Monday, September 03, 2012

Love/Hate Before & Afters

I love Before & Afters and I kind of hate them too.  How about you?

The thing I don't like about them is that they tend to make the projects look like they just magically happen WITHOUT A TON OF HARD WORK!  The truth is, unlike HGTV, they don't happen in 24 minutes!    Okay, I'll settle down now, the exclamation points are getting away from me...that happens when I write with conviction!  Oops, I did it again, didn't I?

Well, as you might have guessed by now, this is a before & after post and tonight my shoulders ache and so do my hands, not to mention the fact that I finished this project this afternoon outside in 103 degrees with mosquitoes swarming!  Oh, what a trouper I am!  (Sorry about those pesky exclamation points...kind of reminds me of the mosquitoes.)

Here's the before photo of the bombay chest I decided, after going through an open house and seeing a companion piece that looked a little tired, needed a little refreshing...

Sorry about the crappy photo, I never featured this piece on my blog, because I think I've know for a long time it needed a facelift.  I've loved this piece for years, and it was hard to think about changing it.  You see, this was a gift from Mr. Wonderful many years ago and held such a special place in my heart and memory...aaahhhh.  

Now it looks like this........

White is my favorite color (yes, I do consider it a color) and I LOVE antiques, so I tried to make it look even older than it already is, but I will give you the wisdom of this journey too.  

First off, I used a liquid sanding medium to get the surface ready to accept paint and so far, so good.  Secondly, I used a self-leveling water based enamel paint that I have worked with before, but, that paint DOES NOT work well on a curved vertical surfaces.  I had nine kinds of trouble with the paint on this piece.  I think the paint would have worked fine on a straighter piece, but, if I had this to do over again and HAD to use the same paint, I would have added a paint extender to allow more time to work the paint before it started drying.  But, I do wonder if that would have made the paint run worse on the curved chapter, next time.

After it was painted several times, I forgot how many coats of paint, because I kept thinking I could sand out the runs and redo the paint and make it better, I took my handy palm sander and distress parts of it.  I LOVE MY PALM SANDER!

The final step was putting a coat of paste wax on gives such a great luster and almost a little instant patina to the piece too.

Strangely, a good friend who frequents my home and has known this piece as long as I have, commented that she'd never noticed the carving on the piece before I painted it white.  The best part for me was when Mr. Wonderful saw the finished product and said, "Oh that really updated that nicely...I really like how you distressed it."  What can I say, he's mine girls!

Thanks for reading and putting up with my exclamation fetish!!!!

Linking Up With


  1. Beautiful Robin! I love it. Yes, many times the gingerbread shows so much more when a piece is white er..... painted, I mean. Thanks for the post, it was very uplifting.

    Carol L.

  2. It looks wonderful and finally someone that their DIY refinishing projects sound like mine! I am a new follower of your blog! Happy Monday! Kim

  3. OK so I just popped over after you left a comment about the kitchen and first of all thank you so much for your kind words! It truly was a huge labor of love and I'm glad its done! (Love exclamation points too:O)
    Anyway I can see why the white cabinets called out to you after seeing this chest and that its painted white, which BTW I love too and yes it is a color...OK well to you and I anyway :O)
    Love how it turned out and admire the vision you had with this, it turned out great!
    Thank you for coming by!

  4. Love the new color on this piece. I was thinking the same thing as your friend - the detailed carving pops out more now. You did a great job.

  5. Absolutely stunning! Thank you for sharing. Visiting from Coastal Charm. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  6. hi Robin. i think anyone who paints furniture will appreciate the effort you've put into this piece. it's fabulous! and what a great shape it is,
    cheers Fiona (lilyfieldlife)

  7. I love all the curves and the carved details in this piece, Robin--you did a fantastic job with it! I have been trying to do easy tutorials and before and afters lately, just because I've been so strapped for time, and I know others must feel the same at certain times. But you are right--before and afters are pretty addictive!

  8. This is one beautiful piece of furniture. The white and the distressing brought out its most appealing details. I enjoyed reading about your journey - especially the parts to avoid doing! Most people skim over those.

    Distressed Donna Down Home

    P.S. Santa brings me a palm sander each year for Christmas! I do a lot of sanding.

  9. Beautiful work on the chest. I am also keeping my eyes opened for one of these in my area. So French.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  10. It's a great updated look and the details do "pop"! Thank you for sharing your creativity at Potpourri Friday!

  11. wow, this looks wonderful, I'm like your husband, really updated it beautifully and the finish looks perfect!

  12. Looks beautiful. Like it MUCH better than its original color.

  13. Your chest turned out beautifully! I love the color and the gorgeous shape. Thank you so much for sharing at Bouquet of Talent. I am honored to have you. Hope to see you next week. :)

  14. Gorgeous! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home!


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