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:

Pet Beds by Design!

Since I just finished a vintage table/pet bed, I thought I would take it over to Hometalk to share and look to see what other ideas people have had. I was surprised to find quite a few beds! Take a look at my clipboard from Hometalk!  
Some of these beds are quite unique. To see each individual bed, head over to my page by clicking the Hometalk link, and then clicking on each individual bed. 

And while you're there, take a look around and check out all the posts on the home page! 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Vintage Hexagon Table Gets New Life

Quick post on what do with those old so lovely vintage, weirdly shaped, side tables from 
the 70's. Paint them to start with. And why not give them double duty as a pet bed?? 
Mine started out something like this (I forgot to take a before pic). 
                                                                     With a little paint,
 And a fresh new pet bed,

 It's painted black all around the back. I would have like to do some black on the door, but way more work than I wanted to spend on this guy. 
 Damian is testing it out....
Mama is just a matching accessory for the photo! 

Either way, it's a cool little addition to the family room or as a night stand for the bedroom. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

How to properly measure for a new desk top.

Just a little quip I'm writing about today on the bonehead mistake I made.  Perhaps someone else can learn from my errors! So. Drexel Campaign Desk. Suh-weet! 
Friend found it in Vegas and hauled it back for me. Thought it was a good deal until I 
got a close look at it. 
You're probably thinking what's the big deal?? A little veneer action. So what.  Um, no. I forgot to snap pics before hub and I got all the glue and clamps on. 
But you can probably get the gist of just how tore up this baby was. 
 It was lopsided because it was out of the grooves. Now the drawers will close well. 
 Ok. This post isn't about the desk so much as what I did wrong while measuring for a new top. Below is the laminate crap top that it came with. I like real wood.  I have done this on a previous mid century desk using cherry HERE.   
This desk is made of oak. So I went to the lumberyard at bought some white oak planks. As you can see the desk top is 46". So I measured the planks at 46", thinking it would work. 
 Uh, no. Just a tad off.  What the heck??!!! 
 So. What I SHOULD have done, and what I did with the last plank before I cut, was to measure it from the desk itself, not the MDF top. I guess the other top had a beveled edge that made up that 1/2" difference. Oh well. Lesson learned. Went back to the lumberyard and bought 4 more pieces. This time had the old man do it.   Sigh. 
 Stay tuned for the finished product. I plan on doing a weathered gray ceruse on this top.