Tight Squeezes and Square One

Sep 21, 2017 | Hemp Oil | 0 comments

For those of you who haven’t heard, I have moved Eight Hundred Furniture’s operations out of my apartment and into the basement of my grandparents’ in-law suite on the back of my parent’s home. I posted a tour of my new space on my Instagram stories, and Marc and I will move in by the end of October.

It’s a real blessing to have room to spread out, make a mess and store project pieces in a designated work location. I finally feel like home and work are separate and it’s allowing me to operate within “normal” work hours. (I say “normal” because my hours are still different from a typical day job, but they’re getting closer to normal than what they were before!)

With this new work space comes a lot of readjusting. I knew all of the places in my apartment where the lighting was best. I knew what time of day to take photos of pieces as I was working on them and I had a designated staging area. Now that I’m in the basement, I need to figure all of those things out all over again. It’s kind of like I’m starting from square one!

When I brought this piece down, I had a Victorian settee off to the left and two nightstands off to the right being stripped.

I was definitely operating within a tight space, so my angles on this makeover are a bit extreme.  In the photo above, I was wedged right up against my Milk Paint shelf.  You should have seen me bending over the camera to see my shot!

I’m also getting used to the lighting in the workshop too.  There are a lot of overhead fluorescent lights, which make for excellent task light.  The regular light sockets in the ceiling have your typical yellow bulbs inside so it left me with a lot of overexposed backgrounds, yellow tints and underexposed foregrounds in my photos.  I need to adjust to my new lighting situation.  Please forgive the lighting in these basement photos!  They’re not quite what I was going for.

At any rate, this piece was actually the bottom of a hutch cabinet.

I had been eyeing it up for a long time in the booth of one of my fellow merchants at Morgantown Market.  The reason why I didn’t snatch it up right away was the top.  I didn’t know what to do with it at first, but after some thinking, I decided I would use it in our bathroom when we move in.  Imagine it hung on the wall with some hooks along the bottom for towels.  Cute, huh?  Of course I’ll paint it!

The makeover on the hutch bottom started with refinishing/repairing  the top.  I sanded it down to 80 grit and brought it back up to 220 grit for a super smooth finish.  There were some holes to repair in the back, so I filled them with wood filler and sanded them smooth once they were dry.  For tips on refinishing wood tops, read my post here.  Once the top was repaired and smooth, I stained it using General Finishes Java Gel Stain.

After the top was stained, I started painting the bottom using Miss Mustard Seed’s Grain Sack.

Grain Sack is one of my absolute favorite colors to use.  It isn’t a stark white like Farmhouse White is.  It has a faded gray tone to it, which isn’t noticeable until it’s right up against white.

See that faded gray I was talking about?

I didn’t do any prep work to the bottom.  I simply cleaned it off with a dust brush and got to painting.  The finish was practically raw wood, so I knew the Milk Paint would stick.  Even if it didn’t, and it chipped off in random places, I would have been OK with that.

Because the piece originally had a dark stain, it took three coats of Grain Sack to get full coverage.  I’m finding that whenever I paint a piece in any shade of white, it takes three coats to get the coverage I’m looking for.  I could probably get away with two coats, but some spots look a little ghosty if you know what I mean.  That third coat always does the trick to get everything looking even and fully coated.  Now I don’t mind taking the extra time for a third coat because I know my pieces will look amazing when they’re done.  It’s just good to be aware of that up front, you know?

This is what the piece looked like after two coats.  Can you see those ghosty spots I was talking about?  They look darker than the rest of the piece and you could definitely tell when you got up close.

After the three coats of Grain Sack were dry, I distressed the piece to my liking using a mixture of 220 and 100 grit sandpaper.  Then, I sealed the bottom with Hemp Oil.

After a good rub down to remove the excess Hemp Oil, I sealed the top with General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in Satin.  That is my absolute favorite water-based topcoat to use for wood surfaces.  I always use it in combination with Java Gel Stain and it looks like a million bucks every time!

The inside of the cabinet had built-in shelves, so I gave them a rub down with Hemp Oil as well.

Once everything was dry, I loaded the piece up in The Marshmallow and delivered it to Painted Table Designs.

This piece is part of a vignette that’s set up in the living room area, so I had tight quarters for taking photos.  I didn’t have enough room for a head-on shot, but I’m sure you get the general idea!

The wood top looks amazing and it has just the right amount of shine.

I kept all of the original hardware and painted around it.  The latch on the front is just darling!

Here, you can see how I distressed the details of the piece so they popped against the Grain Sack Milk Paint. 

The pattern on the doors is the sweetest, don’t you think?  I love those circles!

Here’s that beautiful inside that was hydrated with Hemp Oil.  Check out those wood slats in the back! 

Here’s a closer look at the refinished top.  It feels smooth as butter.

This piece is available at Painted Table Designs for $300 if you’re interested!

It measures 41 inches high, 17 inches deep, and 30 inches wide.

If you like this look, you can also purchase Hemp Oil and Grain Sack Milk Paint while you’re in the shop!

Welcome to my happy place!
I'm Jenn Baker - Milk Paint lover, photographer, blogger, and QVC Guest Host. Click below to learn more about me and my creative business.  LEARN MORE ABOUT JENN

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