Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stanley Bamboo dresser Finally finished!

Man oh man. The nightmares of all nightmare prep jobs! Behold this classic, vintage Asain style dresser made by Stanley. Originally it was done in that icky yellow. 
Like this: 

But some genius decided to throw on some black paint. Literally. Was the worst paint job, ever!

 I thought with some sanding it would prep up easily enough. Uh, no. The top and sides were ok, but those drawers?? OMG.
 This was after applying a stripper and starting to scrape. The "wood" is actually some sort of resin type material that's hard, but crumples if you chip at it. This was beyond horrific. Seriously. Took me about 20 hours before I could even put a brush to it. This is why I don't buy painted pieces~!

But,,,,Totally worth it in the end....
 This piece was custom painted for a customer in Chicago. She wanted a Robins Egg Blue.
I actually like the way it goes w/my wood ceiling and gray walls in the living room. 
I suggested this gorgeous Teal for the inner drawers.

Once the paint went on the waffling, the drawers came out ok. 
This waffle stuff on the middle drawers just made things more ridiculous. It was impossible to make these holes look smooth and clean. 
Each one of these rounded 'tiers' were all sanded by hand to smooth them out, delineate the grooves, and remove excess old paint. 

BM Advance Glossy. Everything was done by hand on this baby. 

 I so wish I had the time to stage it properly. 
But it weighed a ton and was going out the next morn.

                                    *****************UPDATE PHOTOs**********

The customer I painted this for sent me some photos of the piece in her bedroom.
It looks stunning!  She has some mad design skills!! I love her room and adjoining bathroom.
Thanks Maaike!!!!

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. 

 I've recently added some Tillandsia (air plants) that I glued to driftwood.

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!