House to Home with Deb­bie Travis

The Telegram (St. John’s) - Home Buyers' Guide - - NEWS -

Ag­ing beau­ti­fully Dec­o­rat­ing ex­pert and tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity Deb­bie Travis ap­pears in The Tele­gram’s My Home each week. An­tiquing with paint and glaze re­vi­tal­izes this piece for its next life as a kitchen counter. I was asked by a friend for some help fix­ing up her tiny coun­try cabin. Its lo­ca­tion was glo­ri­ous, sit­ting by a pris­tine lake. How­ever, the cabin was dreary, dark and dull. We trans­formed it all, in­clud­ing sec­ond-hand fur­ni­ture from the thrift store, mostly us­ing white paint. The kitchen wall came alive with a cheer­ful coat of new leaf green, which con­nected the in­doors to the nat­u­ral wooded sur­round­ings. My friend had pur­chased a glass-topped oak candy counter sal­vaged from an old gen­eral store. I chose to paint this time­worn piece to lighten it up so that it wouldn’t feel so big or heavy in the cabin. Painted and an­tiqued, it is now the kitchen counter, and sep­a­rates the kitchen from the open liv­ing area.

I am of­ten asked why I would paint over good wood that shows its nat­u­ral fin­ish. I agree that wood’s mark­ings are beau­ti­ful. But it comes down to a per­sonal choice. There is noth­ing in­trin­si­cally wrong with paint­ing wood – we have been do­ing it for­ever, and all over the world. Painted fur­ni­ture ear­marks a style; Scan­di­na­vian Style is known for its bright painted fin­ishes, ap­ply­ing pat­terns and colours on every­thing from cab­i­nets to clocks. Pi­o­neers shaded their hand­made fur­ni­ture with paint colours drawn from na­ture. If you live in a home that drags you down with an over­abun­dance of dark wood, it is pos­si­ble to change the mood sig­nif­i­cantly, sim­ply with a few coats of paint.

The candy counter has hand­some mould­ings and pan­els, de­tails that are gen­er­ally miss­ing in new, sleek modern fur­ni­ture. This an­tique fin­ish was ap­plied to high­light the char­ac­ter of the piece as well as lighten it. There are many meth­ods for cre­at­ing an aged or an­tique fin­ish. Here’s what we did for this counter.

The counter was sanded down and primed with a high hide primer sealer to stop any bleed­ing from knots seep­ing through the old wood. Two coats of Email your ques­tions to house­2home@ deb­bi­ semi-gloss paint gave it a bright, glossy fin­ish. I mixed a coloured glaze: one cup wa­ter-based glaz­ing liq­uid, 2 ta­ble­spoons raw si­enna artist’s acrylic paint, 2 tea­spoons burnt um­ber artist’s acrylic paint. This brown glaze was ap­plied with a brush over the sur­face, mak­ing sure to get into all the cracks and crevices. I wiped back the glaze with a soft lint-free cloth, leav­ing a small amount be­hind in the grooves. The shad­ows ac­cen­tu­ate the con­tours of this lovely piece.

The goal of cre­at­ing an aged fin­ish is to give the piece the same patina that you would ex­pect to see af­ter many years of use. For a more dis­tinct weath­ered ap­pear­ance, apply two or three coats of paint (that would have been ap­plied over the years) and then rub away some of the paint with sand­pa­per. Work on ex­pos­ing the dif­fer­ent colours of paint where the fur­ni­ture would have been con­tin­u­ally rubbed or banged, and in some spots sand down to the raw wood un­der­neath. The com­mon wear spots show up around cab­i­net han­dles and edges, over the tops of ta­bles, and on chair legs and seats. Take your time with the process. You can al­ways add more paint or wipe away spots you don’t want. It’s a great way to cre­ate a one of a kind an­tique of your own. 6452136

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