While out waddling pregnant on another furniture hunting trip I came across a nice nightstand. It was solid and tall with three nice drawers but didn’t really grab me. I thought that I needed some smaller pieces to work on so I would take it. There was a dark scratched finish that I was sure I could do something with.
Here is the before:
I definitely looks better in this picture than it did in real life. The finish was dull and scratched and the hardware was worn and funky.
So I set to work thinking about what I am going to do to it. It only then occurs to me that I cannot strip it since I’m pregnant. And unlike the midcentury dresser which had flat surfaces, this one has a lot of little grooves that would require A LOT of hand sanding. Anyone who has been here before knows I don’t like hand sanding. That means I am definitely not restaining. And since there is a pretty glossy coat on it now I would at least have to sand it to scratch it up a bit even if I wanted to paint it. Wonderful. Of course none of this occurred to me when I bought it because the baby had turned my brain to mush.
So I went over to the wall of paint I have in the shop and realized that the best way to go would be chalk/clay paint. I had a sample of CeCe Caldwell’s spring green that I thought might do nicely. It doesn’t require any sanding or priming and I have a thing for green. I mean I really could paint everything in green. All my after shots are taken in my living room, the one with the green walls.
But let me stop here for a moment. I am not a huge fan of the distressed look. I like when things look authentically chippy or worn. What I don’t like is the artificial distressing on some part of the piece that would never see wear and tear for real. It’s just a pet peeve that reminds me of the fake brick panels everyone had in their kitchens when I was a kid. Like, you’re not fooling anyone. Hate me if you want. And by all means tell me to screw off and go distress to your hearts content. I am merely explaining why I have a tough relationship with this paint. It has a mind of it’s own. I put on a coat and don’t expect to see full coverage but then I put another coat on and instead of adding more coverage, I brush some off in another spot. Somewhere there is always a spot not covered.
That’s what happened here. I would go over an area and feel like I was screwing up the next one. Since I only had a sample size I was starting to get very nervous. At one point I went down to the shop to look at it and it looked like it should be in The Hulk movie. I had basically thought I ruined it.
After a few touchups and some waxing, all worked out in the end. I learned to embrace the kind of layered look the wax/paint combo gives it along with the spots that are distressed. There is almost always a stage where I think I have ruined a piece but it was only until the very end that I was happy with this one. Maybe it’s just that this paint has a mind of it’s own and I like to have a bit more control. (I’m sure TB would have some comment on that.)
If you love it as much as I do pop over to my shop where it is for sale.
Here is the after:
And here is an up close shot of the cool layered / distressed look of the wax:
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