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Archive for the ‘TIPS -construction and finishing’ Category

I’m still here -but-

LIFE has just been more than a

LITTLE bit crazy.

For a while now.
Now don’t think I haven’t been working on projects…

it's just LIFE

it's just LIFE

French country ladder back chairs

One such project has been making over 4 French country ladder back chairs.

The rush seats were totally shot, and the stain color was very worn and “orange.”

HERE- they were waiting their turn at the strippers.  I also had the guys bleach the Cherry hoping to lighten them just a bit more.

sanding the French country ladder back chairs

W H A T.  a.  P A I N.  in the p’tutie to sand these buggers.

I tried using just about EVERY sander I own, and EVERY kind of sand paper and sanding sponge available.  There was just NO EASY WAY to tackle this job.

And it was SO dirty.

But I was totally loving that pale, light wood!

sanding the French country ladder back chairs

Below is a comparison for you to see,

WITH some disappointing results.

Once I had a chair fully sanded, I sampled several stain colors,

a brush-on water based clear coat,

and some clear wax so I could see what I liked best.

*The BRUSH-ON WATER-based clear coat did not change the color of the wood.

But as soon as the SPRAY OIL-based clear coat hit the wood~

the RED in the Cherry popped again.

sanded & clear coated

After a little conference call with the strippers, it was thought that the OIL-based clear coat was at fault.

So I used a SPRAY WATER-based clear coat on the next chair with essentially the same result.

I did notice that the water-based brush-on was sort of “milky.”  And apparently THAT made all the difference in keeping a pale wood tone. But I was UNwilling to clear coat all the chairs with a BRUSH!

Next up—the Italian Matelasse upholstery!

Catherine

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Thank Goodness!

no. more. dog.

what's WRONG in this picture?

. . . THAT done . . .

The Dressers

the dressers~

They were in their basement.  Storing tools at some point.  But basement was damp’ish and dressers got a tad moldy.  Took them to strippers.

Did you know that stripping chemicals can kill mold as well as bad smells?

Now remedied of those two problems, it was decision time.  Do I spend more time and money on REfinishing them, leave them raw (someone else can do what THEY want) OR paint them?

I opted to deal with THE TOPS.

the dressers~fixing the problems

the dressers~fixing the problems

the dressers~fixing the problems

Sort of REworked~

The smaller dresser~ stained and waxed top, painted body with raw wood and waxed face frame.  Reproduction hardware.

The larger dresser~ stained and waxed top, the rest- just left raw and reinstalled original mismatched hardware.

And– REproduction wood wheels for both.

Sadly, both dressers were stripped of their  -handkerchief drawers, and  -framed mirrors.

Catherine

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the HALL TABLEVery simple in style but LARGE.
Too large for the average

hall table,

foyer table,

or as a sofa table.

Or should I say it’s

TOO deep…?

Well THAT’s easily remedied! I took it apart and cut out the center 5½”—20″d to 14½”.

The table suffered while being stored in a basement—the center joint split open and swelled outward very subtly.  Not obvious until running it through the table saw.  I set the fence to keep/maintain 7¼” on each “half,” but the same split still shows in the center.

I toyed with forcing the halves back together with a clamp and screwing a cleat underneath to hold them tightly together, but I actually don’t mind the split now. Call it CHARACTER!

the HALL TABLE~correction

the HALL TABLE~correction

the HALL TABLE~correction

the HALL TABLE~correction

Now a more reasonable depth to use as a sofa table~which is more likely to be it’s new use!  AND you see I stripped that chocolaty paint off the top and left the raw wood exposed only waxing it.

the HALL TABLE~correction

The wood glows now with hydration

and feels baby-butt smooth all waxed and ready for the estate sale!

Catherine

a very SIMPLE makeover!

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W e l l-  this is either going to give you a good laugh or

make you roll your eyes

with certainty I’ve lost it for sure!
some UNconventional cleaningWhile the compressor is still in the house, uh, well–
you know the furniture that doesn’t get moved to clean behind-above-under??
Well I was thinking~ 

“Why can’t I use the air gun to blow [anything] out?”

Y’ know??

I know—c’RAzy.  But you should see the stuff that blew out!  AND I blew off the tops of all the books on multiple bookshelves, and the vents, and . . .    ; D

Catherine

yep~ call me crazy!

yep~ call me crazy!

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THIS was Monday–

the room is ready to go!

THIS is Friday!

the newly REstyled bookcases!

And THIS is how the week went!

Monday- I finished the last of the prep work.
Tuesday & Wednesday- picked up my stained parts, propped the key parts together to see where adjustments would have to be made –just plan on it, ’cause it happens– and got to work.  All was coming together!

Uh~mostly.

I’m still not quite satisfied with the bookshelf’s natural break line.  I may be making a change.  –We’ll see.
I started painting the interior to brighten it.  I used the satin finish from the Lower Level I had mixed to match the Living Room’s suede texture.  But without the suede texture, the satin finish read too “white.”
Thursday- So I ran off to get another paint mixed just a bit darker than the walls, and got everything finished including the shelves!
While I was out, I stopped in to have a conversation with my lighting guru and made a last minute (literally) LIGHTING decision.

painting the interior~

Early this morning I gave a light sanding to a few “rough” areas and REpainted.  While it was drying, I got crackin’ on the new TAPE lighting!

adding concealed TAPE lighting

You can see that it’s very small, low profile, and concealable!  BEST- it gives a consistent –not spotty– wash of light flooding across the shelving.  I had my lighting guy make TWO 66″ lengths to go behind each pilaster, an appropriate length to feed back towards the outlet, but connected to plug in to ONE spot.  The outlet is triggered by a wall switch I added in construction.
This lighting is  so flat~low profile, it easily slips between the slight wall~shelf gap.  I only needed to drill a small hole through the lid and the center shelf to feed the tape through, from top to bottom.  It attaches by a sticky taped backing.
The down side is that it’s still a new format~meaning EXPENSIVE.  $126 + tax.  I’ll probably add this underneath the upper kitchen cabs for counter task lighting—it’s really nice!

Look at the difference—in DAY light!

Just imagine at night!

adding Tape Lighting

the 2nd life of the Shaker bookcases
Here’s the “before” to THIS project!
I have a few things left to finish, which I’ll share later, but in the mean time~

I’ll REwork and REload all the family photos~

Catherine

the NEW bookcases W/NEW lighting!

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shelves and parts just waiting~~and it’s not even finished!

Yesterday morning I anxiously headed out to pick up my parts.  The guys did an OUTstanding job and I was super happy!  Sure~the stain was a smidge darker than my plan, but, com’on—

it’s so beaUtiful!

And here we go

This is the room Monday, ready and waiting. . .

clear weather~nice day

the room is ready to go!

And Tuesday. . .the parts picked up and now just propped together for a general lay of the land before jumping in full fledged!

propped together for a general overview

Although I brought in the compressor, nailers, drill—and a variety of other accouterments, I still needed to run in and out to make cuts and router things.  And the RAIN moved in.  For the day.  Joy.

With ME and PARTS running in and out getting wet.

Some things were pre-cut and waiting, but other things had to be done on the fly.  Adjustments and tweaks had to be made~it happens.  So in the frenzy of work I didn’t get many “along the way” pics to share, sorry.

adjusting the plinth blocks and base

contouring the back cleats to hold/stabilize the pilastersThe jist of the work

–I started with the right side, attaching the cleating and base plinth.  

–The first change came once I added the pilaster, it just looked too “flat.”  So I pulled it off and ran it through the router with a trim bit to follow the contours.

–Calculate the cut and attach the top plinth block.

–Slide the right bookcase over, snug to the wall~move the left bookcase in and screw them together.

–Repeat the whole pilaster profile process on the left side.

–Cut/install hidden cleats to install/stabilize the center base.

–Install decorative header with the addition of 2 “L” brackets from behind for extra security.

–Add scribe to the center bottom-top bookcase divide, and rip/cut ¼” veneer to conceal the center bookcase connections.

–Lastly, each shelf had to be ripped down a slight bit shallower.  One of my corny big brothers noted that “It’ll be hard to keep your books straight.  We’ll have to call you Ei-leen.”

concealing the center connection and adding stained scribe to the middle

cutting the shelves down to fit behind the new pilasters/cleating

a NEW look!

The next tasks are to putty, lightly sand, and paint the whole interior.  And, REset that interior outlet and cover plate.

Plus, we’re in a full out snow storm now—w t h Mother Nature??

I need to decide on lighting -or not- and adding a top finial -or not- .

I liked it before but

I love it now!

Catherine

—there’s MORE to come & to explain!

the evolution of these bookcases!

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A pair of simple, classic Shaker bookcases—

in the beginning (below upper right corner), and later, moved together in construction and altered by the addition of reeded pilasters with plinth blocks, and crown & base moldings.  And lighting.

the Shaker-styled bookcases

the 2nd life of the Shaker bookcasesIt was a simple, classic look.

But you know what?  I just NEVER felt satisfied.  Years of thinking about their change, many sketches, a collection of architectural items—just lead back to ANOTHER version of simple and classic!

This LAST DESIGN~I’m happy.

So on Wednesday, I cleaned the shelves of all the family pictures.  I stripped down all the embellishments and carried the bookshelves outside to work on their last makeover!

We’ve been in a veritable heatwave and all the snow is melted -which let me lay them out on the driveway on their backs to more easily work out all those details!

creating a new face~

Here, all the facing of the Shaker style is removed-

DEconstructing the original Shaker style

cutting the bedpost in half to create pilasters

First was to create the new pilasters—flea market bed posts, actually!

Cutting it in half.  I used a long board to guide the post going through the table saw.  The posts are tapered so I added a piece at the top to keep it centered while going through the blade.

Now split, I laid them out to figure out how high or how low to position them.  I decided to line them up –balance them– with the last shelf, which leaves 17½” for the bottom plinth block.

laying out the new pilasters

Next~ the new header.  I had 10″ to play with -top of the bookcase to ceiling, so I ripped a board 67½” × 10″.

A N D  I played with the positioning of the arched casing.  I  could  just cut the board to the arched form OR I could create a split pediment—uh huh!

sorting out the decorative header

I chose to create a split pediment!

I chose to create a split pediment!

~now back to painting

I finished the day cutting/making all the other small parts/details that will make this new design complete.  BUT, I loaded all of it to take to the strippers in the morning to have them stain the key parts for me.  There are multiple woods that need to match, and I’m no staining expert.  The interior and shelves will be painted.

While the guys work their expert stain magic for me, I’ll be painting the last wall from behind the shelving.  AND I’ll work on updating some of the family photos displayed there!

Catherine

What a difference a day makes—we’re snow covered AGAIN.

~and now back to SNOW...ugh

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