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Archive for the ‘TIPS -construction and finishing’ Category

Bow-fronted dresserI stumbled onto this “pretty” dresser for cheap,

then took a much needed, relaxing drive to a very small, out-of-the-way town to go get it!

An awesome drive with some aMAZing old homes along the way—I’d love to make the drive again just to take lots of photos!

Anyway- I bought the dresser.  Sure, I knew it had some obvious issues, but nothing I couldn’t handle, and the owners rapidly loaded it up for me.  When I was home and off-loading it I finally started to see other problems.
Oh boy.

The biggest problem-
a completely broken,
poorly “repaired,”
(& totally concealed) front left leg.  And remember the front is a big curve!

leg & veneer repairOkay- this is not so much a problem for MY skills as much as, with mom’s full-time cancer care—I just don’t have much time for this.  I just wanted a FUN-EASY project to work on when I can find bits of time.
So -g r e a t- let the fUn begin.

I started with all the veneer problems, and then pondered on that broken leg.  At first I was hoping to clean out the terrible “repair” job and fill it with bondo.  It never set up with enough stability, and I’d NEVER put my name on that kind of work, so after a LOT of wasted time & materials- I ended up cutting away all the damage and just REbuilding it.

*Sorry- no pics to share.  But- I used scrap wood I keep on hand, figured the angles of the straight side to the curved front, glued & nailed in place, let it fully set up—then fine-tuned/shaped with coarse sandpaper in a belt sander.  Now it is  S O L I D.

I also stripped the top and discovered issues hidden under the SUPER DARK over stain job someone gave it at some point.  Looks like it was overly sanded in a few areas, but it REstained nicely and looks beautiful now!

top stripped and REstained

I waxed the top instead of clear coating it—I just think it brings out the richness in the wood more and is softer to the touch!  But that’s just my preference!
OH!  And I heat-set the wax before the final buffing.  The wax becomes a harder, more long-lasting, durable finish. 

painted 7 thin coats w/a weenie rollerNext- I taped off and covered and protected the top, then painted the body with a spongy weenie-roller—about 7 very thin coats.  Left side, right side, front, left side, right side, front, left side, right side………
Each thin coat dries so quickly and all those thin roller-coats finish more like a sprayed piece.
*Hint- I don’t have a sprayer.

Once completely painted–it had several days to set up before I could come back to it.  Actually, it was probably a week later (hospital schedules and all).  I had planned a decoupaged face and the time-lag gave me lots of time to plan the finished look.  AND figure out some other more appropriate hardware.

Victoriamagazine on ig!I was looking through ig and this caught my eye—it reminded me of a poster in my stashes!  That’s how my plan came to be. . . with a few adjustments.  

I measured off, taped my poster to the dresser face, then used a sharp Exacto to cut each drawer section free.  I was careful to save each face-frame part since I still wasn’t sure if I’d use it or not (I did in the end).  A pencil gave quick registration marks for placement to keep everything aligned.
Working from the top down, I pulled each drawer(s) out as I worked on it.  It let me double-check the alignment because 1) paper stretches when it’s wet, and 2) I was already messing with each section by my personal method of “distressing!”

my personal method of "distressing!"

Yes!  I wad it up
into an abusive ball.

Yes, it gets torn some!
It’s all part of that
“aging” process!

Then I smooth it out gently by hand, apply a really good wallpaper paste and REapply to the drawer face.
I prefer to smooth it out and position it with my hands at first, THEN use a flex-plastic scraper to gently smooth it out, pushing out the excess paste, and finally, wipe it down with a damp rag making sure the edges are well affixed.

Here’s my poster (from Hobby Lobby).

my Hobby Lobby poster-

Positioned and taped in place.

Working on the last drawer-

working on the last drawer-

MY distressing technique!

And then I decided it really did need the slight face frame cross sections after all.
You can also see I added my selection of vintage hardware right away!
SO much better!

*I filled former hardware holes and REdrilled before painting.  I poked through the paper with an awl to reveal the new hardware placement.

the small cross sections to the face frame

Now you can see how the poster was NOT large enough to cover the face,
but I had a plan!  I taped it out to expand the size with a “frame.”
But that wasn’t all.
I used a liquid gold leafing pen to freehand outline the very outer frame edge.
Irregular on the inside edge–crisp on the outside edge.

I just like that subtle contradiction!

Creating a "frame" and extra detail.

I guess I forgot to tell you how I lightly sanded all the wallpapered edges, huh?
In hindsight, I wish I had widened the “frame’s” sides.  Oh, well. . . .

Creating a "frame" and extra detail.

This project was completed in drips & drabs of time.
I bought it May 18th and finally finished it on the 29th.
I loaded it in the car right away and it went to the antique mall the next day where I spent hours REsetting my space to accommodate it!  WoW- my space had become a neglected disaster area!  And guess what?

It sold right away!

Awesome!

But my space is a disaster once again for the new void.
So I found another dresser to work on.  Stay tuned.

Catherine

Not an antique-
not even vintage-
just  O L D.
But pretty now!

Bow-front Dresser w/decoupaged poster

Bow-front Dresser w/decoupaged poster

-my next dresser-

my NEXT dresser project

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ENTER!You truly just
don’t know
HOW
important

enter

is
until you
don’t have it!

A-MAZ-ing what that key does!  And a sticking Backspace & part time Shift key are problematic too.  Ugh.

 

♠ Did I mention this was all due to a DISTANTLY tipped-over, small glass of cranberry juice that went airborne.  Like a ballistic missile–target keyboard.
Direct Hit.

One newly replaced keyboard, 5 days, $152—and I’m ENTER’ing away now!

Enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter (’cause I can) enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter away!

Corinthian Capitols-While things have-sort of-settled down & my mother readies for MAJOR surgery-

I’m getting to work on a few projects!

I’ve been wanting to do something with this pair of Corinthian capitols
for a while.  A N D- I have some “scrap” wood on hand.
Architectural stuff is always a fun project, soooo . . .
how about a pair of PILASTERS!

I cut my boards to length for a 6ft total height, then ripped them to 6″ wide on the table saw.
THEN, I ran them through the router table with a lrg cove bit to give the sides a little extra detail.
BUT, I created stops to control the end detail.

Lastly- I created a pair of plinths to overlay the bottoms and added a detailed cap. . .

. . . sanded everything and got busy putting all the pieces together!

the bases of my Pilasters-

The over-laid plinths & cap were just glued and nailed in place.
The Corinthian capitols were joined by pocket screws.
And you can see by the back stamp they were made in Italy!

made in Italy! using pocket screws to join the parts-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two things of note here-
1. The capitols are made of composite materials.  The face side is actually some type of refined molded wood (like MDF?) and can be stained.  The “fill” is a highly compressed wood chip & glue mixture.  Super strong and a whole lot cheaper than carved wood!
2. You can see my pencil marks that indicate stopping points for the router table. 

The finish may totally shock you—it’s Rust-Oleum Metallic spray paint!  Aged Rusty Metal, specifically.  Because of the mixture of materials, I was going to default to a shabby-chic white painted finish, but I wanted a dark base to show through, and this can was still handy from the previous project. . . and look at the outcome!

Don’t ‘cha love a HaPPy AcCiDeNT!
So I’m callin’ this

fini!

a pair of architectural Pilasters!

Stain would NOT have brought the varying materials together
so consistently, but this metallic spray paint DID!
AND looks like STAIN!!!

And THAT’s an easy WIN
I’ll take- all day long!

Catherine

my architectural PILASTERS! my architectural PILASTERS!

 

my architectural PILASTERS!

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If you’ve been with me a while, you know I can’t
seem to figure out those. . . Dang. Transfers.

It makes. me. crAzy.

So I thought I would try out (per the official website) Mod Podge‘s version of How To …I say with rolling eyes.  I sort of  got it to work.  Arrrgh.

I figured out what I wanted to try—a black & white, a mixed composition, and one of full color.  All 3 would become framed wall art.  God willing.

I cut scrap pine to size, sanded & primed to prep for my images.

another attempt at transfers

Again, following their instructions, I applied a generous coat of Mod Podge to the black & white print, then carefully applied IT to the primed wood.  It was very easy to tweak its positioning & I initially rubbed it down with my fingers.

A squeegee/plastic scraper made sure it was well applied with no air bubbles, and I cleaned up the excess drippings and put it aside to dry for 24hrs.

I repeated the same easy steps with the next two.  Ha- I got this!

another attempt at transfers

And then it all went south.

DIY trial- ModPodge transfers

Fail.  ugh.

The black & white print became pink’ish, the b&w/color combo–well, you can see for yourself.  The full color actually worked out—except that it’s a bit blurry?

#1 and #2.  I used the ‘damp sponge’ to gently rub away the paper.  Nothing.  Apparently I used SUPER paper?  It took a terry wash cloth to get the paper to rub away.  But it also took the image with it—and I promise I was being gentle!    

DIY trial- ModPodge transfers#3.  I decided to lay a saturated wet cloth over it for a bit and then try to rub off the paper.  THAT worked.  I thought that was the trick and REsanded & REprimed the first two for a do-over.

A N D- this time I decided to try something trulypurely Black & White hoping it wouldn’t turn pink’ish.

I went through all the original steps UP TO the sponge.  I laid the wet cloth over each to totally soften the paper and try rubbing it away.  Apparently that 1st success was “a fluke?”  Or does color make a difference?

DID find that I could ROLL the paper away–
but the remaining image was “ghostly.”

Ugh---transfers!

I let it sit for a while –in frustration– you know.

A N D—then I got out a sharpie marker and colored in the faint transfer-  rolling eyes here.

transfer FAILS and rescues-

I lve transfers——I hate transfers. 

And-

I Lve you to the fridge & back!

I need a glass bottle of wine.  And maybe frame a couple of these?  Hmmmmm, or just create something from all these wine corks!  ; D

Catherine

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Sure- I do love to REcreate and REinvent some crazy stuff, but,
seriously, it’s come to this?

“I have this broken rocker and thought of you.
I just know you can do something with it!”

the broken rocker~Um. . . thanks. . . ?

 

Rocker treads eat up space
-that I don’t have so much of-
so I hung it from the rafters in front of my wall of paints thinking it would be out of the way until I figure out what to do with it.

Honestly- I was thinking to just part it out into other projects, but, I don’t know yet.

I hit my head on that dang thing more than once.  One time, SO hard I saw stars.  And had a headache for a day.

 

When I get mom and all her things settled each day, I’ve been -trying- to give myself time in my studio, where so many projects await my attention.  OMGosh, it’s just nice to be IN my studio.  And even with my loooong absence–I’ve had enough of that rocker.

Do I take it apart, or to another level?  Hmmmm. . .

Have you ever seen a rocker for 2?  A rocker and a half?  A chaise-rocker?
What if I deconstruct part of it & just REmake it into something… W I D E R?

a new life for a broken rocker a new life for a broken rocker

 

¹  The LEFT side was the broken and missing parts side, so I removed that side’s legs & rocker tread and made the numerous repairs.  I gave the re-glued and clamped parts 24 hrs to fully set up.

²  I used heavy card-stock paper to make a template of the right side seat contours.  I ripped some leftover 2×6 lumber for the width & thickness to create an extended seat.

³  I flipped & copied that contour to the new left side, cut it out with a jigsaw, sanded, created pocket screw joinery for some areas, and pre-drilled for 3″ screws at other joints.  I also had to REshape how the 2 fronts join together. 

a new life for a broken rocker

a new life for a broken rocker

diagram of a chair

Above you can also see I REdrilled with a 1″ mortising bit to REfit the legs and rocker tread.  What you can’t see in these pics is that I also pre-drilled for large dowels to join the legs together for stability—
aka STRETCHERS.

Until I was able to go buy the appropriate size dowel, I just moved on to prepping and painting.

a new life is coming together for this rocker!

I added extra supports for the seat (& the new padding).

extra supports for the seat

I heavily padded, then upholstered the seat.

I was actually a little disappointed.  I only wanted to have an upholstered seat TOP, maintaining all the wood edges and frame.  But when I had to put screws into the front for support (even though I could have counter-sunk & plugged them) I nixed it for the ease of a wrapped seat.

the new padded seat-

the new padded seat-

During the week I was able to get a couple 5/8″ oak dowels.
I shaped/tapered the ends to fit snugly into the mortised holes.  These dowels are now the stretchers that tie the legs together and bring stability
to the chair.
The last thing was to run & apply welting for a clean finish.

~and the rocker has a new life

the jury's out on this one, huh?

Here it is at the antique mall!
That seat is really comfy seat!

A Rocker & a half
jury’s out, huh?

Catherine

A Rocker & a half!

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REcreating an Adirondack chair from this carcass!This truly was
a FUN project

but challenging.
It tested my carpentry skills throughout.  I cut MORE compound cuts 
(explained way below)

over the last 2 days
than all of last year!

THIS carcass used to look much like the chair below.  Just not nearly so nice as it came to me.
(a be-gloved, take a long hot shower at the end kind-of-knock-down chair!)

a 1930's - 1940's club chair

I actually only wanted it for PARTS, and the man giving it to me volunteered to knock it down (because it was gross).

Oh, I didn’t get off scott-free—I still had about 2K tacks to pry out.  Back in April.

Adirondack chairs don’t LOOK that complicated–but looks can be VERY deceiving!  Lesson learned.

Back in April,

sitting in the warmth of a beautiful, blindingly sunny Spring day, listening to the birds chirping

and prying out all those tacks—I was struck by how interesting the frame was and the idea of an Adirondack chair hit me.  For the Nellie’s Barn Sale.

I had a loooong and ambitious project list for the sale, so the chair only got a little of my time here & there.  The frame needed a LOT of reinforcement and repair and I needed to stew on the HOW-to of doing this.

Friday, with only 6 days left to packing-driving-off loading & setting up–I stopped everything else to give this my full attention.  I’d already been thinking about and formatting the seat slant, I just needed to commit and cut the wood.  The first of MANY challenges I would face.  

committing to a slanted seat~

some exacting cut & angles to create the seat structure~

I used a lot of OLD deck boards.
1- because they were well dried for stability.
2- because it’s going to be an OUTDOOR chair.

I ended up creating the seat structure in pieces because of the numerous angles and cut outs–and because I didn’t have any BIG enough material at hand!.  Then I used my pocket screw jig to join them all FIRMLY.

I quickly realized that it’d be advantageous to sand & paint at each step!

sanding & painting before moving on~

-Saturday-

This was one L-O-N-G day of construction.  A day of compound cuts.
8am-9pm  with nary a break, and I was exhausted.

explaining

working on the slatted back~The slatted back
CURVED at the top and STRAIGHT at the bottom.
T
he outdoor-use deck boards were only ¾” but not long enough to “force” the “twist.”  So I cut a lot of angles and doweled the boards in place at the bottom before nailing at the top.
I also ran ALL edges through the router table to restore the factory-rounded over edges.  Hence the 13 hour day.

The “worst” was fitting in the boards at and below the wings.  WoWza!
I patted myself on the back for my level of perseverance & tenacity, quietly thanking a lot of carpenters who generously shared their knowledge with me along my travels.
That hands-on learning helped me problem-solve these issues with confidence.

AGAIN- I sanded and painted before moving on.

Consumed by the challenges, I guess I forgot to take progress pictures for you to follow along- sorry.

Incidentally- I worked on the back before the seat because of all the angles and doweling.  I needed that open space to work.

working on the slatted back~The seat

I secured the 3 seat supports in place with 3″ countersunk screws.
I glued in plugs to conceal the screws then cut them flush.

The seat is wider at the front than back, so, MORE angles.  I started with the front-most board because of all the notches.

cutting all the angles into the 1st boards

Both of those notches are ALSO compound cuts—the frame they abut is curved.

the Okay– so without the progress pictures to share, you now see a “finished” chair.

A  D E E P  27″

Too deep- actually.
Normal would be 17″.
I fetched our 5’10” neighbor-lady to gauge the situation from a taller standpoint.
Yep~ still way too deep.

I grabbed a back cushion from one of the deck chairs–it made a huge difference.
It also changed my FINISH direction.  I planned on a navy & white cabana stripe theme, and an accent pillow!

So NOW I’ll stick with a clean white chair & stained seat.  Today I’ll go in search of a stylish back cushion!

before skirting the sides-

Above is the “before I skirted the sides.”  See why?

I ripped leftovers to skirt the sides and a face plate,
plus a transition piece for the curved bottom-front.

Here are the detail shots-
hope you like LOVE IT -as much as I do!
Catherine

sorry about the length of this post—

from a 1930-40's club chair to an Adirondack Porch Chair!

from a 1930-40's club chair to an Adirondack Porch Chair!

-here are some details-

from a 1930-40's club chair to an Adirondack Porch Chair!

-and here’s an early FAIL.  The fully stained seat did NOT look good!

an early FAIL!

And you can take a seat in it this Friday & Saturday at
Nellie’s Barn Sale!

Nellie's JUNE Barn Sale!

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another serpentine dresser project!I love this style of dresser, they’re just so pretty!

Uh. . . well. . .
they CAN be so pretty.
OMG is THIS one sad.
What was someone thinking here–???

The problems.

I’m just speculating, but, did someone streak a brush full of stain through the wet paint to get this look?  Ugh.

The wheels were toast.

The hardware was just  W R O N G.

It needed several repairs and one drawer bottom needed replacing.

And O-M-G it STUNK.  The car (and my nose) needed serious venting out.

another serpentine dresser project!

I took it to the strippers first thing Monday.  It wasn’t going to be a “pretty” wood so I opted for my UNorthodox strip job—“…just wreck the top please, and I’ll go from there!”  Stripping solution was also used to kill the horrible smell, and I pressure washed EVERYthing CLEAN.
(above & below- the top “stripped”)

I bought a new set of wood wheels before I left and –GOT. BUSY.

The Top.  The wood was that REALLY heavily grained oak.  I’m not a fan.  So we left the stripper on to melt-bubble-crackle the paint, then lightly rinsed it off trying to NOT disturb the effect.  I left it to dry in the sun -THEN- hit it with course sand paper to get a VERY chipped up paint effect.

getting a chippy paint finish with stripper-

floetrol-I was only looking for TEXTURE at this point.  I sprayed the top with primer to seal in my chippy effect, then added Floetrol to a simple white paint so I could brush paint the top and body and not have obvious brush strokes in the end.

I had several ideas for the end product.  When I decided on using some of my collected vintage ’40’s wallpaper, I found the white was TOO much and over-sprayed with Rust-Oleum’s Chiffon Cream Chalk paint.  It gave a much softer, off white that worked much better with my wallpaper!

WoW!  NOT easy to get a picture of the top for the end effect.  Trust me—it looks authentically chippy-layered old!  I waxed the top and buffed it out 4 times.  It is absolutely smooth as silk!

the chippy top~

adding new & larger reproduction wood wheels

I pried off the old broken and missing wheels, and replaced them with an almost 2″ reproduction wood wheel.  It raised the height to 27½”.  I’m thinking this would be better as a night stand/extra storage dresser.

painting the body~

drawers repaired and now painted too~

I added an orphaned mirror.  I like the scale and height but wish it was oval to go better with the curvilinear serpentine-front.

Now 5’7″ in its overall height!

~and I added an orphaned mirror!

adding 1940's wallpaper!

I waxed the wallpaper with the rest of the dresser—yes, it did alter the softer yellow color, but will give it more durability.
I added back the missing drawer stops, gave it appropriate hardware, and put the whole piece back together again—with the additional mirror!

my newest Serpentine-fronted dresser project!

a detailed string of "pearls"

I love the detail of the string of pearls!

Isn’t she beautiful now? 

Catherine

my newest Serpentine-fronted dresser project!my newest Serpentine-fronted dresser project!

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Someone owed me money for design work–

and [gave me] this chandelier as payment when they couldn’t pay up.  SwellDo you think I can pay the electric bill with it too?

It’s been hanging in the rafters for a long time now and HAS TO GO.  I can’t move on as long as it exists.

So I took it downtook it apart–and started with -blowing off all the dust & cleaning it up- and altering the faded black metal.  

a chandelier as payment--oh joy.

a chandelier as payment--oh joy.

a chandelier as payment--oh joy.

a whole new look for this chandelier!

Taking the fixture apart as far as was reasonable, I protected the rest of it in Press n’ Seal.  Absolutely a staple in my “tool box!”

I used a spray primer, and then two different whites.  I painted in sections with the crisp white, then immediately misted over it with an ivory so the color had more dimension.

It took several light coats to cover so I gave it a few days to thoroughly dry before trying to put it all back together.  I took pics as I took it apart to help me remember how!

Although it looked much lighter and fresher, it still needed something and-I had an idea! And more springs!

Hanging crystals would be totally–Wrong.
Glass globes–No.
Pseudo Globes–perhaps ?!?

I thought it could be playful–but STILL needed something.

playful--but still needing "something"

That’s when I thought about a garden style.  So I did what some would call UNthinkable—I sprayed glue in specific areas and applied sphagnum moss.
To one side.  Like you see on a tree in nature.

And I sprayed the spring coils and rolled them through the moss on a table!

my Garden-styled chandelier!

a stylized garden chandelier!

I’m still trying to figure out how to stabilize the coils better, they’re a bit tippy.

But I LIKE IT!

I think it would be fun in a bathroom, or a sun room.

Even a very stylized guest room!

Catherine

 

Maybe I’ll get SOME of my money back this way, right?

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