New Blue Box

Posted By Jueri Svjagintsev on Nov 10, 2014

Mara has a post:
I had what I thought would be a enjoyable and easy job using skills that had not been exercised in awhile. A faux painting job on a beautiful simple case that needed a new base to elevate it higher and take out a sag in the middle.  I was excited by it and the client really loved what I did on an old  filing cabinet rescued from under the airport that got a very subtle deep red treatment.  The client wanted teal and then thought the red would look good with it. The client is a creative colorist of a Patchwork quilter.
 The old case was paint-qrade Mahogany from the 50's. What a hoot. Times sure have changed. I did remake the base out of Sipo, a mahogany relative. It was needed because of the extent of the span . I thickened up all dimensions of it also and bumped out the stand larger by  5/8" all around to break up the verticality.. I came up with small samples and with a latex starting point. I did not like the sand-ability, so I decided to change to  alkyds so I would get a flat surface in the end product.. My first mistake was not remaking a LARGE sample with this change because it went TOTALLY different than planned. This should be titled the job that  got away from me. I was not in control. SOOOOO many mistakes and lapses in judgment and forgetting really basic things like which way the original direction of painted grain on the original went after I sanded it off and thinking it was  not of import. I think it never crossed my windshield of thought.. I never could visualize this piece and nothing "came to me" when involved in the process. Usually the process and form will speak to me and I work well spontaneously. Not this time. It just got uglier and uglier and my shame weighed heavier and heavier. Even the photographs were making it uglier than the  already ugly reality so the client freaked out half way through. Some realizations like painting red is nothing like painting blue came to me so out of exasperation I started erasing what I did not like on a WAY to busy and graphic surface by layering on more paint and more glazes in related colors.  But the client came out and told me that all the front was wrong because the direction of the doors were up and down and not as wanted, horizontal. So I sat down and sanded it off to get a flat surface below the texture of the layers of painted grain. I had on my hair shirt and was whipping myself hard when I realized I really liked the direction that this piece had inadvertently taken and its pattern looked good with the red stand . It was not the direction that the client and I had decided on and I emailed off the photos of the sanded doors and she did like them so off we are running in a whole different direction. I raised blue dust for a long day. It was in my hair and layered in my shoes and pores of my skin, everywhere, Two coats of amber shellac brought it closer to the Teal and then teal colored sealer and finish coats buried the finish further, deepening and unifying the finish. The client is happy and the colors are just right in her room  with her gorgeous art glass collection and paintings. Everyone loves it. Me, I am pulling out grey hair and blue paint off my head.
I don't know if there is a moral of this story . There is probably more than one. It was time for humility and a cover your @ss kind of job.  Things have been pretty predictable around here. It was a definite example of working the shizz  and and praying for serendipity to strike you dead , or at least put one back into the running. I have made a list of mistakes that I made  but, I won't air that laundry in public. I am working up an abbreviated sample of not quite as many layers to put into my library of finish samples. Please do not judge us by how this job proceeded. It is not our norm.
I never could get the photos to be true to the piece. It was not as graphic and it was  richer and more subtle. Her 80's paint job has been re-done. with new wavy handles.
1-Mara New Cabinet Base
3-Mara Really Red 5-Mara Better Blues 4-Mara Wrong Way 6-Mara Reverse Course 7-Mara Done

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