June 27, 2014

Pink trunk

By Chelsea

Hi friends! I thought it fitting to ring in the weekend here by sharing this cheerful piece:

Isn't it delicious?! A friend brought this trunk over last week to have refinished for her little girl, Molly. She'd found it at a yard sale, and although the outside was in shabby shape, the inside is cedar lined; what a score!

Here it is before, in all it's stenciled, shiny veneer glory, (and this was after I peeled off all the matchbox car stickers):

The wish for this trunk is that it grows with Molly and that they have a long history together, (one which her future husband may or may not be grateful for; my trunk, which I was given on my 13th birthday, weighs a thousand pounds now and Matt absolutely loves loading it every time we move...). Since the vision for this piece was not just for the present time but for Molly's grown up life as well, I wanted to give this trunk a bit more depth. Sometimes children's furniture is very flat and one dimensional. But there are tricks to avoid that, even on the flattest, smoothest of pieces!

To start, I painted all the edges and corners in French Linen by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Since the plan was to gently distress this piece, we wanted something a bit richer coming through underneath the pink. French Linen is a beautiful, warm, taupe-y grey; very sophisticated and a lovely contrast to most colors by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It's almost always one of the two colors I choose when applying a layered color finish.

For this piece I painted 4 coats of Scandinavian Pink by ASCP. 4 coats is more than I usually use; chalk paint provides wonderfully thick coverage and usually two coats will suffice, (or one plus touch ups). There are many factors that go into how to refinish a piece through paint, but the first that I always consider is what kind of surface I'm starting with. There are many very talented furniture refinishers that have flat out said they do not work with veneer or laminate pieces; solid wood only. I understand completely. Any surface other than solid wood gets a little tricky. But, I believe that any surface can be properly covered and turned into something deeper and richer than it started. It's all about technique, folks.

So, for the first two coats on this trunk I painted like my 3yr old - brushing every which way and creating a hot mess of brush strokes. I even loaded the paint on thick in certain areas, letting it dry in ridges and peaks. Hang with me here, it's all for good reason!

Then for the final two coats I brushed the paint on in fairly smooth, back and forth strokes, right over the dried hot mess. It's very subtle but this technique created slight texture on the piece, creating a more sophisticated and richer look on what was once a flat and simple child's piece.

See what I'm talking about? I tried to capture the texture up close:

Finally, I used a thick brush and cloth and started clear waxing to seal the piece. When I wax, I dip the brush into the can and apply the wax in a circular motion across one section of the piece at a time. Then I follow with a back and forth motion. Wipe excess wax off with cloth. 

Using a fine sanding sponge, I gently rubbed the corners and edges where I wanted to reveal the French Linen underneath.

What a smart pink trunk she is now! Scandinavian Pink is a great answer for anyone looking to make a fresh, feminine statement without looking too girly or young. A cheerful color, indeed!

Have a piece you'd like to refresh and love again? Email me at chelseasgarage@gmail.com about a custom order! 

And on that happy note, have yourselves a splendid weekend!


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