I just finished this piece of furniture for a client. I wished I had taken a "before" picture, but I forgot, so just have the "after". You will have to take my word for it, but this was really one ugly, beat up end table, left over from the 60’s, I believe. My client wanted this piece to match another piece I had done for her a year or two ago. I’ll try to find the pic of that and post.
This piece was tired, old wood with most of the clear finish warn off. The top was badly damaged. First, I sanded it all down and primed with a white shellac primer. Next I base coated it all with Benjamin Moore’s Linen White, (latex interior), 2 coats. Once dry I decided to tackle the base first and save the top for last. After taping out the top I did a quick multi-glaze finish on the drawer fronts and the remaining sides of the table. A quick multi-glaze for me means I apply all the glazes at once using a chip brush for each color, then softly blend with a tightly rung out rag. For glazes I used a sagey green color, a yellow-ochre, and a brownish rust color. These glazes were mixed with 1 part paint to 3-4 parts glaze with a splash of water. I just eyeball the mix, much like the way I cook. I tried a new stippler brush along with the rag, but gave up on that because this new brush is shedding way too much. I may have to send it back. I don’t think it should shed so much that it ruins my finish!
Since the top of this end table was so beat up I did a distressed leather finish over it, which matches the other piece I did. I rolled on the first layer of rust tinted plaster and let dry. I then troweled on 2 layers of the same plaster, thinly, drying between layers. Once completely dried, I used a mix of burnt clay and charcoal Fizzy Pigments mixed with water. I buy these Fizzy Pigments made by Faux Like A Pro, at Johnson’s Paint, but they can be purchased on line thru Faux Like A Pro at https://www.fauxlikeapro.com/ They run about $15 for a tube of tablets. I like using these for small projects. You drop the tablets into water and mix. It’s just pure pigment, in a tablet form, so you can adjust the color as needed. I applied the pigment with a damp sponge and then went over it all with a clean damp sponge to get the look/color I wanted. It dries very quickly. I did 2 coats. The final finish for the top was a rubbed satin wax sealer. The client is going to have a piece of glass cut to fit the top since she plans on using it next to a couch. The finish is durable without the glass, but it is still a bit bumpy and uneven because the top was in such bad shape to begin with.
I don’t do a lot of furniture, but every now and then someone will ask me to take on their project and I just can’t seem to resist. I basically do not like doing all the prep work, so that is one reason why I don’t do a lot of furniture. I also have limited space in my studio, which is in one room in the basement of my home. My basement is not a lovely finished basement, and has a bit of a water problem at times. Not great for painting/storing furniture! I take only small pieces that I know can go on my work table, up off the floor. Larger pieces I do
on site, at the client’s home, but I try to combine it with some wall work. Furniture has so much prep and drying time between steps that unless I am taking the piece with me to work on or able to work on another project in the client’s home while the various steps are drying, it is not worth it.