The biggest obstacle in designing a home is the expense of furniture. Every time I look around my living room or dining room I see dollar signs flashing from every square inch of space that needs to be filled. I have been lured by the posh interior design magazines to crave the uniqueness and luxury of upscale furniture. This is heart breaking because there is no way I can spend thousands of dollars on a china hutch that has been hand carved by some obscure person in an even more obscure location. One day, after flipping through yet another home decor magazine, I realized that I didn't need a millionaire bank account to have the home of my dreams. I'm a creative gal that's not afraid of a little hard work. All I needed was to get my head out of the magazine and start pounding the pavement in search of the perfect piece to start redecorating my home. I looked around my home and made a priority list. We were in desperate need of an enclosed bar. We had an open unit where everything collected dust. I was always embarrassed when offering company a glass of wine because I would have to rinse their glass before pouring the wine. It took months of research and lots of patience, but I finally found this mid-century modern china hutch.
My husband took one look at this and turned to me with a puzzled look on his face and said "This looks like something that was in my grandma's house!” I was not deterred. Lucky for me this piece had seen some bumps and bruises along the way, so painting was an easy decision. This china hutch was not the hardwood Swedish design that is coveted by so many, but a manufactured copy that was popular of the time. One look and I knew this was the piece that would launch my home makeover journey.
Even my husband was thrilled with the end result. For this piece I used Benjamin Moore's Super Spec Urethane Alkyd Gloss Enamel in Safety White for the body of the china cabinet. This is oil based industrial enamel. For the inside back of the hutch I used Benjamin Moore's Impervo in the color Deep Space. I know that a lot of people out there are using latex and acrylic paints due to their easy clean up and fast dry times, but I do not recommend them for furniture. Through my previous trials and errors as well as research I understand that oil based paints are much more durable and lasting. When it comes to furniture I fully believe that you should do it right the first time. An added benefit of oil based paints is that, when using a brush or a roller, they have more time to level thus eliminating brush strokes for a more professional finish. Also, furniture covered in oil based paints are easy to clean. If you are painting a piece of furniture that will be well used in your home, then oil based paints are the only ones to use. They do require mineral spirits for cleaning brushes or any other equipment used when painting, but I’ve found it’s well worth the extra time and money.
Next I will take you step-by-step through the restoration of this Drexel Campaign Chest of Drawers. Also look forward to other interor design articles to help guide us all to the home we have always wished for.