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Table gets antique touch with crackle

Dear Debbie: I purchased an old, heavy, Spanish-looking night stand at a garage sale and want to use it as a cupboard next to my patio table for storing plates and linens.

Dear Debbie: I purchased an old, heavy, Spanish-looking night stand at a garage sale and want to use it as a cupboard next to my patio table for storing plates and linens. I have a Spanish theme going on and would like to refinish the night stand in a dark (oxblood) red. Can you help me with colour selection and paint instructions?


Dear Joanne: Since the night stand is being repurposed for your patio, which is a clever idea, why not introduce a little more colour. Dark reds in the burgundy and oxblood range are hot colours this year and you will find a good selection at your paint store. Antiquing is very much a part of Spanish style. And you can play with different combinations of colours to get the look you are seeking.

The old wood table shown here was painted with a technique that would suit your stand. To achieve the antiqued red section, start with a base coat of peach and let dry. Then brush on a coat of crackle medium in small patches.

(Crackle medium can be found at art and craft stores.) Once dry, apply a coat of red over the whole area. The cracks will appear only in the areas where there is crackle medium. Let dry completely.

Now sand down areas of the red coat to expose more of the peach undercoat. The cracks and the sanding create an authentic aged finish.

For contrast on the cabinet door or drawer or legs, apply the same technique using a base coat of yellow, the crackle medium and top coat of green. Protect your finish with beeswax or two coats of varnish.

Dear Debbie: The dining room in our home was once a bedroom and the closet that was in this room was left intact minus the doors.

Our buffet and china cabinet fit into the space, but they look like furniture in a closet. There is pickled oak wood trim around the opening. How would you suggest treating the trim?


Dear Kathie: It must be a large closet to hold both a buffet and a china cabinet.

Paint the walls inside the closet the same as the main room walls to connect them, and add a modern feature by painting the room trim and the trim around the doors gunmetal grey.

Another option is to treat the closet as a separate alcove, paint it a few tones darker than the main room, and paint out the pickled oak trim.

Dear Lisa: I am about to paint my concrete basement floor. Is there any special procedure required to do this, and what kind of paint should I use?


Dear Lisa: Painting the basement floor will certainly cheer up the space, and it will be easier to keep clean. However, basement floors are notoriously damp. Paint will not stick to a wet surface, so your first step is to ensure that any leaks or drips or dampness are properly taken care of.

Once you are high and dry, then clean the floor with a high-powered cleanser such as TSP and rinse thoroughly. Let the floor dry for a few days. Fill in any cracks or holes with concrete filler, sand smooth and let dry.

Apply one or two coats of primer that is designed to cover concrete, then paint with deck and porch paint, epoxy paint, latex paint or any product that is recommended for concrete.

Finally, apply two coats of acrylic varnish if recommended by the paint product you choose to ensure a tough finish. Debbie Travis's House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle.

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