Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Painting Isabelle's vanity...

Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments about my girls' French bedroom last week:-) I worked so hard on this room, and seeing it come together was extremely rewarding. 

I wanted to share how I painted all the furniture in the room starting with my grandmother's vanity.

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This is the only *before* photo I could find. I have mentioned in the past that I grew up with white painted French provincial furniture thanks to my grandmother painting it all for me. This piece, however, was always in her bedroom. She gave it to me when I lived in D.C., so I hauled it up there and immediately knew I would strip all the paint off.

It was my first paint stripping project and I almost gave up. 

I used Citristrip, which made it easier and more pleasant than using more harmful products, but it was still an excruciating process, especially considering there were at least seven coats of paint. I finally finished it and decided to leave it in its natural state with several coats of polyurethane. 

As proud as I was of it, it wasn't "Isabelle" so I knew when I did the girls' room, it would be painted again.
I really wanted to try chalk or milk paint, but they are just not budget friendly, so I ended up using  what I had on hand. 

I removed the hardware and sanded the whole piece down. After wiping it clean, I spray painted a base coat in flat white Rusteoleum. I added another coat once that dried then sanded it lightly after letting the second coat dry. 
I then painted the drawers and appliques with the same gray latex paint I used on the walls: "Persian Seed Pearl" by Colorplace. 
After that dried, I sanded lightly again concentrating on the edges and places that would naturally wear. One thing I just don't like on painted pieces is random sanding or distressing that makes no logical sense.
I then brushed silver metallic craft paint around the edges, the appliques and in all the crevices. I let that dry slightly then wiped it lightly with a wet cloth so it was left in the crevices. I repeated that process until I got as much silver as I wanted.

I then went back with gold metallic craft paint and lightly dry brushed across the high places. I wanted the "gold wash" effect that I love so much on sterling silver pieces--kind of barely there.
(The paint drips are from when my grandmother painted the piece, so I never removed them:-)

I then sanded the whole piece again on the high places.

I applied Minwax dark paste wax over everything that had been painted gray and used light paste wax on the places that were white. 

I also spray painted all the hardware with Rustoleum "Metallic" in silver and dry brushed gold metallic craft paint over the tops.

Since I had so many pieces of furniture to paint, I really needed to use what I had on hand and stretch that out, and I am really pleased with the results. I still got the look I wanted.

I really think Isabelle would love it now as the detail is so much more noticeable now that it's painted.
I do enjoy looking at it as I pass the room and Evelyn is loving her new spot to get ready in the mornings.

I'll share more of the other furniture makeovers soon.

Thanks for stopping by!

I'll be joining:
Wow us Wednesdays
Furniture Feature Friday


  1. Pam - @diy Design FanaticSeptember 2, 2014 at 6:25 AM

    The vanity looks absolutely gorgeous Anita. I love all the extra finishing details you added. It's perfect!

  2. Penny from Enjoying The Simple ThingsSeptember 2, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    It turned out wonderful!

  3. Very pretty natural, simply gorgeous painted!

  4. The vanity is absolutely stunning I just love all the detail

  5. That is artistry. You made her sing. It's a gorgeous piece and everything is so highlighted now. Perfectly.

  6. Oh Anita...it turned our absolutely gorgeous! I really love the new hardware too! Great job!!!

  7. It turned out wonderfully! Loving the metallic paint you added to the high spots.

  8. Shenita @ Embellishments by SLRSeptember 2, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Anita, you do such beautiful work! This piece is gorgeous. You really selected the right paints to enhance the details! I think your grandmother would be proud!

  9. Leslie Anne TarabellaSeptember 2, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    I'm glad you mentioned the high cost of chalk paints. It's crazy to use it when there are other ways to achieve the same effect. I mean, haven't we crafted and painted ourselves silly for millions of years now without it?
    Your project ended up looking great!

  10. It's beautiful. Love that you left the paint drips in memory of your grandmother.

  11. Simply gorgeous!

  12. Wow Antia! This turned out so pretty! Thaks for sahring the details for the accents adn metallic paints. Know Isabelle must love it.

  13. What brand of paint is Persian seed pearl? I am having a hard time finding the brand. Thanks!


    1. Hi Pat, it is Colorplace at Walmart:-)