I have found that in paying attention to the details when redoing a piece of furniture can make all the difference in the finished results. This paint and decoupage chest redo was just that kind of project…
This is the pic from the online listing for this mahogany blanket chest. It was pretty beat up, inside and out, yet the overall shape and size of the chest offered possibilities.
After I got the blanket chest, I started by washing it, and made sure no wax was on it BEFORE I sanded it. Sanding a piece with wax on it can actually grind the wax into the grain of the wood, causing resist issues for the paint. (If there is wax on a piece, to remove it, I use our Odorless Solvent and a kitchen scrubby… when the solvent loosens the wax, I wipe it away with paper towels until clean. Then re-wash the piece with TSP Alternative to remove the solvent residue, and it’s ready for sanding.)
I’m not posting pics of all the prep but here are the steps I did to prep this piece:
- Washed with Fusion TSP Alternative.
- Sanded old finish off top.
- Scuff Sanded rest of piece.
- Filled old hardware holes and sanded smooth.
- Primed entire piece, inside and outside with Bin shellac based primer, 2 coats to seal mahogany tannins.
I didn’t want to keep the same Early American style so the hardware would need to be replaced.
Two-three coats of the Bin shellac based primer properly seals the mahogany tannins from bleeding through the finished paint. It also give my light paint color a nice white base to go over.
For this piece, all of it except that top was painted with Fusion Mineral Paint ‘Lamp White’. I love this white color… it’s actually white in the bright daylight and a very soft light grey in the evening light.
Some bright whites take 3 coats for full coverage, Lamp White usually covers in 2 coats, especially going over a white base.
Now for the details to make this piece pop!
I had a plan to decoupage the inside panels with one of our pretty ReDesign with Prima papers. So to emphasize the frames of each panel, I started with a base of Chocolate FMP.
I wasn’t too worried about perfectly trimming the edges, as the Lamp White part will be easy enough to touch up at the end.
The dried Chocolate base got a quick glaze coat over it using a simple wash of 50/50 water and Hazelwood FMP.
My goal wasn’t to make it perfect, in fact quite the opposite. I wanted plenty of the Chocolate to show through… more like wood grain.
The final little touch made a world of difference to this faux treatment…
Just a touch of Fusion ‘Vintage Gold’ metallics. This was applied in a small area at a time, just here and there.
And immediately wiped back with clean, dry paper towel to blend it into the other 2 previous colors.
The end result is a wonderful old aged picture frame look.
Using my favorite brush, the One Series brush with super fine bristles which lays the paint out beautifully, (linked at end of post) easily cleaned up the parts with Lamp White where the paint got messed up.
I love, love, love our Fusion Decoupage Gel! It is so smooth to apply and dries clear and non-tacky. After I cut and dry-fit the pieces of ReDesign with Prima Decoupage paper, I liberally applied the decoupage gel, working on one panel area at a time.
After the decoupage paper was placed in it and all the bubbles smoothed out, I brushed on another layer of the decoupage gel to the face of the paper.
This ReDesign ‘paper’ is more like fabric than paper. It is super strong and has a woven texture.
Like many vintage chests of this type, the 2 top ‘drawers’ are fake, and the lid lifts to reveal a deep storage accessible from the top. There are special hinges on the lid to accommodate a lightweight tray that stays horizontal as the lid raises and lowers.
This one was lined with a velvet type material that was quite stained but was glued down so solid, I couldn’t get it to budge. So I painted it! Yup, you can use Fusion Mineral Paint on Fabric. I put it on pretty thick and the ‘velvet’ feel is no more… in fact it was sort of like white sandpaper when it dried! I sanded it with a high grit sandpaper to knock down the pointy bumps.
To snazz up the tray, using the literal scraps left over from the decoupage paper used on the front of the chest, I cut around each flower in a simple shape. Then same process… Laid on a liberal amount of decoupage gel, laid the piece on the gel and brushed another coat of gel over the top of the paper.
Our Fusion gel is a sealer as well, so no top coat is necessary.
Now, to finish the top of the chest!
Even this vintage piece of furniture has a layer of veneer wood on the top. As I was sanding I accidentally sanded a little too much and it went through the veneer into the substrate. To avoid this from happening to you, you sometimes you can use a chemical stripper instead of sanding the old finish off. However, in my case, the top was in pretty rough shape, so not sanding it would have been pretty much impossible.
I wasn’t sure if the sanded part would be covered up with the dark Cappuccino stain, I applied it first to see what I would be left with.
Our Fusion Stain and Finishing Oil, (SFO for short) is a highly pigmented solvent based penetrating oil finish. It’s a very tough finish when applied in multiple coats. Actually tough enough for a flooring finish.
To apply SFO, it is a brush on, (or wipe on) and wipe the excess back off. It not meant to have any puddling or thickness left behind. How long you allow it to sit on the piece before wiping the excess off, will allow more pigment to saturate the wood… to a point…
This raw mahogany really sucked in the pigment and I pretty much wiped it back off immediately.
The substrate didn’t take the SFO pigment quite as well. On to plan ‘B’…
I brushed on a bit of Chocolate paint on that part and before it totally dried, wiped the excess off to darken just that part where the substrate showed. (this picture above shows it just before I wiped it back)
Finally, the single coat of SFO was as dark as I wanted the wood, but was still very matte, (I wanted more of a soft satin finish on the wood). Adding another coat of the Cappuccino SFO would darken the wood more than I wanted, so I had two other options to increase the sheen, but not the color.
- ONE: I could switch to ‘Natural’ SFO for subsequent layers. It is not pigmented and that would be a great option for a floor, or table top that would be getting frequent use.
- TWO: I could add a layer of wax and buff it.
What’s NOT an option, is putting a water based finish, like our Tough Coat, over the SFO… water and oil don’t mix!
I opted for the second option.
Using one of the waxing brushes, I brushed on a liberal amount of our Fusion Beeswax Hemp Oil finish, (which BTW is food safe, so a great option on cutting boards). After letting it sit for a bit, (like 10 minutes) using a clean soft cloth, I buffed the wax into the wood, removing any excess.
The end result is a beautiful satin finish,
the edge where the substrate was showing is nicely camouflaged too.
Inside the chest is beautiful with a nice clean finish ready for blankets and bedding.
This piece is spoken for…
my bedroom called for it… and it answered. I kind of love the casual cottage style of this chest redo!
Oh and the finishing touch was the crystal hardware to complete this paint and decoupage chest redo.
Have questions? Please contact me, I’d love to help you be successful with your project!
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