Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Other Sister

I am blessed to have a daughter (age 26) and son (age 23) so I’m not sure what sibling rivalry is between two girls.  I did purchase two girly vanities that needed some RPK love and I’m thinking there was some sibling rivalry between the two.

The first of the two I finished was done in a lovely French Blue, with some gold highlights.  

If you’re interested in the steps I took to transform her, you can read “here” about a similar vanity I reloved a few months ago.

I placed ads for the first vanity, French Blue Delight  and started on ‘her younger sister’, which we’ll call “The Curvaceous Victorian Sweetheart”.  

She was old, but had all the components to be a beauty.  I just received some ASCP Provence and started working with a mix of Old White with the Provence.  I settled with 1:2 Old White to Provence.  

My prep process is such:
1) Assess any necessary repairs.  In this case, she needed a piece added to the back portion of her top where a mirror once sat.  I sent this out to be professionally done.  When I got it back, I added some wood filler to close any gaps and then sanded to a smooth finish.  

2) Remove all hardware

3) Light sanding, brushing away any grit from the sanding with an old, soft paint brush and then wiping down with warm water with drop of detergent.  The cloth is barely damp…don’t want to get the wood soaking wet!  I know ASCP says no sanding necessary, but it is my way of really getting involved with the piece.  I see all of its nooks and crannies and if there is any real grimy dirt, I discover it as I’m sanding.  

4) If I am concerned with bleed through, I’ll then give the piece a coat of shellac.  In this case, I felt the Provence had enough pigment and the wood wasn’t that red mahogany color, so there shouldn’t be any bleed through.

Now that the ‘dirty’ work is done, comes the fun.  I flipped her over on the dolly and began painting.  

I like a look of thorough coverage, so after the first coat, I knew she needed a second coat. 

The curves and carvings on this vanity were screaming to be highlighted, so I did a dry brush treatment on the raised areas and inside the curved areas of the legs.

I also applied a very light wash of Old White over the entire piece.  I just add a small amount of water to OW, lightly apply it and then lightly wipe it off with a damp rag until I get the effect I am looking for.  

A little distressing, clear wax and the base is done. 

In the meantime, her older sister, French Blue Delight has not received any suitors.  It’s been about 10 days since the ad was posted…but I’m sure someone will come calling.  

And now I turn my attention to the inside of the drawers.  I think I may need a drawer intervention, but that will be another post.  These older pieces can often be very nasty inside.  I can’t, in all good conscience, put up a piece for adoption without knowing she is sparkly clean on the inside.  I do what I can to remove any stains (sanding, stripper, steel wool and mineral spirits).  Once I feel they are as blemish free as I can get them, I apply a coat of shellac.  Usually the outside of each drawer is not as nasty as the inside, so a light hand sanding and then a good wiping with mineral spirits cleans that up.

And now to the ‘jewelry’:  the hardware.  I painted the 4 lower knobs in the base color with a wash of Old White.  I thought she deserved a little sparkle, so I added crystal knobs to the two top drawers.

French Blue Delight gets a call…a suitor is interested!  They’ll be over in two days to take a look!  Yea!

The Curvaceous Victorian Sweetheart moves into the house for her ‘photo shoot’!  Ha!  I know my photography skills are lacking…but I can only learn one trade at a time…so painting is getting my focus now and learning to use a fancy camera will come later!  (Thanks for your patience!) 

It’s now time for the ‘suitor’ to come a callin’ for French Blue Delight.  When she arrives, this is what she sees:

We move the bench and small cocktail table aside so she can get a good look at Miss French Blue Delight, but she gravitates to Miss Curvaceous.  Oh no…!  What about French Blue Delight?  Nope…she falls in love with Miss CVS.  What’s a mother to do?  So the younger sister was asked out before the older sister…There weren’t any tears in this case, but I can imagine there have been mothers of two daughters who have had to deal with tears…  My heart goes out to you!

But take heart, because a week later, another suitor came for Miss French Blue Delight and they were both adopted into lovely families.  

I hope the step by step was helpful.  

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. that is gorgeous, robin! love the color and the painted details! do you sell in a shop?

    1. Thanks, Cassie! No shop for me as of now, just working out of my home and just trying to concentrate on learning the craft. By the way, I appreciate all of your posts...I check your blog every day! Congrats on the launch of Sweet Clover.


  2. hi Robin, I love this and how you've written her story up. Congrats on selling both pieces and no wonder as you've done a gorgeous job. I'm with you, I also like a thorough coverage. thanks for linking to my Paint Parade
    have a great weekend

    1. Thanks, Fiona. Using Provence was a little out of my comfort zone, but it's young and fresh and so are the clients who have scooped up any new items in a version of Provence as soon as they are completed.
      It's my pleasure linking to your Paint Parade! You have a lot of talented folks following you. Your site is a great inspirational tool for me. I should be thanking you!


  3. love it! I would love to feature it, if that would be ok please let me know,lauren

    1. Thanks for the feature, Lauren!

    2. don't know if you caught the feature , you can see it here,
      and thanks so much!

  4. Hi Robin, the vanities look AMAZING!! I LOVE a piece with beautiful curves! Great job!

    1. Yes, Lovilee ReDesign, curves give a piece so much character! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!