Thursday, July 14, 2011

Maintaining my Vanity

  So, a while back, a came across this little lovely on Craig's List for a mere $20:

It wasn't even in bad shape. The family was just cleaning out their little girl's room, and decided they didn't need it anymore. The mirror inside the flip-up top was damaged and discolored, but that was something I could work around, and certainly wasn't a deal-breaker for only 20 bones.

Like I said, this little guy (gal?) wasn't screaming "I NEED TO BE FIXED UP!!!!" but the current paint job just wasn't my style; it seemed to be a little frouffy for my taste (very technical term). The original coloring looked to be a DIY job; the white spray-painted coat was done very well and looked practically flawless, but the gold detailing was pretty sloppy in some places (no pictures - sorry!) and just gave the piece a very childish feel. Being a perfectionist, those gold details were screaming "messy Messy MESSY!" in addition to likening the piece to something that should be in Kate Middleton's foyer or dressing room. After finding this piece over at Centsational Girl, I was itching to grey-ify something of my own, and thought that the feminine lines of this piece would lend itself well to a more masculine and rainy-day color.

While the color I ended up picking is a bit more blue than I had originally intended (I'm a newbie at choosing paint colors that match what I want, despite the fact that I was a good student and taped up tons of different swatches to look at in different lights at different times of the day), I still like the juxtaposition of the baby bluish tones (read: boyish) on such a curvy piece (read: girlish). I had originally wanted to paint the inside of the flip-top a bright and complementary color, like coral, or a deep contrasting hue, like midnight blue, but ended up leaving that part alone for now. It just wasn't in the cards yet, as I wasn't sure of how to handle the damaged mirror, and I couldn't make a final decision regarding the color (I'm leaning more toward coral...). As it turns out, we're not even currently using the flip top at all, so it doesn't matter; it's very difficult not to put stuff on top of a flat surface...and once it's there, you can't open it anymore. Sigh. I wouldn't mind if it magically turned into a drawer, but maybe after our move, I'll start actually using the little guy as a vanity. Here's the little bugger in all it's (currently) finished glory!

The color I ended up going with is Valspar's "Rising Tide" color-matched to Olympic Premium No VOC latex paint. I just bought a little sample size for around $3.50, and it was more than enough for a single coat after a nice coat of Kilz primer. Interestingly, when I hold the color swatch up to the vanity, the color on the card does read a little more gray and less blue, but oh well! I'm still happy with the end result. We're currently using it as a little buffet-type-piece in our dining area, and it blends nicely under our wall collage, as we have a lot of photos or paintings that involve blues, from water, sky, and even backgrounds.

While I had originally planned on altering the color of the drawer pulls, I actually didn't think they were too bad once I was all finished. They look a little tarnished or well-worn, which I like better than pristine, so for now, they stay.  I'm thinkin' they'll look even better once I choose some fun fabric for drawer liners that picks up some of the goldish and cream tones. I got the idea from this image that I came across on Pinterest - been looking for something similar ever since!

So to save your fingers from scrolling back to the top (life's tough, I know), here is a comparison image of the before and after. I like the much more subtle single-tone color that hints to the detailing in the wood with shadows, rather than that cheap-looking gold acrylic paint that might call your attention to the details...but not in a good way.

Have any of you guys redone any interesting pieces lately? Do you have as much trouble choosing a paint color that actually looks the way you pictured it in your head when you're done? Found any steals on Craig's recently? Do tell!

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