Updating an Empire Style Antique Sideboard
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Old Fashioned Milk Paint colors, just like most paints, will look different based on the color you’re painting over. If you’re painting over a wood or surface with a red tone, your color will be warmer. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but sometimes I can’t stand it. The good thing about all natural milk paints is their ability to mix custom colors easily.
I picked up this antique sideboard which had a lot of damage. I had originally planned on restoring it to it’s original condition, but after diving into the repairs plans changed.
Once I got it home and started tearing it down, I found that most of the trim around the top was damaged as well as the doors. The drawers all needed new bottoms as well as the bottom of the cabinet itself.
After making all the structural repairs I had to make a decision on the finish. Sometimes you get to a point in a project that the cost outweighs the return. I had hit that point on this one. I replaced all the drawer bottoms, the bottom of the buffet, the frame of the door and the brackets for the mirror. I decided to strip the entire buffet and proceed with some paint on the lower portion of the buffet.
After all the repairs were finished and the buffet was stripped, I decided on a stained top and charcoal base. Since the buffet is red oak I knew I would need to mix my Old Fashioned Milk Paint to tone down the red or the stained top was not going to show a true charcoal next to it. I grabbed Pitch Black, Slate and Oyster White. I used 2 parts Slate, 2 parts Pitch Black and 1 part Oyster White.
The cool color of the Slate would balance out the warm red tones on the wood and allow me to get a good dark charcoal color.
For the top I used a custom color mix of Unicorn SPiT gel stains. If you missed my previous post about matching different colored stains with Unicorn SPiT you can find it here in this blog post. I used the Antique Walnut stain mix for this one. The top did have some knots and a few spots that needed filling with Timbermate wood filler and Unicorn SPiT works great over it.
Once the entire surface was dry, I did a few coats of Daddy Van’s Orange Oil wax on the top and Daddy Van’s Shadow Black on the base.
I let the buffet dry overnight before adding some paper liners to the drawers and new hardware.
Now that it’s finished, I don’t really want to part with it.