When someone only sees a furniture item before it is renewed or after it is renewed, there is no perspective of how considerable and how impressive the transformation has been. This and the other galleries in this section show several of the transformations we have had a hand in creating. Here we focus on items which received a painted finish.
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Many of the finely carved furniture items made in the last few decades were created in Mexico, as was this nicely designed headboard. Our customer wanted the bed's design not the wood grain to be featured.
It takes a confident vision to obscure the handsome grain pattern which is featured in the center of this bed. But she was right, once the distracting wood grain is gone, the design of the bed and the carvings it depends up0n become rich features.
This bed was painted in an off white and glazed with a very thin brown glaze then finished with a coat of satin finish.
Most of the time we remove paint and apply wood finishes. Occasionally, as is illustrated above, we will apply a decorative painted finish when that is what the customer requests. The photos of this little table illustrate that sometimes we satisfy a customer's desire by applying a very simple painted finish. We love the interesting projects, but even more, we love it when a customer gets just what they wanted.
Normally, when someone sees the original Globe-Wernicke labels inside a barristers case, the first impulse is to restore the piece to its original and intended design. However, as can be seen in the photo second right, the condition of this piece would have required extensive and expensive veneer replacement or patching to accomplish that goal. Another path was chosen for this piece. It became a sampler for a few finishes that can be created and of ways decorative finishes can be customized.
The new finish didn't require removing the old, but it did require that loose veneer be glued, missing be patched, and all be smooth.
The idea was to show how painted finishes could be created that would yield a "semi-wood-like" appearance.
We started out masking off the top back corner of the left side of each piece to later reveal our starting point.
Next we applied what would be our base colors for each section: black, blue, red, orange and cream, each using milk paints.
Then we applied successive layers of toned finishes, remasking each time to preserve the steps.
Since the point was to create a sampler, the left sides and top front corner were not beautiful when done. As far as that goes, beauty wasn't the ultimate object with this project as it usually is for us. The effects that can be created by varying the toning can be clearly seen.
When beauty is the main consideration, we really were pleased with how the finish on the top turned out. These pictures do not convey well enough how interesting and attractive that finish ended up being. We let our finisher have fun and he created a very appealing result.
Let your imagination free when your turn comes to freshen up an older piece in hopeless disrepair.
Again our finisher had some freedom and created an elegant and contemporary look for this mid-twentieth century cedar chest A black base with gold highlighting gives a flash and brightness to the piece. The beauty of the wood grain on the face is still impressive and not overwhelmed by the gold. It takes a little daring to attempt this, but it worked!
A custom pink base color was created for this customer then a white glaze was applied to capture the features of the turnings. Pleasing one person alone is what counts, that is, the customer who took this home. We succeeded.
The first picture below left is the original look of the cabinet. Nice, but this customer thought it time for a facelift. She opted to keep the sliding tambour door and Y shaped support the original black color but to recolor the white sections to the rich brown you can see in the photos of the completed project. We also added a shelf on the left partition of the interior.