So, here is the story about how I took this credenza I bought for my law office many years ago and turned it in to a TV cabinet for my master bedroom. I’ll give you some tips and tricks on painting furniture and let you in on a few lessons I learned on this project. Check out my latest furniture makeover.
Here it is – what I started with. As you can see, she’s a beauty from the eighties or nineties. I’m not sure, but I did know she needed some help. I bought this credenza along with a desk for about $200 all the way back in 2005.
I have been meaning to do something fabulous with this credenza for quite a while and I just wasn’t sure what it was going to be. Then, I found this great idea on Pinterest, of course. It was this gorgeous little credenza painted with cream chalk paint as the base color and then it had this abstract pattern with gray metallic paint and gold leaf. It was beautiful. If you read my post about my lamps with gold leaf, then you know I have some recent gold leafing experience and I thought I could pull it off. The piece even had a sliding door on the front. I had been admiring it for some time.
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So, I started by sanding my piece and removing the hardware. I always give anything I am painting a good rough up with some sand paper. I don’t work too hard, but I just want to give the paint something to hold on to. Also, I didn’t like the molding on the doors and to my surprise, it just popped right off.
Here is what it looked like after I cleaned it and before I painted two coats of primer. To clean furniture before I paint, I always clean with Simple Green.
After two coats of primer, I set out to get chalk paint. I decided I could make the cream color by mixing Rustoleum’s Linen White chalk paint with some beige paint. It mixed pretty well, but I didn’t go far enough to get the color from the piece I was trying to copy. When I ended up trying to distress it, I basically sanded off most of the cream color.
Once I painted my base color, I tried to paint the abstract pattern I had seen on the Pinterest piece. Let’s just say, I tried my best. The Pinterest piece was much smaller, but I tried to keep the pattern going all the way around this much larger piece. I used my dark gray metallic paint because I thought I might like a little more contrast, well I didn’t like it. So, I mixed up some lighter gray chalk paint and painted over it and mixed up more paint and painted over it about three or four times. I just kept thinking it would come together; so, I just kept going and thought each time that when I was done with the next step I would like it. I was totally wrong.
So, at this point, I charge on through and get out my gold leaf. And I gold leaf the heck out of this sucker. I tried to copy the technique in the Pinterest piece, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
So, what did I do next? I finally admitted defeat and painted over the whole thing. Yes, I worked a whole weekend on this tragedy, but that’s okay. I learned some lessons.
- Each piece of furniture is different and you really have to asses whether a certain painting technique is right for your piece. In this case, I feel like my piece was too big and it ended up just being too much.
- Pinterest is a great place for inspiration, but in the end, you have to make it your own. Let the piece speak to you.
- It’s okay to quit, especially if it’s just not working for you. It’s just paint. Start over.
I finally started over and I used my go to gray, Requisite Gray from Sherwin Williams, in an enamel as my base color. I painted right over the gold leaf with no problem. Then I painted the inside of the cabinet with Modern Masters Metallic Paint in Sashay Red. I use Modern Masters Metallic paint a lot. It’s great on furniture and gives it just a little extra kick that you don’t get with plain latex paint. This is how it finally turned out and it is so much more my style.
Now, that’s what I’m talking about! Way better, right? Are you looking at those cool leather strap handles now? See how I made those right here. (Coming Soon) It was super easy and way cheaper than actual hardware.
Check out some of my other furniture makeovers below.