Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My New Not So Old French Vitrine

So I've been looking for an antique French vitrine or curio for some time now.  I never have found one that I liked that was for sale prior to the end of last year or at least not at a price point I felt I could afford. Then a couple of months ago, my husband and I visited an estate sale on the 3rd and last day.  Just went for giggles, no big expectations because all of the "good stuff" was probably already gone, right?  Then, what to my wandering eyes did appear but this little cutie.  It was not terribly old, maybe only 20 or 30 years, but it had all of the right lines, beautiful curved glass, and since it wasn't really old, it was in great shape (read NOT a project and a half).  The only reason I could figure it was still there was because it was not a great finish.  Not horrible, just not inspiring.  I asked the lady running the estate sale what she could do on it and it was less than $200.  I snatched it up posthaste and knew it was going to be painted creamy white when I was done with it.  It took a few weeks before I got "a round toit" for the redo, but I finally did it.    This first collage is of the "before". Pardon the messy studio, but it is a work space after all! :-)

First, I painted her inside and out with Annie Sloan's French Linen.  Already I was starting to like her better.  This color is so yummy and rich, but I wanted it to be white at the end of the day, so I pressed on to get the look I saw in my head.

After it was completely dry, I painted on a layer of plain white Elmer's All Purpose Glue, working in sections.  Just before it was completely dry, I painted Annie Sloan's Old White over top.  After letting it get good and dry, the paint exhibited beautiful crackling, showing off the French Linen underneath.  I lightly sanded a few spots where a piece would show some wear with time.  I kept it pretty subtle since I wanted an authentic look, not overdone. I gave the whole piece a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and then wiped it down with a damp paper towel.

I then sealed the piece with A.S. clear wax. I resisted purchasing Annie Sloan's wax for years due to the cost, but my local stockist had a small can that allowed me to try it out without shelling out QUITE so much money and I have to say, it is well worth the money.  It goes a long way and is SO soft and creamy. When hardened, it yields a very nice and durable finish.  I also hit a few of the crevices and lightly on the body with some dark wax.  I actually had Miss Mustard Seed's Antiquing Wax on hand, so I used that rather than buying yet another thing to store.Next came the addition of French gilding wax purchased from the A.S. stockist, although the brand is not Annie Sloan, it is actually a product by the French company Pebeo. I used the classic gold.  I wanted to highlight all of the beautiful carving but also saw that is would be prettier if it had some gold around the top.  I just applied it with my finger and got in the tight spots with a small artist paint brush.  This stuff goes on like "buttah" and makes such a nice accent-it also takes VERY LITTLE to get a great look, so although the price for a tiny jar is somewhat off putting, it is more than enough for many projects . Make sure you apply it AFTER any final clear wax coat you want to add since clear waxing over the gilding wax will remove the gilding.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  Here it is, in all it's glory, holding many of my beautiful ribbon work treasures.

So many pretties.  And now I get to gaze at them all of the time.

Speaking of ribbon work, if you'd like to see the article I wrote for the Journal of Antiques and Collectibles but hadn't had a chance to get it, here is a link to the online article. Enjoy...

Until next time,
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  1. Oh My Goodness, how gorgeous. It had your name on it!! I love it.

  2. So very, very pretty! It turned out perfectly, and I just LOVE how you have your beautiful collection displayed inside. Really gives me some inspiration!

  3. What a beautiful piece, and with some elbow grease and a dab of gold you created a jewel. Have a wonderful rest of the week. Jo

  4. I usually don't like painting over natural finishes but this is magnificent. You made it look even more french. It is just lovely...and filled with all of your treasures!

  5. So incredibly beautiful! What an amazing find and I adore your transformation!
    Jennelise xo

  6. Amazing transformation and thanks for sharing so many of your painting tips, l never knew Elmers glue would cause crackling. All your ribbon work treasures make for a perfect and beautiful display.

  7. I haven't blogged in a long time and just started again. Always looked forward to your posts! Your vitrine is wonderful!


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