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Monday, March 8, 2010

Campaign Chest Makeover

Happy DIY week from Matters of Style! We've gotten a ton of amazing submissions for our DIY challenge and will be revealing them all to you this week, with the winners to be announced Friday!

To kick things off, today we present our own most recent furniture makeover that we've been looking forward to sharing with you. As we mentioned in our post last week, we're huge fans of campaign style furniture. It has such a classic elegance rooted in 19th century antiques, yet the 20th century repros can look entirely modern when painted in a bold color with a nice glossy finish.

As many great furniture makeovers do, it all began with Craig. Son's bedroom furniture? Bring it. I ventured out to Sterling one chilly morning and the tall chest was mine (wish I'd had room for both, but neither my car nor my apartment could handle it).


Got it home and into my apartment and could not wait to begin painting. I'd mulled over sending this to an auto body shop to get painted, but long story short, not a lot of places in the metro DC area do this. I found one that did, but when I went to drop it off no one was there. I didn't feel like driving around with this in my car all weekend, so I decided to just paint it myself.

A closer view of what I was working with. I was skeptical of how paint would take to the shiny veneer finish, but then realized that this would be easy to paint over and get a nice, glossy look since there is no actual wood grain texture to overcome.


For some reason my two assistants overly curious felines loved this piece and threw themselves at it the moment I brought it inside. Remember that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer has the Japanese businessmen sleeping in an oversized chest of drawers? Apparently my cats do...

First step was removing the hardware. The handles were easy, but it was a bit more of a challenge to get the brass pieces off the edge. I had to break out my old edelweiss swiss army knife and pry the nailheads out a bit, then pull them out with pliers. Some were easier than others. Three nailheads per piece * twelve pieces per side = 36 nailheads. I've had more fun in the dentist's office before. 

Once removed, the hardware got a nice polish with Brasso.

To ensure the paint would adhere to the veneer, it was particularly important to prime. I used one coat of Kilz.

Then I used a roller to apply black semi gloss acrylic latex. 
 

And after that, two coats of polyurethane for that glossy, lacquer-like finish I was after. After letting it dry overnight, I re-attached the hardware (and putting it on was much easier than taking it off!).

The final product is a far cry from the "son's bedroom furniture" I started out with, don't you think?


Before and after. In this "after" you can see it's so glossy that it actually reflects the bedding across from it! 
 

Stay tuned for some fabulous projects from MoS readers this week- you all are a talented bunch!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks fantastic! Great job!!!

Pemberley said...

Wow great! Did you have a problem with brush strokes?

Dayka (Life +Style) said...

great job! i have a desk i have yet to start on, but can't wait for the update!

Alaina @ Live Creating Yourself said...

SO amazing! I just bought a new dresser and tried spray painting it this weekend. MASSIVE FAIL. I am taking notes as to your method and giving it another go this weekend. Thanks!

Alaina

EJR said...

Wow, it looks great. I wish I could find a campaign piece for myself.

Averill said...

Love it! The hardware looks awesome against the black.

erica@ moth design+luxe life said...

Gorgeous and well done!

Alicia B. Designs said...

looks FAN. TASTIC. great!!

Jaime said...

Bravo! Stunning piece now.

Chic Coles said...

Wow! What a transformation! DIY are some of my favorite posts to read!

LindsB said...

Looks amazing! I love the shiny black finish on it now! It makes the beautiful brass hardware stand out even more- love this!

Meghan said...

Looks great!

Do you happen to have the seller's email address so I cansee if the other piece is still available?

My email is mcmahon.meghan@gmail.com

Thanks!

goheels83 said...

WOW, MoS Wash!!!!!!!! Fantastic re-do!

Kelly Green said...

wOW - I love what you have done! The black looks amazing.....KG

Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...

What a fantastic makeover!

Kudos to the CL poster who actually identified the style, too. I troll CL every now and then and no one seems to post the style of their furniture, just the function of it.

Jordan said...

Did you have to sand before applying Kilz? I just got two veneer shelving units from CL. The spindle vertical members are very cool, but I have not repainted anything myself yet, and I am nervous about getting the paint to adhere to all the nooks and crannies.

The Matters of Style Girls said...

I did not sand before priming with Kilz. Everything adhered just fine and it saved a lot of time.

Thanks for your great comments, everyone!

Tonia @Chic Modern Vintage said...

I have a night table and a dresser exactly like this, and I still have not painted it yet.

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