The Mexican Dresser

Sunday, March 5, 2017

If you hadn't heard, I was selected by CeCe Caldwell's Paints to be a Brand Representative last year. This is a HUGE honor for me, as I can honestly say I love her paints so much and I consider CeCe and Lauren good friends. I love the positive message her company sends, along with their dedication to healthy and toxin-free paints and finishes. That said between some military training that was several months long and a big move across the country for our family, it's been entirely too long since I've published anything as a CeCe Caldwell's Paint Co Brand Rep! I'm going back a couple of rounds to make up for the months I wasn't able to talk to y'all about my brand rep colors for my respective quarter.

Well, I lucked out and was sent a paint/finish/wax set that was full of some of my favorite colors. I present to you the majestic Emerald Isle, Hard Waxing Cream, Aging Dust, Bingham Canyon Copper Metallic Wax and Kukui Stain+Finish combo!

I certainly did a happy dance when I opened my new brand rep box. Thankfully, no one was around to document that part. Besides being somewhat obsessed with Emerald Isle, I was also happy that I didn't have to go on a hunting trip for the perfect piece for my colors. I already had it! So once again, I present to Mexican dresser! 

Ok, before you go thinking I've lost my mind...this dresser is literally from Mexico. It was built in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and it has the coolest raised carved details I've ever seen on a piece. My husband and I got to the sellers house as fast as was legally possible and hauled it away while looking around to make sure no one tried to buy it out from under us or steal it...that's how psyched we were. Maybe I'm exaggerating just a little, but my fellow furniture, collectors would know how I feel right?!

When we first brought it home I tried really hard to strip it down to bare wood so I could condition and eventually seal the natural finish. The top was pretty easy and straight forward. Then I started on the drawers....yeah. That dream was crushed pretty quickly. Those gorgeous raised details are a nightmare to strip! 

So to my husbands ever loving wits end, it sat in my garage for a few months. Then my brand rep package came and inspiration was born. I wanted to give it a vivid, yet weathered green with gold leafed accents and authentic hardware. I had to order the hardware from a vendor in Mexico, which was a little hard to wait for but it was worth it. 

Yep, totally worth it, until I realized the teardrop pulls were too big for the smaller drawers on the ends. Here comes Hobby Lobby to the rescue!
I'm getting ahead of myself, though. I decided that a stained top would contrast really well with the emerald green of the body. It took two coats of Emerald Isle. Apparently, I required some supervision from time to time. This is Rooney, our kitten rescue, who took his job quite seriously. After the paint dried, I gave it a couple of coats of hard waxing cream and then aging cream. I tried to give each of the drawers a vignette effect instead of randomly or completely coating it. I feel like this made the gold details really stand out in the end.
Sometimes a bit TOO seriously.
These red roses were gorgeous and gave it the perfect "Latin flair" for me. Something kept bothering me about them, though, and I decided they needed a golden touch...
I ended up using gold metal leaf on them and then using CeCe Caldwell's Bingham Copper Metallic Wax to give them a rich and warm luster. It made all the difference in the world!
 So here it is, after hours of painting the glue on and then carefully laying and brushing the metal leaf on not just the raised details but also on the imported hardware. I love the final look, it's pretty striking. This was already a piece we had decided to keep. I hope you enjoyed seeing the process. Here are some pictures of the finished piece. Love to all, Claudia.

Cabinet Makeover: Faux-Boring to Frenchy Gold Fab

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hi, everyone, I hope the summer treated you well and your'e good and ready for fall! Personally, I absolutely love fall. I get to wear my cardigan sweaters, cute boots and my hair doesn't instantly wilt in the Tennessee heat! We will be taking the family to a pumpkin patch this weekend and I'll be visiting a local amish farm to buy outdoor fall plants and decor...if you follow my pinterest, you will certainly see that I've been working on my "vision" in the wee hours of the night!

For those of you who don't already know, I was selected to become a Brand Representative for CeCe Caldwell's Paint Company! I was so thrilled and honored to represent such a wonderful organization that really DEMONSTRATES their care for the environment and the people that use their products!

My month was September and it took a while, but I finally found the perfect project for the paints and finishes I was given! I opened my box and was happy to find Young Kansas Wheat (a great beige/khaki), Flat Matte No Gloss Finish, Kukui Stain+Finish and a completely new product Bauxite Beige Metallic Wax. This wax is a gorgeous mix of gold and silver and it gives the prettiest subtle sheen to whatever you apply it to.

Here is the "before"...

I hate to admit it, but once again, I don't have the best "before" pictures. It was pretty late and this was the best lighting I could get. In any case, you can see that there were some faux wrought iron details added to the door fronts which was what really caught my eye. It also had an ugly orangey wood finish that was screaming to be made pretty. In a flash, I saw what I wanted to do to it and I had to bring it home. Seeing that we had just cleared our garage out and organized my projects in storage, this didn't exactly send the hubs into ecstatic cheers but eventually he gave up, I convinced him that this was going to be a quick one and I'd have it out the house pronto...right. 

I started with a layer of Young Kansas Wheat and quickly added a wash and dry brush of some of CeCe's Vintage White. This is another thing I love about her paints. As long as you go with thin, even layers it dries pretty quickly and you can keep going! As far as the front goes, I started brushing the white over and into the "wrought iron" details, but soon realized that was going to be a huge pain in the toosh. I broke out my trusty and beloved Earlex 5500 sprayer and had that bit finished in about 4 minutes flat. I can't tell you how great this whitewash looks over the Young Kansas Wheat. It gave it a real old world french look that is just romantic. 

After I had let the white wash dry overnight, I sanded down to smooth and bring out the grain in certain areas. Then I added my first coat of Flat Matte No Gloss Finish....I have to tell you, if you've never used this you have to give it a try. It dries to the most velvety finish, about as close to wax as you're going to get. I love waxing my pieces, but I have moved away from waxing anything I plan to sell. I would rather the clients have a piece that is as low maintenance as possible and I don't care what anyone says...wax has to be reapplied every so often, especially high use pieces. Once I had laid down the second coat and let it dry I started highlighting the raised details with the Bauxite Beige Metallic Wax. This is a little time consuming, but I find it almost therapeutic and love watching the transformation happen in front of me that way. I apply it by finger. I'm sure there are folks who use a small brush, but I really prefer to feel the wax as I had found that using a brush tended to leave the wax a little clumpy in recessed areas. 

I painted the inside using the same process because it had an ugly brown layer of paint in it. I couldn't resist using color SOMEWHERE on this one, so I used CeCe Caldwell's Emerald Isle and Thomasville Teal on the doors. For a similar look, grab a couple of brushes (or one!) and just start layering. I also spray with water every once in a while to blend the colors. Y'all know I can't go too long without using my signature "Peacock" colors. ;) Finally, after sealing the inside, I brushed some Bauxite Beige onto the doors which really made them pop.

I took the hardware and gave it the same jeweled tone, with some Bauxite Beige over to let the pulls sparkle...sigh.

I don't really have any "during" shots because the entire process went so quickly! So here it is, in all its sparkling and french glory! I hope you love her, I sure do. I've also quickly realized that I may have to figure out how to break it to my husband that it just might NOT be headed out the to all, Claudia.
Gone is the ugly orange wood, replaced with a weathered french finish!

The Vintage White settled right into the grain beautifully! 
Distressing in different areas helped keep the piece from looking too "finished" and really enhanced the grain and details.

My brass horse garnered much attention on my Facebook page! It is one of a pair that I purchased while deployed in Afghanistan. They are just beautiful and I had to have them!

This is where she sits for now! I think any storage is good storage don't you? ;)