This horse themed wardrobe is sure to win the hearts of horse lovers around the globe, thanks to the beautiful Re•Design Transfer featured here, called Fine Horseman. We are now able to special order these for you via our website, for Australia wide shipping with any of your other I Restore Stuff orders.
*This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, for some of the products I used for this makeover.
Before it became a horse themed wardrobe:
Pretty plain, average vintage wardrobe that I picked up at an op shop (charity store) here in Australia.
Refreshing the Top wood finish
I wanted to keep that beautiful wood top, though. It looks like Silky Oak, and I assumed that like a lot of these older pieces, it may have been finished in a shellac top coat originally.
With a simple test using Methylated Spirits (denatured alcohol in the USA), I found that I was right. If you’d like to find out what kind of finish is on your existing antique piece of furniture, you might like our 3 part series on Wood Finishes. Here, you’ll learn some simple tests you can do to find out what is on that surface.
So, to re-activate the shellac, you just need some 0000 Steel Wool and some Methylated Spirits (Denatured Alcohol). Saturate the Steel Wool in the Metho and rub along the grain of the wood. The shellac becomes slightly tacky and you can wipe it away, continuing until the wood grain shows beautifully again. At this stage, you can either re-coat the surface in some clear shellac using a soft, lint free cloth in a buffing method; OR use your favourite top coat to seal the wood again. I re-coated the surface in some Shellac (French Polish) that I had on hand.
Applying the Transfer
The Fine Horseman transfer comes in three large sections. To work on a large upright surface like this wardrobe, it’s easier to lay the cupboard on its back. Unroll your transfer and lay out your design exactly where you want it to go, taping it down with painters tape to keep in place. Then you will need to remove the paper backing one section at a time, slowly, and re-tape that section in place. Using the wooden stick provided, rub the transfer onto your furniture.
For this piece, our transfer stretched across the door, so we used a Stanley knife to carefully cut the plastic of the transfer before rubbing those sections. After rubbing the transfer on through the plastic, carefully remove the plastic (as pictured below).
It really didn’t take us too long with two of us working on this, rubbing away until complete. Less than 15 minutes at a guess.
I kept the original handle, but added a little of Fusion’s metallic paint in Vintage Gold to give it a refresh.
I kept the inside wood, and simply gave it a coat of Hemp Oil – this refreshes the dried wood surface and gives a protective coating.