This contemporary, black laminate armoire just did not work in our new home with the banana-yellow bedroom. I took off the doors and removed the drawers and hardware, and sanded and primed everything. I attached half-round molding and decorative trim. I then painted it in shades of yellow with a strie technique on the flat areas, and sponging on and off inside the faux panels. The final step was adding new hardware. The transformation was dramatic!
We wanted a vanity cabinet to go with our new vessel sink, and didn’t care for the stock ones. We found this bureau in an antiques mall. It was in perfect condition with three working drawers. I removed the hardware, then painted the base in a “shabby chic” look, using a yellow undercoat and a white overglaze that I then wiped. The top was a sort of sponging on of various shades of green, and a few coats of a blue glaze. The very edge I oil gilded with 23k gold leaf. I then poured an epoxy resin over the top, to give it a hard, glossy finish. That is a very touchy process, and I did not have perfect success, but overall it achieved the result. In this picture, the holes have been drilled for the vessel sink and faucet.
This was the second chair I created for the Boys and Girls Club Chair Affair auction, in Rochester, MN. I was in a frivolous mood, and wanted something that was just pretty. I began with one of the ugliest wooden chairs I have seen, and adorned it with sheer, iridescent fabrics, silk roses, ribbons and trims, all in shades of scarlet. The sheer fabric reveals glimpses of the body underneath. The back is equally ornate. To my delight, it was won by Ercia Watson, my beloved “pseudo-daughter.”
This chair had belonged to my family since I was little. At some point, I had recovered the seat with an ocean-themed fabric. Then the dog chewed on the corner (front left) and the veneer on the back began to come off. I was inspired to do a make-over when the local Boys and Girls Club held its first “Chair Affair” charity auction, in Rochester, MN. The idea was that artists would supply creative chairs to be auctioned off, and the proceeds would go to the charity. I was on the organizing committee, and I wanted to contribute something.
I removed the seat, repaired and sanded the wood, and painted it a warm red. Then I oil-gilded the entire piece with composition gold leaf, and lightly toned and distressed it so the red showed through. Along the back, I applied a print, donated by my friend Charlotte Wiskow, that was of her original oil painting “Silver Lake”. I then varnished everything, re-upholstered the seat, and put it all back together. The chair fetched a high price from a surprise bidder – our family lawyer! I was very touched. It has been in his office ever since.