I owned a scruffy victorian cupboard, and had used it for general dumping for a while. It looked a bit sad, so I decided to have a go at making it into something more exciting. I wanted to turn into into something that looked like a faded old french shop fitting. I found some excellent template signs at The Graphics Fairy. These are a variety of french worded signs that you can print out in reverse and use as transfers for the below method. You need to print the transfers on inkjet printers as that ink can transfer onto your chosen item.
First of all I painted the cupboard in a mixture of ‘Mizzle’ by Farrow & Ball used on the tops and door panels and ‘Duck Egg Blue’ by Annie Sloan on the sides and door frames. It looked very pristine and bright, but I was going to add coloured wax after so knew it would darken down when applied.
I then used Modge Podge, (this is a US glue product available from Hobbycraft in the UK, but you can use PVA as a substitute diluted about 2 parts water to 1 PVA). I coated the front of the transfers with it so they were saturated. This then was stuck onto the panels, smoothed on very well on the areas of font and left to dry hard overnight.
In the morning, I soaked the paper with water so it was sopping wet, and very slowly peeled it off. It leaves an imprint of the print showing the right way around. After it thoroughly dried I sanded it back to make it look faded and old, I then waxed these areas very gently with clear beeswax. I then waxed all the other areas of the piece with clear beeswax, and then rubbbed in much darker bison wax into all the cracks and crevices. This gives a patina of age and use.
The finished cupboard looks so much better and it was an interesting process to try out.