Patina

Posted: under Homemaking, Travel.
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Oia, Santorini

Oia, Santorini

Patina –  (noun) – color and texture of the surface produced by wear.

Is it any wonder that I am attracted to furniture with patina?  Immediately even new furniture in my home takes on “patina”.  Certainly  you can purchase mechanically pre-worn furniture, but honestly, no factory can reproduce the impassioned fork marks on the top of my dining room table made by my toddler.  Or the teeth marks on the bed post. Or the tire tracks on the coffee table.

I am comfortable with having love-worn furnishings instead of those that are shiny and new.  I gave up superficial perfection long ago.  My priority is child rearing, not House Beautiful.

But there is a tension between “vintage” and “neglected” and between mature, refined furnishing and those that are dilapidated.  It is hard to verbalize, but I know it when I see it.  And I have never seen age and antiquity harmonize with beauty  so well as it does in the Greek island of Santorini.

Fira, Santorini

Fira, Santorini

In all of my travels I have never seen a civilized place so beautiful as Santorini.  Perched on the caldera of a dormant volcano, it basks in the Mediterranean sunlight in glorious shades of blue and white.

Sun drenched Santorini

Sun drenched Santorini

I suppose if I had to name a “perfect day”, it was the day my husband and I hiked from Fira to Oia.

Doug and Cyndi

An attempt to revive the memories of that day inspired the color-scheme of my homeschool room.

Blue and white church

I spend most of my waking hours in my school room.  We built it as an addition to our home the year after our trip to Greece.  I knew exactly how I wanted it !  Abundant sunlight.  Geometric patterns.  Vivid blues and creamy whites.

My schoolroom

My schoolroom

Three chairs in my much-used schoolroom crossed the barrier from “well-worn” into “spent”.  They are antique chairs but are not valuable.  I frequently have to re-glue and clamp them.  No chair can withstand the mechanical leverage of a child leaning back.  Every one of my nine children seems determined to assault my chairs.

Looking not-so-charming

Looking not-so-charming

I was contemplating the replacement of these chairs when I stumbled upon a number of wood refinishing Do-It-Yourself sites while unwinding before bedtime.  (I know.  I should have been knocking out that summer reading list. )  But I was inspired!  I rarely embark on DIY projects, but I rocketed into this one with a sense of determination.

Four steps would take me through the project.

1.  Paint furniture with a vibrant-colored base coat.

"Oh no, what have I done?"

“Oh no, what have I done?”

That moment when you wonder if you should stop.

That moment when you wonder if you should stop.

2.  Apply lightly a neutral-colored top coat using a “dry brush” technique.

white1

 

white2

 

white3

 

It is desirable for the base coat to peek through the top coat.

 

3.  Roughen edges and vulnerable areas with 80 grit sandpaper.

rough1

rough2

4.  Apply a tinted glaze, then promptly wipe it off with a damp paper towel.

Waiting to dry

Waiting to dry

The final effect

The final effect

 

My children were critical of my project.  “Mom, why did you make that chair ugly?”

My tough critic

My toughest critic

I am pleased with the result.  The colors are warm; the chairs are visually interesting.

Basking in light

Basking in light

In no time, I am sure, this paint job will be dinged up, peeled off, and worn out.

At home in the schoolroom

At home in the schoolroom

My faux painting will have achieved “patina”.

And AUTHENTICITY.

 

Comments (1) Sep 17 2013