Saturday, October 18, 2014


Before and After

This little bureau has been a lovely accessory over several generations. It's held everything from mittens to light bulbs. At one point provided storage in a powder room but suffered water damage from dripping hands, as the hand towels were just above it. It also has some chipped veneer on the drawers. I decided it was time for a well-earned makeover.

I've been a chalk paint fan since I discovered it about three years ago. I'm loyal to the Annie Sloan brand, but I've been tempted to try some of the newer American-made products that have entered the market recently. I purchased a small jar of  Deco Art Americana Chalky Finish Paint in Vintage, which was the exact color of my duvet cover. I also purchased Serene, as I've had luck in the past with a two-tone effect.

I loved the end result I reached with the Deco Art product, but it was not the original effect I was going for. A few surprises happened along the way. First, the beauty of chalk paint is no priming or prep work. I got right to work, painting the Serene color on all the edges I wanted to distress and then applying a full coat of Vintage on all the surfaces.

What really happened: Sanding removed both coats, and I was unable to get the two-tone look I originally planned. That was a disappointment. On the other hand, the ancient varnish on the piece (which I expected the chalk paint to cover without priming or prepping) created a natural crackle -- better than any faux finish I've achieved with crackle medium. Luckily I had an open mind. I wanted a smooth finish, but I was fine with the crackle surprise.

The final touch was to silver-leaf the drawer fronts. I've played with silver leafing before on a mirror (note: don't try when you've got a ceiling fan running above!). Since this dresser will be in the same room, I thought it would be a nice complement. All you need is  Silver Leaf Sheet and and Metal Leaf Adhesive Size. Paint the size onto the surface and let dry. Apply the silver leaf sheet to the surface (it will only stick to the size), and you're done. The product I used had a paper backing, so the leaf was very easy to handle and press in place.

Here's the finished result:

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