It’s done, it’s done! I actually completed a project – my grandmother’s little vanity.
It always feels good to finish something but especially now, when my entire house is a whirlwind of half-packed boxes for donation, piles of downstairs stuff being moved upstairs, and – oh yes – all of my Halloween decorations that won’t get put up this year.
So why take the time to paint a piece of seldom used furniture in the midst of mourning my mother and totally rearranging my house? Simple – I needed something new, something fresh and bright . . . something to start my ‘new life’.
Once I decided to paint this piece I then needed to choose a color, which is usually a big challenge. But Glidden’s Color Tools made is super easy! I find myself often heading over to My Colortopia and just playing with different colors now. It’s a great way to build different palettes, see how they feel, without committing to actually painting anything. And you can save your projects too, which will come in handy for later, when I’m ready to paint more projects.
Here is what the vanity looked like before, in my little ‘cave’ of a bedroom. But you know what, this ‘cave’ served me well for the past year. It was my little retreat away from the world.
Now this room will serve as the guest bedroom . . . mainly to hold my off-season clothes.
Since the vanity is so old, I simply prepped with a liquid sander deglosser. So easy – just wipe on and wipe off. It gently roughs up the surface for better paint adhesion.
I wouldn’t recommend this for every piece of furniture. It depends upon how thick the existing finish is and the paint you’re using.
I chose Glidden’s wonderful semigloss Duo which is a paint + primer. Glidden has a wide variety of paints for both interior and exterior and Duo was exactly what I wanted because the primer is included in the paint.
Choosing the color was much easier than I thought it’d be, thanks to Glidden’s Color Tools and a perfectly fitting name.
The coverage was amazing. I used a foam roller for the first coat and a trim brush for the second. Two coats of Glidden Duo, that’s it!
Of course, I realize the prior finish was light but I’ve painted pale pieces before that required three or four coats of paint after sanding and priming. Just two coats of painting was a welcome surprise.
I debated and debated whether to leave the vanity alone with just the Echo Lake Aqua color . . . but I just couldn’t do it. I had to add just a few ‘artistic’ touches.
A pair of geometric ‘flower burst’ stencils were perfect, adding the contemporary feel I wanted without overwhelming the piece. I love the combination of silver and turquoise or aqua.
To stencil I simply 1) sprayed *adhesive to the back of each stencil, 2) loaded a foam spouncer with silver paint then off-loaded most of the paint onto a paper towel to prevent bleed-through, 3) pounced the paint on and 4) wiped both sides of the stencil with a wet then dry paper towel. I clean my stencils after each and every application otherwise I get smudges of paint here and there.
*most spray adhesives are temporarily repositionable if you don’t let them bond to a surface for too long. Once I’ve sprayed a stencil, I store them with waxed paper on the adhesive side.
Just a few spots on the top of the vanity, plus some on the drawers and side.
But . . . maybe just a little freehand art? Oh, why not.
Using the linens in that room as inspiration, I chalked out some simple leaves and flowers over the circle bursts.
Chalk is great because you can wipe it right off with a wet rag. If you want to use a pattern instead of freehanding, just chalk the backside of your pattern paper, place that side onto the area to be painted, and go over the pattern with a stylus or ball point pen.
You could also use a pencil or graphite paper but it’s not as easy to remove or camouflage if there are any mistakes. Trust me on that.
For the leaves and flowers I used a silver Sharpie marker. ahem. Not smart.
You’ll want to use a paint pen, not a ‘permanent’ marker that will
possibly likely smudge when you’re sealing the piece. Paint pens now come in a fairly wide variety of colors and tip thicknesses. Just check online to see all of the options available.
I spraypainted the drawer pulls with bright silver paint. Much easier than choosing new hardware. Cheaper too.
Once I went back over the leaves and flowers with a paint pen and let that dry over night, I waxed the entire piece with clear paste wax. You could also use polyurethane. Your choice, depending on how much usage the piece will get. If I was doing this for a kid’s room? Polyurethane, for sure.
I haven’t decided yet if the ‘new’ vanity will go in
Mom’s the master bedroom or stay in the guest bedroom. I’ll be moving into this room. Gradually. Slowly.
I’ve done quite a bit in the 10 days since Mom passed. Packed her clothes and shoes and moved mine into closet and dressers, but I’m not quite ready to sleep in here yet. Sadie and I are still sleeping on the couch, but we’re getting there.
Just to complete a piece brings a huge feeling of accomplishment right now. I’m trying to be kind to myself during this time. When you’ve been a caregiver for 12 years, it’s a foreign feeling to put yourself first.
So right now the vanity is sitting in the middle of my studio. Every time I walk past it, I smile. The color makes me smile. The little silver accents do too. Even the thrift store bench I repainted makes me happy.
I am so grateful to Glidden for this opportunity. This is not just a piece of painted furniture – it’s the first step forward in my ‘new’ life. And while it looks new, the fact that it was my grandmother’s and is painted with Echo Lake Aqua bridges my past with the future.
Exactly what I’m focusing on.
Glidden sponsored this project and compensated me for my time. All opinions and designs are my own.