Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Little Harlequin Dresser

I finally got something FREE! Yeah! It was under off of CL. I called the guy and said I was coming over. I was a tad disappointed because the desk in the picture looked, well, normal size. In person it was miniature! So maybe I can make it for a little girl, I thought. (I mean c'mon, it was free). Or maybe a little person may want it. Whatever. Did I mention it was free??

Hmmmm,,,now what to do with it. I figured pink since it would most likely be for a girl. Then some white. But everyone does pink and white. Hey wait, I just got a new gray color from Martha Stewart paint that HD is discontinuing. I bought a gallon (12 bucks maybe?), divided it into 4 quart containers and had the paint guy tint each one a different color! Genius, I know right??
So pink and gray it is.


It needed a lot of filler. This baby was pretty dinged up.

I thought maybe I could refinish the top, but with the gray and pink combo, I didn't think it would look that great.
Plus this wood on top isn't all that great anyway.

So for the pink I used Behr Geranium mixed
with Bright white. What you see in the cup is
all I mixed for this desk. Thats Plaster of Paris in
the other cup. Thats all I used for my chalk paint for 
the pink. Step by step for the gray is below. 

So for the gray chalk paint. I use 2:1 ratio. (2 paint , 1 PP)
These little plastic cups are great for measuring.  I stir the PP
with a little hot water until the lumps disappear. 

I don't dump it in right away.
I add a little bit of paint to the mixture and stir. Kinda like tempering eggs!

Then I dump it in and use
my whisk (Big Lots) to mix well. It works great.
Mark my container and off we go! 

I know there are a ton of ways to do this out in blogland. But I have used this over and over again
with no issues. The hot water is really the key to break up the lumps and grit.  I have ASCP as well. And yes it is great paint. Is mine just as good??? Well, yes and no. I will say hers is easier, by a tad. But the finished result is almost identical. At least to me. If you are on a budget, then I like my way.

          The below picture shows what the first coat looks like. Nice and smooth and no lumps.

Ok. So not wanting to be left out, I jumped on the harlequin train for my desk top. Lemme just say after getting started, I wished I would have let that train leave the depot without me! Holy Hannah, what was I thinking???? Researching the stupid pattern took me about an hour. 
I did that Silver spoon  harlequin pattern calculator thing. 
Put in my dimensions and I got 3 rows, 15 columns of 6"X 3" diamonds. No problemo, right? 
Are you counting???? Thats 45 diamonds!

 Don't even ask me how I did this. Actually once I got going, it was pretty easy. Just connect the dots. It took me quite awhile to
draw all this out. I was shocked when all the lines actually lined up!
If you put a dot of tape on the color you are painting before you start, it keeps you from getting "confused".

Lord have mercy. See that roll of tape? It was almost full when I started. In retrospect, I probably should have painted the top pink, being that it's lighter. But I knew I didn't have enough. I had to paint the pink in two parts because of the tape overlapping other diamonds.

                                  Ok. So here is the little princess all done and waxed. 

In hind sight, I should have filled in the pull holes and gotten new hardware. 
These pulls are 4 1/4". Not a standard size. The dreaded double knob drawer!! 

 I wiped on a metallic glaze haphazardly to give it a 
little shimmer and antique-y sort of look.

 I'm having a very difficult time finding a chair to go with this desk. The opening is only 
19" high. I need a "mini-me" chair! 

 I spray painted the handles a glossy white. Not really diggin' them, but
a custom order of this size would be a little pricey. 
Note to self,,,"fill in the holes before painting!!"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Maple hutch with tutorial for wood finishing

A big thanks to Maryann at Domestically Speaking, for the heads up on the free paint 
last Sat at ACE! Not That I need anymore paint! Seriously, I counted. I have over fifty...yes 50,
containers of paint in all different colors! But, I didn't have this color!! Since it was FREE, and I already have a bazillion colors on hand, I got COBALT! My fave color. I don't have 
anything to paint this shade....yet! I'ma lookin'. Isn't it yummy??

              Here is my latest project. A pretty nice score from CL. I don't think the owners ever once  polished, cleaned or even wiped this baby down! She was pretty grimy!! 

       I'm going to go over some wood finishing steps while I'm working on this project. I have been refinishing wood a lot longer than I've been painting it.  I couldn't believe what a beautiful top the lower part of this hutch had. I know, you're looking at it and going, "yeah, right." Just wait.  This hutch is solid maple. I couldn't believe my eyes when I sanded off that stain. Pure, solid maple butcher block.  Even those shelves are solid. I sanded those puppies down as well.
                                    I will be adding bits to this day by day until I'm finished.

This baby was just a tad, um, filthy!

                                               Filling in a crack w/some wood filler.

This left leg had a some serious gouges and a chunk missing from the molding. No problem.
I will fabricate the missing piece with Plastic Wood. It dries quickly and sands easily. The benefit over the wood filler is that it will not shrink and crack. For really big fill jobs, use an epoxy filler.

Here's what it looks like after sanding and staining.

 And here's what it looks like after painting! I don't think anyone would have known.
And those deep gouges kind of faded after I hit it with sandpaper.

Ok...So off to the top! 

I start with my orbital sander and a 60 grit, then 150, and finishing with 220.
Go easy around the edges or you'll hog 'em off! I usually do those by hand. 

Um, hello??? Can you say pristine maple?? Like butcher block maple quality???
It's gawjus!  So now comes the fine tuning with a 320 grit that I 
use in a block sander, going with the grain. This gets any circular
marks the orbital may have left behind and really gets it
feeling as smooth as a baby's behind! 

I used this pre-stain to avoid blotchiness. 

I sand again (with a 320 or 420 grit)  after applying this because it tends to raise the grain.

Maple takes stain very easily although it's difficult
to get very dark. I used a dark walnut, which it sucked right up,
and then went over it again with jacobean. I use a foam brush
to apply it and then a lint free rag to work it in and wipe
off the excess.

Very important to use a seal coat. This locks in your color and gives you a
finish you can sand without stripping your color.   you can also just apply a clear coat topcoat of your choice. any further sanding should be done with a very fine grit 600-1000. I use a wet sandpaper if I need to remove any nubs between clear coats. 

Last night I put on a poly finish in gloss, water based. I have the oil based too, but since
this isn't going to get that much usage, I chose the water. Plus the water base
is easier to brush on and clean-up is with, well, water!  I hate
cleaning oil stain brushes! 

I use a 0000 steel wool. Once the poly dried, I gave the top a once over
with the wooly. Go easy and try to see where the streaks are. Yes, you will
dull the finish. Thats okay cuz you are going to put on at least another
2-3 coats (sanding in between each one). 
You never stop at one coat.  
A lot of work you say??? Why yes, it is. But that's why it will look 
so good when it's done! 

This is the inside bottom shelf. I gave it a quick sanding, a once over with some stain and one coat of the poly. 
I'm calling it a day on this part. It was in decent shape and I didn't take it down to the bare wood. 
I think it looks beautiful. Look at that rich color! 

Here's a sneak peak at the hutch part. I did the same procedure to the shelves as 
I did on the top. They were the same maple quality. I debated about
painting.  I hate covering up nice wood and I thought the
contrast would work well with colors. 

So I just finished the bottom portion and brought this in
the house. I've since acquired a new piece and I need
room in the garage! Repeat after me,,,,,,
I have a furniture addiction!

I came across these vintage knobs at the Re-Store.
The pulls came from Lowes. I tried to spray the originals, 
but I didn't like the way they came out. I think these suit the 
hutch better. 

I'm so in love with the way this top finished. This is after two coats
of glossy brush on water based Poly. I could probably
use one more coat. 

Ok finally! DUN!  Waxed her up and couldn't find a good place
to put her to take photos. The color of my walls in the other rooms do not
go at all with this hutch. So it's in my bedroom by the 
back door! 

In case you forgot the before.....

I used my home made chalk paint on the white. 
Behr "divine pleasure".  The aqua color is regular latex
with about 3 different colors I had on hand mixed together.