Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Since I advertise my pieces on Craigslist and Etsy, I get quite a few calls from customers who see some of my past orders and want the same thing redone for them. And BTW, I always link my pics on CL back to my blog! I get a ton of requests from people who view! 

So here was the piece that I had listed on Etsy, but had sold:

And here is the piece she chose to have me paint. She also wanted me to do the geometric accent on top, but I thought this piece already had too much going on visually. Plus, doing that accent is quite a bit of work. She wanted this piece done in 4 days! No way was that going to happen with all the hand painting I had to do. 

This dresser killed me!! Everything that could have went wrong, did! Just about. I was so stressed about all the problems that I encountered while trying to bust this one out! 
Let me 'splain! 
Amazingly, it turned out rather well. I literally put on the last finishing touches and it was loaded on the truck for delivery at 9:30 at night. 2 days before Xmas, and 8 days after her original delivery day request!  I had to tell her that I can't be rushed on these babies. There is far too much detail work to speed through. Luckily, she understood.  
This shot shows how I was trying out different shades of blue and gold metallic to see which one she liked. All she kept saying was, "I want the same blue you used on the other piece!"

Ok. So first things first. What in the heck color did I use on the original piece???!! Hmm, Gee Beth, I don't know because I don't keep records of what I paint on what piece. I just think I'm so darn good at remembering that I'll just know when prompted! Uh, no. I thought I had more of the paint, which I did, but it was in a tub with no markings. However, a few months ago I did buy a quart of BM "Evening Blue" because I saw it painted on a dresser that someone else did. It was pretty darn close to the original piece. 
I had my sprayer guy (I wasn't in the mood to get out the sprayer and the drawers were too intricate to paint with a brush,,,,,,,I'll get to that fiasco in a minute) take the dresser and prep and prime it for me prior to spraying. He's done some other pieces for me to help out. I asked him to tape everything off for a more professional look.  During this time, it rained for a few days so that ended up pushing things back. He brought everything back but I was not happy with the top. This dresser was made w/MDF and a weird coating on top. When you sand, it takes you directly down to the mdf which is not very smooth. It also has pits. We had tried to fill in some spots, but they just showed through. Sooooo, off he went back with the body for some more detail work. He left the drawers behind so I could do the gold on the rings. He had to go get more paint while it was at his place. He said he could buy BM paint at the store by him which he did, and then resprayed the body with the new paint.  
No problem right??? Uh, here's where a lesson was learned. 
I bought the original paint at ACE where they have the Ben Moore colorants. He went to Vista Paint where they sell BM paint, but use their own colorants. 
Can you see where this is leading?????
The next day he dropped off the dresser and the top looked much better. Very nice job. 
Until I brought over the drawers that he left with me. Two completely different shades!! 
He showed me the paint can. BM, Evening Blue. That's where I learned the lesson about different colorants. 
Off he goes to my ACE store to get more paint. I wasn't about to send it off to his place to get sprayed. (It was supposed to be delivered the next day!) 
So I hand painted the body with two more coats of the new color. 
I also had to touch up a lot of blue on the drawers that he missed with the sprayer. 
As for the gold, well, I used Modern Masters metallic gold. It just doesn't paint well over the blue semi-gloss. I had to sand down the blue a bit, prime with gray and then use an artist brush to paint all the gold rings. It took 3-4 coats. Then I had to go back over the surrounding areas with blue to make the lines crisp and neat! Oy!! Even the handles gave me grief!! After cleaning and sanding the original, I sprayed with Krylon because I love their brass-gold color. But it tends to ripple at times. I spent hours on these just to get them smooth and defect free! 

After I showed her the pic to make sure it was what she wanted, she though she might like me to do gold on all the moldings around the handles!! WHAT??!! Oh hell to the no. 
Just doing those rings took me 8-10 hours of work, believe it or not. It's very painstaking. 
I said I would do it, but it would cost her and I would need a few more days. But then I added that once she saw all the handles added it would be enough gold. Too much would be an overkill. In my opinion. Luckily she agreed and that idea was nixed. 
Using high quality brushes and rollers are paramount to get smooth looks. 
I also lined the top 3 drawers with really cool black and gold paper, but forgot to take a pic! 
Anyway, so that's the saga.
When she finally got it, she was very happy and loved it. All the mistakes that we as painters can see, often go unnoticed by someone else. I'm definitely my own worst critic! 

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