlessly. It bleeds through primer, and as many coats of paint as you care to apply. The only way that I have found to stop it is to put a lacquer barrier between it and your paint. Since this piece had a high gloss finish, I needed to give it a light sanding to improve adhesion–therefore exposing the mahogany stain. My process went like this:
- Fill the hold and scratches.
- Sand the filler smooth
- Lightly sand the entire piece to improve adhesion (and unleash satan)
- Prime the entire piece. This served a couple of purposes. First, it improves the adhesion of the paint. It also shows me where the stain will bleed through so that I can strategically apply lacquer.
- Apply lacquer to the areas where the stain bled through.
I knew that I wanted the finished piece to look old and loved. I don’t know if it is the summer weather or what, but I had the urge to paint this buffet a gorgeous soft blue. After viewing and rejecting about 85 shades of blue, blue-gray, and blue-green, I finally settled on Behr October Sky. From there I debated on how to highlight the features. I absolutely love the look of brown dry-brushing over blue paint, but that left me unhappy with my options for the top. Brown paint is so tricky as it so often can look too solid and muddy. As a result, I decided to go with Waverly’s Elephant –a gorgeous charcoal gray–to accent the soft blue.
Using the gray to dry brush over the body brought out every detail. It made it look worn and broken in, yet the color is updated and fresh. I painted the top a solid Elephant gray and finally dry brushed the entire piece with Waverly Mineral paint for additional depth. The hardware was in great shape and fit the style of the piece, so they just got a quick refresh with oil-rubbed bronze paint. I protected the entire piece with Maison Blanche clear wax.
I am so thrilled with the final result. It is just waiting to start a new life with a fresh face.
Hold my wine, I’ve got this…
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