Art Deco goes Boho Beauty

By Paula Basnett in Reidsville, NC.

This drab Art Deco vanity got a chippy, drippy, fantastical Boho facelift. When she came to me she had seen better days. She had missing veneer, missing applique pieces around the mirror, and ugly jewelry. It was time for a big change and she wanted to be the life of the party. The makeover began.

This was definitely an experiment - one that didn't go wrong! I've been trying to break some of my rules and have fun being less fussy. It's easy to get caught up in perfect paint lines and to question every brushstroke. This piece was crying to be free and loose. I obliged her.

The first thing that needed to be addressed were worn out tops. The flat surfaces were stripped down to the bare bones and restained with Minwax Walnut Gel Stain. Then the edges were aged and darkened with General Finishes Java Gel Stain urbbed on using a small piece of cloth. To keep those surfaces from becoming redamaged they were given several coats of Varathane Matte Soft Touch Polyurethane. 

The mirror was also given a coat of General Finishes Java Gel Stain after the missing appliques were recreated. I knew the mirrow wouldn't get much wear so Elmer's Wood filler was used to recreate the missing parts of the appliques. After drying it was carved, sanded and sealed. 

Now the party began. This was a party so it had to be fun. Her body was basecoated in Wavery Matte Chalk Finish Acrylic Paint  in Peacock. While it was still wet, Waverly Ivory was blended into the middle of the drawer fronts.. The basecoat was allowed to dry.

Like most parties it took a while for the run to turn up and water always helps.  Homemade chalk paint using Valspar paint in Blaze Orange, Magic Magenta and First Kiss were radomly applied using a flexible putty knife. AND.....were sprayed with water using a household spray bottle. The paints ran, melted into each other and made new colors. Using the same putty knife, the details, sharp edges and corners were distressed by scraping back the paint. Then everything was given a coat of Waverly clear wax.

The finishing touches were some blingy mirrored knobs that echoed the large mirror. Some colorful upholstery fabric was applied to the stool. This was one party I was sorry to see end, but she's all spiffed up and ready to spread some fun everywhere she goes.


Project Category

Upcycling Merit CategoriesThe Bohemian Girl

Products Used

  • Minwax Walnut Gel Stain
  • General Finishes Java Gel Stain
  • Varathane Matte Soft Touch Polyurethane
  • Elmer's Wood filler
  • Wavery Matte Chalk Finish Acrylic Paint 
  • Valspar flat paint
  • Waverly Clear Wax

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