Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Kind of Obsessed -- Getting Down & Dirty

I look around my little shop TLC Vintage Collection here in its Des Moines location in Central Iowa and I am feeling great about all the wonderful hard-to-find products we have put together for customers. But lately, I've become a little obsessed with crossing brand lines and seeing what combinations of things work well. So we are experimenting so our customers can see different looks can be achieved.

It is also a couple short weeks until Junk Jubilee Jingles -- that awesome twice a year event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. So we have lots of things we want to prepare and take along. JJJ is all about picking and rust and repurposing. While TLC's bent is more towards vintage furniture and decor that can be blended into today's homes, we do like things to look used and take pride of place in homes when we get finished with them. So enter your classic drum table!

Someone had already painted over the leather top, long before we found this piece. And the handle faked me out -- until I started working on it, I thought there was a drawer there. Wrong! So how to make this solid, yet battered little piece stand out?

After cleaning the piece with soap and water and a quick rinse, I was ready to go! I also removed the handle and filled the holes, using Wood Icing Texture Paste as a filler. Love it -- it dries and then you sand it smooth....once painted you never know there were holes there.

I wanted to dress up that table apron to look carved, so I pulled this border piece from our Efex display. Efex are latex, pliable appliques that can be added to furniture, decor and frames to embelish them to give a carved look. I find them more versatile than wood appliques because they work well with curved or uneven surfaces -- like here where we can curve it around the table. Just apply some Dap Contact Cement (yes, we carry that too!) to both the table and the back of the applique. Let the adhesive tack up for a minute or two, then press into place. I kept working my fingers around the table applying pressure until I was sure all the edges were sticking well. On flat surfaces, I just set a couple heavy books on top until the cement has dried.

We are going with a winter whites and neutrals for our JJJ booth this year, I mixed up the palest of pale greys with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan, using Pure White with an ever so small amount of Graphite. Then I applied two coats. Hint: I like to place my piece upside down on my work table and paint everything I see that way first! It helps you avoid missing spots that are hard to see, once you finally turn the piece upright to complete the process. 

The paint covers the Efex beautifully. The top still needed something, so we took a large lace doily stencil from Royal Design Studio -- another of our product lines -- and centered it on the top. We wanted to give the stencil a similar coloring to the table but with more sheen. So I chose to use Pearl Plaster by Artisan Enhancements for my stenciling medium. I tamped it on with a stencil brush like normal and it gave this pearlescent sheen to the design. It looks a darker grey here but in person, it is a sublte shiny almost matching color.

I also lightly brushed, almost dry brushed the Pearl Plaster over the Efex trim and pediment to highlight it. But everything was looking a bit too pristine and new. What's a girl to do? As I got ready to wax the piece with Chalk Paint Clear Soft Wax, I thought I might try Coda Artisan's Aging Dust to dirty up the piece. When clients ask us what this product is, we joke that they should be careful not to get it on themselves -- who needs to age faster! But honestly this product works great to make carved frames have that dusty look in the crevices that you get with old pieces. Well, if it works in crevices, why not all over? And....we were loving it!

So as quickly as we applied the clear wax and wiped away the excess, we sprinkled Aging Dust over the piece as we worked. We did this over a sheet of clean paper, then brushed off the excess with a clean brush, saving it for later use. And no -- we didn't stop with our "carved" apron, we did it on the top and base as well!

What I specially love about Aging Dust is that when it has dried into the wax and you buff it up, it helps give a wonderful worn sheen.

In the end, we loved this so much that we immediately had to do another piece! So here is a French Provincial side table with the same paint and finish! 

So I guess my message is, don't let great product go to waste. Feel bold and mix and match products across brand lines! Experimentation yields beautiful, creative results!

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