Vintage green step back cupboard

Michael has rescued another poor abandoned chest and dragged it home for me to fix up and put up for adoption.

Sans drawer pulls and with three coats of old paint, this sweet thing needed a lot of love!  It looks like someone started to fix it up with the coat of dark green paint, but gave up.  The top and sides were just partially painted.

I tackled the drawers first (always the fastest and easiest part!)  since they only had two layers of paint to sand through.  I wish that dark green had not been put on the top and sides, because I kind of liked how the drawers looked partially sanded; light blue with a little soft yellow showing through.

BTW, if I was going to leave a piece ‘half/half’ like this, I would apply a coat of matte varnish to even out the finish and protect it.  The blue paint had a sheen to it so sanding it left it looking scratched, but not in a good way.

The new orbital sander made really quick work of the sanding process!  The flat dark green paint didn’t sand off as easily as the blue, so I just scuffed it enough for the new paint to adhere.  Then it was time to bring out that wonderful new Ralph Lauren paint!  I got one coat applied before dinner, and it was ready for the second coat after dinner!

Time to dig through the hardware box and hopefully find six handles that match the existing holes in the drawers.  Found these slightly mis matched ones:

they were in different stages of wear and rust, which I love the LOOK of, but not that crusty feel it leaves on your hands when you touch it.  So I washed them off, and once dry gave them a quick coat of clear spray varnish.

Had all next day at the store to ponder where and how I’d use the finished piece.  One of the old bookcases in the store caught my eye; and I’m thinking I can paint the case to match the chest and put it on top in a ‘step back cupboard kind of way’.  Some rearranging of the store ensued so that I could empty the bookcase and take it home to paint.

It had already been sanded when I first got it some time ago, but I had left the original taupe paint on.  I had Michael attach a face plate at the bottom to fill in the gap between the legs since it was going on top of the chest.

Two quick coats of that wonderful Ralph Lauren paint and the bookcase is ready to go to!  On most of the pieces I paint for the store I also paint the backs of.  Reason being that sometimes the way they are displayed the backs show (not a lot of wall space in our store) and it just looks better painted.  This gives me more flexibility as to where I can use the piece in the store since I’m not limited to just against a wall.

TA DA!!!!!  There she is!  All prettied up and filled up and ready to greet the world again; waiting to be adopted by a new family and brighten their home.

This is a brighter color than I am typically inclined to go with, but I like it.  It would look great mixed with shabby whites.  Pink and green are always a fun combination.  And it would even look fabulous tucked in a room filled with beachy blues!  I wish I had time to redisplay the piece in all those different ways and take pics!


Published in: on May 11, 2007 at 3:18 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love it! That color green was unexpected,looks great.You do amaze me.

  2. WOW! I really LOVE everything you’ve done here on your site!!! I just stumbled across your blog when searching google for tips on distressing. I love the distressed look and have tried to do it myself a number of times but it never looks as good as in the magazines. Right now I am working on a bench. I primed it and then did a layer in black paint and a top coat of green. I wanted to distress it in a way that would show a little of the white and the black, but when I sand it, it just sands right through to the wood and doesn’t show the layers very well. Do you have any suggestions for me? I really like the look of different layers of paint, I’m just not sure how to get that look… I am new at this stuff. Thanks in advance for any tips!

  3. What brand of spray varnish do you like? I’m re-doing an old side table and I think it’d look better “sealed” after distressing it! Thanks!

    • I don’t ever use spray varnish, or any varnish for that matter, very often. When / IF we do use a varnish, we prefer a MATTE (flat) finish and a water based formula. The more shine you have to a finish, the more any scratches, dust or imperfections will show.


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