28 May

Chocolate Dipped Furniture

Chocolate Dipped bookcase

Shortly after deciding to put the creative side of my brain to use, a new church friend presented an opportunity to custom finish a piece of furniture. Lisa had a small bookcase she wanted to use in her bathroom. It had been in the family for a while, was solid wood and the perfect height and depth. But the light honey finish didn’t work for her and she wondered if I could fix it up. I happily accepted the challenge assuming I’d restain the piece and have it back to her the following Sunday.

ugly bookcase

After a little more chatter, however, I realized Lisa didn’t want to see the wood grain of the piece. She didn’t want it stained and she didn’t want it painted brown. She had her heart set on the popular espresso finish applied to most pieces of cheap laminate furniture.

But she didn’t want the shiny, lacquered top coat those quasi-wood jobs wore. It occurred to me that this project would be a little harder than I thought. So I got to work stripping the original stain and top coat while contemplating how to create the desired finish.

Stripped bookcase

Eons ago, I went to beauty school. A lot of times when I’m playing with color I think back to the basics learned in that program. Since the color wheel is the same regardless of the application and since brown is a variation of red, I chose rust for the base coat primer.

Red primer

Then I followed up with Rustoleum’s version of Espresso but was left with a one-dimensional color that lacked the sophistication Lisa wanted. After lightly sanding down the brown and coming up short on Google search I got creative. The primer was starting to show through the brown, giving it a hint of depth. I played on that by adding some brown paint to cherry stain and clear glaze. I hand rubbed that on and after it was dry, sanded down and repeated the process.

Stain over paint

It was taking longer than I’d planned but the result was exactly what I had hoped for. When the second phase was dry I sealed the bookcase with a dark wax I had cooked up to give it the low lustre sheen Lisa wanted.

chocolate bookcase

And now it sits happily in the powder room displaying her necessities.

Chocolate Dipped bookcase

I’m so glad she didn’t pitch this piece in lieu of something new. I know she is too.

10 thoughts on “Chocolate Dipped Furniture

  1. This came out great, Dee!!! You are not going to believe this BUT my son showed me how to use his power saw. I am so psyched!! I finally got him to get started on the window boxes and then as I was helping hold the wood, I said, "Let me do it." And he did and I used a POWER SAW!!! Then I used a nail gun. That was a trip, too. I asked my son, "What are we going to do after this?" ….

    Thanks so much for coming to the party!


    • Way to go Linda! Power tools are crazy addictive aren't they? Your son has created a monster. Admittedly, my table saw (from Xmas!) is still in it's box because I'm nervous about that one (and I really like my hands & head!) I have to find a reason to use it soon though.

  2. It's a very nice brown color! I painted my bathroom and kitchen cabinets with an Expresso satin stain kit from Home Depot last summer. It is a much darker finish, almost black at first glance, but I love it.

    • I think that's called 'dark chocolate' Jeannie. At least that's what I call it. All paints & stains should be named after sinful sweet stuff imo.

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