A client brought me this trunk ~ a true antique from somewhere in Switzerland. Before you panic & think that I painted it, don't worry :) I didn't. However, I did have to do something about that horrid crack that had been even-more-horribly filled by someone. It took me a looooong time to remove all of that excess wood filler.
First, I just used some AS clear wax to bring out the best of the painted piece. It had gotten a bit dingy and whitish in some places and the wax was brilliant with it. These three photos are after I applied the wax.
The client's goal was to somehow minimize the huge crack on the top and to paint the top to match one of the colors beneath. I chose to go for the blue you see in the picture above.
First I sanded for what seemed like hours. Then I put on a pretty good coat of Aubusson, let it dry, then chunked a lot of it off with both sandpaper and a cabinet scraper. I don't think I got a good picture of that step.
Next, I painted it with some Old-Fashioned Milk Paint in Soldier Blue… and again, took a lot of it off. Here it is after the milk paint:
And finally, here is what I was left with:
The ultimate compliment to me was when several neighbors expressed horror that I might paint this piece, and I got to tell them that I had *already* painted it :) They thought the blue was original. Success! You can still see the crack, but it is much less obvious… and truly, for a piece of this age that has obviously traveled so far, some wear is to be expected.