April 29, 2014

Restoration Work on Vintage Painted Furniture

The days have been marked by domestic diversions in between art work. Although I am preparing materials for art work, these are works that require several stages for completion so there will be nothing new in that arena to post for about another few days to a week.

One thing that I just finished were a series of marble dust gesso panels. Four coats of rabbit skin glue. Eight coats of gesso, sanding between coats. A final coat of home made ruby shellac. Labor intensive stuff indeed, but worth it for having a beautiful finish to paint on.

Coincidentally, we had just acquired some vintage chairs that had been faux finished in green and ochre with charming details of hand painted fruit. Some of these chairs were badly chipped with the finish worn off. I recalled that on old furniture the same gesso used in my panels was used to coat the furniture before it was painted. So I carefully used the leftover gesso to patch these holes, then sanded down the surface so that it was flush with the rest of the painted surface on the chairs. I then tried to match the paint colors with my oil paint over which I washed some brown umber. The match was far from perfect but at least there are no longer large holes. I may touch up a bit more later.

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