This Jacobean style cabinet was brought to me by one of my best customers. I love her because she trusts me enough to tell me a color and let me transform her pieces. I honestly enjoy doing projects for her. This piece had been refinished prior to me getting it. The finish was well done, a multi colored teal and metallic, coated in poly, but some of the details were lost in the color and we were going for a more classic look, she gave me gray.
We looked at several colors and settled on hurricane gray and using drop cloth to make specific details pop. I started by giving the existing poly finish a light sanding, just enough to touch the surface. The painted finish was in good shape, no chipping or peeling, so I could go right over the top. I gave it a good cleaning with TSP and removed all of the hardware.
We wanted to leave some portions of the piece done in wood tones as a nod to the pieces past. I started by using citri strip on the two center medallions. I chose citri strip because it is gentle enough to not damage the surrounding areas, thick in consistency to not drip, and water based so it’s easy to clean off any residue. For wood tops I usually use harsh chemical stripper like jasco or kleen strip, they are just more effective. I sanded the medallions and left them to be finished later.
The goal was a warm gray , we didn’t want to go to dark, so I mixed a bit of burlap into the hurricane gray, roughly a 3:1 mix, but in poor habit, I always just eyeball custom mixes. One coat gave great coverage, no traces of the blue undercoat whatsoever. The second coat gave a smooth and polished finish.
Next came adding the contrasting white details. I chose drop cloth because it is a warm white, not to stark agajnst the gray. I chose some prominemt details on the front that were symmetrical and few enough that it was not overbearing. These were painted with an artist’s brush and a steady hand with two coats, careful to keep the edges clean, but knowing glaze would hide flaws in the crevices. I then gave the entire piece a coat of clear wax with the exception of the wood medallions.
After waxing I started on glazing. Glazing is a tedious process, a lot of applying and removing, but pieces like this are destined for glaze. Those fine details come alive by giving them definition. Glaze is a semi liquid that finds the low points and wipes off the high points. It is water based so it can be thinned with a spray if water to get as subtle if a look as you want. I always wax under glaze to keep the paint from absorbing it, and again over the top to protect the glaze.
The centers were ready for stain. I think this step really made the piece take shape. I hand sanded around the very edges to remove any final traces of blue and applied stain with a brush, careful not to get any on the surrounding white trim. I let the stain dry over night and then gave it several light coats of gator hide with a brush and light sanding in between.
The final step was wax in brown and black just to give shading to some select spots. The hardware had been coated in rub n buff before I got it. I wanted to restore it’s original beauty so I soaked them overnight in vinegar, and scrubbed with an sos pad. Underneath was a hammered, coppery finish that almost looked like mother of pearl. I love vintage hardware. It is like classic jewelry made just for the piece.
I cant get enough of all the holiday staging right now. I used a red rag wreath and some pine clippings from our property. This piece is so classic and classy in its new finish. More importantly, the customer loved it, she dropped off 3 small tables and sent me pics of it in its new home!