I love the stories behind old furniture.
When I bring home a piece to refurbish, I can’t help but wonder about the people who owned it before me. Sometimes, I find clues in the chips, cracks, peeling paint, missing hardware and forgotten belongings I find stuffed in drawers.
As I clean and paint, my imagination paints a story about each piece. But it’s rare that I know the true provenance and backstory of the furniture I rehab, and it’s rarer still that I get to know about a piece’s life after it leaves my shop.
So it’s really fun when I get to meet a customer or when someone I know commissions me to paint some furniture for them, as my neighbor Natalea recently did.
She brought me a nightstand and dresser that had belonged to her husband’s grandfather, who had recently passed away. The pieces were in rough shape. The hardware was all crusty and rusted. one of the nightstand drawers was broken, a lot of the screw hole buttons were missing and the furniture was coated in dust and other surprises (spiderwebs!) from being stored in a barn for years.
You’ll have to trust me on this. I’m the worst before photo taker ever. Forgot to snap befores of these pieces before whipping out my paintbrush.
Despite its rundown condition, this bedroom furniture was solid — and it had tremendous sentimental value. Natalea asked me to give it a makeover for the guest bedroom/nursery at their lakehouse. She also asked me to paint a special family crib their toddler could use during weekend trips to the lakehouse.
In keeping with the rustic setting of their lakehouse and the condition of the dresser and nightstand, Natalea requested heavy distressing. She wanted a mint green and taupe color palette. We settled on Maison Blanche Paint Company’s La Craie in Creme de Menthe and La Bonne Terre.
Here are the dresser and nightstand painted and ready to be delivered to their new home.
The nightstand was looking a little light in pure La Bonne Terre, so I mixed a little Pecan into the first coast, then followed up with a wash of La Bonne Terre before waxing.
Natalea, who is a talented photographer specializing in wedding and children’s portrait photography, was kind enough to share these photos of her finished room with me.
I absolutely love her fabric choices and the orange accents she uses throughout the room. Those pillows look amazing against the Creme de Menthe background.
If you look inside the drawers of this nightstand, you’ll find some crayon scribble marks made by some child long ago. When my son saw that drawer, he told me that I absolutely could not paint over it as it was probably special to Andy, Natalea’s husband. (I still don’t know whether Andy or his twin brother was responsible for the scribbles. But I’m hoping that one of their kids adds to the artwork.)
Here’s a closeup of the paint treatment on the crib. (Hardest thing I’ve ever painted! Or maybe the most time consuming. So many slats and spindles.)
After I’d painted the dresser and nightstand, I worried that another all-green piece might be too much. So, I asked for Natalea’s permission to do a two-tone technique on the crib panels. When I sanded down the taupe-colored paint to distress, it created this wonderful crackle effect.
This was such a fun project, and I’m really grateful to Natalea and Andy for entrusting me with such precious heirlooms. And I’m so happy they were both pleased with the makeover.
I have to give Natalea a plug, too.
Isn’t she a doll?
Linking up to the
WOW Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Friday
Knock Our Socks Off at Mom4Real