As promised here are the before and after pics of my latest non-cooking project. These pieces belonged to my Grandmother and I remember them from her various homes and apartments she lived in before retiring to Florida. These pieces have traveled from Pennsylvania to Florida, residing in my parents home and then after Mom passed and the house was sold in my Dad’s apartment, then a sister’s condo in Florida and returned to Pennsylvania for me to adopt and bring the NYC.
I’ve had them several years now and have always wanted to clean them up and possibly restore them. But to do it professionally would cost a fortune and to do them properly myself would require a workshop for sanding, re-staining, painting and protecting. Our Apartment is not the ideal place for that kind of project!
Then while searching for a way to change the color of our built-in wall unit I discovered a Rust-oleum product called Transformations. They have several versions including Cabinets, Countertops and Furniture and even a wood refinishing kit. I researched it and loved the idea of a no-sanding process. It’s really a 4-step process: Deglossing with a scrubbing pad and their Deglosser–Base Coating with with what they call Bond Coat tinted to the coloration of your choice on the package–Glazing for an antiquing effect (this step is optional–and finally applying a protective coat. So I used this to do the wall unit which as I mentioned is built-in to our living room wall surrounding a window. These pieces could never be removed as they will never go back into the space as the carpenter only measured the floor and not the ceiling. The walls are uneven so the finsihed pieces had to be planed down to be literally squeezed into the space. So sanding was not an option.
I was excited to do the project, mid-way I was tired of it, but once I was done I was thrilled with the end result. Here’s on pic have to get some better shots of the whole wall.
The success of this project inspired me to do something about Grandma’s Furniture. I located the Furniture Transformations kit and perused the colors and decided to go with Cabernet. Since I wasn’t doing an actual “restore” I decided that color was better than trying to match a wood color, since our wood items are so eclectic in this apartment (in other words nothing matches) to add more woody looks would be too much. Which by the way was the theory behind the color choice for the wall unit. The color for it is called Bayleaf and blends beautifully with the two different wall colors it is adjacent to, which is more of the eclectic style I decorate with!
Here you can see the befores: The yellowish color was actually a beautiful ivory paint with hand painted details. The yellow comes from years of cigarrette smoke exposure in my parents home. These pieces were in the dining room where they spent a lot of time in the later years. And as you can see the top of the table suffered use as well and was in my sister’s kitchen at one point as an extra surface.
A close up of a chair:
The table was relatively easy as it is flat surfaces. The chairs on the other hand were more labor intensive. Also the seat is stained wood and the bond coat covered it very well. The finsih on the ivory painted parts of the chair didn’t degloss very well and the bond coat, after the recommended two coats, didn’t cover it at all and came out pink! Had to stop and rethink the plan!
The solution was Martha Stewart’s Golden Pearl Metallic Paint. It covered the bond coat and the rest of the details perfectly. However, in Home Depot the sample of this color was Golden in color and at home on these pieces it’s a mixture of Antique Silver with golden highlights! The pictures look silver to me, but in person it’s probably better so it doesn’t look like those gold bamboo looking catering chairs!! I have found some wine-inspired motifs of rub-on decals to place on the wider strip on the chair as I feel they look naked now, but will wait a week or so for the paint to cure before applying!
I think I want to put another finish on top of the table, a little more glossy to protect it better, the idea is not to continuously cover it with a table cloth as we have been doing since it arrived!
So, as is normal for me, other DIYers not so much, in the middle of this effort I decided I should use the same color and process for Grandma’s carved Rosewood chairs that I also adopted. They have needle point seats that Grandma did for them and they were in my other sister’s homes, moving from Pennsylvania to Florida, all over south Florida, then Maryland, back to PA, on to Virginia, back to PA, and now NYC! And show the wear and tear!
Waiting for the protective coat to dry on the chairs before installing the needlepoint seats again!
Meanwhile here they are:
It’s a great feeling to give new life to these pieces, I’m very happy with the outcome and ecstatic over how much easier it is than it could have been!
I guess you could say that in the end this post is about eating, as Nana and I eat most of our meals at this table rather than in the dining room, now we can continue to enjoy using the “new” old hand-me-downs!
Eat Well…Be Well!