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Sometimes there's more to a piece than meets the eye. As a furniture artist, one of the talents I pride myself in is the ability to see a piece of furniture for what it could be, looking past what it is in the moment I run across it.
When I saw this cedar chest, I went through a list of pros and cons about it in my mind.
👎🏼 Con: The original skirt was press board and it was beginning to crumble from years of use.
👍🏼 Pro: The faux apothecary drawer fronts along the face of the upper half could go so many incredible ways!
👎🏼 Con: Replacing the basic hardware would be a chore. Those holes aren't going to fill themselves!
👍🏼 Pro: Again... Think apothecary.
The list went on for some time but it wasn't too long before I realized this piece needed to be mine. After all, it had good bones and was basically a blank canvas I could go many directions with! Thus, I loaded it up and brought it to my studio, where it would receive a complete overhaul.
Pretty basic, right?
I started this chest's journey by removing the old, tattered skirt. Like I said, it was crumbling in places and needed to go.
I can't take credit for the next part. I have a wonderful husband that does a lot of the repairs and building for me. I help, mostly in a supervisory capacity! 😜
Next, we ran to our local hardware store to pick up some wood and building materials. Once we had what we needed, we (he) began to build a new base. We used pine for a couple of reasons. One, it's affordable. Two, I LOVE the wood grain design in pine! It's a softwood, so it's a good idea to keep that in mind when choosing your wood type for your furniture projects. I knew the base wouldn't get much traffic and it would be raised up via legs, so I was confident in my wood choice.
My husband is an electrician by trade. Being married to me has made him pick up some skills in carpentry! Check out the progress and craftsmanship of the new skirt!
Next, I removed all the hardware and cleaning it with White Lightening, a TSP product by Dixie Belle. From there I filled the holes using JB Weld Kwik Wood (you can also use Dixie Belle's Mud).
I then sanded the piece in entirety using 220 grit sandpaper. This step is to rough up the surface and smooth out imperfections. I then coated it with Boss Clear, a problem-solving product by Dixie Belle that traps in stains, odors and tannin bleeds.
Once these steps were complete, the fun part could begin. Using WoodUBend Mouldings, I added gears to the surface in random, yet strategic places.
Next up: PAINT!
This is the moment every furniture artist waits for. After hours of prep, repairs and building, I am finally to a point where I can start laying down my paint design.
It's funny, but I found myself going in one direction and true to form, veered off course. My initial design was lighter in color, more along the hues of grays and camels. But after staining the bottom, I decided to go with a darker approach.
Here's your Dixie Belle Paint color supply list:
Also used were Dixie Belle's No Pain Gel Stains in the following colors:
🎨 A 1:1 mix of Weathered Gray and Colonial Black = Charcoal
Don't forget brushes! I used Dixie Belle's Mini Synthetic Brushes.
In addition, Dixie Belle's New Gemstone Mousse in Copper and Silver were used. Those products will be available in the fall!
Though I don't have footage of the entire piece, you can get an idea of how I painted the base with this video. I did this LIVE on my Facebook page July 30th, 2020. Watch it here:
Video no working? Click here to watch it on YouTube!
Let's talk about the stained base. Using Frog Tape, I sectioned off areas to create a planked look. I alternated the application of colors, using all Dixie Belle No Pain Gel Stains to create the look. This technique is simple yet unique!
Once my finish was complete, I embellished the piece using Mid Century Styled Feet, Catalog Pulls, Bar Pulls, Trim, and metal accents on the corners. The best part about industrial styled refinishing? There are no rules!
I'm going to be honest. This piece was a labor of love and took lots of time and patience to complete. However, I couldn't be happier with the results!
Thank you viewing this blog! If you learned from this post and would like to support Lotus Theory Designs, click here to order your Dixie Belle paints and WoodUBend using my affiliate link. You won't pay more, products will be delivered to your door, and I get to continue bringing you free tutorials!
Thank you for your continued support! Until next time!