29 April 2012


A few years ago, I found a photo of some really uptown red chairs in a room by a big-time designer.  I forget who.
My heart flipped over a hundred times, and I decided that I absolutely had to have some.

I can hear it now ... has poor Scribbler lost her feeble mind?

Why on earth would anyone paint over a pristine mahogany finish?

Because she hates it, that's why.

Here's the story in a nutshell.  

I ordered these chairs about ten-ish years ago from Thomasville.  I supplied the fabrics and specified a distressed black finish.

When the chairs were delivered I was out, and my husband signed for them.  When I returned, I hit the roof and called the liaison designer.  Turned out she had done nothing wrong -- the paper work was in perfect order.  The screw-up was at the TVL workroom.  

I was furious -- they also did not return my leftover fabric, and there was some, trust me.  This chair frame was called 'Bramasole,' if I remember right.  That was about the time Tuscany had captured the imagination of most of the civilized world in the wake of a couple of popular books and movies.

A while back I tested Annie Sloan's "Emperor's Silk" (RED) paint on the back of one of the chairs in an unobtrusive spot (as seen in the first photo).  I thought about this for about three months.

One day I looked at them and thought once again, "I really hate mahogany."  So I screwed my courage to the sticking point and plunged right in.

That is, I plunged in after taping up all the edges and tucking the Frog tape down securely under the frame.  (BTW the Frog tape did a fabulous job -- no leaks!)  It was a rainy day.  Thank God for a rainy day now and then.  Otherwise, I'd probably never get into trouble.  (The good kind.)

Here the finish looks chalky still.
I am getting a little freaked.

You may be asking yourself, why are you painting in the LR?
BECAUSE, silly, there is a fan and lots of light!

I started to get a little worried after the first coat, but I kept going.  It took about five or six coats, going over and over the frame and using nearly all of the paint in the sample pot.  I went back to the studio and got another pot for the other chair. 

The finish was very dark and chalky, and   I was already regretting not using red gesso first.  I had previously decided that it was going to have satin sealer, not the waxes.  I don't much like the waxes.  Sorry, Annie.

Once again, I mixed up Minwax Polycrylic Satin Sealer with what was left in the pot of ASCP -- this time probably two tablespoons or so.  This photo shows it wet.

Perfection!  It gave me exactly what I wanted -- satiny smooth, low sheen not high gloss, and it brought the color back to where it should be.  The dark undertones of the mahogany still give it depth, in much the same way the layers of wax would, but without the tedious layering.  This could still be waxed if I wanted to do it.  I don't.

This fabric was once used in a show house.  It has lots of color in it, and it sort of changes, depending on how the light hits it.
That red baskeweave on the rear back was also used on a sofa I did, and that piece went to Cali and wound up in a poor family's home because my son didn't want it anymore.
I hope they liked it.

Remember the Furniture Guys on public television?   One was short and round and the other was tall and sculpted?
I used to see them do specialty finishes all the time on their show where I learned a lot, and the tall one used to do 'french polish waxing.'
That's like executing a figure 8 with carnuba wax.  He sometimes did that after a piece was sealed.

I didn't do this on the first one, but I want you to do it if you are not experienced at painting furniture.  
You will thank me.

In situ.


P.S.  You may be asking yourself, "Why on earth was Scribbler painting in the kitchen and LR?"  Well, the answer is that it has gotten too hot in the garage and there is no TV or music there!  Inside we have AC, fans and entertainment, necessary components of successful furniture re-creations.

Linking to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Cassie at Primitive and Proper for POWW 
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Marion at Miss Mustard Seed for Furniture Friday

25 April 2012


The news from the High Point April Market is that color is back.
I have said it before, and I am saying it again:
For me, it never went anywhere.

One little thing I learned about color in design school, which I think I had already figured out anyway, is that when you put complimentary colors next to each other, they both look more so.

Yellow and purple are opposite on the color wheel.  If you don't have one, you should get one.
It will help you figure out a lot of color decisions.

I was already thinking about doing this post when the pansies were still around, but it took me about a month to locate this little piece of gingham mini-check fabric.
Yesterday morning to be exact.
It was stashed with the quilts.
Don't ask me how it got there.
I don't know.

Leftover from my mother's fabric stash, the gingham was set aside for use as a couple of ruffly pillows and some napkins.  It is very soft.  Probably old.

I had my eye on some more of these solid color bright plates that I had seen at Pier 1.  I already bought four of the lime green, and went back for four of the yellow.  Now, I am stopping, I swear.
(Yeah, right)

Nowhere in my fair city did I run across any purple salad plates.
I did look.

At the eleventh hour on Wednesday afternoon, I found these paper plates at HobLob.
It was my intention to get some glass plates and copy Notes Songs Shelia's decoupaged plates because I am shameless that way.  
I didn't find the glass plates anywhere
either till late yesterday afternoon, so that is still to be done.
Hence the paper plates under the Fostoria salad plates.
It's that "punch of color" thing, you know.

Sweet Husband thinks the table looks very cool, but he was not as thrilled about my making this tablescape, taking photos of it and trying to get it online so I could link to Let's Dish! when all the while his tummy was rumbling telling him it was suppertime!
That's why there was no text on this post last night.

I used to use these tassels on some curtains a long time ago.  I thought they'd make swell napkin rings.
Vases and candlesticks are very inexpensive, acquired at HG a while ago.

You have seen the PB goblets many times.

Notice how I carefully avoided showing you that the napkins are not hemmed yet!??

Uh oh -- you can see it here...

I think this cheapo flatware came from HG or TM -- I have had it a long time.
The place mat is actually more purple than it looks.  It is, however, not the same purple as the paper plates.
Next time I do this table, I will have the decoupage plates done.
I swear.

There is ligustrum all over our neighborhood, and it smells divine.  The magnolias are already starting to bloom, too.  

I may decide to do a few more tables in complimentary colors, and also pull up some of my old ones to demonstrate the point again, how complimentary colors make each other look more intense.  I have been known to beat a dead horse, you know.


Linking to Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish!

In addition I am linking this post to Susan at the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.

On Sunday I am joining The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday.

23 April 2012


This wall was going to be painted an accent color.

Last Friday started out with great intentions and fierce determination to begin ridding myself of one of a number of blights on my soul -- the messy paint job and ugly wall color in my foyer and entry hall as perpetrated by the previous owner.  It is best described as a light to medium dull golden beige slopped on.  

Same area,  post-holidays.
I don't pitch the poinsettias till they get really ugly.

If you have been reading my blogs for a few years, you have seen everything under the sun plopped here and arranged there in some form or fashion.  Different sets of curtains -- my portieres -- always flank the front door (which needs painting).  The pictures and paintings move around.  The plates change all the time.  Rugs have come and gone.  Too much furniture or no furniture at all alternately comes and goes, too.  I gave up because nothing fits because the space is narrow, and just put a shelf on the wall.  Finally, something that works. 

The only thing that has been consistently in the same place is the hall tree, a French piece that is one of my most prized possessions.  According to the dealer, Fireside Antiques in Baton Rouge, it is from about 1875.

To recap:  A couple of weeks ago, we hit an estate sale where I bought an old dresser for $100 that I painted green with a mix of various paints.  I have parked the dresser in the DR for now, but if and when I locate the beach house I want and can possibly afford, it will go there.  The mirror was going to be stored, till I had a flash that it could work in the front hall for a while.

What do you think?

Here it is placed over the long shelf made of the old recycled board from the kitchen.  I used some scrolly black iron brackets to hold the shelf, and the curvaceous black iron planter is holding books and magazines.  

I have always kind of wanted a New Orleans look in this house.  I don't know if I have done it, but that was the general idea with all that curlicue black iron.  This is a tight space -- hard for an inept photographer like me to do it justice.  Sorry.

Now about that accent wall -- I found an unopened can of paint in the garage when we bought the house.  It might be best described as a dill pickle green but lighter.  I thought it might work better than the dull gold as a backdrop for the ASCP 'Graphite' shelf and 'Antibes-ish' mirror.

It didn't.  No natural light hits that wall directly. Light is everything when you are dealing with color, you know.  It looked really UGLY and totally dead.  I held up a drawer from the dresser (the mirror was too heavy to just hold up -- more about that later).  The two shades of green together were appalling.  I can't think of another word to describe it.  Well, maybe nauseating

Look closely --  you can see the dill pickle green against the gold!
It actually looks better in the photo than it did for real.
The only other wall paint I had on hand was pure white.  Now I am aware that no one paints an "accent wall" pure white.  But I did.  I kept on till I got too tired, painting where I could reach.  I plan to get another gallon and keep going on all the areas which are accessible.  This summer we are having the outside of the house painted, and we plan to let the painters finish that stairwell area, too, because they will have proper ladders and scaffolding.

Here we are with most of this area covered with white.

And here is some on the other side on the stairwell.  I think white is going to make this area really much brighter.
I plan to do the handrails and stair treads in black.  Ever since I saw Tobi Fairley's foyer in dramatic black and white, I have wanted it black and white.  (Of course, she has fabulous wallpaper and I won't.)    That yukky carpet on the stairs is going bye-bye, too.  I plan to paint the floor in black and white squares.  BTW, The best of the new decorating books recently has been Black & White by Celerie Kemble, IMO.  I love the look of black and white, and I love this book.
See how dark that "light" green looked next to the white?

Trying to drag the photos around
and place them where I want them makes me crazy!

The mirror is really heavy.  Sweet Husband put two lag screws into the studs and screwed two cleats into the studs under the shelf.  We put two screw-eyes into the back of the mirror frame and then tied a double length of nylon rope through them.  Now it is supported three ways.  

Top detail.

The mirror is way too big to put the blue and white pieces back on the shelf.  I went prowling about the house at 3 a.m. Sunday morning, trying to find some green and white things.  Turns out I don't have a lot.  It does seem that I have been on quite a green kick lately, doesn't it?

You can see the difference the color-wash made.

Top is color-washed.
The rest will get done when I get some more green paint.

I think the wash gives it more depth.

I got this color-washed look by mixing polycrylic sealer in 'Satin' with the residue in the sample pot of ASCP "Antibes" -- probably not more than a good teaspoonful.  This stuff is heavily pigmented!   The mirror frame and the dresser top got two coats.   I like it much better it a little brighter, don't you?  The satin finish of the sealer also takes away that chalky look and makes it very smooth.

The shelf got a new coat of Graphite plus a coat of sealer.

More painting in my future...

I swiped the birdcage from my office.

Last week's rose petals still smell so sweet.

The vase was my mother's.

You can see where my brain is most of the time...

Both these plates came from long ago estate sales.
This one is Imari Gold, and the other one is from Dublin.

So this is where we are today.  You do know that the whole thing will change again soon, right?


Linking up to Susan for Metamorphosis Monday over at the Porch!

and to Nita for Mod Mix Monday at Mod Vintage Life

and to Roeshel for DIY Project Parade

and to Marty for Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life

and to Beth at The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday

and to Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

and to Anita at Cedar Hill Ranch for Cowgirl Up on Tuesdays 

and to Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays

and to Patti and Paula at Ivy & Elephants   What’s It Wednesday 

and Marion for Furniture Feature Friday Miss Mustard Seed

and last but not least, for the first time I am joining Redoux's   Friday Feature Party
See ya'll there!

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