Friday, May 22, 2015

Custom Paint Treatment

After seeing a dresser I had for sale at our Outdoor Vintage Market sale, I had a customer ask if I did custom work.  He was so enthusiastic about the job I had done, that I said yes.  He quickly purchased this dresser off Craigslist.
He and his wife brought a metal frame that they had to show me the colors they had in mind.  Thankfully I could quickly "see" the colors that were in the frame and knew what colors to use, and got started.  After stripping and staining the top with General Finishes Gel stain in Java, I painted a base coat of Maison Blanche Wrought Iron.  When that had dried fully, I drybrushed a custom mix of Annie Sloan Florence, Provence, with a little Napoleonic Blue added in to deepen it.  The next layer was also drybrushed, Paris Gray from Annie Sloan.   I tested it all out on one of the drawers first to check the overall look before painting the whole dresser.  I was trying to match the center round frame.
It looked right to me so I repeated all the layers on the rest of the drawers, and base of the dresser.  Light distressing, and then waxing finished it off.  I love the look of the layers.
I was very pleased with the finished product and waited for the customer to pick it up to see his reaction.  It was all I hoped for, he was so excited with the treatment.  Now I have two nightstands, underbed drawers, and a mirror to paint for him.  He sent me a photo when he returned home with it, since I forgot to get a  final photo before he left.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stripping can be a good thing!

Stripping can be a bad thing.   Like the time on vacation when we got caught in a downpour while horse back riding, and when we reached our car deciding to change out of wet clothes, and not bothering to look behind me before pulling down sodden pants.  That other group of drenched riders got to see the full moon during the daytime.  Not a good thing!  But it made for memories!

But this stripping is a good thing indeed.

I bought this lamp at Goodwill for around $5.00.  I hesitated because it was so layered in paint it was hard to tell the design of it.  The paint was in bad shape also, peeling, cracking, and dingy.  But it was a nice heavy piece so I decided to give it a try.  Before I could get to working on it I used it as a weight when I was adding a silver cloth lining to the drawer in my buffet.

This is the only before photo I have, and it has a lot of glare on it, but you can maybe see how the design is so clogged with paint layers that you can't tell what they are.

Then came the stripping.

and scraping, and stripping and finally a good scrubbing with a brass bristle brush.  A new cord, plug and socket, along with a lampshade I already had, and I have a new lamp to fit on the bedside table I made.

So would you buy something that you couldn't even really see all the details in?  I'm glad I gave this one a try!

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Good Night

I have wanted for a while to change out the nightstand on my side of the bed.  It was one of those make do things that you think you'll just have for a few months and it ends up there for years.  One of those pressed wood round tables with the table skirt.  I did like the skirt I had made, linen with a green velvet square topper, but it was way past time to change.

Before Pinterest came along, it was tearing pages out of magazines or copy photos and save in a folder on your desktop.  When I finally made the time to replace the nightstand I looked at all the photos I had saved, and this is the one that caught my eye.

The only problem was I didn't mark or make note of where I found it and haven't come across it since to give them credit.  I decided it would be the perfect piece of furniture to try to make.  So the next time I went to woodworking class with my kids I asked Mr. Bruce about it and he said it would be easy.
I saw on Graphics Fairy today how to do an image search, and when I did, I found a link back for the photo to Ballard Designs, though they no longer carry the nightstand.

I started out with a $25.00 piece of cabinet grade plywood from Home Depot.

I came armed with measurements of the height of my bed, and the size I wanted the night stand to be and I sketched out what I wanted my nightstand to look like.

Then the cutting began:
I started off with 2 rectangles cut to the depth and height of the nightstand.  Then we used screwed the 2 panels together and cut both curves at the same time to ensure they were identical.

Next we cut a groove in the sides for the shelves to slide into.  And we decided that it was too deep, so we started to cut some off.  But it was the wrong end.  So we had a cut down into the sides of the  nightstand.  Filled in with popsicle sticks and wood glue, then filled in with wood putty, and you can't even tell where the mistake had been.

We used a template to cut the curves for the top and shelves and also a trim piece to go under the shelves.  Now sand, sand and sand some more, it took a while to get the curved edge smoothed out.

Top and shelves in, trimmed to fit around the side supports and trim pieces added to the curved area to make it appear thicker.  Sand and sand and sand.

Added legs by cutting 2 pieces of plywood one more square, one rectangular to attach under the side pieces, then tapered (that was a fun one to figure out).  Then lots of little miter cuts to trim out the top of the leg.  I actually liked the miter cuts.
Strips were added to make the shelves look like they were the full pieces, not the sides.  Then trim pieces were added to the curved areas to finish off the sides along with trim to the top and back edge of the sides. Now LOTS of wood filler to cover over the "ply" in the plywood and all the other mistakes I made.  SAND, Sand, Sand again!
2 coats of primer, and I decided to paint it a dark brown almost black to remind me of tree bark to go with the green color we have in our bedroom.  I found Rustoleum's Painters Touch in Satin Dark Walnut.  It went on very well and I loved the color.  Once it was painted it was a little harder to see all the accent pieces on the sides so I decided to distress just a little.  Sand some more, and use a Qtip to apply some stain I had, to tone down the white primer coat that came out with the distressing.  At first I thought I'd just have to paint back over it, but it showed up the detail so much better, I just decided to not worry about the white, and now I love how it turned out.

After adding to it's place by my side of the bed I decided it needed the back on it to help cover the cords, but I don't know yet if I'll paint the back the same color or add some fabric to it, or something unexpected.  

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Window Shelves

 Time flies!  Holidays, teenagers, homeschooling, a surprise trip to Paris (my husband plans the BEST trips!) and life in general have kept me so busy, I don't have much time to blog.  But when I saw that Donna at Funky Junk Interiors was having her weekly Sat. Night Special Link Party and that the theme was old windows, I found my self at almost midnight sitting down to write a blog post.

Last year I found some old windows in a neighbors remodeling trash pile.  In South Florida you rarely find old wooden window frames, they just rot away in the rain and sun here.  So when I saw these I grabbed them.  It stayed in the garage for a while, much to my husbands annoyance, before I had a brain storm one day.  I had some shelves that I had found at local thrift stores, I thought they would be the perfect partners for my window frame.  L-brackets and holes drilled into the frame attached the shelves to the window, and then the window to the wall studs so that it would be very secure.  Now loaded up with my crafting supplies it sits next to the table where when I have some free time (which is very little these days) I can just reach out for what I need.

And see that little nail at the corner?  My favorite number is on the nail that the railroads used to mark the dates they installed parts on the line.  Why is it my favorite number?

My Grandfather Floyd was born on April 28th, his daughter (my Mom) was born on June 28th, I was born on Oct 28th, and my daughter was born on April 28th (also my Mother-In-Laws birthday).  Four generations born on the 28th.  Next time I'll have to let you know where the Dove Nest part of the blog name comes from.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Finery

I am told often that I'm "so creative".  I have always felt I'm more of a good copier.  Seeing what others are doing  I can take apart the pieces of what they have made to see  how they make it and then use it in my own way to make something (like using and old dress to make a new pattern).  Especially these days with homeschooling 2 high schoolers (Chemistry, World History, Compositions, and the worst Grammar) along with an 8th grader (U.S. history, General Science, Pre-Algebra, etc.), along with volunteering at a free clinic once a week and a husband that is gone for weeks at a time leaves me little time to "create" let alone "think" up new things to do.

Enter a challenge.  Donna at Funky Junk Interiors, is one creative person, and she wants to foster that in others, not to be afraid to try new things and just create.  How could I refuse?  (I never have been good at saying no!)

The assignment was to find something around your home and to use it in a fresh new way.  Hmmm, I have to be creative myself.  Okay, after reading the blogpost
 I happened to see a pile of things my daughter weeded out of her bedroom and set aside to be donated to the thrift store.  I spied something kinda furry and spider leggy looking...

It was a vintage ladies hat that I bought at a thrift store for her to play dress up with (sadly she is too old for that now :(.  Well, I thought maybe I could do something with this.  The spider idea had me thinking...

... of Fall, turn it upside down and it becomes a cradle for a pumpkin.
Add some other fall items, pinecones, gourds, leaves, feathers, and place them all on an old tarnished silver tray that just perfectly fits on the base I took off from a terrarium (or birdcage?).
Just one more thing to make it perfect (well in my eyes) a branch off the oak tree with a bit of Resurrection fern on it.  Resurrection fern will turn brown and look dead in dry weather, but with a little rain (we have had lots in the past few days) and it comes alive again.
A nice little Fall welcome for my front porch.

What have you been creative with lately?

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Restoring or Refinishing? & How to Clean Marble

My favorite local treasure store is the United Methodist Thrift store that is only a few blocks from my front door.  They are only open Tues, Thur and Sat from 8am to 11:30 am, so you need to work it into your schedule to make it when they are open.  It is worth it though, they have the best prices, and I think, the nicest volunteers that staff the business.  

I always try to go to the furniture building first, really just a small room, but they have had some great bargains there.   Like this for example:

At first glance it looked like it was in great shape.  Looking closer though I found that it had some "repairs" (like the keyhole in the drawer that was patched) 

 and the finish though not bad would need to be worked on, and the front left foot was off, but was in the top drawer.

 The worst part was the marble top (which was not attached, maybe a marriage from another piece?), it was really stained and dirty looking, and I wasn't sure that it could be cleaned.  My friends husband worked for a granite company for years though, so I knew who to go to for advice.  

The price tag was only $20.00. What would you have done?  The same as me?  I bought it!  After some "discussion" with my husband.  I can't blame him, I do have a tendency to start projects and not always finish, and he likes things spare and open, while I like to fill all available space.  He did reluctantly give me the green light on this one though.  Another lady was right behind me when I was paying for it, making sure I would buy it or she would have had it.  When I got it home I noticed one other thing wrong with it.

See the carving above, it's missing on the other side.  How could I have missed it?  Excitement does that to me!

Well this is how far it's come.

I "restored" the finish.  While doing the restoring I learned the difference of restoring and refinishing.  Restoring means keeping as much of the original finish as possible, and just "restoring" what is bad, while refinishing means to strip it down and create a new finish.  It was amazing to me how Mr. Bruce (see more about him here) showed me how to just clean the original finish with fine steel wool, then add 3 coats of wipe-on poly, and before the final coat to use acrylic artist paint to touch up the original finish, and to blend in the wood filler and new pieces we added to make up for broken or missing pieces (I still have to do a coat of wax to complete the finish).  Just wish I'd have taken photos of that part, but I was so into what we were doing I forgot.  He just mixed different wood toned browns with a little black and red, and a smidgen of orange to mimic the finish already there.  I can't tell the difference and I saw where it was painted on.  Amazing!
I still have to plug the hole the lock was in (not an antique or vintage looking lock) and then we'll cover it with a escutcheon.  And find 4 knobs that match, and do some work on the inside.  Oh, and carve a new piece to match the other carving.  Mr. Bruce is sure I can do it, so why not try?

The biggest difference though to me is the marble.  Remember this is how it looked?

This is how it looks now!

There are still chips and dings in it, but those I can live with, but not that nasty staining.  Want to know how I did it?  We tried lots of household cleaning products and also wet sanding with a power sander.  But these stains were deep down in the marble.  Online searches suggested 10% hydrogen solution and white clothes, but I couldn't find that strength easily.  The other suggestion?  Let it sit out in the sun and the rain.  I live in South Florida, in the summer we have plenty of both.  So I gave it a try.  After a few days I noticed some lightening.  So we carted the table with the marble in and out to the driveway each morning and evening.  Then my smart husband suggested placing it in the backyard on buckets and just leaving it there.  So it sat there for another couple weeks.  All together it was out for about 2 months.  So it produces great results if you're willing to wait for them.  I do need to seal the marble, but for now I'm just enjoying the piece as is in my dining room.

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