The Birthday Wish Cabinet

It's my husband's birthday next week and I'm strapped for cash... But wait, he's had this side cabinet for years that is the most fit-for-the-dump piece of furniture I have ever seen. My husband, however, holds a sentimental value for this ugly duckling, so there must be something I can do...

Some time ago I had a vague go at it (hence the white-ish coat of paint on top of the 'original' blue) but it got constantly rejected to the back of the pile. But now is the time to resuscitate his beloved cabinet.

Birthday Cabinet before

I remove the draw and the handles before sanding lightly. I am going to use Annie Sloan's chalk paint, so there is no real need for sanding at all really, but there is some gloss on there so I would rather make sure it adheres well.

Birthday Cabinet Drawer

I clean the inside and will give that a coat of paint and wax as well.

Birthday Cabinet inside

For a somewhat masculine look, I choose a distressed, chalky black finish. I opt for Annie Sloan's Graphite chalk paint. Here, I have given the drawer a coat of clear wax and I start distressing it to see what it looks like before I move on to the whole cabinet.

Birthday Cabinet Chalk Paint

Lately, I can sense that getting a year older is not something he is looking forward to (I know how that feels!) so to wish my lover strength and confidence for his new year, I decide to add something special to the cabinet. I like the idea of symbolism in art and this time, I am drawing inspiration from German artist Christoph Mencke, who restored an old church chair turning it into a powerful symbol. I am planning three shapes to express my birthday wishes: a gold symbol detail of the Eye of Horus in a triangle inside a circle that I paint on the cabinet door in gold. The upward triangle signifies fire and masculinity. The circle symbolizes an unbroken infinity. It also represents a source of power, it is symbolism for the sun. A circle within a triangle thus signifies the infinite power of the self. For good measure, I add an Eye of Horus, an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and good health. If anything, I think it looks quite pretty! To draw this, I use a compass, an artist brush and a pot of acrylic gold paint, and paint the motif once the chalk paint is dry.

As you can see quite well here, the chalk paint doesn't look very attractive at this stage. Keep calm and carry on, though, as all is revealed when a coat of wax works its magic!Gold Symbol

See how a coat of clear wax transforms the finish! Some distressing is achieved by rubbing the paint with sandpaper. Finally, a coat of black finishing wax all over brings out the depth of the dark colour. 

Birthday Cabinet after

 I applied paint and clear wax inside the main body and the drawer as well for a tidy up.

Birthday Cabinet inside afterBirthday Cabinet after

Do you think my husband will like it?

Birthday Cabinet - After

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