Sunday, January 27, 2013

We're Painting the Kitchen Black!

During December, the insomniac  was lucky enough to be squeezed in last minute to the Hands-On Class at Lauren Lane Decor. Always game to attempt any sort of impractical project right before Christmas, she decided this was the perfect opportunity to paint the kitchen chairs and tables. Completely overestimating the amount that could be accomplished in a one-day class, she also decided to bring in not one chair but the entire kitchen suite; admittedly not really a suite, but merely four chairs purchased many years ago at a flea market and two tables that don't match. Those chairs need never fear being replaced with new ones - because they have gryphons.

Mismatched kitchen table and chairs before Christmas ...

Although satisfied with the projects attempted thus far with Annie Sloan Graphite chalk paint, it just wasn't black  enough for the insomniac's  tastes. So she was pleased that the new line of Van Gogh chalk paint Avery at Lauren Lane now carries includes Winston Black. *

At the end of the class, only a single chair was finished - spindles and rungs are a lot more work than you'd think. The second chair was painted at home the next day along with the table legs, to make it look more like a proper matching kitchen set. Once the legs had been painted, the pine table top looked shabby and had to be sanded; the burn mark where the youngest set down the hot frying pan and the spot where the eldest carved his name into the table were kept for strictly sentimental reasons, although one did get rather caught up in the moment and sanded it down slightly more than planned. Son, the next time you're over for dinner, please bring your knife so you can touch that up for your Mother.

With a bit of Google research, the insomniac  found a food-safe recipe to protect the top after sanding - a mixture of 1 Tablespoon of beeswax and 5 Tablespoons of mineral oil. After finishing off the cottage cheese while standing at the kitchen sink, the empty plastic container was washed out and used to heat the ingredients in the microwave. It took roughly four minutes to melt the mixture, which was applied with an old rag and was just enough for two coats. It was then left to sit for an hour, not because that was the recommended time but simply because that was how long it took to have a cup of coffee and check out the new taxidermy listings on eBay. Then it was buffed to a lovely shine with a clean rag.

The refinished kitchen table top makes it painfully obvious 
the cutting board table in the background now needs sanding, too ...

After painting the chair black, a bit of the paint was wiped off
to reveal the gold stain underneath, which now matches the table top ...

Once the chairs and tables were done,
the spice rack HAD to be painted ...

The wax finish on the chairs has now cured for the requisite thirty days, and the remaining two can be painted next week. The cutting board table top will be refinished at the same time, but as none of those knife marks have any sentimental value, one plans on using a belt sander. And as this entire project was really just a test run to see how the mineral oil and beeswax finish worked out, the rust marks from the dog's metal treat tin can now be safely removed from the pine counter top in the pantry, because it's likely those marks won't hold the same nostalgic memories for the next occupants.

Although the original plan was to paint all the kitchen cupboards in the Gothic Mansion, the spouse has pointed out that perhaps it's best to leave the cupboards alone at this point. The insomniac  fully intends to listen to the advice of her more practical spouse, and has temporarily abandoned the idea. For the time being.

Before closing, a few helpful words of advice - a complete kitchen makeover two weeks before Christmas is never a good idea and, more importantly, dust is a lot more noticeable on a black kitchen suite. Just so you know.

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA


* Subsequent to the publishing of this post, Van Gogh chalk paint can now be purchased at The House of Van Gogh and Winston Black has been renamed to Revenge. That new name makes the insomniac  very happy ...

58 comments:

  1. This "and, more importantly, dust is a lot more noticeable on a black kitchen suite. Just so you know." gave me a lovely giggle. =P

    the chair looks beautiful, as well I feel the rest will when done.
    'til next time, all the best to you and yours, Jessica.

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    1. You would think that after a lifetime of wearing black clothes and trying to keep them lint-free, the insomniac  would be only too aware how difficult a colour black is to keep tidy. But noooooo, it came as a complete shock! :P

      Thanks Jessica!

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  2. wow - I really love your home - this kitchen is sooooo awesome - love the chairs! <3

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    1. Thank you, Ms. Meeow! The chairs are awesome, aren't they? In the many years of collecting, one has never seen another set with gryphons!! Lucky us!! :D

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    2. yes - you are very lucky - and lucky you that I don't live in the near... I would steal your chairs :D *lol*

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  3. Awesoooome! I love it! Such beautiful pattern on the chairs also.

    And yeah, about the dust..that's the most irritating thing about having a lot of black furniture :'D

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    1. Thank you, Lesthi!

      Yes, that comment was meant strictly for you, in case you'd like to reconsider painting your kitchen suite black. Before it's too late! ;D

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    2. Oh no I won't change my mind :'D In worst case I will have to just make it "a thing" that our home is so full of dust. You know, like an old spooky mansion. ;)

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    3. That very “thing” has worked well for the insomniac  over the years! :D

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  4. Wow! It seems like the opposite of what should happen, but the black really made the carvings stadn out! Those chairs are amaaaaaazing! Really makes me wish I had invented that machine that makes clothes and furniture for you from just a picture. Still working on it :P

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    1. Yes, one was a little worried about that, too - but the beauty of chalk paint is that if you don't like it, you can always wash it off with no harm done! And it helps tie the chairs in with the table a bit more with the gold peeking through, too - which was a lovely accident and not really planned! ;o)

      When you invent that machine Laura, please let the insomniac  know ... there are a lot of lovely pieces that have been passed by over the years that one would love to have a copy of! D

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  5. Awesome chairs! I love how the gold show trough the black, makes them look old and even more beautiful :) And the spice rack turned out great aswell, the jars really looks great in there ^^
    We're painting our kitchen chairs and table too, when the weather is warmer, so that we can do it outside :)

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    1. Thanks, Sandra! The spice rack was a wedding present from the brother-in-law, so obviously is QUITE old and needed a bit of cosmetic help after 31 years! :D

      Will you be using chalk paint on your table and chairs? Because it's low odour and you could totally do it inside without feeling ill! But perhaps chalk paint isn't as easy to find over there?

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    2. I had to ask google what chalk paint was... and I've never heard of it :O I dont know what paint we will use, but I'll ask the store about chalk paint! :)

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    3. One suspects the Annie Sloan chalk paint would probably be available but perhaps there is another local brand that you could find, as well. If you can find it Sandra, you will love it - covers everything with none of that sanding and stuff you normally have to do before painting furniture! You'd swear the insomniac  gets a kickback she raves about the stuff so much, right? Sadly, not the case ... :D

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  6. It turned out lovely! I like how you wiped some of the paint of to reveal the lovely structure of the wood carving of the chairs.

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    1. Thank you, Linnea-Maria! The insomniac  had to do the distressing a couple of times before getting it the way she wanted - took far too much black off the first few times! But chalk paint is so forgiving, it's always an easy fix if you don't get it right the first time! :D

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    1. Thank you, Meagan Kyla - and thanks for commenting, dear! :o)

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  8. The refinished table looks great, and of course the chairs are fabulous. Yes, black furniture does show every speck of dust, especially in the sunlight. I've found the best solution is to close the curtains and dim the lights. It's not there if you can't see it, right? ;)

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    1. Thank you, Bane!

      This whole house shows a lot of dust, especially in the sunlight. But the insomniac  has always prided herself on her ability to completely ignore it anyway! Good idea about the curtains, though. No Sunlight = No Problem!

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  9. OMG! Black and golden gryphons chairs! How will I live without them now?
    You are truly talented, darling. I can´tthink what a mess I would do myself by painting anything at home. My poor fiancée is the responsible of homemade stuff hard work (which normally consists on following a bunch of orders of mine). But ey, we both form a good tema, ahaha :P

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    1. Thank you, Violette!

      And, like you, for reasons of safety, one does tend to delegate things involving power tools to the long-suffering spouse. And generally prefaces the request with the phrase, “But no rush, dear!” while really meaning “Preferably within the next five minutes, dear!”

      Yes, it is all about the teamwork! ;o)

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  10. Its amazing how black paint can make things look new. My daughter wanted all new bedroom furniture from Ikea which is almost black but not quite I think it is called espresso or something. I said yeah right. Painted a French Provincial desk, Colony chair and magazine rack/nightstand and 60's style dresser in that color. Here's your Ikea.

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    1. And was she suitably impressed or did she still want the Ikea furniture? If she's anything like the insomniac's  offspring, probably still wanted the Ikea stuff! Those kids aren't taking anything we have stored in the basement, even with the added incentive of having it painted in the colour of their choice - doesn't even have to be black! :P

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  11. Truth be told, I think that black meshes better with the designs on the chair--and dragons no less! Is that a stove in the background on the first photo? If so, it's definitely a reminder of times past. Is it an antique? Every time the Insomniac adds a new post more treasures are revealed.

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    1. The black does look nice, doesn't it? But then black always does! :D

      It is a stove and made by a company here in Canada that still makes wood burning stoves. Although this one is not an antique and is electric, because the insomniac  couldn't be trusted to make anything edible on a wood burning one! :o)

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  12. You have a very lovely home! I must say, I am quite jealous. My partner and I just moved into a beautiful new apartment, and as we think we will be staying here a while, making our space beautiful is currently quite a hot topic around here. So many good ideas! Thanks!

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    1. Why thank you, Lady Salt! Hopefully one will be able to provide more thrifty do-it-yourself ideas for decorating your new apartment in future posts. And how exciting for you to be decorating a brand new place - that's always fun! :D

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  13. Your kitchen looks gorgeous and I love how the chairs turned out.

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    1. Thank you, Rachel! And thanks so much for commenting!! :D

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  14. Those are some great chairs, what a find! I too we have black chairs and dining room table, but just very common cottage style ones. Personally I would paint the table top too, but that's just me. Can't wait to see when the whole "suit" is done.

    You have a beautiful kitchen! (You also have the same color walls as I have in the dining room and living room :)) I really like dark stained wood, and you are moving soon - so I think I agree with your hubby; Better leave the cabinets as they are.

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    1. They were a lucky find and so cheap, which is always a bonus!

      Actually, one had given serious thought to painting the table top as well, but the spouse was hesitant about even having the chairs and legs black, so one did not. But since he likes it now, maybe he'll reconsider?

      The kitchen was painted after the Heartland Ghost movie was finished and one requested they cover over that horrible yellow. Ewwwww! That was almost ten years ago and one still hasn't tired of its current cement colour.

      And yes, the cabinets will be left alone, because apparently not everyone likes black as much as the insomniac  and the readers of this blog! ;o)

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    2. A movie was shot in your house?!

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    3. Two movies, two commercials and an episode of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids - the Hallowe'en episode ... If you're interested, you can read about the Heartland Ghost movie in the blog post The Haunting of the Gothic Mansion, which was posted sometime in October! :o)

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  15. Looks good! I do enjoy your home decor! Too bad the offspring don't have the same taste, but isn't that the way? My mother is all about the pastels, so I wouldn't be moving any of her furniture into my spooky castle! And it's a constant battle to keep the bedroom looking clean with our black bedroom set- so I feel your pain!

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    1. Thank you, Goth Barbie! The insomniac  also enjoys looking at your home decor and rather sheepishly admits that oftentimes when she is supposed to be looking at the outfits, she is also checking out what your walls are wearing, as well! ;o)

      Oh yes, the parents were all about the Danish Modern Style, and not much of that was kept! And now it's reversed and the offspring would probably love to have some of the Danish Modern and can't stand the Creepy Victorian Style! :D

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  16. :D I'm so darn happy!!! Your package arrived today. I love it!!! I wish you could see my smiling face right now, shining like the sun :) Owls owls and more owls. Thank you dear friend I'm so pleased with the presents. Thank you so much again. Lots of hugs to you <3 <3

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    1. Wow, that package was mailed on December 1st - it took almost two months to reach you! But thank goodness it finally made it and wasn't lost in the Postal Graveyard forever. And so very happy that you love everything, dearest Linnea-Maria! Hugs right back at ya! :D

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  17. It looks so fantastic... I like it...

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    1. Thank you, Madame Kismet! Hope your birthday was fantastic!! :o)

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    1. Awwww, thanks Spooky Mama Lyss! And thanks so much for commenting!! :o)

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  19. Beeeyutiful. I love the drama and richness of this look!

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    1. Why thank you, Marie! Yup, the insomniac  is definitely all about the Drama! ;o)

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  20. I must say the results are elegant! Very worth the time and trouble. I'm going to copy down that recipe for the beeswax/mineral oil wood rub. And here I've been primed to view mineral oil as a minion of the Evil Empire. Well it is if your talking skin care. But then I've seen some faces that even your belt sander couldn't bring back to life.

    Lovely post. Those chairs remind me of the set my late grandmother, Gladys, had.

    Ali x

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    1. Thank you, Ali! Whatever happened to Gladys' kitchen set? Were you lucky enough to inherit it? :o)

      Funny you should mention that about the mineral oil though ... After getting the mixture all over one's hands from rubbing it into the table top, one's skin felt fantastic - best it's looked all winter, really! But if mineral oil is an evil minion, the terribly brilliant idea one had of creating a hand cream of beeswax and mineral is obviously not all that brilliant, then? Frankly, one's own face probably could use a little help from a belt sander these days. :P

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  21. That is the most charming kitchen I've ever seen. Bonus points for the mis-matching chairs. There's this wee little cafe/bakery in my town that has mis-matching chairs and it adds so much character to the space, there are a lot of other quirks that I'm leaving out (such as the tendency for them to play new wave and post-punk during lunch) . . .

    Anywhooo, black is a very bold color, but I think it'll fit in with your kitchen. I almost painted my room black since I have white trim, but considering the black bed, the black bookshelf, giant black desk, and other black items in my room I went with vermilion instead ^_^

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    1. Why thank you, Tenebris in Lux! One has always felt the same way about little coffee shops with mismatching chairs - it makes them so much more homey. And they  get bonus points if there's bookshelves!! Although, one has yet to run across a place that plays new wave or post-punk at any time of the day - you're fortunate to have one in your town!

      You were probably wise to select vermilion - with the black furniture blending into the black walls, it might have been dangerous trying to find your way out of the room should you need to use the commode in the middle of the night! ;o)

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  22. GRIFFIN CHAIRS. Damnit, I need to find some of those. Dragons seem everywhere, lions and eagles separately are quite easy to find, but griffins? I can't seem to find things with griffins on, especially not chairs. Mind you, currently we have a fold-away dining table and use a pair of bar-stools because our apartment does not have a specific dining room... Perhaps that can wait until my partner and I have a house rather than apartment.

    I love the way your black finish turned out, and how the gold on the griffins stands out. I think your kitchen is pretty awesome indeed, and I'd love to have a kitchen that awesome some day.

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Ms. HouseCat! Seriously, in well over forty years of collecting, one has never run across another set of chairs with gryphons. These chairs are so well loved, the spouse had to put a metal piece in just this week to reconnect one of the spindles on the back that had broken!

      It is hard to find good gryphon things, isn't it? And when you do, they generally far exceed the insomniac's  limited eBay budget, unfortunately. But once you have a house, you and your partner just put that thought out into the universe for a set of gryphon chairs and they're sure to appear! That's supposed to be how it works, anyway! ;o)

      Although most seem to prefer the grand kitchens in new houses, this one feels very cozy and we like it a lot, too. So thank you! :o)

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  23. While I prefer furniture of a dark wood, the comments are correct: black is a lovely upgrade for the griffin chairs. It is also good to see how nicely your table waxing turned out. I've been meaning to add a bit more protection to my desk.

    I love your approach to renovating. So relaxed and unstressed about waiting the perfect time for the wax to dry or having the right container. And you know how to keep the right memories for the table. So many people I know would want to sand away your son's name or the frying pan burn. Keeping those makes your table unique and a real heirloom with stories.

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    1. Thank you, Lynette! The insomniac  was on a bit of a black paint kick there a few months ago, but now that she's refinishing the wood trim in the house, it's all Special Walnut, all the time! And if you saw her now, you'd probably withdraw your comment about “relaxed and unstressed”. LOL!

      It's all about the memories, isn't it? These days, most people seem to want everything to look perfect, but one agrees with you that things are a lot more interesting with the stories. :o)

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