Wednesday, November 17, 2010

To strip...or not to strip?

Are you compelled to strip? Furniture, that is! Do you tell yourself that you'll just "scratch the surface" a little and call it good? Then find yourself busting out the Zip Strip and the 80 grit paper? And before you know it, you're up to your elbows in layers and layers of God-only-knows what kinds of ancient & hazardous fermented-on finishes? Me too!
I spotted this aqua beauty at an antique store and was instantly drawn to its dreamy ocean hue! I even liked the chippy, dinged-up patina she was sporting. What you don't see, are the unsightly globs of high-gloss paint that were slapped on and left to run and dry that way by some previous owner. I tried to tell myself that I could live with it...maybe sand off some of those dried drips and spray it all over with a matte finish....but I knew better. Before I could even think about it I was pulling on the rubber gloves and prying open a can of my favorite stripper. What...? You don't have a favorite stripper?

I don't know what happens...once I start to "scratch the surface" I am driven to keep going until I get to the original raw wood. By the third application of stripper, I was starting to curse myself. Even if I was amused at the many, many colors she used to wear.


Why didn't she take the hardware off first? you ask. Because it was painted over and I had to get to the hardware first!


Okay, I'm starting to feel a little progress here...just might be ready to break out the sander...

Just LOOK at that bead board backing! Do you know how relieved I am that it was unfinished!!?
And NO, I would not have stripped that, I don't care how much lead paint!

After all the stripping, sanding, whining, painting and glazing (hard to see in the pics) I sprayed the brass cup pulls with oil rubbed bronze spray paint and called this project done!

Here she is, at the top of my stairs. (many thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Sweet Melissa...she was heavy!!)


I love these little angled drawers!





Yes, I think it was worth the trouble.....what do you think?








So tell me....do you have a compulsion to strip?
I'm sharing this beauty with everybody over at Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday, and Donna's SNS #57. Also, check out BNOP's Met Monday #96....great stuff!!
Edited to add: Thank you SO MUCH for all the kind comments on this chest! This butterfly pics above it came from a friend's garage sale. Many of you have asked about the paint color I used on the chest. I'm sorry to report that it was a color match, and I don't have the original color card, so I don't know the brand.....but, my paint can reads "color match Dewey blend." I think I picked up the color card at a Walmart store....? Hope this is helpful!

40 comments:

  1. I try not to if at all possible!

    Love that piece and so glad you went back with that color, the dark hardware is pretty too!

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  2. I stripped a chest and I was really happy with the way it turned out. My saving grace was an electric sander. Takes a lot of pain out out paint!.LOL
    Here is the post
    http://thecharmofhome.blogspot.com/2010/09/makeover-of-white-chest.html

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  3. I confess. I am often a stripper! I just have to know what is under there. Hours later, I am usually happy with my finding, but there have been times I put the paint clothes right back on the piece!

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  4. I'm not too crazy about stripping anymore -- must be the age. Also, I worry when I sand that it's lead paint. Guess I could wear a mask. But I get great satisfaction out of putting a new finish on something. Love the piece of furniture -- I've never seen one like it. Jan

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  5. Im more of a sander than a stripper, and I would have stopped half way through your stripping process, I just love the chippy distressed look.But to see it repainted and finished in its new space, it looks fab! Great job!
    I absolutely love the style of drawers, they are so unusual, gorgeous!

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  6. I love this beautiful piece and Yes I do have the urge to Strip every now and then LOL georgeous color!!!

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  7. I can't tell you how much I adore this piece, Cassie! It's perfectly dreamy in every way! Can I feature it on my blog?

    Amy

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  8. I get out my heat gun and 5 in 1 and scrape the layers away...less mess and lots of satisfaction. Then I sand it for a smooth finish.

    Advice I give but don't necessarily follow -- if lead paint exists, wear a respirator because there are fumes from the paint heating up/melting...and don't try to rush because you'll gauge the wood.

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  9. oops, meant gouge the wood, not gauge...duhhhh.

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  10. Sorry, but I don't think it looks all that great. It would look MUCH better in MY house!! (Had ya fooled there for a sec, didn't I?!)

    Wow, you are just a trooper in getting all sorts of great projects done, aren't you? Keep 'em coming!

    -A

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  11. Absolutely beautiful! What a fun-shape and great storage piece! Love the color too. Well worth the effort! I can always find inspiration here - thank you! ~Leena~

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  12. I am definitely a stripper too ;-)

    I absolutely LOVE this piece - it has really neat angles, GREAT FIND!!!!!! Actually, I am kind of jealous :-0

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  13. I just have to tell you: that is one awe inducing piece! I loved it how it sat when you found it but I really like it more now that you're done!

    I have to say that the pictures you put over it are perfect, too and set it all off so well. You are so talented at finding and finishing!
    XOXO
    Joni

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  14. Hi Cassie,
    I'm a new follower over that gorgeous aqua piece! I loved the before and the after...What color/brand of paint did you use? I'm always searching for the best shades of blues...Fantastic job...Lalo.

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  15. I'd love to know the paint color too, it's so pretty! sometimes it can be hard to find the perfect balance between blue and green.

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  16. This is really nice. Yes I've stripped before, then sanded, then sanded some more. But it's worth it!

    Love the shape of this and the color is darling :-)

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  17. Definitely worth all the hard work! She looks beautiful, that color is perfect. You worked hard and deserve that great piece :)

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  18. Oh, she's beautiful! I have NEVER stripped! Not with a stripper anyway. Just a sander. :)
    Shannon
    www.akadesign.ca

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  19. It was worth every minute of the trouble ~ it is gorgeous! I love to strip furniture, I just don't love the migraine I end up with afterwards. Love the color you chose & the hardware makes it look brand new!

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  20. It's fantastic! The color is lovely. I especially love the pictures above ~ they go perfectly with your new piece!

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  21. I love to stop by here now and then to see all the great projects. I would love to know what color paint you used....my monitor reads the perfect shade.

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  22. Ahhhh...she looks so PRETTY and fresh after her makeover! Hop over and show her off at my NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS PARTY...hope to see ya there:)

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  23. Job well done! She looks fabulous!

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  24. Sometimes, ya just gotta strip! ;-) I *love* this chest; the angled drawers set it apart from the crowd. I'm looking for something similar to hold yarn at the top of my stairs!

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  25. Best strip job I ever seen!
    Theresa
    aka:TOT

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  26. Looks wonderful Cassie...perfect piece, perfect color, perfect spot in your home :) Laurel

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  27. I have no compulsion to strip(paint), but I love this beauty. What do you think it was originally used for? Love those angled drawers.
    Traci

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  28. It's adorable, and I love the butterflies above it. Nicely done!
    Suzy xxx

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  29. Gorgeous. Would love to know the color you used...

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  30. It's a very unique piece. Beautiful!!! I too would like to know the color used and where you got the butterfly prints. Thanks!

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  31. I've been stripping for years now :) It's so much work, but definitely worth it in the end. this piece is AWESOME. Love the aqua color.

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  32. What a beautiful piece! I've been feeling the itch to strip! I think I'm going to give it a try! Thanks for sharing.
    ~Holly

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  33. that piece is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous! love the shape, drawers, hardware and that color!

    i'm with you about the finish...i would have stripped it bare too! i'm working slowly on the many layers of paint on the trim & doors in our home. 3 more rooms to go! my tool of choice is multi strip by back to nature.

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  34. Having recently viewed this piece in your home I can honestly say it is one of my favorite pieces...it is perfect at the top of your stairs and coordinates so well with the colors in your TV room....you rock at decorating Sister and have such an eye for the potential in a used piece of furniture!

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  35. This is gorgeous, love the colour! You did a great job.
    Kim

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  36. OMG it is beautiful.. but where did you get those butterfly picures? My girls would love those!
    Thanks,
    Mechelle

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  37. It was definitely worth it! It's a beautiful piece!! I'm more than a little jealous.

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  38. I love it and yes, it was totally worth all the time and effort you put into it. What is your favorite stripper, by the way?

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