Friday, December 13, 2013

The masterpiece and how I did it

I don't know how, but this post from 12/2013 was reverted to draft. I don't think it will go back to where it is supposed to be when I publish it. So, if it jumps the line, you'll know why an old post turned up.

The masterpiece and how I did it

That's what my neighbor, who doesn't really like painted furniture so much, called it. Well, I don't know about that,  but I think I worked on it as long as Da Vinci did the Last Supper.

A couple years ago I did a copper patina on a light fixture - a little light fixture. This time it felt like I was trying to cover an acre of wood.

It was really easy!    cough cough  snort

Here's the desk as it arrived.

At this point I started wondering if I bit off too much.

See the crackling? It was everywhere. It's a good thing I enjoy removing veneer. It's such a Zen activity. I just zone out and scrape scrape scrape heat gun scrape scrape scrape hmmm maybe soup for dinner scrape scrape scrape.

After a lifetime of veneer removal I started the painting process.  I used two shades of copper and two shades of turquoise, as well as a sage green glaze and a black wash.

This is the first step. I used a brush, fingers, rags and a sponge to get a mottled first coat. While that was still damp I went over the entire area with the glaze.That smeared the colors together. Finally I added a very watery black wash to age the surface.

Now, let me warn you, you are about see a most unsightly mess. Horrible. I'm going to hypnotize you so you forget you ever saw it.

(Ewwww, how can anyone work in these conditions?)

Here all the "copper" pieces are glazed and drying. 
I had to take over part of the living room because I had two projects taking up my little work room. The front door was totally blocked so if anyone knocked i had to wave my arms and point to the garage.

Before the black wash.

After the black wash.

I purchased these fun glass knobs for the desk. They are over-sized and really cute.  However, after I put all six on, it was a bit much; the knobs drew too much attention. When I walked around a corner in the house and saw the desk, all I could look at were the knobs. Not only are they huge but they also stick out a couple inches. You would have had to see it to understand how wrong that looked.

I replaced them with more appropriate knobs.

I added an escutcheon and skeleton key from my stash.

I painted the writing area a mottled tan with a copper border. In my haste to take pictures I left masking tape hanging off the mail dividers. Nice. Good one, Daena. While I'm on the subject of masking tape, I used the new Frog Tape for sensitive surfaces. It's formulated to not be as sticky as regular tape. It worked 50% of the time for me so I wasn't real impressed.

The trim and part of the legs are American Accents Espresso.

Finished!! Yay! 
Now I can sit back and enjoy the fruit of my labors.

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  1. I love Empire furniture. It is very hard to find in Kansas. What a neat desk Daena.

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