Everyone loves a Cinderella story, right? I’ve got a good one for you. Let’s revisit Ugly Betty.
She was big. She was dirty. She was ugly. Cheap, but ugly.
After doing some major cleanup, I began painting U.B. using a layering technique. I started with a base coat of Annie Sloan’s “French Linen”.
That went all over and then I sealed the color in with a layer of clear wax. Next, I painted a layer of General Finishes’ “Snow White”
After that layer, I gently sanded away the white to reveal the linen color underneath. The wax acts as a protective layer to help prevent “burn through”. Basically, it helps you sand away color, but not too much. The result looked something like this:
Everything was going well. I wanted to add one more layer of color to create more depth and contrast. I grabbed a little bit of this and that (basically any can that has 1/4 inch of paint left) and mixed it in a Ball jar.
Now let’s be honest…waxing a piece of furniture as large as Ugly Betty takes time. At this point, I just wanted to be done. In my haste, I had the thought, “I won’t need to wax in between this layer. I’ll just sand it off and everything will be fine.” That’s where I went wrong. After painting another layer over all of my beautiful driftwood finish,
I started to sand….
and burned through everything. It didn’t matter what grit I used. I essentially painted over everything I had just done.
Moments like these are tough when you’re in the thick of a furniture project. It’s so frustrating when you realize you essentially ruined what you had just created because you were in a rush to get done. Whelp, lesson learned. You can’t rush a good paint job. If you do, you’ll either make a big mistake like this or it will look like a rushed paint job.
Now I had a problem. I didn’t have enough “French Linen” left to repeat the process from the beginning. I took a step back and thought of a way I could still create the layered effect using my custom mix. I covered the doors and then watered down some “Snow White” paint.
I brushed some on and them immediately wiped it off. This is called a color wash. Because the color I’m using is white, it’s a whitewash technique.
It creates a weathered driftwood effect.
What nice is that the white settled into all of the nooks and crevices on Ugly Betty’s surface and made them pop.
It wasn’t what I originally had in mind, but I was rolling with it at this point.
Under the supervision of the cat, I set about spray painting the original hardware in a brushed nickel finish. Normally I would have looked for new hardware to spruce up the cabinet, but we were in such desperate need for storage in our disaster zone…ahem…office, that hardware wasn’t as much of a priority.
After everything was dry, the hubs helped me put the hinges back on the doors.
(We had another setback when we used the wrong sized screws to attach the hinges, but let’s not speak of that right now.)
I repositioned the knobs so they were easier to reach.
I took a trip down to the dollar store and picked up some rolls of shelf liner. This pattern wasn’t my first choice, but it’s cute and punchy. Plus it was $1 per roll and you just can’t beat that.
I also added some furniture feet to help Betty sit level on the floor. She’s a wiley one…
And then we PACKED Betty full of (what we affectionately refer to as) my craft crap.
Can you believe that she freed up 1/4 of our office floor? Now I have a place for my linens, upholstery supplies, sandpaper, furniture feet, decoupage materials, paint, brushes, jars, etc.
She’s not perfect but she’s one heck of a Cinderella story. She looks WAY better now than she did when we first lugged her home. Even though her doors are a little too small and the paint technique isn’t what I had in mind, she’s absolutely perfect for us right now.
She was cheap, she’s strong, she’s big, and she’s efficient.
Betty…welcome home, girlfriend.