Copper is the New Gold

4 Materials
$60
5 Days
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Sideboards like these are hard to find where I live in Vancouver, BC. The legs are so elegant.

And guess what? I had a matching china cabinet too! How lucky am I?

First a really good clean and then a fix of missing parts and trim. The original veneer was cracking in places but I was determined to keep as much as I could.

My plan was black, copper and veneer but first I had to treat the wood

I had been recommended a product called Trade Secret to restore veneer and was excited to try it.

I could see instantly that I was going to love this. It took just one coat

Just look at this! I was amazed at how beautiful the wood looked and even though it was showing slight damage in places was happy I had restored it back to this

With the updated hardware, this piece was coming together

After painting the doors with General Finishes Lamp Black milk paint I used a stencil to apply copper leaf. My vision was coming alive!

This is the stencil.. https://victorialarsen.com/product/plaster-stencil-antoinette-panel/ use JULIE10 at checkout to save 10%

I also used copper leaf on the beading on the doors and drawers to pull the whole piece together.

The top was stripped and given the same drink of Trade Secret

And here she is in all her gloriousness! I am in love

I couldn't wait to make over the china cabinet too


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Julie McDowell - Design Artist

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 14 questions
  • Cheri Tanner
    on Jul 9, 2020

    Did you do copper leaf around the outline of where the wood meets the black paint? Very striking!!! Both pieces!!!

  • Cheri Tanner
    on Jul 9, 2020

    So Julie...did you know...I have seen many pieces resembling your design(not necessarily the same sideboard but the same design, the black, stencil and stained wood) and yours, by far out does them all! I see pieces like that at high end stores going for over $1500+. You should be proud of yourself! It is soooo time consuming to redo furniture! Was the copper leaf hard to put on? How did you do it? Great job! Your work is very professional! :-)

    • Thank you so much Cheri I appreciate that. The leaf is easy to apply. I put the leaf size through the stencil and then when it was ready I put the leaf on, leaving he stencil in place the whole time. I actually sold the sideboard to someone in eastern Ontario Canada and so I shipped it from Vancouver where I live!

  • Colleen
    on Jul 20, 2020

    What did you use to strip the wood finish before using Trade Secret? Gorgeous pieces!

    • Hi Colleen, thank you! I didn't strip the veneer, I sanded it and the old lacquer pretty much fell away. The trade secret is amazing stuff

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