Second Chances

“Really, it’s not you, it’s me.”
“Just tell me what I can do.”
“Nothing, honestly, we were a perfect fit in the beginning, but I’ve changed. TVs have changed. It has nothing to do with you, but I think we are through.”

“I can change.”
“I don’t know – can anyone ever really change?”
“Just give me a chance. One chance. I’ll do anything. I think you still need me.”
“The thing is, my tastes have evolved. I need something a little more sophisticated. More worldly. Maybe…darker.”
“Be honest, is there someone else?”
“It’s nothing, nothing really. We’re just friends, not even, I’ve just seen him across a room.”

“I have a dark and moody side, I’ve just never felt like I could share it with you before.”

“Oh, my. That little touch of bling is so unexpected from you. Darling, quick, hold my stuff.”
I painted this piece in the bathroom as it was far too much trouble to lug it to the basement and back up. Three cans of green beans held the trash bags in place and all the while I kept thinking corn would have been a nicer accent. There is no method to painting the piece gray first; I had gray paint handy. The gold leaf is easy-peasey; I put the sizing on before carpool and applied the leaf while I helped with spelling. It’s a piece of cake and don’t let anyone tell you differently. It is a horrendous mess.
The only image not mine, Elle Decor, design by Dransfield and Ross, photography by Simon Upton.
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70 thoughts on “Second Chances

  1. While there was nothing wrong with it before, I can see why you wanted to paint. It's much better black, especially with a little leaf. Good call Mrs. B!

  2. You're brilliant Blandings,

    Surely you broke many hearts along the way.
    That piece now looks like one of several pricey antique cabinets I covet from Antiques on Old Plank Road, over at 1stdibs.
    Bravo, and yes, perhaps the cans of corn would've looked more comely 😉

  3. I have a similar fellow. Not as fine, really, but similar in appearance. We shuffled him off to the garage a year ago when the new television arrived, and he sits there yet, waiting for me to call Amvets or Goodwill. I thought I'd grown tired of how large he was, but am wondering if I'd think differently if he, too, had a new outfit. Hmm.

  4. We have an uglier version of that cabinet my wife has wanted painted for years. I just can't bring myself to do it.

    If she sees this my goose is cooked.

  5. Brava! Text and painting both. The color really brings out the dentil molding. no? And the gilt is just the right over the top touch.

  6. What a gorgeous makeover! It made a perfectly good piece spectacular and fresh. It/You are inspiring.

    My best,

  7. And they say people can't change! Impressive transformation, although I am having a hard time believing that it was easy…

  8. How fun! I love the finished product. We finally got a large flatscreen tv and lugged the antique pine tv cabinet to the basement. I was told that not even the salvation army would pick up entertainment centers anymore. You have inspired me to reinvent my piece.

  9. Love it . I agree, it does look so 1st Dibs!

    Liked it the gray also. Very smart, gray flannel suitish. Hmm. Edged in gold leaf as well.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Lovely new coat for the piece. Will you share the process? I am guessing a good primer followed with an enamel paint? Very nice new look, for sure.

  11. Stunning transformation! I have come to adore black painted pieces. I inherited a mahogany buffet from an elderly aunt. I donated it to Goodwill. This summer I saw an identical piece in an antiques shop in Canada, painted black with stunning brass hardware. I wanted to cry that I had not thought to do the same with mine! You, however, were brilliant enough to do so with your piece!

  12. I love it when CHANGE is in full swing! What a great way to go…and for the bettah!

    I have a seemingly close relationship with what could be a distant relative! He has also been in my heart for many years and is definately the black sheep in the family.Perhaps he too will recieve a reprieve.
    Sidenote~ Although the black is so you Ms. B….I am loving that gray finish!
    I love happy endings when family squabbles are resolved!
    Good Day!

  13. What a knockout, Mrs. B. I thought it looked great with the dark gray primer (?) and then scrolled down to realize it got even better with the black and gold leaf. Brava!

  14. Every room deserves a dark, handsome man to define all of the lighter elements. You did a great job. Where will you use it? It has great potential for holding linen, or in the kitchen as a wet bar. The possibilities are endless when you are a classic. Good goin' Mrs. B.

  15. Hilarious and informative post! This is my first comment to your blog, but it's been so fun to read through your archives!

    The armoire looks fantastic!

  16. Patricia it is a gorgeous transformation.

    See I knew you had some projects in the works for the new house!!

    You have got to stop saying that gold leafing is easy peasy unless you wish to give a class!

    Art by Karena

  17. The black is fabulous, what a sophisticated transformation!! I am so into black right now..maybe its the influence from my trip to Paris! I just did a beautiful post on my trip today, hope you will take a look,I think in honor of this lovely black armoire…you will enjoy seeing the pictures. I am new to blogging but loving it. My blog is about our new home that we are building and my love for fine decor and design!

  18. Beautiful, Mrs. Blandings! Here's to Love the Second Time Around–and to achieving a longed-for, expensive look for less.

    Your success is nudging me to finish my own little project. Smitten by all those pricey C.S. Post-style cocktail tables with gold-leafed metal legs, I bought a $15 flea market table: interesting ogee-curved iron legs, ugly mahogany-veneered round top & shelf. I hope to gild the legs and lacquer the wood pale gray.

    One question: What sort of gold leaf do you use? Any recommendations?


  19. Patricia, You always make me smile, if not laugh out loud! I have a very similar piece, but it has a very definite coat of paste wax all over, can't figure out how to get rid of it (the paste wax) and if stripping is the only option….fuhgetaboutit….did you seal/strip yours?

  20. Fabulous. Did you paint inside, too? (Or perhaps line inside with a gorgeous wallpaper?). Love your blog, have lost hours of productivity reading through your archives.

  21. And I thought you'd just been hanging out at the gym – great work! Think I can turn an old changing table into a bar? I'm just around the corner if you get a DIY inspiration!

  22. Too funny with this, what a wit! But I might have left out the gilding. Not to be bitch though, it's great fun.

  23. That bathroom sure does come in handy! Did you move your chairs out and use the shower?

    Where will you use this piece?

  24. Wow! Sending this Mrs. E.'s way for inspiration. Not sure what will be our victim, but it is inspiring nonetheless.

    Nicely done!

  25. I do not know if this will reach you but I have an identical piece with matching book cases. And, it is in a consignment shop that is closing in two days. It is FREE This is in KC, Westport. email They are going throw it out and I live in an apartment.

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