Monday, 27 August 2018

Interior progress

Hi Everyone

I hope you are all well and have been enjoying Summer. We've had lots of sun and blue skies which, like so many of you, results in less time spent mini-ing!

I've done more on the interior of the private rooms above the shop - where the owner will live and entertain friends and clients. Despite liking the shape of this cabinet I wasn't in love with the overall finish of it. The colour was the bog-standard faux mahogany and the internal shelves in the display case were too low to put anything of interest in. I decided to give it a much needed makeover - please bare in mind I've never done this before of even come close to a faux wood finish, hence it not being top notch. I started by cleaning it down with a kitchen wipe (hardly a step from the Cabinet Maker's Guide to Furniture care!). I then removed the glass and all the shelves and then painted it over in umber or sienna - I'm afraid I just grabbed what came first.


In the picture below you can see it in place against the back wall of the upstairs sitting room.


It took about three coats before I was happy with the coverage. Next up I sprayed the whole thing with matt varnish to seal in the paint (to prevent it from pulling off when I applied the darker wood finish on top). I also gave the inside of the display cabinet a coat of cream coloured paint. I would be fixing a light later so wanted to optimise the internal light.


Next up I mixed up various acrylic paints in brown, red and black until I reached a colour that I felt resembled walnut; added a splash of acrylic paint thinner to prevent the paint from clotting up and allow it to drag over the yellow base coat. Then it was time to start throwing the paint at the cabinet. There was no plan and I had to act fast before the paint began to dry. I knew I wanted to create a grained inlay effect and a touch of burl walnut across main areas but aside from that I made it up as I went. I'm afraid I was so focussed on this part that I didn't take any pictures.




I have to say it came out a lot better than I ever thought it would - more luck, than judgement! Once dried (or should I say baked) in the sun I gave the whole thing three to four coats of satin finish varnish. next up I added a light and replaced the three wooden shelves with one clear acrylic one to let the light through and allow taller items to be stocked. I decided to turn it into a drinks cabinet as there will be plenty of room for books later and I thought the bottles of wine and glasses gave it a slightly more contemporary feel (it needs a lot more stuff but you get the idea).



Here's a quick shot with the curtains temporarily in place. I'm happy with the end result and it's come a long way from where it began.


I've also been thinking about the front of the shop. I was never happy with how the brick came out. The colour wasn't right with the lower part and it was so obvious (and distracting) where the bricks ran off in a slop down hill! I had considered trying to remove them all and starting again but it would have been a lot of effort and [quite frankly] I just couldn't be bothered. I got to thinking how this would be remedied in real life. How do you disguise shoddy brickwork on the facade of a building?? And then it hit me - I'll paint over it all, coins included. This way I don't have to change the bricks, the colour will tone better with the ground floor and my wonky brick laying will be less obvious and could even come off as "ye olde worlde"!??! I'll show more in the next post.

I've also been battling my inner demons to start a different project altogether - a larger house!!! After spending weeks thinking about it and worrying that the shop would become redundant in a forgotten corner I struck upon an idea - why not add a building next to the shop and create more of a street appearance! I'm currently planning that and will post about it all when I have more to share.

In the mean time, keep enjoying your minis and the Summer - and thanks for making it this far!

All the best...
Simon

28 comments:

  1. Hi Si,
    I don't know why you were worried...everything miniature you touch turns to gold! The finish is beautiful. It really reads as burl walnut and the new finish is so rich and has so much depth. I love it. I cannot wait to see the street project. It sounds wonderful.
    Big hug
    Giac
    N.B. I owe you an email...sorry for the delay.
    Another big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Hey buddy!
      Thank you so much for your encouragement. I consider you and Ray the kings of the faux wood effect and have been re-visiting your old posts on the subject.
      Hope you are both well - don't worry about the email, I know you are busy.
      Love to you both
      Si -x-

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  2. Very pretty! I love the burl wood effect you've created.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sheila. I appreciate your comment.
      Simon

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  3. Fabulous finish dear Si! Chapeau !!! 🌹
    Hugs from Pipi

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    1. Thank you so much my dear. That is quite a compliment coming from you x

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  4. The cabinet is absolutely stunning! I'm so proud of you for taking the chance, and so happy for you that it paid off so well! You'll inspire so many others to not settle for boring old cookie cutter mahogany!
    I am happy also to hear that you are going to add an additional shop! Please don't stifle that creativity! When you feel inspired, you must go with it. Inspiration can be a fickle and fleeting thing, so seize the say!
    Looking forward to your next posts!

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    1. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment! It really means the world to get feedback of any kind, but even more so when it is so heart felt and genuine. Thank you.
      I'm planning on a couple more little shops or townhouses to sit alongside this one - we'll see how long the current plan last before I change it ;-)
      Take care, and thanks again
      Simon

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  5. Hi Simon, Thank you for being such a good role model - brave enough to just try and to tell us all your steps. Your cabinet turned out so well. It certainly achieves the look of burl and The light really shows it off.
    Have fun.
    Regards Janine!

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    1. Hey Janine, I hope you are keeping well.
      Thank you for your lovely comments. To be fair I thought it more foolhardy, just jumping in and all. It was all down to luck that it turned out as well as it did!
      Hugs
      Si

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  6. Hi Si! Great to hear from you. And as everyone says, the cabinet looks amazing! It really does look like old burled walnut. And in case it helps, you can get retarder/extender/open mediums to add to paint to delay drying time. It’s great for these sorts of projects. And I love your idea of the street layout. I think it would enhance both the new house and the shop, as it provides some context and additional character. Have a great week. Xx

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    1. Hey Shannon
      Thanks for the info on the extender etc - I'm so basic ;-) lol You should have seen the speed I worked at, worried to death it would dry! DOH!
      Yes, I'm excited about the street layout, if for no other reason than it will be an opportunity to work on something else when I get bored with the shop, rather than dropping the shop completely for a new project.
      Have a lovely weekend
      -x-

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  7. Hi Simon! What an amazing and awesome transformation of that "ordinary" mahogany cabinet! You have worked Wonders!!! I cannot get over the difference it makes! I have never had the courage to "mess with" the furniture finishes that pieces come with.... clearly I am going to have to learn how!!! And I am so excited that you are planning the expand the "neighborhood" by adding more shops! I also love the glimpse of the future decor with the drapes and the beautiful chandelier.... I can't wait to see more! :):)

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    1. Hey Betsy. How are you? Well, I hope.
      Thanks as always for your lovely comments and support, it means a lot.
      Just give it a go - heaven knows I don't know what I'm doing half the time lol
      I'm looking forward to adding other buildings next to the shop as I'll be able to mess about with other projects whilst pretending it's all the same one!
      hugs
      Si x

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  8. What you did with the cabinet is fantastic. Lovely picture of it with the curtains.
    Geneviève

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    1. Thank you, Geneviève. Im not sure I'll ever get the "hang" of curtain making - they're so fiddly!

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  9. Hello, Simon - That is a magnificent makeover! I love the burled walnut, and you've done beautiful work on the exterior finish, as well as the new interior. Turning that piece into a drinks cabinet was a great idea - all that glass and light create such a warm and glowing intimacy. Your plan to add other buildings next to the shop sounds so exciting - I'm looking forward to learning more about it.
    Marjorie

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    1. Hi Marjorie
      Thanks for your lovely comment, I'm pleased you like how it turned out - it really could have gone either way thanks to my usual lack of planning! ;-)
      I'm looking forward to adding the other buildings next to shop, it will be an excuse to have a couple of different projects on the go without completely dropping one of them.
      Best wishes
      Simon

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  10. It's good to see you back Simon. Love what you've done with the cabinet - it now looks a much more upmarket piece and also reminded me that we don't have to stick with what we're given. I'm very impressed! Great news too to hear that you plan on expanding the properties. I can't wait to see what you get up to with those. Ix

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    1. Thanks so much, Irene. It was a bit basic but I'm already hatching plans for a panelled room (dining or library) so we'll see how that goes!
      Have a lovely weekend
      Si x

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  11. Wow what amazing work! I have bought quite a few nasty finished miniatures and some I have tried to strip but its a horrible job to do. One piece I took a week to strip! I never considered painting over! Thank you for the idea. Best wishes Stephanie

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, Stephanie, I really appreciate it. As for painting over - It never crossed my mind to strip the cabinet - I'm all fur coat ;-)
      Best wishes
      Simon

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  12. Hello Simon, lovely transformation very good

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  13. You are ONE CLEVER and VERY TALENTED fellow Simon! I think your lighted liquor-cabinet make-over is SUPERB! When I saw the first yellow undercoat, I thought that that was a brave choice and not something one sees everyday, but then the subsequent layers of paints and textures has brought out the Real Beauty and turned it into something SPECTACULAR!
    I'm loveing formality of your cabinet with the crystal chandelier and your elegant drapes; talk about The WOW Factor!

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  14. I like it both in yellow and "wood" finish.

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