Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Last year about this time the Newlyweds gave us a Victrola stand they'd gotten at a yard sale. They were trying to simply their furnishings and thought we might want to use it at our beach house as a bedside table. They were right. The curvy lines of the Victrola stand appealed to our 'glam' sensibilities.

One problem: it was a hideous shade of green with a dark faux wood treatment done with glaze. Green is my favorite color and there aren't many shades of it I don't like, but this was one of them. But we decided to use it in our bedroom at the beach house, which had a bright color pallet of orange, yellow, pink, green, and blue so we decided we'd paint the different sides and top of the piece with those colors, giving it a funky updated look.

We tried spray painting the top first with bright pink spray paint, but after using the entire can we just couldn't get good coverage. So the next time we were at the beach house I bought a can of primer and primed the entire piece. That should allow us to get a good, solid coat. But the spring turned into summer, the summer turned into fall, and the unfinished Victrola stand remained in the garage at the beach house until we vacated it in late Jan.

In the new house we decided not to use the bright color scheme in any of the rooms so I was a little relieved we hadn't spent much more time painting the Victrola stand all those bright colors. Instead, we decided to use the piece as a stand for Joe's briefcase, near the door. A new color scheme was chosen.

We decided to paint the Victrola stand matte black, then apply a crackle medium, then paint a metallic gold top coat. When the gold top coat crackled, it would reveal the black underneath. I was psyched! So we bought the paints and applied the black base and then the crackle medium.

The crackle medium said to allow 24 hours to dry, but after about 2 hours it was dry to the touch so we tried a little of the gold on the back as a test patch. Nothing happened so we decided it must need to dry the full 24 hours. Unfortunately we got busy and weren't able to get back to working on the piece for a few days. We figured it surely was dry now, so we tried another test patch on the back but nothing happened.

Thinking that we must have waited too long, we applied another coat of the crackle medium, let it dry for 24 hours, and tried another test patch. Still nothing. Frustrated, Joe decided to paint the entire piece in the metallic gold. It was... a bit much.

Now that the entire piece was metallic gold we needed to modify the plan. We decided to leave the metallic gold as the new base coat, apply a different kind of crackle medium, and then apply a top coat of rich barn red.

After applying the new crackle medium and allowing it to dry we tried a test patch of the barn red on the back. There was only minimal crackling, so according to the directions, to achieve more crackling we gave it a 2nd coat of crackle medium, allowed it to dry, and then gave the entire piece a coat of the barn red.

Once again, the crackling affect was minimal; only visible up close. From 5 feet away it just looked burgundy. Even more frustrated, Joe decided to use the left over metallic gold paint to 'enhance' the crackle. I warned him not to do it. I could visualize unnatural-looking streaks of gold paint along with the gold crackle, but he didn't listen.

I'm not exactly sure how he confused 'streaks' with 'blobs', but when I saw what he'd done I told him it looked as if a flock of golden geese had pooped on the Victrola stand. It looked horrible.

So after 3 coats of paint and 4 applications of crackle medium, I am now tempted to simply sand the piece down and re-apply the black matte finish paint and call it a day. I really liked the look of the piece in the black matte finish paint when I was painting the original base coat. It seemed to accent the curves but still remain understated. So that will be my last attempt to transform this free piece of furniture. Check back later for a progress update.

Drag Queen name of the day: Dinah Might

No comments: