Friday, May 6, 2011

Flowers Die-Foils are Forever!

This is what your Mother really wants for Mother's Day

Let's be honest. If you told your Mom you could give her flowers or a fine piece of furniture, which would she select?  
"Gee Thanks...Now Where is My Dresser?"

One of the best inspirations for furniture designs and trends is the Horchow site. My last client circled several pieces in the catalogue with a note "Rebecca, aren't these beautiful..." She was right.  So I started looking for just the furniture pieces to fit the styles-one being a silver leaf traditional cabinet and the other being an Indian Antique. It just so happened I had two pieces from the flea market (each under $50) that I brought back from our lake home. Now which to give my Mom?

This is my old chest of drawers that is most likely a stained maple.  It has seen better days but is structurally sound and has nice details.

Side View of Chest

The top is in terrible condition. The Horchow piece had a faux marble top and I decided that my piece will as well.

Begin any furniture project with removing the hardware and cleaning.  I used Paso (which I've been looking for about 12 years and it was under my nose the whole time) to clean and degloss. This is followed by a light sand with 220 paper and a dust wipe-off with denatured alcohol.  The beauty of foils is that you often don't have to prime or paint first if you are doing a full coverage foil finish.

I wanted my piece like the Horchow one which had contrasting edges but I also wanted some of the wood tone to show through.  I opted for Faux Effects Faux Metal in Bright Gold which was brushed over the fronts of the drawers and highlight pieces of the frame. This should dry overnight.

Next, Ashley rolled a coat of Wunda Size. This will create tiny bubbles if you roll it too thickly.  I use a black foam roller to apply the Wunda and then a dry black foam roller to lay the Wunda down.  We do two thin coats, letting the Wunda tack in-between coats. Let the coat before you foil, set at least 30 minutes to an hour.  Your foil will off-load better.
I wanted this to look like leaf, so I really crinkled the bright silver foil before applying it.

All the drawers and facing with bright silver foil.

Side with the bright silver foil

For the next step, I needed to select a stencil. In this case, I wanted something with a repeat pattern that was widely separated to show a significant amount of the background foil. This stencil is from Wallovers and is called Mikala's Tropic.  It reminds me of vintage Hawaiian Barkcloths which I collect.

This design also has a "topper" which makes it easy to get the pattern right up to the edge. I rolled Ebony Frost Lusterstone over the stencil first and then immediately followed this with Kettle Metal Glow.  The
Lusterstone sets the pattern and keeps the Kettle from bleeding under the edges. The Kettle darkens the pattern faster and creates a slight sheen.

When the pattern dried in about an hour, I applied an antiquing glaze over the whole piece.  This was made with equal parts Black and Dark Brown Faux Color thinned with a glaze medium. If you can not purchase Faux Color, then a mix of 1/2 part Ebony Stain to 1 part Rich Brown Stain to 1 part American Walnut Stain will work. I brushed this and stippled with cheesecloth leaving the stipple heavier on the gold surround.

Glazed side

The Finished Piece!  I just need to seal with a topcoat.

For the top, I did one of my activated granite finishes-there are not just for counter tops!

Piece Number Two: The Kashmiri Blue

This was a sweet piece that I have had for several years. The stencils are from Royal Design Studio where you may find several stencils that fit furniture pieces well.

We prepped this cabinet the same way as the first one.  Ashley also applied the Wunda Size in the same manner.  Over the size, we applied a foil that is in a light pumpkin color 100% to the piece-drawers and frame.

I rolled this custom stain color I call Kashmiri Blue made from Turquoise Concentrate and Pickling White Stain covering the foil 100%. As the blue dries, I use cheesecloth to pull through in areas revealing areas of the pumpkin foil underneath.

Front View

Side view

I wanted a stencil that had an Indian feel but was not a literal translation. This Small Ribbon Damask from Royal Design Studio was perfect.  I rolled Wunda Size, stuck my stencil, and applied Celadon and the Pumpkin foil over the pattern letting the colors fade into each other.  When this was dry, I rolled the whole piece with Wunda size and lightly spotted in these two foil colors randomly. 

Over the tacky Wunda, I sprayed a heavy coat of C500 gloss because I wanted to finish to lightly "craze" or crack in areas. Before the C500 has dried (which should be overnight) I brushed a glaze of 1 part Rich Brown Stain to 1 part American Walnut to 1part FX Thinner over the piece and pounced with cheesecloth.

This is a tricky was to glaze but the stain mottles beautifully.  I flicked the stain to create some heavier water marks.

The finished piece from the front. It is hard to photograph because the foils want to flash. In person, the overall effect is very soft and looks antiqued.

The finished Kashmiri chest from the side. Now I have only one thing left to do....

"OK Mom, best 2 out of 3 and I get to keep both pieces and you get flowers"

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