You couldn’t really call it ugly; even with its goopey, brown stain the cabinet was too inherently glamourous to merit the u word. But the finish was appalling and so my friend Susan was determined to give the piece a makeover, ideally in a tasty, high-gloss colour to approximate the Tommi Parzinger examples below. Suz decided on canary yellow and set about sanding the piece down to prep it for spraying.
Much to her surprise and delight a swan began to emerge almost immediately. Susan was stunned by the beautiful wood grain and thought the piece might be teak although the jury’s still out on exactly what kind of wood she was working with. Regardless, it was too nice to paint, at least she wanted to see it refinished first, before deciding on spraying.
The plan was to finish it with polymerized tung oil but I warned her that if the piece was teak, the oil would bring out the natural orange tone of the wood and that’s not the look Susan had in mind. Instead, she opted to try Crystalex, a water-based, acrylic finish which protected the wood without dramatically changing the colour. Suz gave it four coats before she was satisfied it would be durable.
Her sanding revealed why the previous owner had opted for such a heavy-handed finish — he or she had sanded through the veneer on one of the drawers leaving a slight bald spot. So Susan opted to paint just that section in a colour that wouldn’t stand out too much and would work with the brick in the office for which it was destined.
Is that sweet or what? Susan got an incredible result albeit after investing considerable sweat equity. But ohhh the satisfaction. Suz paid $400 for the credenza at MacCool’s Reuse in Ontario’s Prince Edward County. My guess is the refinished piece would fetch $900 or $1,000 from a reputable dealer. All I can say is Susan, take a bow!