Saturday, 4 May 2013

A Swedish kitchen

About a year ago, a cousin gave me a miniature kit from Kotte Toys, who offer a fabulous range of chairs, but also have some other furniture kits, including "Lina's sofa" inspired by illustrations from Astrid Lindgren's Emil books. The sofa is a typical Swedish piece from mid-19th century.

It took me a long time to start on the sofa because it didn't fit into any of the projects I was working on, but then one day I decided to make it and see what happens.

This was the first piece I made from kit, and it was quite straightforward. The instruction was excellent, and all bits fit in perfectly. The interesting part, however, was painting. Sofas like this would typically be red, white or blue. I didn't want red, and I thought that white would be too plain, so blue it was. But of course simply painting it blue wouldn't be any challenge. It had to look old and worn-out. And there is a special technique to do it. I had read about how to make picture frames look old, but it was just as suitable for sofas.

First, you paint your piece the colour you want it to be. Then you apply an ordinary candle every here and there. Then you paint over with a coat of white, and then rub away the white with sandpaper. Where the candle wax has been applied, streaks of white remain. The first time I did it, it became far too worn-out, so I had to do it all over again several times before I was happy. And I had a piece of fabric that was just right.

I had the sofa in my bookshelf, all alone, because it didn't fit within any of my houses or roomboxes. It was obviously waiting for its own project. And then, one day...

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