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A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Working with Retro Pieces: Brutalist Lane Chest in Annie Sloan's Graphite

It's becoming more and more challenging to come across mid century or retro pieces that are worthy of painting these days!  More often than not, prices have skyrocketed due to this era of furniture being so sought after here in Atlanta right now. There's a great deal of retro available here, but it's priced according to demand, which for me takes it out of the running for painting.  Even pieces that have significant damage to them tend to be a bit spendy right now.  But every so often, I stumble upon a great little find at an affordable price, and this brutalist Lane chest fit the bill!

Had the wood veneers been in good standing on the bulk of it, I might have repaired just the bit that was broken and refinished the chest.  There were chips on several spots and a decent bit of staining on the top, so the entire piece would have had to be sanded, new veneers placed in several areas, and basically more work than I was willing to commit to.  

For all the haters of painting retro or vintage, my opinion still stands: if it isn't a prized antique, and I can give it a second life with paint and the work I do, I see no issue with reimagining what the piece looks like.  

I was tempted to [and actually experimented with] paint this guy in a retro teal, but better sense came to me and I decided to play into the masculine qualities of brutalist design [here's a quick reference to what brutalism is...for any of you who might think it's a description of a Game of Thrones episode!].

Annie Sloan's Graphite chalk paint has been one of my go to colors since I started painting furniture years ago and for good reason.  It goes with nearly any era of furniture, and gives every piece such depth and interest, especially when paired with varying waxes. 

I've been experimenting with her new black wax for some time now, trying to get my bearings on how I'd like to best use it.  For this piece I went with a brushed technique and created striations along the surface to give this rathe boxy piece some texture and added interest. 

If I'm being honest, I'm not a huge fan of how the color differentiation shows up in photos. I have trouble getting the lighting right when photographing in my house, so the colors look more washed out, when the overall tone is a more even deeper graphite. 

I'll have this piece listed in my shop shortly, along with on Craigslist here in Atlanta. If you have a great mid century or retro piece at home that you've been itching to reinvent, contact me! I'd love to help you get started on your own painting project, or talk to you about pricing for custom painting your piece.