Almost two years ago, I wrote about reducing the visual noise of this glass-door bookcase I use for DVD storage. Though not ideal for this purpose, the piece has sentimental value because it belonged to a neighbor/surrogate grandmother who has since passed away. My original effort to reduce the visual noise using paper I had in the house was successful, but never really made my heart sing.
Skip ahead to last month when I found this beautiful inspiration image from Elle Decor. The moment I saw that cabinet, I knew I wanted to try to create a similar feeling with my inherited bookcase. I scoured the internet for a chinoiserie paper or fabric, and finally found an affordable pattern I liked on eBay (Geisha- Black from Robert Kaufman). I also ordered a sampler pack of Rub 'n Buff online after seeing many design bloggers rave about it. My fabric finally arrived on Wednesday, and I got right to work.
I cut the fabric into two strips and secured them behind the glass using painter's tape. I then taped up the front of the doors and applied Antique Gold Rub 'n Buff to the raised and curvy trim on the front. The golden wax was surprisingly easy to use, though I did wear a latex glove on one hand to make for easier cleanup. I applied the Rub 'n Buff unevenly and with a light hand because I wanted some of the wood grain to show through. After a few minutes, I buffed using a bit of cotton rag to get a nice sheen.
I am delighted with the final result, which to me definitely calls to mind my inspiration photo. I also think the original owner, Miss Matthews, would appreciate the change — she was a member of the National Geographic Society who traveled the world after she retired from government service, and populated her home with art and artifacts from her travels in Asia and the Middle East.
(Images: Colleen Quinn)