Monday, October 4, 2010

French Gray Sideboard

When I first started treasure hunting for my space at Wild Rose, one of the first things I asked Lynette was, "How do you part with the really good finds?"  She assured me I would get over it quickly.  Well, I'm not too sure of that.  This is one of those pieces that will haunt me when it sells.
I am giving myself a timeline. If it doesn't sell by a certain date (this date keeps changing the more I think about it!), I am bringing it home to begin the snowballing process of transforming our dining room.

I found this beautiful 1930's sideboard at a barn sale. It was in need of some tlc, but I couldn't resist the beautiful details of this piece.

Parts of the veneer were peeling, or completely chipped off.

Some of the decorative trim was about to fall off, and it did, the moment I began to clean the sideboard.
As you can see, the top was quite damaged. It's hard to see in the photo, but these rings had to be sanded out.
Thanks to these imperfections, I didn't have to ask the mahogany gods for too much forgiveness once I decided to paint it.

I used the orbital sander to get it ready for priming. I probably only needed to sand the top, but it really cleaned it up, and hey, power tools are fun.
The detail work was caked with dirt.  It took a screw driver, some Murphy's spray, and q-tips to clean out the grooves and reveal the beautiful detail at the base. 

I used stainable wood glue to repair the loose veneer, then I used clamps to hold it in place until dry.  I used wood filler where the veneer was totally gone. Once the wood filler dried, I sanded it down.  It wasn't a totally perfect patch job, but that's okay since I was distressing this piece.

A small portion of the base of one of the doors was worn through so that when the door closed it did not catch on the stopper.  Instead the door pushed inward. I had my husband put a length of shoe molding just inside the cabinet doors to act as a stopper.

I used a gray spray primer before painting the sideboard a nice French gray.  The gray base added nice depth to the detail work so that I didn't have to go crazy when painting with the French gray. You do have to be careful if you choose to distress a piece that has been primed gray.  If not, you will end up with black scuff marks.
After distressing it with sandpaper, I used just a little antiquing glaze over the entire piece. I wiped it on with a damp cloth, concentrating on the distressed areas and the detail work.  I used just enough glaze so that it took away the freshly painted look.

For the most part, the interior was in great shape. It drives me crazy when I come across a beautiful piece of furniture only to open a drawer and find gum or who knows what stuck to the drawers. 
This time I really just had to vacuum out behind the drawers and I wiped down the shelves with pledge. There were a few spots right when you opened the cabinets that needed a little sanding. As far as the interior goes, the silverware drawer needed the most attention.

This drawer was felted in purple. It was stained and dirty. I vacuumed out the drawer and recovered it in black adhesive backed felt found in the craft aisle at Walmart.

It really transformed the drawer.

As a final touch, I applied clear Briwax to the top as a protective coat.  I used a clean rag, applying the wax in a circular motion.  It does not appear glossy, it just gives it a little bit of protection.  We use Briwax on our farm tables, too.  It is sold in a can, and you can find it at many antique and furniture stores.

With the exception of a minor mishap with a spilled bottle of antiquing glaze, this was a fairly painless transformation.
I will be linking this post to Metamorphosis Monday and Furniture Feature Friday.

Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. gorgeous!! great job and thanks for sharing.

  2. This is night and day! GORGEOUS!!!
    I would love if you linked this to the French Obsession party going on now!


  3. Beautiful! What a great find, I wish I had discovered it :)

  4. It turned out beautifully. I like all of the details. It seems you found a diamond in the rough.

  5. It is SO gorgeous! I totally feel your pain about not wanting to sell things... there have been times when a piece has been heading out of my driveway & I just want to weep :) But it makes me committed to finding another, just as great as the last one. You did a beautiful job on this, someone is going to be lucky to call it theirs!

  6. Christine, this is one beautiful piece of furniture. These pictures don't do the piece justice. I LOVE it, and the color you chose to paint it is ooohhh la la!

    Great job and can't wait to see what you have lurking in your garage to be worked on next. :)


  7. You have a great piece of furniture. I'd say it is a keeper! ♥♫

  8. Adore it! Can't wait to see what you got going on. I have a few things I am working on as well. I'll post them when finished. I spent the weekend at a military wide garage sale -- Lots of treasure but I need to hit a barn!

  9. I LOVE this piece, Christine. I would truly buy it if I could justify the purchase. I always look longingly at it when I'm in the shop and I'm definitely using that color on something else!

  10. Fabulous!!! Love the color you chose. It is simply amazing!

  11. i love the handles!
    i love the detail inside the drawers!
    i love the gorgeous shade of grey!
    and i think you should keep it for your house :)

  12. Gorgeous! Great color and lines. I love your blog.

  13. Hi Christine,
    What a fabulous piece!! You did an amazing job on it :) Love it!!! Would you mind sharing w/ me what shade/brand of paint you used? I'd love to try it on something.

  14. What a beautiful piece. It looks like you really put a lot of work into it and it was well worth it.