Furniture, which originates from around and about the Art Deco era, seems to be a bit like Marmite just now. You either love it or hate it. Whatever your stance, you will find a lot of it about. Especially sideboards. From big heavy curvy pieces, to the later more compact boxy pieces. And “flipped” they look absolutely amazing!
There are some beauties out there, like the magnificent walnut which you just couldn’t put a brush to. But there are a lot of less impressive pieces too. But, regardless what coat we wear, we all need a little love, don’t we.
So when a friend pops a picture across of a sideboard being sold by her neighbour, I could resist a peek. I love my scouts. In rural Scotland that is our equivalent of finding something “kerbside”.
Deal struck and she was delivered to my door under the cover of darkness. Nothing dodgy, it just goes dark very early in northern Scotland. Then, in the cold light of day, I realised just what I was dealing with. Crikey, this one was going to need more than a lick of paint to make her feel wanted again.
She was carrying a lot of baggage
She had veneer damage on the surface, which I knew when I agreed to take her. It was intended as a painter so that didn’t concern me. Then inside suggested this had been used to store all manner of things in its lifetime. Oily and sticky. Yuk. Notwithstanding lots of sparkly sequin type things in the cutlery drawer.
First job a damn good clean with the old sugar soap, inside and out. Drawers out and handles off. I say “handles”. In truth one drawer was a complete bodge. An old piece of leather on a D ring and then held with two old bolts. Genius! Does the job – but so not pretty. So both drawers were stripped of their furniture too.
Having established the top was not even paintable in its current state, we (that’s me and Mr Smith) came up with a demon plan – a flipped top. “Flipped” – now there is an apt terms for a furniture upcyler. So I set about taking that top off. The upstand at the back unscrewed cleanly so I could reuse it. Then I carefully prised off the beading before gently easing the top off all the way around. The flip side was in super condition. So decision made, I removed the peeling veneer, painted it as the interior, then reattached the top upside down. Good as new.
All this took place over several days having let the piece completely air of course.
Prep done. Let’s paint
I chose Frenchic Scotch Mist for the outside, and then a blend of colours to create a duck egg green for the inside. The cutlery drawer was reline in nice new felt. I brown waxed the drawer fronts and added two new brass handles to mirror the boxy style. The door handle fixings were captive withing the door structure itself so out came my favourite gilting product. A mix of gorgeous gold and sexy silver Frensheen. I applied it to the handles and picked out some of this ladys’ best features.
And there you have it. Meet Diana. My flipped Art Deco sideboard. A sideboard with a story (or six) to tell. If only they could speak. She has seen life and taken a few knocks along the way. At first glance her scars seemed fairly superficial. It is only when you began to dig deeper, do you discover what is truly going on underneath.
If you have a piece of Art Deco which you would like to send to the Artisan Bothy, the home of painted furniture in Moray, give me a call
The Artisan Bothy
Breathing new life into your tired furniture throughout Moray and Scotland