I cringe when I even think about painting any MCM piece but occasionally I bite the bullet and paint. Painted this MCM dresser and chest and have never regretted it...yet.
These little Drexel Accolade campaign "nightstands" are described as "MCM" but my research shows they are from the 1980s...so at best they are "vintage." (I cringe even more describing anything from the 80s as "vintage" since I graduated from college in the 80s!)
These little tables vary in "value." Originally my intent was to sell both as-is. But one had some serious "splash marks" all over it and as much as I tried I could not get it off. My only option was to completely strip and refinish the piece...or paint.
Since I am AGAIN working on the final stages of my den makeover, I decided to paint the one with the serious flaws and use it as a side table. I started to strip and stain it, but I really need a painted piece rather than stained....just my preference. I believe it is important to have a balance of paint and natural wood in any decor and in this case the scales tipped toward paint.
(I will remind you to use extreme caution when painting "vintage" or "antique" pieces...do your research and know what you have FIRST! Make an informed decision before you refinish or paint...you don't want to find out later that you slathered paint on a 1796 colonial side table or spray painted a Hans Wegner chair...just watch "Antique Roadshow")
You can use ketchup or lemon based cleaners to clean brass. Just Google!
The brass hardware on these little tables needed some serious attention!
One interesting tidbit I ran across was how to determine if you have solid brass or brass plated...a magnet...magnets won't stick to solid brass...if it sticks, it is plated...interesting. Mine are solid so that determined how "aggressive" I could be cleaning them.
I'm not sure if a "clear coat" was sprayed on this hardware or age had taken a toll (maybe both), but even my 1/2 and 1/2 mixture didn't cut it. In the end I used a toothbrush, 0000 steal wool, a heavy duty brass cleaner and a ton of elbow grease.
Then I gave the entire piece a little KSTP treatment...Kilz, sand, tack cloth and then paint.
I really like the look of "high gloss" so I went with a high gloss lacquer white...I think the brass really pops against the gloss white and hopefully it will look good with whatever couch I finally set my sights on!
One word of warning I hope all will take seriously...give paint time to "cure." Nothing is more frustrating than spending time and effort making a piece pretty with paint, only to mess it up by putting doo-dads on it too soon! Cure time IS important!!!!
I cleaned up the other and it may be sold...I may hang onto it for the time being to see if I can use it in the den...but I am not really into "matchy-matchy" so I may not use it...who knows. And besides, that brass is a booger to shine up so I'm not really looking forward to doing that again any time soon!!!
You may notice I have a mix of MCM and "traditional" in my den...and that is honestly how I would describe "my style"....eclectic or maybe "transitional"...a little of this and a little of that. It allows me to add elements I love without having to worry too much about the actual "style" of each piece.
Until next week....