I love finding pieces that tell a story and reflect their history!
Several years ago, I got a phone call from a friend, telling me that they had been given a sweet little french bombe chest, and he thought that I might want it. He told me that it wasn’t worth anything, and was pretty damaged and “unsalvageable”, but that it was a storied piece. My friend knew that I had a soft spot for pieces that are timeworn, imperfect, and storied.
This little bombe chest definitely fit the bill, because it had an interesting history that tugged at my heartstrings.
This sweet petite French chest was a survivor of Hurricane Katrina, and had once graced the rooms of a beautiful grand home in New Orleans.
Unfortunately, it had sat in flood waters for weeks during the devastation of Hurricane Katrina before it was finally salvaged.
My friend told me that the veneer had bubbled, cracked, and peeled, and that it wasn’t in great shape, but he felt like it was exactly the piece that I would be drawn to.
He was right. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it, even with all of it’s blemishes. Those blemishes told it’s story.
You’ve seen the before….now, here is the after.
Because I love painted furniture, particularly the old French and Gustavian painted pieces, I always try to imitate the finishes of those century old pieces.
There’s something about the patina, depth, layers, and color of beautiful, old painted European furniture that is so hard to duplicate in today’s painted furniture.
Pure & Original Classico paint is the closest I’ve found to replicating those gorgeous European finishes.
When I received my shipment of Pure & Original Classico paint, I excitedly opened it, and grabbed one of the cans. I shook it, as I always do to mix the paint, before I opened it.
Something I immediately noticed is that the paint didn’t really “move”. There wasn’t any of the typical “liquid moving around” sound that you normally hear when you shake a can of paint. Which, I have to admit, concerned me.
Was it ruined in some way? Had the weather frozen it in transit to my home? I shook it again, and no, it definitely wasn’t “moving around”.
I carefully opened the lid, not sure what to expect, and was totally amazed that this paint didn’t need any shaking or mixing. It was like pudding…….silky pudding.
It was creamy, with such a wonderful body to it. And the colors…..oh my, so European!
I had chosen two colors to try, Evening Shadow, and Lagoon Water in the Classico line. However, they have more than 100 colors to choose from….yes, you read that right. Over 100 rich, highly pigmented, colors! And they are all gorgeous!
I started painting my little french chest, and at first, I wasn’t sure my choice of furniture was going to work. You see, I decided that I wasn’t going to try to remove the old veneer.
I’ve read about how time consuming it is to repair or remove veneer, and this little chest had sat in water for days, so the wood underneath the veneer wasn’t great either.
Luckily, I love natural imperfections in a piece, so I decided that I was going to paint the piece as it was and embrace those blemishes.
And this paint….oh my………this Pure & Original paint is just perfection, it went on so beautifully!
There were even some very rough places that I used a palette knife to apply the paint.
This paint has so much body and is so creamy, that I could work it with a brush and a knife, and there was literally no dripping.
I gave the chest two layers of Evening Shadow in the Pure & Original Classico.
Once dry, I added highlights using Lagoon Water, just brushing around the edges and highlighting the fronts of the drawers.
I wanted to add more depth and shadowing to the chest and bring out some of those storied imperfections, so I used a homemade glaze that I regularly use instead of dark wax, which I find a little difficult to work with.
My homemade glaze is simply artist’s acrylic paint in color Burnt Umber, thinned just a bit with water. I worked the glaze down into the crevices, nooks, and crannies, and then wiped back any excess with a damp cloth. This gives it depth and definition.
Pure & Original Classico paint dries to a gorgeous matte, velvety finish, and doesn’t require waxing of any kind, however I love the soft sheen that waxing gives a piece of furniture.
So I chose to wax with Pure & Original Italian liquid wax. This wax is ah-mazing!
I let the layers of wax dry, which doesn’t take long, and then buffed with a soft cloth.
I am so in love with the way my petite Louis XV chest turned out.
My little Hurricane Katrina chest has a new look, but she still shows the scars of her “story”…..perfect.
Pure & Original Paints are non toxic and eco friendly.
Pure & Original paint is made in the Netherlands for over 40 years, and for the first time, is now available in the U.S.
There is only one word that comes to my mind with this paint…marvelous. Absolutely marvelous!
Paint Sources: (affiliate links)