Saturday, June 27, 2015

orchid boxes

I love orchids and have a gazillion of them. Ok, maybe not that many, but a lot. In my front patio I have a vertical wood orchid wall that we built about 5 years ago with iroku wood. It's like ipe. Here's what it looked like when it was first done:

The wood is so nice and new! It doesn't get direct sun and it's like ipe and teak, so it can get wet.

And now:

 walking through the front gate, into my courtyard area. 
 All the wood orchid planter boxes, we made.  These two are the recent additions:

The area below the blue wall is my koi pond.. That window is to my son's room. He has the best room in the house.When you open his window, you can hear the pond waterfall. 
And here is what the pond looks like. don't really have any recent, decent shots of this pond. There are no more plants in the water because the koi rip them to shreds. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Antique Coffee Bar

I picked up this great antique buffet recently and thought it would look cool made into a coffee bar. If someone had one of those old fashioned stores where they served up tea, coffee or drinks, I think this would look cool as an accent piece. I wish I had room for it my kitchen!    

                  Oops. Little late on the before shot. Already started sanding. The drawers needed some stoppers, so I made those little guys (otherwise the drawer pushes in too far. see above?)
 I love my turquoise milk paint on antique oak. I also love the ultra-marine blue. So I used both. And I think I may have used some CeCe's turquoise. Layering is the way to go with this paint. 
The top got stripped and stained in walnut, and I finished up the top coat with a walnut shaded top-coat. I like that it deepens and enriches the final finish. 
 Didn't have enough of one of these patterns, so I used all three! Hey, it works for pillows! Oh, did you want to see the final result????? My bad....

I hate how the flash washes out these colors! I'll just post a bunch more ;)

               I taped off the wood around the mirror and gave it a few coats of chalkboard paint.
 Blue Agate Knobs

                                           Does this color not look amazing with orange???
Now. It's time for a big ol' cup of joe! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Drexel Campaign Desk, Cerused Custom Top, and a New Paint!

Campaign desks are hard to come by. Good ones by Drexel are really hard to come by,,,at a decent price. I got this one for a steal because it was in such poor shape. It was a nice oak veneer, which you don't usually see in these desks. Legs are solid oak. The hardware was in pretty good shape.
               After removing the brass corner and T-plates. Lovely laminate top, eh?

 When I say this was in rough shape, I wasn't kidding. None of the drawers closed properly because everything was out of alignment. This is where many clamps and glue come in handy! All of the joints were set back in place, glued and clamped. The drawer slide on the right pic was coming apart as well. More glue and more clamps! 

 This before and after shows the magic of wood filler (or bondo if it's a large area) and some good sanding. Some of the veneer was lifting so it got some, you guessed it, glue and clamps!

That laminate top had to go. I got some white oak planks and hub joined and glued them. I tried doing it myself which and I cut the wood 1/2" too short! 
You can read about that in an earlier post. 
I knew I was painting this gray and I knew I wanted a weathered gray, cerused top.

These were all of my test boards for different combos of stains. Also do a test piece first before jumping on your new wood. 

The left is raw, sanded, and pre-conditioned.  The right pic is after the gray stain. (Had issues with this as well which caused me to sand it all off and start over. sigh. Just be careful with your sanding after doing your staining. You see those patches of lightness?? You don't want that!

I loved the pyramid escutcheons that came with this, but I was missing about 6 of them. I could not find any identical ones to match, so had to change them all out for the regular pin/nail ones.  Bar Keepers Friend and steel wool, took care of the tarnish.
(don't know what the deal is with my computer and photos. They look slightly out of focus. I just got a new iMac, and maybe I need to fiddle with the settings).
 I love gray and orange together. Plus this drawer gave me an excuse to try out my two General Finishes colors, Persimmon and Coral Crush. I mixed the two and got this:
 I had a sample of a shade of orange that almost matched the GF, I used that up on the sides.
Here;s a close up of the ceruse finish. Want the how-to's on that?? See it here
 I sprayed a clear glossy enamel over the GF color and it looks like lacquer!!
 So the new paint I used on this desk was Eurolux from Fine Paints of Europe, that was color matched to BM "Gray".  Very high end paint. Eurolux is the water based version. I will tell you, this is not a paint for beginners! Very difficult to paint with. It looks beautiful, but it's a little temperamental for my taste. After doing the drawers, I noticed they were staying tacky. Like tacky to the point of not being able to touch the surface without leaving permanent smudges. I called the company and was informed that yes, that is the drawback to this line of paint. He informed me to use the hybrid, Eco, instead. Well,  the Eco is just like the BM Advance, which I do like very much. And it's cheaper and goes on like a dream. 

 Don't know what's up with my camera indoors. 
The pic below is in the garage and looks clearer!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Another Horrendous Waterfall Piece gets New Life!

Why is it that these waterfall pieces I come across are so messed up?? I want you to see that just because wood seems like it's beyond repair or refinishing, it usually is not.
With some care you can transform the wood back to it's original look.  

My very first one was a desk that was deplorable! I refinished it way back when I was first starting out. This horrendous desk has been pinned to the moon and back on Pinterest! 

Here is a before pic of that desk and a link to my blog post so you can see the finished result! I know. Sneaky. HERE is the link Seriously. I did not replace the top. 

So todays post is about another waterfall piece. A dresser. Same messed up top and almost the same messed up body. Not quite as bad though. 
                           This was another piece that came to me by way of Las Vegas.

So here's the top. Pretty bad. Very rough and stained. Because the body is pine, it had dings and gouges everywhere. The top got a gentle sanding. It's very easy to burn through this walnut veneer. So be careful. Do the curved part by hand, otherwise you will burn through, and there is no fix for that. 

Look at how well it cleans up! I think I used an 80 grit and worked up to 220.

After a coat of the stain (i think i used a walnut. I can't remember!) and trying to decide on some colors. 

From right to left, the stages of sanding and staining the drawers. But, I realized at least 4 of them had so many chips in the veneer, it would never look good stained. 

 The body was done in a very pale gray and the black was GF Lampblack. Can you believe the top??? I did a satin topcoat of Deft acrylic topcoat. 
 I thought about leaving the original gold, but ended up doing a metallic light silver. 

Ok..the pic of "Mama" just had to be shown! I love the one on the right! 
 GF Corinth Blue on the sides for some color. 
Last look at that gorgeous top! 

Although this is the pic of the desk, I used the same Deft topcoat on this one too.

One more before and after: