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What Do You Do When Good Veneer Goes Bad?

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It was an impulse buy. I saw the shape of the French Bombe Commode dresser with Ormolu in the corner of my eye. Initially, I wasn't sure if I loved it or I hated it.
  • what do you do when good veneer goes bad, painted furniture
It really wasn't 'my' style - but the shape. The shape was exquisite. And I dared to look past the peeling/cracked veneer.
I wasn't that concerned that the black and white marble had crackled along the vein. The professional repair was only slightly noticeable.
  • what do you do when good veneer goes bad, painted furniture
It was a reproduction. The stamp underneath the marble said that it had been manufactured in Egypt, and imported by a Washington State import company. Had it been a 'true' antique I would never have considered touching it. I know my limitations. But a repro? Well, a repro I'm OK with trying to fix.
  • what do you do when good veneer goes bad, painted furniture
I debated for several days about whether to try to repair the cracked/missing/peeling veneer - or should I try to 'tone it down' a little, and make it more appealing to a broader audience. I decided to try and repair the veneer. Out came the steamer (in preparation for steaming the veneer to make it pliable), then I would glue and clamp the veneer back into place and secure it. Simple, right?
  • what do you do when good veneer goes bad, painted furniture
No. Not at all. The more I pried the veneer up (to glue and clamp it down), the more it just seemed to give way. It was a complete mess. I knew pretty quickly that the veneer just wasn't stable enough to even try to fix it.
  • what do you do when good veneer goes bad, painted furniture
Days later (seriously, days later) it ended up looking like this. I had to removed the entire body of veneer. So, what do you do when good veneer goes bad?
  • what do you do when good veneer goes bad, painted furniture
You make it beautiful again.
  • what do you do when good veneer goes bad, painted furniture
I wanted to make it look like Italian plaster. I was working with a imperfect surface, and I wanted to embrace that. I wanted to go the the real patina feel.
  • what do you do when good veneer goes bad, painted furniture
I gold leafed all of the ormolu, and the brass trim work. And put gold leaf edging around the drawers. I used a new paint line that I've fallen in love with Pure & Original Classico, (here's a link if you're interested in seeing it)
http://bit.ly/1NGvFft
and choose a dark blue for the base, and then a sage green for the mid tone, and a light blue for the final 'wash' coat. I also used about four different General Finishes glazes, to get the aged look.
  • what do you do when good veneer goes bad, painted furniture
I love how it turned out. It was a labor of love. I hated it, then I kinda liked it, then I hated it again and wanted to chop it up. I wrote a blog post about it, saying that I hoped I would never see it again!
  • what do you do when good veneer goes bad, painted furniture
It sold almost immediately. And then I got an email from Pure & Original (who had seen my post), asking if they could use my image for an upcoming promotion. Well, yikes! Of course. The next day this came in my in-box.
  • what do you do when good veneer goes bad, painted furniture
And that - made everything (including the splinters embedded in my hands) seem a little bit better.

To see more: http://bit.ly/1N593om

  • Taffetal
    Taffetal Canada

    I nearly screamed when I suspected you were going to paint this beauty! I didn't want to look. And then I braved the "after" and . . . I really like it. (I wonder what Antiques Roadshow would say).

    • Diane Llewellyn Grover

      @Taffetal I can't imagine they would say anything, because it's a reproduction - so they'd probably throw me out and tell me to stop wasting my time :)

  • Jeane Harrison
    Jeane Harrison Des Moines, IA

    Gorgeous--it almost looks like porcelain

  • Susan S
    Susan S Columbus, TX

    Great job!

  • Sabrina
    Sabrina Somerset, NJ

    Beautiful!

  • Cheryl
    Cheryl Buhl, ID

    You took that hot mess & made it haute perfection!

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