As I promised in my last post, I’m going to share the “after” from my IKEA cabinet refresh. I’ve refinished the outside but I’ve also changed the use and purpose of the piece although it remains in the same spot in the house. I find that over time, everything needs to be pulled out of a storage spot, edited and returned to orderly storage. Sometimes, once you edit, you realize there really is a better place to keep some of the things and this is what has happened with this cabinet. I used to keep vases in the lower half of the cabinet but with two bassets running around the house, the noise of the glassware clinking together was a little disturbing. I kept waiting to hear the crash which fortunately never came. The cabinet now houses candles, candle holders, and some larger serving pieces like platters.
I started by taking the pieces apart and filling the screw holes with wood filler. The base and the hutch were painted separately so that I have the option of using the base on its own in the future. If you are planning on taking your piece apart one day, you won’t want to fill the screw holes but as I have no plans to pack it flat again, I wanted to remove the look of the unsightly screws by filling the holes.
I used an Elmer’s Wood Filler, sanded once and refilled where the fill hole had sunk. Make sure you get a nice smooth finish or it will really show once you paint.
It’s so easy to lose pieces when you are disassembling something to refinish. I always grab a small bowl or plastic bag to contain all the little bits so they don’t get lost in the shuffle of refinishing. If it’s a really complicated project that you are taking apart, use the camera on your phone to take a couple of quick pics of what it looks like before dismantling so you have a visual map when it comes time to put it all back together.
For this piece, I chose Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Aubusson Blue. It was a really bold choice but the rest of the pieces in my home are primarily stained wood or pieces/cabinets I have painted in either White or French Linen by ASCP. The colour swatch on the Annie Sloan site looks like a dark blue but as you can see from the photos, it is more of a teal colour. I added two coats of paint and then the Clear Wax. The colour wasn’t as dark as I wanted so I then added a Dark Wax as the final finish. Quite often you will use the Dark Wax to age and highlight but I used it over the entire piece to deepen the colour.
I am so happy with how this IKEA cabinet turned out! The paint has brought new life to the piece and I am loving it once again. Although the colour is bold, the dark wax mutes it a bit, and the new piece works really well to separate the Great Room from the Kitchen and Eating Area. Open plans are a wonderful way to live and I wouldn’t want to go back to closed rooms but they definitely pose challenges when it comes to decorating.
What I have found with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is that the colours differ substantially depending upon the project I am working on and where it is going to sit in my home. I have started creating my own colour charts by painting the stir sticks I have been accumulating from my purchases at Home Depot. I paint both sides of the stick with the colour, leave one side unwaxed, and on the opposite side, I apply Clear Wax and on the opposite end, I apply Dark Wax over the clear. On the unwaxed side, I then write the name of the paint colour in Sharpie. It’s a great way for me to compare colours for the lighting in my own home.
To me, decorating is always the fun part but shelves can be a challenge. I knew I needed to added some light items for decor and that the dark finish would really make things pop! I always try to add a mixture of textures, colour, and a bit of metallic or glass for some shine. Natural elements are always a good addition as well. I found an easel at a home decor store that was in the clearance bin ($8) and thought it would be a great way to display some art on the shelf. The picture is a print I picked up on a recent trip to Cannon Beach so it has some nice memories attached to it as well. The piece is called “Rain People” III by John Ebner. I love it because it is awash in greys but has some wonderful pops of colour to make it lively. As a west coaster (wet-coaster?) it’s easy to get the blues with the drizzly weather but this just shows that bright clothing and umbrellas are a game-changer! I framed the print myself but I’m not happy with the mat that came with the frame so I will cut a new one at some point. For now, it is framed and protected from dust. The candle holders are favourites that get moved around the house on a regular basis. I have added small pebbles to the cups and topped them with an LED votive. Because they are sitting within a shelf, a real candle burning could damage the cabinet. LEDs are great because you can get the ambiance without the risk of damage. The jar to the right is filled with larger polished rocks.
The lower shelf has an orchid which brings a bit of contrasting colour to the palette. The remaining items are a serving tray on a plate stand, and a hydrangea arrangement. The pears were bought a few years ago at a big box grocery store. I typically have them out in the fall (when fresh pears would be available) but I needed something white to balance the space. The wicker baskets on the top of the cabinet contain candles and jar fillers (like my rock collection) – not to sure about what the dust might be like over time and I may change them out but for now, I like they way they look.
Don’t forget to shop your own home when you are deciding to redecorate an area. You might be surprised at what you find and how great it looks in its new home! Thanks for sharing this home improvement journey with me.