I thought that I would take a few minutes to share with you a custom job that I have recently been working on. A few months back I was commissioned to do a custom makeover job for a lovely lady (hi Clare ) who is the owner of a small local business called Blackbird Lane Designs. Clare specializes in hand made children’s clothing and accessories in the most gorgeous prints and vintage style fabrics. Her work is just awesome and high quality and very affordable to!! Anyway Clare commissioned me to make over a few of her pieces for her sewing work room / studio. The pieces that she wanted made over were her sewing station / desk and also her large storage buffet hutch.
We decided to do one piece at a time and so I took the sewing station / desk and got to work.
Now this custom job was one of those ones that had me pulling my hair out in frustration, not because of the piece or the owner (both are lovely) but because EVERYTHING seemed to be going wrong!! The paint I ordered somehow went missing from the courier companys system and then turned up with a wierd note on it over 5 days after it was due. Then the handles that I had ordered over 4 weeks prior still hadn’t turned up (and only just turned up today) so it felt like this piece just wasn’t meant to be. Of course Clare was awesome and VERY understanding, in fact we had a good laugh together over our bad luck. Despite all this however I knew deep down the piece was going to come up GREAT despite the set backs.
Clare wanted a warm white colour for the desk with a driftwood style top and Louis blue feature points, slightly rustic and subtly aged.I mixed together a combination of 3 parts Annie Sloan Pure White with 1 part Annie Sloan Old Ochre. This gave me a gorgeous warm white and I got painting. I decided to work on the top hutch piece that sits on the desk first. The paint went on well but being a very cold day and freezing in my work area the paint took ages to dry so I distracted myself by going to the local coffee shop and having a cake (sweets fix everything haha). When I came back it had warmed up and the next layers went on really well. I painted the back of the hutch in the Louis blue. The next day I sanded, distressed and waxed the hutch piece using L’essentials all natural Lustre Wax and some Annie Sloan Dark wax lightly to highlight the edges and areas to give the piece depth and movement. Now for the desk part. I sanded my butt off to get the top back to bare wood and smooth, this is my LEAST favourite part and my arms and elbows curse me the entire time. Even though I use an electric sander to sand the lacquer off, it is still hard work and then I go over it with a medium and then fine sanding sponge to smooth out the surface. Once it was ready I stained the piece using Minwax provincial stain. The stain brought the grain out and looked awesome.
After some more painting (of the legs, trim and drawers) it was time to let the piece dry and the stain cure. When it was ready I lightly sanded and distressed the desk and then applied a light dry brushing and white washing to the desk top over the stain to give the piece a bit of a driftwood look. Then waxed the piece and like the tough unit that I am, lifted the hutch on top all by myself (bad move … my poor lower back 🙁 .. I do regret trying to be so macho now). Once I took a step back and looked at the finished piece (minus the handles which still hadn’t arrived) I was blown away!! It looked AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME, I didn’t want to give it back.
Didn’t it just turn out DIVINE!!!
I dropped the piece back to her proud owner who was very excited, and we fitted the handles that she had on it before, till the new ones arrive. Here it is set up in her studio 🙂
I just love the way she has set it up!! Especially the sweet framed bird pictures, just perfect!!
So this weekend I am picking up the buffet hutch to begin work on it so stay tuned to the next monster makeover for Blackbird Lane Designs Studio!! 🙂