The customer is always right, right?

On Wednesday I had a lady come in with a bed side table.  It was in pretty rough shape.  First of all, it is about 100 years old- but besides the age of it, the veneer was peeling off on the bottom.

She asked me to paint it for her- she didn’t know what colours, she didn’t know where it was going but she wanted it painted.

Ok- she left it up to me.

So I started right away working on the piece- trying to fix the peeling veneer.  First I tried to fill in the places where the veneer had peeled off- this looked a mess.  So then I tried to take off the veneer with a hot air gun- this was also a mess because the glue was 100 years old and very stubborn and probably toxic.

I also discovered after closer inspection that there is quite a bit of water damage on the bottom which I couldn’t fix.  So I decided to go with the damage and paint and distress to highlight the damage-  huh???

The top of this piece was cheap pine -looks like somebody tried to fix it long ago and the base was a walnut veneer- so I needed to paint the base and top with two different colours so not to see the different grains through the paint.

I painted the whole piece with Old Linen and waited till it was dry to make a decision.

Because of the damage I thought it might be interesting to paint horizontal stripes and really give it a good distressing.  So I taped off some stripes and painted with Old White and in two stripes with Sienna Yellow.

I really liked how it turned out- but the top needed to be darker- so I used one coat of Amsterdam Green over the Old Linen and then waxed and distressed the whole thing.

This is how it looked.

I really liked it.  The damage works with the paint finish- it looks like it was meant to be- but the paint was raising the veneer in some places- like little bubbles, but it still looked authentic.

So then the client came by the store to drop something off.  Guess what- no go.  She didn’t like it.  At all.  She said she prefers the body with one colour and she has decided where this piece will go so she wanted me to paint it red.


And she wanted me to fix the damage with a wood filler.  ok.  So I filled in as best as I could because the veneer is only 1 mm – it is not the easiest task.  And then I painted it red.

It took two coats of Primer Red to hide the stripes.  Then I waxed (again) and distressed (again).  It looks good (again) because of the different paint colours under the red- giving the impression that it had been painted many times before.

I left the top in Amsterdam Green- she did like that, lucky me.

The colours look really great together, I will admit that- I think I am just in a snit because I really liked the stripes.  I actually had a lady come into the store yesterday, she has  commissioned me to do a large buffet, and she asked me if it was for sale because she really liked it.

I like both results- but I think I prefer the stripes, it worked better with the damage.  I am not going to fix the bubbles caused by the paint- they don’t look bad- but this would involve a lot more work- taking off the veneer, re painting, re waxing……

Now my fingers will be crossed that this lady actually likes the finished product second time around!!


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