Blended Black and Blue with a touch of Bling!

This old TV unit was too good to pass by, not because it was particularly attractive, but it was in good condition, a nice size (not too big, not too small) and it was cheap! Sometimes a piece is cheap enough to make it worth picking up on that score alone; assuming it's not totally falling apart or full of woodworm!

I had a vision for this piece which was along the lines of sleek and a bit bling, and I was thinking that this piece would work well as a big drinks cabinet (of course a general sideboard or TV unit are other uses but hey...).

I started with stripping the veneer off the top which is something I like to do when I can to keep some bare wood on a piece. Now I'm not going to lie, this was a huge pain to do on this unit, the veneer was stuck down hard and came off in little bits, ugh! I used a hairdryer to warm the glue and hot water to soak it a bit; it all came off, but in the end it was simply elbow grease and determination that did it! So once that was all off I sanded it with my palm sander and stained it, but the stain was way darker than I wanted so I ended up sanding it again to get a lighter colour. This mistake actually worked quite well as after the second sanding there was still a little dark stain left in the grain of the wood which once stained a lighter, richer colour gave a nice grain effect. I protected the top with General Finishes High Performance Flat topcoat which I get from Euro Finishes - it's expensive, but gives a good finish and a little goes a long way. As for the main bulk of the unit, I started with painting the whole piece inside and out in a custom mix of chalk paint in black and cioccolato marrone, which is a light brown colour, to give a charcoal grey. I then mixed a rich, dark blue and dry brushed this over the exterior area leaving the charcoal colour in the central regions of the doors and sides. I used a water spray bottle and a few chalk paint brushes to add paint and blend. I protected this with a wax effect top coat from Vintage Paint which gives a really soft finish. I added some dark wax to the corners and edges to finish and give some more depth.

I finished the internal cupboards with a matt topcoat and cut two internal wood shelves for the cupboards as I thought that would make them more usable. I like a bit of detailing inside drawers and such, so I stencilled a simple pattern using gold paint onto the shelf surfaces, a little bit of internal bling!

Lastly, I used the same handles for this piece, but I updated them using antique gold Rub n Buff which I love, a tiny amount covers so much and it brings old tired hardware back to life!

I love the contrast between the blue and gold on this piece, and the rich wooden top makes it feel more expensive. The luscious wax effect finish looks soft but is hard wearing. I also think the blended paint and dark wax add interest and depth to the finish rather than a flat blue colour - the great thing about chalk paint is that is can be layered and blended by reactivating it once it's dry with some water, so you can really get creative with your finishes!

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