The motivation behind this piece was colour. I saw someone else use Dixie Bell’s Pumpkin Spice and loved how the colour looked. I purchased this piece and its sister piece (now reworked into the Chessboard side-table) from a woman cleaning out her grandmother’s old apartment. Letting go of the past is never easy, so I was gratified she willingly sold me these, knowing I planned to re-imagine them.
Neither morphed into their new looks with ease, but both are unique. For this piece, colour was the predominate force, and then the interior developed after.
As always, I started by introducing myself to this piece by cleaning it. This gives me a chance to see it up close, find all its modest stories of use and pains it might feel. Overall, it was in good condition, although the original producers lined the drawer interiors with aged fake felt (glued on with industrial glue that turned out to be very difficult to remove). There were some stains inside the open cabinet and typical watermarks on the top. Years of being bumped and moved showed on the legs, especially the feet.
After removing the old hardware, I filled the screw holes and smoothed out any obvious imperfections. I stripped back the old finish from the legs and top and scuff sanded the corpus, drawer fronts and door.
Three layers of paint later and I was happy with the colour. The legs stained beautifully using Borma Wachs Antique, but the top was not so willing to play along. After gently sanding back the first staining attempt, I then used Lignocolor’s Walnut stain. Again, the colour was not right, so I applied Clou’s dark wood. After wiping back the excess, I was finally feeling happy about the result. Although not matched exactly with the legs, it was similar. A rich warm brown that complemented the wonderful orange/yellow tones of the main body.
At first, I thought I would simply sand the interior and brighten it with some Wood Wax. However, compared to the exterior, the interior now looked shabby. A leafy paper serviette convinced me to incorporate it into the design and I found a Fusion Mineral Paint that matched it perfectly. I had already painted the new drawer knobs but felt again, something was missing. Using elements of the leaf pattern in the decoupage paper, I glued them in place and sanded down the edge. I then sealed the insides and knobs with a polyacrylic. The body, drawer fronts and door were distressed slightly and waxed. The legs and top were treated with OliNatura Hard-wax-oil.
I love that moment when it all comes together. Before I can start experimenting with various styling elements for that perfect photo, I must clean up the small space I work in. I found a recent addition to my styling collection; a wooden toucan, and it is quickly becoming my favourite decorative element. Keep an eye out for it in future styling efforts.