Zennor Arbour French Armoire
This French armoire needed a lot of love. After 24 days of painstaking restoration we are so pleased we were able to save this beautiful piece!
This is one of the larger projects we have taken on. It did seem a little daunting at first but we focused on a section at a time and worked methodically until the end. It became an incredibly satisfying project and we loved seeing each part transformed.
To prep this wardrobe we removed all the old very thick gloss paint by sanding it. This became tricky when got to the intricate carving at the top, base and doors so we decided that we would have to use paint stripper. We are not normally ones to use harsh chemicals, but as it was the only way to remove the paint it had to be done. It reveals much more definition and depth to the carvings, allowing us to re-paint it with more care, using several layers of watered down paint to avoid build-up.
The piece had several missing and broken sections of plaster mouldings. We recreated the missing egg and dart plaster mouldings, by removing a section of the egg & dart from one broken side. then created a jig around the moulding and made a silicon cast out of two-part silicon. This is the first time we have used this kind of technique on a piece and it will allow us to plaster cast the exact same look of the egg & dart mouldings and restore the piece to its former glory! We repeated this technique for the missing mandala mouldings on the door frames. We then poured plaster of Paris into our silicon moulds and re-created the missing parts.
Once all the prep was done and we had finished polishing up all hardware, cleaning the glass, the mirror and the soapstone inlays as well as rebuilding the shelves, it was finally down to painting. The client wanted a warm, soft oatmealy white from Fusion mineral paint range "Cathedral Taupe" to complement their fabric choice. This colour is perfect for a bedroom as it has calming effect and the matt finish brings this wardrobe into the 21st century.
For the insides, we decided to bring some colour in, again choosing to mimic the fabric from Liberty London by using "Liberty Blue" from Fusions range. The blue also makes for the perfect backdrop to hang and store your beautiful clothes.
Lastly, it was time to make the fabric panels for the beautiful "Zennor Arbour" fabric from Liberty. We loved the clients choice of fabric as the large print is perfect to stand out and be seen behind the glass doors. Ollie made wooden panels to fit for me to lay the fabric on then secured it with mitred window beading.
We also added this fabric to the drawer in the piece, bringing the look through to the inside.
This piece is the largest restoration we have taken on and although it through problems at us, we found the whole process so enjoyable and loved solving them and learning new skills along the way! We can't wait to restore something similar.