Gorgeous Green: Telephone Table Makeover
This is another one of those pieces that I picked up aaaaages ago but have only just got around to giving it a makeover. I did it in preparation for redecorating my hallway (much to my husbands dismay but the floor really does need to go!) and wanted a piece that would set the tone for the room - a lovely vintage green. As this piece is small, I decided to have some fun with the little details that really make a piece pop - sometimes stenciling the drawer sides of a large dresser with 5 drawers is just too much effort for me, but here there was only one!
This type of table is not uncommon here in Italy, but I liked the edges and detailing on the top so I bought it originally to act as a bedside table for a spare room. Now that room is my son's room, so I thought it would make a nice edition, made over, in our hallway - I really want an old black dial phone to display on here but I've not been able to find one yet!
Ok so to start I cleaned it with a de-greaser and took the old knob off - it was just a screw in one and I wanted to replace it with a cute bird one I bought. I had to drill the hole all the way through the drawer, as with most knobs you can buy, the new one was a bolt and nut fitting. I did this first so as to not wreck the new paint I was going to apply.
I made my own chalk paint for this project using a matt emulsion in green, and a chalk paint powder from UChalk that you just mix in. I find this better than the pre-mixed chalk paints I can buy in Italy (which isn't many!), but you have to mix the paint and powder in little by little until you have a paint-powder paste which you can add to your main bulk of chosen paint - if you don't, it can end up gritty. I'm going to do a short tutorial on how I mix up this paint very soon!
So two coats of DIY chalk paint was enough for good coverage; I then mixed up a slightly lighter colour by taking some of the green chalk paint and mixing it with a little white chalk paint I already had. I used this to add some aging to the table by way of dry brushing. I dipped a large chalk paint brush into the lighter colour just a tiny amount and brushed it on a piece of kitchen roll (or cardboard) until pretty much all of the paint was gone; I then used light and fast brushing to the areas I wanted to highlight, blending well at the edges. I added some more of the original paint where I though I'd added too much highlighting, but the key here is to keep your brush as dry as possible. I chose to highlight the central parts of the sides and tops, and blend outwards to the original colour. You can see below what I mean - I've added some lighter colour to the middle of the drawer front and blended it into the original green.
I used a white chalk paint to stencil a repeating pattern to the sides of the drawers - I did this because the drawers don't have runners, only a smooth single surface, which makes this easier and more suitable for this decoration. I picked a small and simple repetitive leaf pattern which I think works well on a small surface area, and adds a cute surprise when the drawer is opened! I also stenciled a single vintage key onto the lower shelf of this piece using the same white colour - once this was dry I did the same dry brushing as before over the top to tone down the 'newness' of the key stencil and match the other aged areas.
The whole piece needed sealing, which I did with clear wax - I did three coats of this to make sure that it has some decent protection as although it is not a piece which will be touched lots, it will get chipped if I don't make sure the paint is well and truly sealed. Generally a clear matt polycrylic top coat will give much more protection, but I prefer the finish of clear wax. I know some brands do great sealants with better finishes that other furniture painters rave about, but I just can't get those in Italy! I did use a clear was effect top coat on the blue dresser that I finished recently because it is outside, and the finish is nice, just not a sumptuous as wax :)
I also had some vintage key decoupage paper which I lined the inside drawer base with as a final detail; I thought it was cute because of the key stencil on the lower shelf - I simply cut a single sheet to size and used Pritt Stick to glue it in place.
I added the cute swallow bird knob and I was finished - I love all the little details here and it's encourages me to do more of this kind of thing as it really is fun and does bring a piece to life!