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Refinishing An Inherited Dry Sink: Part 1

Refinishing An Inherited Dry Sink: Part 1

Refinishing An Inherited Dry Sink

Original Dry Sink from New York State waiting for some TLC in The Roughshod Ribboniere home shop!
When I first saw this piece, it was a curiosity to me. The natural wood intrigued me. The perfect swirls of antique, stained decorations called to me. And what did anyone use this little drawer for?
Apparently, it's a dry sink. There's a hinged cover on the top and a little shelf inside where the off-center drawer bumps it up. 
It's a family heirloom that came to me from my aunt and uncle in upstate New York. They are precious to me. I don't think my aunt ever missed a school function my entire childhood no matter the three hour drive (one way.) And my uncle, to this day, encourages me musically.
The manufacturer's name and production date are on clearly marked. I will always associate this sweet piece with my aunt and uncle, and they've always lived in upstate New York. So, even when I sanded and repainted, I left those markings alone. I relish the authenticity. And the great memories.
Dry Sink repainted with Wisteria Trunk and branches by Marissa from The Roughshod Ribboniere.
The dry sink winked at me for months before I did anything to it. Tucked under the stairs and half-buried beneath my old coat, it waited patiently in the shop. Every time I walked past it I'd sigh, stare at it for a few minutes, and finish whatever other project I was working on at the time instead. 
I really didn't know how to finish it. Should I leave it natural? Paint it? If I did repaint it, how did I want it to look?
I envisioned a tree. With foliage. In blues and purples. With a heart-shaped pendant wrapped around a branch and blowing in the wind. In my mind, I saw the heart doubling as a knob.
I had some old colors that I liked. A white and faint heather color. I primed with the white three times, sanding in between each coat after allowing appropriate dry time. My goal is a refined finished piece of furniture, hence the sanding. We shall see how it turns out.
Hand painted trunk detailed close-up on a light heather gray antique dry sink. By Marissa at The Roughshod Ribboniere.
Here's a more detailed look at the trunk. I did research Wisteria plants to actually see their coloring.
We don't have great reception in the shop, so I had to keep the picture up on my phone in the windowsill. I'd get caught up in adding depth and dimension with different hues, then go to check the picture again only to find a black screen. 
The most interesting thing to me was how, the whole time, I kept feeling like I didn't have the right colors and would just have to make do with what I had. But as I'd select a few to squirt on an old board and blend them, I'd be pleasantly surprised. More than once I happened into a color that I never would have chosen in a bottle, but on my palette felt perfect.
What do you think?
Top down view of Repainted Dry Sink with Wisteria Branches during refinishing process. No wisteria blooms present yet. Only branches. By Marissa Hale at The Roughshod Ribboniere.
On top of the dry sink is a large, scallop-edged cover that I repainted in the same white primer and then light heather color. The wisteria branch continues vertically from the trunk on the right side of the base, up and over this cover.
I'm liking where this is going. There's some detail on these branches, even though I know much of it will be covered with wisteria blooms when I'm through.
Did I ever tell you I decided to paint Wisteria on the dry sink? That blue/purple foliage I kept seeing in my creative process turned into a winding, romantic Wisteria plant.
That's as far as I've gotten! I'm really looking forward to getting back out to the shop again soon. Next time, I think I'll finally start to see the hanging Wisteria blossoms materialize. Exciting!

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  • Marissa Hale
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