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286 Sunset Park Drive
Herndon, VA, 20170
United States

Martha Leone Design. A furniture redesign company specializing in turning each piece of furniture into a sophisticated statement piece with the use of paint and design. This approach produces versatile pieces that are relevant, even as your taste evolves over time.


Martha Leone Design: The blog is where I share thoughts on the creative process and share lots of pictures of each finished piece of painted furniture. Critiques are always welcome!

Cabinet and Lessons Learned

Martha Leone

White Cabinet by MarthaLeoneDesignWhite Cabinet5 by MarthaLeoneDesignWhite Cabinet6 by MarthaLeoneDesign White Cabinet7 by MarthaLeoneDesignWhite Cabinet3 by MarthaLeoneDesign White Cabinet8 by MarthaLeoneDesign White Cabinet9 by MarthaLeoneDesign Momentum Although the winter season in Virginia has been super cold and wet, I've been busy in the garage and inside painting dressers for customers and for Peg Leg Vintage. The momentum broke down last week when many unforeseen problems popped up. But that's okay because I've learned much that I would like to share with my readers! This post will be the first of three that will detail my process and more importantly, lessons learned from trial and error.

Problem #1: Sanding Veneers Lots of mid-century pieces are covered in beautiful walnut or teak veneers. I knew this piece would be a great candidate for the great two-toned look that many mid-century pieces are getting. The images below show what the raw veneer looks like after sanding and with one coat of Varathane Clear Polyurethane. Do you see those unsightly dark spots? Yeah. Bummer.

Lesson Learned After sanding a piece, vacuum the dust away then wipe it down with mineral spirits. That will show you exactly where you need to do more sanding. But be careful, veneers are usually thin and you can easily ruin it by over sanding.

Solution After realizing I should have sanded more before applying the poly, I knew that I would be risking valuable time and the veneer if I were to sand it for a second time. So, I scrapped the original design idea and designed a shape that mimics that of the pegs on the top.




White Cabinet4 by MarthaLeoneDesign

Note on design and sketching Usually my designs wrap themselves around a three dimensional piece by defying its restraints. I do some planning and lots of sketching before starting, but usually allow for lots of spontaneity when taping off my design. This piece, however, required a ruler and careful measuring so that the shape was centered on the top.

White Cabinet2 by MarthaLeoneDesign

This great American of Martinsville cabinet will be for sale soon at Peg Leg Vintage (contact them for availability:, (Update: SOLD) Basic specs on the piece: Benjamin Moore Aura in Super White; raw wood sections have been sealed with Varathane Polyurethane in Satin; knobs are from Anthropologie.

Linking up to: Miss Mustard Seed  •  Twigg Studios  •  Kammy's Korner