What a transformation, RIGHT! And how impressed are you that I painted something without a bunch of bold colors and patterns? I know, me too!
When Patti first called me and asked if we could transform this piece for her, I immediately started thinking of all the fabulous patterns, designs and treatments I could do to it but Patti had other ideas in mind. This armoire had great sentimental value for her, it was a piece she had inherited from her mother, and although she loved it, she was bored with the french provincial design. With that said, she wasn't totally ready for a full on MacKenzie-Childs style makeover either.
No Patti, is a woman who knows exactly what she wants, and she decided she wanted it more modern and simplistic. Somewhat matching the earthy tones of this rug, which is in the same room.
Although simple and modern are not my usual style of painting, I decided I like adventure, and love trying new things, so I was game for anything.
After throwing a few ideas back and forth I sent Patti a picture of a piece I had recently pinned to my painted furniture page on Pinterest (The original link takes you to here.) The designer actually used paintable wallpaper to create a beautiful 3-D effect and I had been dying to give it a try ever since I'd seen it.
Patti really liked the idea but wanted a different pattern. She discovered this pattern from
Graham and Brown, 18390 Eden Wallpaper, on Amazon and immediately knew it was the paper she wanted on her piece. I love when a customer knows what she wants, it alleviates the guess work.
We then chose paint colors. At first we had talked about bringing in the blues from the rug, but then decided on greens. Deep sagey greens that would work great with the leaf pattern on the paper.
After sending her three different green color combos she decided on
Benjamin Moore Greenwich Village-445, for the base coat
and Sweet Basil-455 for the faux
I fauxed the entire piece first and then decided to add the wallpaper last (ok, honestly, it sounds good in theory right? Ya, well really it's because the paper, we sadly discovered, was not pre-pasted & we didn't bring glue! )
Manor Hall paints are self priming, so you'll notice I didn't use a primer prior to base coating. I did however sand the entire piece, once before applying the paint and once in between the coats. Once the entire thing was base coated I started on the faux.
I brushed on in random fashion the sweet basil working in small areas at a time. It's okay if some areas overlap and it's okay if you have areas with no paint. It all washes together creating visual contrast in the faux
You keep moving downwards blending with a rag as you go. Do not wipe the paint off, just use a damp cloth to gently mix the areas together. Then using another damp cloth push down into the wet paint and pull some up creating a crinkled look in the paint.
Then for further depth and interest I took a plastic bag and work into the damp paint.
This is what it looked like when it was done. I used this technique on the entire piece.
I let this set over night and then on day two, armed with paste we started wallpapering it.
We cut the piece a little bit wider then the actual square because its easier to subtract then it is to add.
Maggie uses a straight edge and blade to gentle cut into the paper.
Once the paper was in place we had to let it fully dry overnight before we could apply the base coat.
Then the next day I fauxed the paper with the same technique I'd done on the entire piece.
Once the entire thing was fauxed I then went back in with an even darker green and created a "shadow" creating even more depth. Making the leaves look even more 3-D.
I also took the darker green, and in certain selected areas, fauxed it into the faux. Hahahaha! Did that even make sense? Well, I guess what I mean is, I aged it. You know the look; the edges, the areas around the knobs, the spots, where if it were a real old piece would be naturally worn. It would look darker then the rest of the piece. That's what I tried to achieve in these areas using paint.
Now truth be told, I often use Minwax spray lacquer to seal all my pieces, but when I do a faux I like to use wax.
Still Minwax but a different product, but just as easy to use. You dip a rag into the wax and wipe a thin coat over the entire piece. Give it about 15 minutes until it's dry and then take a clean rag or even a buffer to polish the wax. Depending on the amount of muscle you use is what finish you will get. I didn't want a high sheen so I did minimal buffing. You can even go back and do a 2nd coat, which is what I do. Just follow step 1 & 2 again in that order. Once dry, it creates a great barrier that protects your art work fully.
Soooo.....this was the final piece!
I also am working on two other pieces for Patti too.
So, stayed tuned! I did a really cool faux with dark walnut stain on the TV stand and went a bit funky on the chair (yep, she let me get a "little" crazy :D).
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