This beautiful nursery is standing at the ready for Leslie and Jamie, who await impending parenthood by the day!
Lark Nest was honored to finish this sweet bookshelf for the nursery, which is done in cool gray, white trim, and, for an accent, “Belafonte Yellow.”
Here’s what it looked like just a few days ago, before it was loaded up with fabulous tomes for soon-to-arrive baby!
Here’s what it looked like for most of its life! Dark wood, stubby and fairly unattractive, despite its pedigree, which I pegged to be a cute 1940s piece. Leslie had purchased it for pennies at a rummage sale. She had dragged it from dwelling to dwelling; most recently, it was languishing in her office.
Cottage Paint, a self-priming, clay-based paint with very low VOCs, seemed a natural choice for this job. I also love the matte finish you achieve with this kind of paint. It seemed perfect for this vintage home, and on an example such as this, with such sweet detailing around the feet.
After scrupulously cleaning the piece, I tested the top for any trace of shellac, which would require a different “stripping” process.
Finding no shellac present when I tested, I used a sander deglosser to remove any finish, then moved on to the first coats. I knew it would take a fair amount of work to cover the wood.
Here’s what I learned, and what I am compelled to share:
Testing the top wasn’t enough. Because while there was no shellac on the top and sides, clearly there was a finish of some sort on the three recessed panels, all of which “crazed,” or cracked, once the paint dried!
(Clients sometimes request this kind of finish, but this is NOT how you get it when you are purposefully creating it!)
Crazing is evidence of either human oils or some kind of a finish, usually shellac or a mill wax. I knew I had prepped the piece well. So it had some kind of undetermined finish on the three recessed panels. Enter Zinzzer’s Smart Prime (Thank you, Drew, at Hirshfield’s Plaster Center!), with which I coated the panels thickly, to try, try again!
It provided great coverage. The crazing was gone, though I was in for multiple coats of the yellow to make it look spectacular!
I finished it with Annie Sloan Soft Wax, which gives an amazing finish to clay-based paints. It’s also very baby-friendly.
I wanted the piece to be beautiful for Leslie and Jamie. They will be great and arty parents; it’s not every Mom and Dad who mount a “Vampire Weekend” band poster on their child’s nursery wall!
Leslie is a skilled shooter (who handles everything from studio work to rock band concert coverage through her business, Shuttersmack Photography). So I wanted to give her a gift for the nursery that would pay homage to who she is. That’s how this mirror, made from a slide carousel, came to be!
She is grooving on it, big time!
I love that she mounted it at eye level for “Junior,” once he or she motors about on two feet!
You can read Leslie’s post, and see more pictures of this fab and welcoming space, on her blog, here. With any luck, Kid Plesser may be arriving about the time you read this post! (Yes, keep your jokes about just-in-time inventory to yourselves. We really did press a deadline on this job!)