Good morning and welcome to La Vie Vintage’s featured projects page.
Here, we will bring you the story of just how we create some of our most unique pieces-
Today we have Gill’s quirky console table with a distinctly classical edge.
I would guess it’s age to be around mid 20th century, as it is made from painted ply.
A pretty terrible “shabby chic” finish had already been applied before I found it!
The surface was not terrific, so a little sanding was in order, but not so much that I lost the character inherent in this simple, elegent curved shape.
The moment I saw this piece, I knew that I wanted to create a rather sophisticated finish reminiscent of old oriental lacquered pieces, emphasising the fine lines and with a restrained hand painted motif .
The console got a very good clean and then I started designing the motifs for the top and leg. I have an Art Nouveau lacquered side table with a great motif on the hexagonal apron.
I knew I wanted to use Vintage Rocks liquid kohl blackout paint ; a fantastic “blacker than black” smooth paint that can be left matte, chalk board style, or shined up and glossed to create that old lacquer feel.
For the faux gilding, I decided to use metallic premixed liquid lustre paints by Baker Ross.
Two coats of liquid kohl, applied mainly with a small foam roller gave me just the base coat I wanted. Then I used good quality masking tape to outline the edges of the table top and leg ready for painting two coats of bronze finish faux gilding.
These liquid metallic paints take some getting used to to achieve a smooth finish on lining such as this, so, if you want to try them out, experiment on some scrap wood first!
After applying the second coat of bronze lining, I carefully removed the masking tape and touched up any tiny “bleeds”.
With a decent tape, these should be few.
There is a critical point to remove the tape for the perfect edge
Next, I went back to my design for the top and decided that I would make the central motif smaller and ditch the corner motifs on this particular console, as it was telling me that a no-fuss finish was the way to go. Yes, my pieces speak to me….
The proportions of the design were roughly outlined, then painted free hand, adapting and embellishing as I went, using bronze, copper and silver paints from the same range.
Studying the serpentine shape of the single supporting leg, I decided to embellish it with a sinuous leaf trail in shapes lifted from the central top motif.
this was painted completely freehand with no marking out. again, very organic as the shape suggested.
Finally, I gave the piece three coats of beeswax/carnuba mix clear wax, leaving 24 hours between each coat.
I was very pleased to see the character and small imperfections of the original finish coming through too which gives this unusual table a simplified but authentic feel of the antique pieces that inspired it.
My first 2020 project is this Comptoise clock case, now glass storage.
It required a really good clean and multiple repairs by Trevor to stabilise it.
I removed the doors and masked at the base where the frame was seriously wavy.
I was confident that I could paint a straight edge by eye, but if not, then more masking tape would also have given me straight edges.
Two coats of Autentico Vintage Chalk Paint in ‘Dusty Miller’ came next.
Then two coast of clear wax with a third coat on the shelves themselves for protection.
I recommend that you leave at least 24 hours between your penultimate coat and the last coat to get a functional, hard surface.