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Spice Trade

September 21, 2009

Jan's Moroccan moment

Recently, while shopping at the Long Beach Flea Market, my friend Jan picked up a very nice painted panel. The dealer said it had been part of a restaurant’s decor and we all agreed it would look great as part of Jan’s eclectic Moroccan-style outdoor deck area. At a sizable 51 x 67-inches, and only $35, this was a real bargain. Plus the dealer agreed to deliver it — what a deal! I had joined the chorus urging Jan to buy the panel and I also told her I had misgivings about its color … it just seemed off. But, I offered to help remedy that problem down the line, so this weekend we did just that. Now, about that color. It was the largest part of the piece, the center. And, it was a real bummer. I can best describe it as Yoo-hoo (the ickiest ‘chocolate’ drink ever) meets lavender, with a hit of basic Band-Aid. Not pretty. Jan, being game for most of my design suggestions, co-signed the idea of introducing an orange tone to replace the ick and the project was on its way.


The panel before; new color goes on

We were staying overnight with Jan and her family in Long Beach so that we could hit the Flea Market again Sunday, so we arrived early to deal with the panel. On the way in we stopped at Osh and I picked up a quart of Pratt and Lambert Orange Spice. Previously, Jan had shown me the P&L sample paint pots and I’d bought some Orange Spice for another project. I liked it so much on that project I knew it be terrific for this one as well. We arrived at Jan’s and immediately set to work. Laying the panel flat, and using a 1-inch brush, I freehand-painted out the ick with the paint straight from the jar. Using random strokes and not attempting to cover the existing background completely, I allowed some of that color to show through. This added texture. Jan noticed something interesting at this point: the Yoo-hoo had gone gold! Some visual trick was making the old color interact with the new one to create a yellow-gold undertone that was really nice. This was a very happy accident and we both agreed the panel looked exceedingly better. Still, I was not completely satisfied. The panel looked too fresh, too bright. I always like things to have depth, color-wise, and age, too. So back to Osh we went to buy hardware to hang the piece, along with some wood stain in a warm pecan tone. Once back home I rubbed the stain on with an old t-shirt, layering it on the panel in an irregular pattern. Now it was perfect: the new color was vibrant and spicy, the stain adding further textural interest and dimenson. With Paul’s help, we installed the hardware (4 eye hooks, 2 S-hooks) to hang the piece from the deck’s wood roof.makeover2

The new hot focal point

The former sad panel now looked fantastic, and it made Jan’s seating area look like a destination. Now there was a focal point that announced this was the place to be. Later, when the gang came over and the champagne was flowing, we gathered on the daybed in the cool night air and enjoyed Jan and family’s hospitality, toasting a great bargain find made even better with just a little effort. And the total cost, with paint and hardware, was just around $50!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. foodguy permalink
    September 21, 2009 7:12 pm

    reuben is a god. no doubt.

  2. September 23, 2009 12:38 am


    When are you coming to Raleigh to turn my home into a destination?

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 23, 2009 2:20 am

      Hey, Miss Adrienne! I’d love to come to Raleigh… thanks for looking and leaving a comment.

  3. Sheeba permalink
    September 24, 2009 7:08 pm

    That’s MAGIC!!
    Reuben how about lunch/dinner or how about both….our place you pick the day, I’ll pick your brains…do we have a deal??
    I want an exotic home as well, everybody else get in line:)


    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 24, 2009 7:49 pm

      Sheeba, thanks for all the delightful comments… I was beginning to think you’d sworn off the Rancho… surely, we’ll get together soon and do something magical!

  4. homicidalmom permalink
    September 25, 2009 5:41 am

    reuben, the stain was an inspiration. very rich.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      September 25, 2009 11:57 am

      Thanks, Tia… awesome web handle!

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