Friday, February 22, 2013

a certain je ne sais quoi...

Introducing Mon Cher Monsieur Pierre le Dres-sair:

Okay, "Dres-sair" isn't really a French word.  You caught me.  But it kinda rhymed with "Pierre."  Plus, it's actually more of a chest than a dresser.

Let's just say the love of my life doesn't exactly share my interest in taking old, ugly, cheap, discarded, unwanted, or full-of-potential items and turning them into something, well, better.

Simply put, he sees my "interest" as his "having to work on junk."

Buuuuuut....I scored another piece from the online classifieds at work: A reproduction French Provincial chest I bought for $25.

So, let's call this, "Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® Take 2" (which I purchased at Second Betty, if you recall).

And, fortunately, it required very little effort on Philly's part.

We got a sneak peak at Frenchy at the end of my Jewels post--my first trial piece with ASCP. 

Pierre is your typical 70s-ish reproduction French Provincial chest of drawers.  Philly just about had chatons when I said I wanted to buy this since we own absolutely NOTHING else that even remotely resembles this style.  (Well, unless you count my above-mentioned jewelry box.)  But since I certainly don't care about that, I completely ignored him and loaded Pierre into the back of the pickup and brought him home.

I think Philly will be pleasantly surprised after the makeover.

I removed all the hardware and gave him a good cleaning (well, a wipe and a prayer).

Philly's ONE repair...the dove lost its tail:


Then I got busy with my ASCP.  I purchased Old White and Coco for this project, but I realized the Coco was a bit darker than what I wanted.  I was looking for a subtle contrast, so I mixed the Old White and Coco 1:1 and really liked the result.

I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted everything to shake out, so I consulted mon chien, crossed my fingers, and painted.

I have been cruising around all sorts of different blogs/websites for ideas, and I came across the Graphics Fairy and let me just tell you...this site is genius.

She has TONS of free graphics and all sorts of tips on how to use them.  Since I had a "French" piece of furniture, I chose a  French-style graphic to paint onto the top of Pierre!

My high-school French teacher lives next door to me now, so I thought this would make her proud.  :) 

I tried to pick one that didn't have too much detail since this is the first time I've ever attempted anything like this.  (And I've had enough French classes in my life to know this doesn't say something like, "You are stupid and you smell like cat poo."You like??

I scoped out several different techniques for transferring the image, and since I don't own a projector (yet), and I was WAY too impatient to wait until I acquired one, I bought some graphite paper instead.

I blew up my graphic to the size I wanted and printed in tiles, and taped them together.  VERY professional. 

I measured and placed my hobbled-together graphic and taped it in place with painter's tape.

Then I slid my graphite paper underneath and, using a fairly dull pencil, started tracing the image, and Voilà!!!

Remember...the Graphics Fairy!!!!

I Painted Pierre's Bodacious Body in Old White (and painted and scuffed the hardware as well), and the drawers in my 1:1 mix of Old White and Coco.  I decided for my graphic, I'd go with Coco: Straight Up.  I have no idea what a proper paintbrush is for this type of work, so I just chose one that I thought would do the trick.  

It really didn't take quite as long as I thought it would (my back would beg to differ), but I highly recommend putting on some background noise you enjoy.  My choice was Harry Potter on CD...for the 17th time. 

After my painstaking session(s) of hand-painting the top of Pierre, I decided to add a wash to the top to make it look a little more aged, add a little more character, and attempt to hide the imperfections in my paint job.

I also mixed a little Coco with some glaze I had and brushed onto the detail work of Pierre's pieds and the little scrolly-bop at the bottom, then immediately wiped off so it would only be in the crevasses.

Once all the painting was finished, Pierre got a coat of clear wax and we called it a day!

**UPDATE! I didn't even know Pierre was for sale until my friend Anya told me he was.  She not only bought him, but brought over 2 more matching pieces for me to paint as well!  Enjoy your "new" furniture Natalie!!**

Avant et Après:

More detailed avant pics:

 And Après!!!

I've decided I really enjoy hand-painting furniture.  :)

This piece was featured!

Green Willow Pond


  1. Beautiful job!! I'm getting ready to tackle transferring a design to an already ASCP painted piece. How long did it take you to complete the transfer part (start to finish)?

    1. Wow, thanks!! I'd say it probably took me 45 minutes to trace the image onto the top. It took another 2 hours? to paint it. (I should have timed it, because several people have asked!) And I would guess I worked in 30-minute chunks to spare my back. :) I'm going to start a very similar piece for my friend (who just bought this piece from me). I'll be sure to keep better track of my time on this one. Thanks so much for visiting!

  2. Beautiful work! The time it took to do the transfer was well worth the time...gorgeous and really makes this beautiful piece!

    1. Thank you so much Pendra! And thanks for stopping by!


  3. Stopping by from Elizabeth & Co. What a beautiful transformation! That color combination is truly stunning. The graphic you used looks made for this piece & I love how it's centered on the top. Beautiful, beautiful work!

    1. Thanks so much StaceyAnne! I really appreciate that you took the time to stop by and that you left me such a kind message!


  4. Pierre is amazing and how cool is that, that it was for sale and now sold. Congrats. It turned out amazingly!

    1. Thank you so much Liz! And thanks for taking the time to stop by and introducing yourself!


  5. I love that you didn't paint the graphic in black, the coco really suits it.

    1. Thank you Cynthia! And thanks for visiting!


  6. This turned out beautifully! I love the colors and the graphic. Graphic fairy rocks! Thank you for sharing it at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great weekend!


    1. Thanks so much Deborah, and thanks for hosting!


  7. Love this piece! Pierre is quite handsome. I really enjoy your (not you're) writing. Rant on.

    Linda at The French Hens Nest

    (thanks for joining us)


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