Sunday, August 17, 2008

Last week, after a leisurely fun filled summer with precious family and friends, it was time to get back to work. So I pulled up in front of VanStavern Interiors bright and early, ready to paint. Quickly I was greeted by James VanStavern and his signature kiss on the cheek! After hugging Miss Ruby (James mama), Norma, Bea, Diane and Julie, I was ready to go. James showed me 9 various furniture pieces he needed me to face lift, gave me artistic freedom and left so i could get started. The first thing I did was open a can of Benjamin Moore alkyd Fresh Start (a 'miracle' primer) and gave every surface I would paint, a generous coat. I won't paint anything without a coat of Fresh Start primer. It's THAT IMPORTANT!!! The primer then had to dry over night. Next morning the painting began.

The 1st piece I painted was a small chest. With a hand full of crumpled-up brown paper, I haphazardly applied 2 shades of red paint. Later, I would add a little black, metallic bronze, aqua, turquoise and green.When dry, I free-handed impressionistic acanthus leaves over entire chest. When completely dry, I QUICKLY brush on and wipe off Minwax stain and seal, in Walnut over the everything for the finishing touch.

The lightest color in the background is the primer showing through.

The end result is a new piece that looks and feels old.

Next up....was a giant floor mirror. You know the kind that leans against the wall. Well, this mirror already had a gorgeous finish on it but had been damaged so I had the task of matching the existing colors plus the faux finish technique. Which is not always easy but in this case things went very well and the repairs are not noticeable at all!

Next was an antique wardrobe with 2 doors. Originally it probably had wood or mirrors in the door panels but now there empty, anyway after looking carefully at the piece I decided to paint the entire inside. I liked the thought of a colorful pattern, like a damask,

so I ran to the workroom to flip through books of fabric samples and found something with a 'Moroccan' flavor. With a 3" brush I painted on the background colors. The following day, using many stencils and metallic gold paint, I rolled on the designs to imitate the appearance of 'stamping'! I rarely use stencils but for the look I was trying to achieve they did seem best.

The painted gold details on the outside of the piece were already there which was one reason I decided to go Moroccan. Now add lighting in the top and 3 thick glass shelves and this tired old wardrode will take on new life as the focal point of the room.

I'm curious what you will think about this next item. It was very pretty to begin with but the client wanted it have a new look that would fit into her decor.

So, after the primer had dried over night, I used crumpled brown paper and shades of metallic gold paint to cover chest . Later I painted the acanthus leaf pattern. When dry a coat of Minwax , walnut stain was brushed on and wiped off.

This desk and cabinet were painted with the same palette of colors, in hopes that they could be

used together. Using the same brown paper technique above the desk receive touches of white, Tuscan gold, red, bronze and more black, with a final coat of stain. The black cabinet was newly built to accommodate the old leaded glass window. To make it coordinate with the desk I decided to embellish it with a little red. Probably because I was still under the influence of the Moroccan Wardrobe above, I decided to use one of stencils all over the entire piece.

Though I'd never done this before I instantly knew it would be a hit!

Keep this idea in mind for small rooms and accent walls as well...mind you, going around doors and windows would be a nightmare.

The knobs will be changed out with something big and cool...maybe something that's never been a knob before....hmmm! I'll have to look around!

This beautiful stained chest is solid wood, very thick, heavy. The entire time I was painting it

I felt like a criminal because I know that, in the future, getting back down to the wood will be a grueling task....but nevertheless this client LOVES gold and wanted it painted! So here it is looking very regal in two shades of Modern Masters metallic golds and finished with The Minwax S & S walnut stain. I really do love the way it looks! Old Gold!

James also had some chandeliers he wanted to recycle so I thought I'd show you these just in case you are living with some 'less than lovely' lighting. As you can imagine both of these were snoring boring. So the very 1st thing they needed was???? you know what I'm going to say? That's right , Benjamin Moore's Alkyd Fresh Start! O.K. let me prepare you. This is going to be a BIG mess. Tie your hair back, wear long fitted sleeves and fitted rubber gloves and settle in because this is going to take awhile, but the end results are worth the time and effort...especially if someone gives you the light or you get it from a garage sale. This one was white....

And now it's pink and green and metallic gold with many different chandelier shades on it and hanging in some cool boutique. This next light was brass. You know, you've seen a thousand of them! It too, is hanging with it's pink friend! What a fun change. The next one is my favorite! I think James may have done it but it's awesome and I LOVE it! It also was originally brass and has been painted silver and rubbed with stain.

As you can see it has been decoratively embellished with tons of old tarnished silver things.

Isn't it fabulous? That's one of Jame's, well used phrases except he says it like this....It's FABULOUS!!! ...and it is.........and you can be sure I've started my own little collection of silver things!Love it! love it! Love it!!!

Well that's all for this time. I'll head back out west in the morning and will be painting at Van Stavern Interiors for several days. I'll share more pictures on my next post. In closing, I wanted you to see the 2 french side chairs with ottomans ( painted earlier this summer) finished! (I painted them at the same time and to coordinate with this chest).

Here is one of the chairs, you can see the fabric in the background. In this photo the chest and chair have not had the final coat of really makes a big difference!I painted them minus upholstery, so it was fun to see them finished product. Here they are....and the other.....Pretty, huh!I'd LOVE to have both of these sitting in my house but that's not going to happen....each chair is price over$2,000. After I got over 'sticker shock', I got tickled because the tag read:

French Arm Chair with Roxy finish

That's me!

My momma called me 'Roxie' growing up, so did close family and friends, and for I long as I can remember Coach has called me 'Rox', now my precious 2 1/2 yr. old granddaughter calls me 'Roxi' and at Van Stavern Interiors, I've got my own Roxy label.( thanks Able, that was a fun surprise!)


molly said...

WOW - you are truly amazing - what fun you must be having using all your creative juices. Thanks for sharing!! I too wish I could afford you!HA You go girl Roxie!

Michelle said...

As always, wonderful work! Amazing!
I'm so glad you're back to blogging-your first post back was great! I love to look at lots of pics!
I was super excited to hear from you!
I know Joni misses you dearly! Oh, and the Pear Tree too! I DO totally remember that night on my driveway...and NOW look!
Hugs to you!

Joni said...

Love the blog and your work. It is GREAT as usual. I miss you dearly that is right. But I am so glad I can keep in touch and see the things you are doing. I love you!!!!

B E T H said...

Mom, it's all GORGEOUS!!! I love it. I really like the stencil stuff...that is such a cool new thing for you. I also LOVE those chairs, they would look great in your house. Maybe if you keep getting richer you can buy them! :) Thanks again for letting me "shop" for you! I love you!

lynnette said...

Hey Roxie,
These are great. I love it all, but the French chair is wooooonderrrrfulllll! (get it?) I am having such fun with Kimmie and Jon this week, just wish you were here. Maybe next time! Be careful driving to Midland and have fun painting.
Love you.

Jo Carol said...

Hi Roxanne! so glad you are back in "blog world" and sharing your adventures. i love everything you are doing!! So wonderful!

Susan said...


Beautiful work! My friend, Cheryl, and I met you at your garage sale a couple of months ago. We'd love to get together with you sometime. Sounds like you're busy, but we'd love it.
Susan - your neighbor around the corner.