12 June, 2009

There's Gold in Them Thar...Rooms

I am soooo pleased with how the stripped and refinished sconces turned out for the tenant unit. They look great against the blue Venetian Plaster walls.

They look so good, in fact, that I decided to strip and refinish the matching set in another of the bedrooms in the tenants' unit.

In the process, I found a paint even more dreadful than the dreaded fleshy peach--the innocent baby blue. So far, it's taken four stripping cycles to remove it--each time leaving the stripper on for 10 times longer than the directions call for.

This does not bode well for the task ahead--removing the same blue paint from all the trim in my bedroom. It seems the previous owners worked with monochromatic color themes: everything blue, everything peach, everything white. Whenever we discover one color of paint, there's a 100 percent certainty we'll find it in every other room.

Slowly, slowly the stripper worked its way through the paint, while I puttered in the garden.

This set was originally gold, without any polychrome, so I refinished them in gold again, although I chose a reddish-gold instead of a yellow-gold. I drybrushed on a base coat using a product called Rich Gold from Sophisticated Finishes, and then did a top coat of an antiquing liquid from the same line called Black Tint. It's hard to tell in this photo, which was taken at 2 o'clock in the morning, but the finish looks appropriately old, and matches the gold finish on our 85-year-old electric fireplace--a close enough match that most people probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between vintage and new finsh. I'll try to get a better picture in the daytime, as we finish up with the last few projects on the tenants' unit.

(Special thanks to Ted for rewiring all of these fixtures!)


Jennifer said...

Wow! Your venetian paster looks GOOD! How did you do that?
(The light looks nice, too. ;)

Jan Marie said...

Your sconces looks great. Good job!

I love how you can see all the little details now that they are stripped.

Joanne said...

Jan--Now that I've practiced on these, I'm set to tackle another sconce pair we have: a knight on horseback with a dragon (or maybe it's a griffin?) below him, and a blobby looking thing that might be a man (Atlas?) holding them all up. Lots and lots and lots of lost detail.

Jennifer--It's about the eighth or ninth room I've used this in over the last five years. You can see about five of those rooms at our condo, which is currently being rented out. My first attempt was the small bathroom, which took me forever, was frustrating to do, and ended up a bit lumpy-looking. My favorite room is the blue.

The trick is to use thin layers and long strokes; it usually takes two and sometimes three layers to cover. Instead of the tools Behr suggests, I used Bondo spreaders. It's been great covering or diminishing the look of minor imperfections: bulges, nal holes, hairline cracks, assorted lumps and bumps. I tried using it to fill more extensive holes, but it shrinks too much and cracks.

What I like best about it is that it's easy to make minor repairs later. We knew we'd probably end up with a large number of scratches and dings at the rental, so wanted something that we could patch with later and wouldn't be noticeable. Unlike standard paint, you won't necessarily see the new spots. They blend in with all the other swirls--even after five years.

Anonymous said...