In the workshop- Victorian Washstand “Before”



This little piece has been sitting in our basement for a couple of months.  I wasn’t sure how to proceed with her.  So, here was my dilemma.  She has a wood that creates “bleed through”.  This is when the red tones in the wood seep through when an item is repainted.  I did not want to paint this piece a dark color which can hide bleed through.

Moreover, although not shown here, this little stand came with the sweetest piece of white marble for the top.

I thought about just keeping her as is.  However, the marble on the top just seemed to clash with the red tones of the wood.  It didn’t look right.

So I pondered.  Hmm.  How to proceed?  Then I remembered something about milk paint.  If a piece has a clear coat over the wood – bleed through won’t occur.  Of course, this means you can’t sand off the clear coat before applying the milk paint.

I sand everything.  Sanding cleans up pieces.  It is ingrained in me as part the furniture prep process.  “Sand the piece!  All of it!  Don’t miss any spots!”.  This is what goes through my head. Sanding furniture is in my DNA.

So, I ignored my instincts and I closely inspected the washstand. Was it sealed?  Or was it raw wood?  Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was sealed with a clear coat.





Upon closer inspection, I also realized that some of those details like the drawer pull would look really charming once painted.

So, I did NOT sand this piece.  Instead I cleaned it down really well with Krud Kutter.  The secret to using this cleaner is to let it sit for about 10 minutes.  Spray it on the furniture, walk away for 10 minutes and let the cleaner do its job.  Then come back and wipe down the piece of furniture.



I wiped it down and removed all the grime and dirt that has built up since the Victorian era.  I did not grab my 150 grit sand paper.  It took some serious discipline.  I almost felt like I was cutting corners. Not sanding felt – well-  weird.  Although, honestly, it also saved a ton of time.

Check back in a few days and I will post the “after” photos of this little piece.  Thank you for stopping by the blog today!  Let me know, are you also a compulsive sander?

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