"There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in."

- Leonard Cohen

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Before and After: Grey/Black French Provincial Tallboy Dresser

As soon as I saw this tall Dixie dresser begging me to take him home from the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, I knew I wanted to try my hand at a more masculine take on American Mid-Century French Provincial. These pieces are usually so girly, with their swooshy hardware and muted gold over yellowed ivory. I wanted something dark for my tall, handsome new friend.

I'm always so anxious to jump in that I have a hard time remembering to do "before" pictures, so unfortunately I had already removed some hardware and tested out a paint color (not the one I ultimately ended up using) by the time I thought to take this shot. As you can see it had the typical look of the average 1960's FP-style furniture.

I opted to use a homemade chalk paint for several reasons. 1) I can't afford the store-bought; 2) I was too lazy to strip the paint, and I knew chalk paint would stick better without a lot of prep; and 3) I wanted the thick, matte look that comes from making it a little extra-chalky. Here's what I ended up with.

Not only did it take a few tries to get the paint color right (one version was too greenish, another too bluish: I was looking for a more pure greyish black or blackish grey - thank you, Lowe's paint guy, for your patience!), but it also took a while to find the right gold leaf. There are many different shades of gold on the market, from Venetian Gold to Florentine Gold to Classic Gold to Brassy Gold, and I tried them all until I landed on the final choice. I went with it because it was the purest, most no-nonsense gold I found - no flashy red or blue undertones - and it seemed to match the simplicity of the grey really well.

As is so often the case with me, I got impatient at the last minute and ended up using my old standby Rub-On Polyurethane in Satin to finish because it happened to be what I had around. As a result, I lost some of the matte-ness the chalk paint gave me. I still think it came out pretty good, but next time I will opt for a matte finish instead.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Phase III of the Muffler Shop to Vintage Store Conversion: Moving In

This week has been sort of a "soft opening" for the store: We're open for business (can't afford NOT to be) but we're not done with our facelift. Still, there's lots to see (and buy). So far, it's been good: the shop has great visibility and is incredibly airy. I think this is the start of something big.

On Monday, the fluorescent lights come down and the crystal chandeliers get installed! Over the next month or so, expect a newly paved and striped parking lot with handicapped access, a fabulous new sign (once the existing sign structure is approved by the city), an exterior paint job, and some great landscaping. We'll have our truly grand "Grand Opening" when all that gets done.

Here are some more shots. Cone on down and see it for yourself!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Phase II of the Muffler Shop to Vintage Store Conversion: Bright Concrete Painted Floor!

                  I was worried that the color I picked for the floor was going to be a little too intense. Turns out, I love it! I don't want to show you too much, it'll ruin the surprise. But here's a preview of the painted concrete floor in the new shop!

Fingers crossed that we're ready to open the new store on June 1st. We're still having parking lot issues, but I think we're going to be able to work it all out. This awesomely salmon-y, brick-y floor color brings us a step closer!