French Provincial Upgraded with Modern Farmhouse Style
French Provincial Upgraded with Modern Farmhouse Style

French Provincial Upgraded with Modern Farmhouse Style

The amazing opportunity arose for me to buy this chest of drawers from a resident and family descendent of a castle. Although not antique, the style was perfect for my next project. The castle and surrounds also helped to inspire the re-imagined farmhouse look. It took over six months before I found time to transform it.

Each piece gives me an opportunity to do something different. Although I don’t have a signature style, I have a certain approach. This approach includes: connect to the original piece, stay true to its essence, reveal as much of the original wood underneath as possible, use environmentally friendly process and products, and be playful. I welcomed the chance to try out something more rustic. More farmhouse style.

My vision included revealing the wood hidden beneath the white paint layered over the original finish. Unfortunately, removing this finish down to bare wood or wood veneer became almost impossible. The paint resisted stripping agents, scraping, sanding and even the use of a heat gun. Underneath, mahogany dye saturated the wood and veneer. Removing this discolouration was also affecting the thinning veneer.

When these difficulties occur, several questions arise. Is it worth the extra effort? Can the piece survive further stripping and/or sanding? Am I using too many additional elements to justify the result? Does it maintain the integrity of the original piece? How does this impact the environment? Do I have time?

I abandoned attempts to reveal the wood veneer top and focused instead on the solid wood feet and apron. The decision to repaint the chest of drawer top was difficult to make, but furniture refurbishment is both creative and pragmatic.

This is a heavy piece of furniture. Each drawer runs on wooden rails in separated compartments. This adds weight. To counter this, I’ve used light colours and broken up the solid lines with plant decals with muted colours. Again, I’ve chosen Fusion Mineral Paints Chateau, a warm white as the backdrop. Using Dixie Bell’s Cotton and Eucalyptus transfer, I’ve draped the drawers and one side with blue/green toned leaves and cotton balls. I love how the plant decal looks hand painted. Although I rarely go for aging pieces, I lightly distressed the edges and completed the finish by sanding into the paint Fusion Mineral Paints hemp oil. The result is a gorgeously buttery smooth finish.

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