Deep into the abyss//soulful moody green & burnished apricot tallboy

By Door Thirty Four in Orpington, Kent, GB

I have a history with this design of tall drawers. They are made by Limelight in or around the 1950s. The first set I ever got was from a local house clearance and they were covered in sticky old cracked laminated plastic. It took a lot of effort, advice from supportive people & one second hand iron (!) to wrestle them back into shape. They were the first item I ever used General Finishes products on - a true lightbulb moment that has only pushed me on in ways I could never have imagined. They were also my successful entry to the 2017 design competition. Such happy days!

So, it was sweet bliss to find another set and thankfully they were in much better shape. A simple prep job of sanding down and cleaning. I didn't even have to repair anything! A couple of the handles were broken so these had to be removed. Pink and green are everywhere at the moment and show no sign of going out of favour. I tend to favour bold colours so my version of pink and green is this....such a deep green it can almost look black and a stunning dark peach. These colours are both Valspar custom colours. The names they give to their paints are often enough to make me jump in.....the green is called 'deep into the abyss' and the peach is 'burnished apricot'. 

I used an undercoat layer of 'seagull gray' as it really does help dark colours go on but of course they still often require more coats and the same was true of this green. I think it was about 6 or 7 in total. The apricot had only required two over my primer so the green took most of the time. Frog tape created the sharp line under the top two drawers. Once it had all dried overnight I sealed the whole unit and drawer fronts with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat. I had managed to find these stunning bow shiny handles for a few pounds in a local DIY store and was able to match two knobs that I already had. 

It's quite funny how much joy I get from varnishing. I even have a little routine. Always early early in the morning when it's cool. Fresh cup of tea. Calming music on (yep, I even have a top coat playlist!) and a fistful of brushes and pads. Then off we go. It never takes long, never fails. The whole job with this piece was unusually a very calm and simple one. No blood, sweat or tears - certainly very far from what I am used to. 

A dear friend, who is also a furniture artist, once said to me that we both always give a piece of our soul to our work. I don't know why it always seems that we both struggle. Maybe because we take on pieces that need such a lot of work and time; they seem to fight you every step of the way. Many others wouldn't give them a second look. It sounds a bit grim but I actually love the idea that we put sooo much into our work. We don't just paint furniture. It's so much more than that. 

And whilst this piece didn't fight back - it truly embraced being made over - it definitely has been given a piece of my heart and soul as it means so much. It really was the beginning of great things for me and I am forever grateful.

Project Category

Upcycling Merit CategoriesModern Love

Products Used

  • Valspar 'deep into the abyss' eggshell
  • Valspar ' burnished apricot' eggshell
  • General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in satin
  • Blackfriars Problem Solving Primer
  • General Finishes 'seagull gray' milk paint

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