Sunday, 28 February 2016

Chippendale dressing table

Some time ago, I had an epiphany as I was looking through pictures from one of my Facebook groups. Clever people have been imaginative and painted Chippendale kit furniture in various colours, added different knobs and generally made something different than prescribed. It was a liberation to realise that all Chippendale miniatures don't necessarily have to be mahogany and that I could use my imagination to make something truly unique.

In this group, we had a weekend challenge and everybody who had the kit made the same piece, a three-drawer chest, all using different ideas. I will show mine some other time.

Now I will show what I made this weekend. I got another lowboy kit in one of my bundles, and since I had already made a mahogany lowboy, I thought I could make a different one. The instruction says that lowboys were used for various purposes, including as ladies' dressing tables, and this was an interesting idea. Of course I already have a dressing table in the master bedroom, upcycled from a Poundland piece, replacing an earlier piece replacing a still earlier piece. But this is a huge problem with Chippendale furniture: once you have started with them, everything else feels unsatisfactory.

Thus, full of guilt as always, when I replace an earlier piece, I made the lowboy. Now, my aspiration was to find the right colour. My all-purpose antique white felt wrong, and I also wanted the shade to match a Carin Backlund chair I have in this room. So my first attempt was to mix antique white with pure white. Which just tells you how little I know about mixing colours.


This  was yesterday evening, and I realised that I probably needed daylight for such a delicate task. Just before I fell asleep it struck me that the Backlund chair colour was bluish (18th-century bluish white, which is just right for this project). So in the morning I added a drop of light blue to pure white and also diluted the paint quite a bit.

It is still not exactly the same shade,  and I will never get it exactly the same. I won't re-paint the chair because it is an artist piece, but it it close enough, and I am happy. It really looks much, much more authentic than the antique white. I added golden beads for knobs and painted the leg balls gold - not quite sure about the latter, but it can be changed.

The inside of drawers is painted light blue because that's how it was done.


There will be all kinds of lady stuff in the drawers.

Here is the dressing table in its room. I found a suitable mirror to hang in front of it.

I feel terribly guilty toward the old dressing table. I had put so much love into it. But it cannot be helped. See for yourself: which do you prefer?


But maybe I can use the old one in some other project.

1 comment:

  1. fascinating to click back and see the development of the dressing table! It shows how your skills have improved and progressed,