Painted Curiosity Cabinet

There is nothing quite as satisfying as transforming a find. I stumbled upon a piece almost identical to this almost a year ago in an antique dealers. I immediately fell in love with the shape as it reminded me of a piece from 'Beauty and the Beast' (I get inspiration from all sorts of places).  


Sadly, having already paid for the item, I couldn't fit it In the car and when I returned to collect it the following day there was a mix up and the piece had been sold. It was 6 months later when my husband surprised me with an almost identical piece.


I am not sure on the original manufacturer but there was a common palm tree design on the front of both pieces. I also noticed a common design flaw as the front panels in both pieces had splintered quite badly.  


Due to the imperfections this piece took a little more dedication - filling, sanding and filling again. I knew I wanted to paint the piece so was less concerned about the filling.


When Painting furniture  - Farrow and Ball is my go to color pallet. This is a high end English Manufacturer that I have relied upon for many years.


The color choice I used was farrow and Ball (F&B) mizzle in an eggshell finish. I used James White around the trim to make this beautiful detail stand out and bring the cabinet back to life.


After I finished the piece, I wasn't completely happy with it. It was looking a little too 'new' and not really the finish I wanted. I added a dark wax by Annie Sloan applied using a wax brush to work it into the detailed edging to make it stand out. A light sanding to give it that aged look and it was complete.  


I tend to revisit pieces until I get the look I envision. If it is a client’s piece I am working on I can keep adding and reworking over the course of the project until I get it just right. If it is a personal item I may have a particular finish for years and then grow tired of it or change the room and start all over again.  That's the great thing about a timeless piece of furniture - it can be reinvented with a little imagination.  I try and incorporate as many items from around my clients home in to the new design. This is really useful trick when an item has been inherited and has sentimental value but just isn't in keeping with its new surroundings. A little vision and you can keep all of the sentiment and have it complement its new surroundings.


This charming piece has now been transformed in to a perfect curiosity cabinet for keeping an eclectic mix of memories and souvenirs collected from our travels and it always happens to be a great conversation piece in the room.

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