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. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A New Chinoiserie Re-Do

I'm always on the lookout for unusual dressers to rehab. And I love the mid century stuff. So when I came across this one that my friend found, I pounced on it. I had already done this style in a little cabinet awhile back. HERE. I gave it a gray weathered top and coral body.  But this one I envisioned in glossy white. I had hoped to keep the wood top, but after stripping and sanding a bit, it just wasn't all that great. The body and top had gouges and missing veneer patches. 

And here's what I came up with! 

Heres the little cabinet I did from the same line. 
At first, I wanted to do the handles (the vertical gold parts are the drawer pull-outs) in black. The horizontal gold parts are what the drawers sit on. I wanted those gold. 
So first I did Klein Blue, didn't like it. 
 Then I did it in black. Didn't like the contrast. Thought I did. But my friend Jennifer over at
MiVidaVintage "made" me change it! Lol. Thank-you Jennifer. Keep in mind that every time I had to paint these handles, I had to tape off around them to keep the white clean!! 

I have to admit, the gold with the gold and white does look better. 
This was all brushed by the way. Except the bottom fretwork. I sprayed that. 

So just because I have to have something different, I give you peacocks! 
 More taping. All the white surrounding the inner portion of these drawers were all taped off and sprayed. I took a lot of time with the details on this piece. This is fabric that was applied using ModPodge. Also used it on top after watering it down. When dry, just sand the edges. 
I left the doors in their mahogany state. Yes I did sand off the old finish. Jennifer wants me to paint the inside of the doors white as well.  Any opinions??? Wood or Paint?? 

This piece would look amazing in so many different decor options!  It's For Sale! 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

An Urban Bronze MCM Stanley

Wow. Look at me go. Two posts in 3 days!  Clearing out the garage baby. 
 This mid century Stanley dresser has been sitting idle for months. I just couldn't decide what to do with it. After stripping the top (the wood is meh) and the drawers, I had to decide to paint the whole thing or just give it a two-tone look.  I really liked the burled wood on the drawer ends. So I decided to keep those intact. The middle ones were walnut veneer so I redid those as well.

This is what I saw and looked at for months. I even reached out to Martha Leone since she always comes up with some killer ideas for her pieces. She suggested leave those wood parts I had talked about and paint the rest. Just keep it simple. I had to agree with that. 
 So here's how we ended up! 

SW Urban Bronze in a semi-gloss. I tried it in the Emerald line. Love painting with that! I think it's just as good as the Pro-Classic line and BM Advance. Goes on super smooth. 
I left the burled parts natural. Just sealed with shellac and a few coats of Arm r Seal 
Isn't this wood cool? Why on earth did the manufacturer use this wood and then cover it up?? 
 When I redo my dressers, I take great care in doing the entire thing. I sand down the drawers inside and outside. This is really nice wood. So I take time to make it smooth and seal it with shellac.
 What does one do when one spills paint inside of the drawer??!! Improvise. I wasn't going to paint the drawer bottoms because the wood was pristine. But I spilled half a can of paint on it! So, I had to paint the left drawer bottom too so it would match! Wasn't about to paint all NINE drawer bottoms!

Mama looks rather comfy.  
I painted this top about 4 times and sanded down every time. I brushed and rolled. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Walnut Hutch and a quick How-To for a refinish

So I'm finally getting around to blogging! Finally finished one piece (I'm working on, like, 10).
This great little hutch I picked up is made from walnut and walnut veneers. It's a quality piece. Normally you don't see a lot of walnut because it's a higher end wood.
 It wasn't in bad shape, just severely outdated. Those flowery things had to go! See the solid brass (which I didn't even know was solid brass until hub put them on the polisher) pulls? They cleaned up beautifully.  Here is a quick after photo. I'll explain the how-to as we go. 

There were two shelves that I stripped and refinished. The right one has my soy gel stripper on it. I rave about this stuff because it's completely natural and no chemicals! Rinses off with water. Why use stuff that's bad for your skin, respiratory system and water run-off?? Trust me, this works just as well as CitriStrip and all those other chemical strips. It is pricier but it cleans up with water and plain old rags.  To me, that's worth the extra bucks right there! 
                          SoyGel by Farnham available on Amazon. (No I'm not paid)

I also stripped the top. Now, some people ask, "why can't you just sand off the old finish? Why use a stripper??"  Well you can sand, however, the old finish is inside the wood grain. When you sand, you are merely removing the old finish from the top surface. The sander can't get down into the minute grooves of the wood. So, your new finish can't get down into the grain and you get an uneven, poor stained piece of wood.  That's why. 

The inside wasn't bad. I only gave it a fine sanding and wiped on a dark walnut gel stain to perk it up. Go easy when you scrape so as not remove the wood. Clean up all the gunk and wipe it clean.  Let it

Friday, February 27, 2015

New Paint

Still here. Just haven't finished anything. You know how you get a million projects to do and decide to work on all of them at once? No?? Well, I do. I have every intention of sticking to one thing and then I get bored and start on another. Furniture ADD? I dunno. 
I'm finally getting around to this Stanley MCM piece. 

 I already stripped and sanded and somewhat stained the drawers in the above pic. Those square ends of the burled wood really had me stumped. Very busy wood grain all going on. Didn't want to paint over that, so I decided to paint everything else except the squares and solid dark walnut on the middle drawers. He's a busy guy.  I', leaving the burled wood natural and just adding a glossy top-coat.
I have been wanting to try Sherwin Williams Urban Bronze forever! Found out they do not make a

Monday, January 12, 2015

Vintage Metal Catalog Cabinet

I found this little nugget in Medford Oregon and my sister was kind enough to bring it down to me. 
This one was quite different than the wood one I completed a few months ago. I still visualized it with some hairpin legs tho. So, after much cleaning and sanding and priming, I ended up with:

Faux zinc anyone?? 

                     Custom made wood base so the legs would have something to grip onto.
I left all the insides and sides of the drawers as they were.  The top was given numerous paint treatments and I think it resembles zinc.  I used metallic spray, chalk paint, milk paint and tung oil. 


                                            I realize the industrial vibe isn't for everyone.  
                                             It's just something different that I enjoy doing. 

Domestically Speaking - The Power of Paint Party