I have to admit that I have been doing a lot of admiring on Lilyfield Life’s blog of late. She has such a fantastic style and such inspiring pieces. What really caught my eye though was how many different sideboards / buffets she has painted, some of which I completely fell in love with!! You can check out her posts on painted sideboards HERE and HERE.
So on my latest furniture hunt I was determined to locate and purchase a grand old sideboard!! And how’s my luck … 3 stops in and I spot and large Queen Anne Sideboard, I literally had to hold back from running across the room and flinging my arms greedily around it. Instead I made my husband, haha just kidding, I asked my hubby to make an offer and the people were more than obliging and happily sold me the grand old piece.
My husband was just as excited as me to start working on this piece and so as soon as we got it home he got straight into the minor structural repairs. The piece has lovely movement and shape but we both found the front a little plain, so we decided to try to source some ornate carved wood appliques to stick on the doors. Before I know it my hubby comes home with a big grin and a bag off appliques that he got from a local supplier.
So now that there were no excuses it was time to give this beauty a french makeover!!
First we used PVA glue to add the wooden appliques to the doors and taped them in place with frog tape till the glue had time to set. Once the glue had set it was time to get painting. I made sure that the piece was clean and gave any glossy areas a light sand. The hard part was deciding what colour to paint this piece. I knew that I wanted to stick with a natural shade so I grabbed my tins of Annie Sloan and a white piece of paper and made a quick colour chart.
After some pondering I decided to go with the Country Grey in full strength for the body and 3/4 diluted with Pure White for highlighted areas. I started by painting the inside as this is my least favourite part so I find if I get it out-of-the-way first, it’s not so much of a drag 🙂
I painted the entire piece with 3 coats of the Country Grey making sure to keep my brush strokes random so as to create texture. Once that was dry, I applied the lightened paint to the side panels and carvings. I also painted a white trim around the drawers. The piece dried really quickly as it was inside in front of my wood heater.
Now for the distressing and ageing of the piece. I knew I wanted to really age this piece with dark wax to add depth and make it look authentic. I wanted it to look like it had been pulled out of some country manor in France or something. I grabbed what was left of my Annie Sloan Dark Wax and made up a concoction of my own with some Porters Paint Stucco Wax and Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint in curio as a different shade of dark wax to blend in as well. Some people get really scared when it comes to dark wax but I get really excited as it can just transform your piece. I know that some of you don’t like the heavy ageing effect of dark wax but on the right piece I LOVE it and I knew I wanted to get dark wax happy on this piece.
I started on the top of the piece and began to work in small sections at a time (you can see the different sections in the pic above being dark wax, clear wax and no wax from left to right). First I started by rubbing some Porters Stucco Wax into the surface with a little stubby brush, then rubbing in some of my concoction and Annie Sloan Dark wax. Then with 000 steel wool I buffed the dark off and rubbed it clean with a cloth leaving behind the lovely dark pigment in all the texture on the piece.
Then I grabbed my trusty ageing dust by L’essentiel and a clean brush and brushed the ageing dust into areas around the edges and across the top. I did this across the whole top and then repeated this exact process across the entire piece.
I have to warn you that if you are going to use any solvent based wax please do so in a well ventilated area as it stinks and make sure that you wear gloves or barrier hand cream. I generally opt for all natural waxes that are skin and enviro friendly but sometimes I will still use a solvent based wax for a certain finish.
Once I had finished I stood back and had a good stare at the finished piece, the dark wax makes it come to life and adds so much depth and patina to the surface. It makes it look genuine, just perfect!! Now all that was left to do was some styling and a little photo shoot …. I don’t own a flashy camera so I took the pics on my phone ….
Just look at the difference the dark wax makes to the surface … it creates that lovely depth and movement so that the piece doesn’t look flat or one dimensional …
The wooden appliques that we added came up perfect 😀
Proof that I painted the inside …
A side shot of the textured panels … and the last pic ..
I would love to hear from you so please feel free to comment 🙂