After finding a plethora (I got to use "plethora" in a sentence! High Five!) of ormolu in the garage I decided to attempt to use it. I found a table on Craigslist that was in sad, sad shape. The table is rather large, at 52" wide, 20" deep and 32" tall. It had dents and dings all over it.
This was the Craigslist ad.
I went to Home Depot last night to buy paint but they were closed. I suppose that is due to the poor economy, they close earlier on Sundays. Not to be deterred, I went to Walmart, which is open 24 hours...but not the paint department. Gah!
I went over to the craft section and found some grey paint I liked. Really, really liked, actually. Plaid Granite Gray. I also purchased a bottle of Plaid FolkArt Metallic Antique Gold.
This morning I sanded the table in the driveway as Gracie created fairies and flowers on the pavement with her new chalk. I hoola-hooped and made chalk butterflies with Gracie in between coats! It was such a beautiful day here in the Chicago suburbs! I applied several coats of paint then painstakingly painted the trim with Antique Gold. There must be an easier way?!
When the paint dried I rubbed the entire piece with aluminum foil to give it an aged look. I love that stuff!
The hardest part was choosing which ormolu to apply. Finally I chose two angels from an ugly 1970's lamp I disassembled. I drilled two holes on each corner of the table and screwed the angels in. I then applied a bronze French ormolu from my collection to the front.
I need to age the angels but other than that, I am finished!
I must say...I LOVE IT!
This antique Corpus was salvaged from a church in Wisconsin...Craigslist! Under the table is a replica of the Arch De Triumph.
I carefully bent the bronze ormolu over my knee to match the curve of the table...
I'll be dagnabbed if this cat toy isn't in every photogaraph and I didn't even notice it! See the little leopard print catnip mouse by the back leg? And, yes, that is a cat hair dust bunny right next to it! This is technically the living room but I use it as a staging area.
Many people have inquired about the use of aluminum foil so I decided to add this. Following are quasi-step-by-step instructions as to how I painted and patinaed the table. Remember, as with all "art", each person will have similar, yet not identical, results.
The table was mahogany and very dirty. I sanded it then wiped it down to remove the dust and simply painted. There are two coats of paint on it. I recommend using the best quality brush you can afford. It makes all the difference in the world! (I learned this as a makeup artist. You can use cheap makeup if you have really good brushes. I even sent my clients to the craft store for good quality brushes that are way less expensive than department store prices...but I digress!)
I applied the Antique Gold after the grey dried. A good trim brush helps. I found that painting sideways, in small (tiny) strokes, rather than up and down, makes for a straighter line. You can clean up mistakes with the grey paint after the gold dries.
I wanted the table to look as if it had stood in a room that had no electricity for decades and decades, so soot from candles and a fireplace would have stained it a bit...
When all the paint is dry you can then proceed to the aluminum foil step...
I came upon the aluminum foil trick quite by coincidence. It was born of a need for something abrasive as a substitute for sandpaper on another project. I scrunched it up and it did an excellent job of abrading the piece and it also left the best grey-black patina! Be careful, though! The reason aluminum is so exceptional for cooking is that it conducts heat extraordinarily well! When you are burnishing a piece of furniture wear gloves! The friction generates a geat deal of heat!
I scrunch it up so it acts as sand paper on the edges. You can scrub the base of the feet. If it were an actual antique, years of mopping, moving and accidental contact with shoes would have taken its toll. Be careful on the top and sides, though, it can be too abrasive. Wait until it is worn a bit then use it on the flat surfaces. When you have finished take a damp paper towel and gently buff the striations left by the foil, after that take a flat piece of foil and burnish the piece. Don't clean it for several days because you could actually wash the patina off! I use pure shea butter over the top to seal it.
I also suggest using foil as soon as the piece dries. If you wait too long it doesn't have the same effect.
The cheaper the foil, the better. It is thinner and less abrasive when scrunched up. I save aluminum foil from leftovers and such to use for my projects.
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask! I have what can be called a passion for antique patinas. I can spend hours at the museum just studying the way furniture ages. That's normal, right?
I am participating in Wow Us Wednesdays over at Savvy Southern Style!
I am also participating in Feathered Nest Fridays at French Country Cottage, the DIY Showoff Project Parade, Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday and Between Naps On the Porch, Metamorphosis Monday!
How was your day?