Wood and metal are such studies in contrast. Warm wood, cold metal. Wood gives, metal resists. Wood dampens sound, metal amplifies it. Most of the furniture pieces I do are made of wood, and my paint treatments do wonders for them. Sometimes, a painted wood piece lacks a little pizazz on its own, and metal comes to the rescue!
Take this piece–very functional, solid, neutral, and appealing.
But I wanted it to have more impact. And, I seemed to have some sheet copper lying around my garage. So what to do? Cut the copper to fit and install it in the too-neutral painted piece for instant impact. Wow.
Here’s another example: a finely crafted antique fireplace mantel. Fashioned from heart pine boards a hundred years ago, this warm, wonderful wooden piece had ambered, as old pine does, and lost its lustre and detail.
A new, lightly distressed, charcoal paint treatment brings out the egg and dart moulding, corner curves, and linear detailing, and makes it much more beautiful. But the impact truly arrives with a piece of raw copper inset into the opening.
Oooooo. Now it’s not just a mantel, but a statement piece with instant warmth that doesn’t even need a fireplace. Opposites do attract!
Marbleized floorcloth by me.
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Black is the new black; it’s always classic. Everyone looks good in it, including furniture. This dresser had such a good figure that black would only complement it further, so black she became. Here’s how she started:
Simple, elegant, great bones. Solid maple, no veneer. In her ’50s, I would guess. Unattractive hardware, even worse color. All characteristics that make it perfect for a new outfit. So, I put her in black, but every little black dress needs the proper accessories. And what goes best with a little black dress? A necklace of pearls–large, shimmery, white pearls.
Now this cute little dresser looks elegant, sharp, and finished. The hardware has touches of gold, and the pearls have subtle hues of green, pink and shadow grey. Not too fussy, and with a sense of humor!
Original Painting by L. Howard, “Mountain Lake”.
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At any one of my favorite thrift shops, I can usually find something great to paint. This particular day, I picked up two items that I had previously passed by on several occasions. I just didn’t have a vision for them. They were very well made, and, other than surface scratches, didn’t have too much wrong with them. Except that they were from another era, an era when furniture was mostly heavy and brown. 1970 was a pretty good year, but not for color. I guess even other thrifters passed them by, too, because there they sat.
Drexel made them and named them Esperanto, elements of a suite. They really don’t look like they belong together, but I thought I would use turquoise and teal, like the sea, shine up the brasses, and see what happens. I like what happened. I think color and polish does wonders for furniture, don’t you? Of course you do; that’s why you’re here! Take a look:
Now, the coffee table, whose back looks identical to its front, has a thoroughly modern take in bluegreen and turquoise paint with glass in the doors. It can serve as a media console/tv stand, or even as a bench in front of a window. The side table has a whimsical view now, in deep Mediterranean Sea colors, and the hardware on both are solid brass and polished up gorgeously. A pretty nice find, all in all.