UGGGGGG you guys. It’s time to get honest. Last fall, I was finishing up all the furniture makeovers for my book. The cold temps came earlier than usual and I ended up putting some of the projects inside our little trailer since the garage was pretty full.
Fast forward about one month when the weather was mild one day and I needed to get something out of the trailer. Imagine my horror when a few of the pieces had been damaged due to the cold temperatures and some bumping around. 😩 (Immediately we rearranged things and made room in the garage for the finished makeovers.)
This chest was one of the damaged pieces. Here’s how it looked before I painted it the first time:
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You can read the whole step-by-step tutorial in Amazing Furniture Makeovers: Easy DIY Projects to Transform Thrifted Finds into Beautiful Custom Pieces – but the important part right now is that I glued some furniture appliques on with E6000, my favorite super strong glue.
One of the appliques was wood and the others were a rubber material (they were on clearance from Hobby Lobby). The rubber ones gave me some trouble when I was gluing them on, and I had to hold them in place for much longer than anything else I’ve used E6000 on before. (You can find a huge selection of wood appliques Here on Amazon.)
Finally the glue dried and the chest was painted with a mix of grays, white, and then lots of sanding for a “Vintage French Finish” in the “How to Create Depth with Layers and Texture” chapter of Amazing Furniture Makeovers:
If you’re the very observant type, yes the lid is a little wonky and doesn’t close all the way.
When I opened the trailer that day, the applique on the right side had fallen off and was laying on the floor. (I don’t blame the glue because I’ve used it dozens of times and never had an issue – I blame the rubber appliques.) Also there were a few other scratches and chips due to bumping into whatever was next to it.
Rather than deal with gluing the annoying piece back on, I opted to also remove the applique on the left. This one was stuck pretty good but I was able to pry it off with a small flathead screwdriver.
Finally the glue was gone and the rubber appliques were a bad memory. (The wood applique is still perfectly in place, but it’s covered with a towel here so it doesn’t damage the piece behind it.)
First, I painted Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey (FYI the recipe for this color is now known as Chicago Grey) over the sanded areas, the chipped spots, and anywhere else where the color just seemed a little uneven.
When the light gray had dried (see below), those areas now seemed a little too crisp and proper.
To add some texture and depth, next I lightly dry brushed a little bit darker gray (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen) over the light gray. You can see what a difference a little bit makes in the photo below.
Finally, sand for smoothness and to carefully distress it. Finish with a topcoat like Annie Sloan’s clear wax.
And here is the chest makeover now…
In my book I call the technique a Vintage French Finish but I think it also has a charming farmhouse look.
The depth and texture created by layering paint colors really gives furniture so much more character and uniqueness.
And I’m all for adding appliques to furniture, but I recommend sticking with the wood ones. 😉
And how about this fantastic decorative corbel piece? There’s another half to it, and when put together they look like one huge piece. You can hang them on the wall, set them on a mantel, etc. So pretty! They’re available occasionally from Decor Steals – you can check Here to see what their current specials are.
It was so frustrating opening the trailer door and seeing this chest damaged, but thankfully it wasn’t a time-consuming fix. Now I still have a couple more pieces to repair…
Here’s a before/after reminder below- please Pin this chest makeover to easily find it later, or share it with a friend who might like it:
Let me know what you think! I read every comment and appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. It’s my goal to inspire you to create something beautiful.
Finally, I’d really love for you to check out Amazing Furniture Makeovers if you haven’t already – you can read the 65+ reviews Here on Amazon to decide if it you might like it (also in this post you’ll find a list of all the places that sell it). ❤️ Jen
I’m excited to also share my blogging friends’ newest furniture makeovers for our Furniture Fixer Uppers group:
Below are the Before photos – visit the links underneath to see the snazzy After photos and to learn how they did it:
*Lastly, I’m having a book signing event this Friday, September 27th in Crown Point, Indiana. I’d love to see you and chat if you’re local! More details below.
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