Thursday, May 16, 2013

Aubusson Blue Sideboard Reveal

 This is my latest project.  It was a beast!  I worked on it for a full month.  This is what it looked like when it came to me:

You might think, as I did when I first saw a text pic of it, that someone had already gone to the trouble of stripping it.  Well, the drawers were stripped, but the rest was actually a faded orange paint covered in mildew, flaking off everywhere.  And I discovered it was lead paint!  You're really not supposed to sand that stuff.  So I got to try something cool with the chalk paint for the first time.  I scraped it as best I could and removed all the paint chips.  Then, I left the lid off of a can of French Linen for 2 nights.  It made it into a "gesso", kind of like stucco.  I spackled it right on there to fill the ginormous holes left in the paint finish.  It still took a couple of coats, but there's no way you could spackle with filler and then expect to distress it.  It worked beautifully.  The only down side is that it used a lot of paint.  You can see the orange color better here:

 The top decorative piece was so warped if one end was against the piece the other end was 4 inches away.  I soaked it in my bathtub (Yay long bathtub!) 2 separate times and clamped it down to my work table.  I wasn't sure if it would work, but it did!

 The legs were dry rotted:

I cut them off and Frankensteined new feet on.  The back ones came from a table and the front round ones are bed spindles!

 I also retacked the bottom on, it was sagging a bit:

 Here's the end result:  I am quite proud of how it turned out.