Tag Archives: furniture restoration

It’s sooo haaaaarrrrdddd to say goodbye… to furniture!!

A classic Boyz II Men song comes to mind every time I sell a piece that I’ve painstakingly refinished. Dramatic? Yep, sure am, but justifiably so… I happily put my blood (albeit only a splinter’s worth so far, knock on wood), sweat, and tears into every piece that I work on. pencil_beforeA piece of me goes into each piece, if that makes any sense, hehe. In fact, if I had it my way, I wouldn’t sell my most recent work… I would have a lovely circular foyer where this beautiful table would rest right smack in the middle of, properly dressed with a vase of fresh flowers on top along with a gorgeous rug and my little guys’ shoes strewn about underneath. But, alas, I do not have a foyer (pronounce it the hoighty toighty way while reading, please), so therefore this beauty is up on the auction block. *insert sad face here* Though it does turn my frown upside down when someone falls in love with my refinished pieces and gives them a happy home!  Here’s hoping this table finds a new owner before I swoon any harder!
no2_front_somb

 

no2top_somb

W O R K

This beauty was a wobbly, dinged up, sad-lookin’ wooden doorstop when we met, but I bathed her in 4 coats of Miss Mustard Seed’s ‘Typewriter’ milk paint (adding bonding agent in the first two coats) & topped her off with some clear Briwax. The end result is a super cool finish that looks exactly like it was sculpted from a huge block of no. 2 pencil lead & I ADORE it! But, no! I cannot fall in love!! I am selling it since I don’t have a foyer… maybe I should just move so I can keep it! ;)

 

 

Linkin’ back to…
Furniture Feature Fridays

Teal for Teacher… Antique Table Refinish

frontteal_somb

This project was a joy to work on since this beautiful antique table belongs to my oldest little guy’s favorite Pre-K teacher. She handed me a bedspread to choose the table’s color from and gave me carte blanche to refinish the piece!
teal_ba
I started by repairing an inside drawer box piece, staining any bare wood & scratches to match the existing finish, and filling a hole in one of the back legs. Then I whipped up some homemade chalk paint using pigment from Behr’s Bali Bliss, a gorgeous teal that matches her bedspread. I applied one coat of chalk paint to the base and two to the top. I wanted the drawer front to have more of a distressed look to it than the rest of the piece, so I sanded it a tad in spots that would normally show wear. The drawer’s knobs were stunning, but needed a new paint job and waxing to make them stand out. I also waxed the rest of the piece using rags from an old shirt dipped in Briwax, gently distressing as I applied. When working with chalk paint you have to distress gently as the paint comes off very easily. I buffed out the wax on the base, protecting the chalk paint and creating a beautiful sheen. I then got to work on the top, gently sanding with 220 grit sandpaper & waxing, letting it dry, then buffing the top, being extremely careful not to remove any chalk paint. This creates a wonderful texture and pattern reminiscent of water, which looks amazing with blues and greens such as this table.
tealwork
I’m thrilled with how this table turned out… hope my son’s teacher enjoys her pop of color!
tealside_somb

Linkin’ back to…
Furniture Feature Fridays
FavePost PartyBadge photo blogbadge.jpg

Finishes

Quick guide to the different Finishes that I can apply to your piece…

Polyurethane
Poly is a durable finish that is fairly easy to apply & fast-drying, especially if you choose the more expensive spray-on version. It comes in a varying degree of sheens (satin, semi-gloss, and high gloss), which makes it a no-brainier finish for a lot of my projects since it is somewhat toddler-proof. The oil-based version can yellow over time, so I never use it on light stains or paints, while the water-based version (polycrylic) stays clear but has a more plastic look to it. It’s also worth noting that you have to lightly sand between coats (I apply at least 3) in order for the coats to adhere to each other. I used wipe-on poly and satin spray poly on my family’s Buffet Turned Media Cabinet & polycrylic on this Mid Century Desk.

20130321-223545.jpgmidcentury_desk_angle

 

 

 

 

Wipe-on Polyurethane
You can make your own rub-on poly by adding equal parts mineral spirits to polyurethane.

Furniture Wax
roundsidetablewAhhh, wax! I love using furniture wax! It creates a soft sheen & a warm glow that is smooth to the touch which can’t be duplicated with any other finish. Depending on which wax you choose, it can have an obnoxious odor so I always use a respirator and wear gloves. You will get a workout while buffing the applied wax to create the lovely sheen! I used wax to distress and finish the bottom of this beauty.

 

Lacquer
stella_finalThis finish is durable, hard, and toddler-proof, not as easy to apply as polyurethane, but there is no need to sand between coats like there is with poly. It comes in sheens ranging from ultra matte to high gloss. I use this finish for wooden furniture with beautiful wood grain that I want to highlight and protect! I used it on the round side table’s wood top seen here.

 

Shellac
A resin secreted by the female lac bug, sold as dry flakes and dissolved in ethyl alcohol creating a liquid shellac. This finish is extremely durable, comes in white, orange, or pigmented, cleans with mineral spirits, and was widely on furniture before the 1920’s. I might use this, but it spoils in a can if left unused for long periods of time.

Latex Paint
campaign_side_somb.jpgAlso known as acrylic paint, it’s a fast drying paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion. It can be diluted with water, yet still be water-resistant when dry. It comes in any color you can think of and is a long lasting finish when applied to furniture properly, (sanding, then priming before applying two coats of paint). I used latex paint on this Modern Lingerie Campaign chest that I upcycled from an Armoire.

Milk Paint
c_chest2Milk paint is a beautiful paint finish, chemically safe and environmentally friendly. I love to distress milk-painted pieces, has an unpredictable chipping off to it that looks authentic and lovely. It’s best to finish with a coat of wax since it isn’t as durable as it is beautiful. Miss Mustard Seed & Old Fashioned Milk Paint paints are my favorite. You can also make your own, though it is not a pleasing process. Check out this Campaign Chest I built & painted with milk paint!

Chalk Paint
frontteal_sombChalk paint is an extremely easy to apply paint that you don’t have to prime before applying, though it is best to apply a coat of wax as a topcoat. It is a gorgeous choice! I have the perfect piece for it so it is time for me to make another batch, fairly simple to make… I’ll post exactly how to make it soon, just need some non-sanded grout, water, and acrylic paint! If you’d rather not wait or have a little extra cash, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is stunning! Check out this end table that I painted with some homemade teal chalk paint!

Primer
It’s always a good idea to use a primer before applying acrylic paint to anything. I also go the extra mile and sand a tad before applying primer… oil-based Zinsser is great and it even comes in a spray form, making quick work of painting furniture.

Oil-Based Stain
Oil-based stains are extremely durable and penetrate the wood deeper than water-based, but do take longer to dry. Stains come in a variety of colors and can really bring out the character of wood pieces.

Water-Based Stain
Unlike oil-based stains, water-based stains dry very quickly, which makes it harder to achieve an even finish… on the up side you can clean up with soap and water and it’s breathable. Always be sure to test whichever stain you choose to be sure that opacity and color are just how you want them!

Oil Finishes
Oil Finishes, such as linseed and hemp, are incredibly easy to apply, penetrate wood pieces and add charm, but do nothing for protection. If your main goal is to beautify a piece with no need to protect, than I recommend trying out oils.

Spar Urethane

live_edge_3_sombThis finish has an oil-based formula which forms a barrier against rain and moisture to protect the wood. Spar Urethane is amazing for exterior pieces since it has a UV blocker and expands and contracts with the wood as the seasons and temperatures change. I like it in a high gloss finish which really enhances the natural beauty of wood… for instance, I used it on the top of my Live Edge Walnut Slab Console Table.

Wood Oxidizer

barndoorfront_sombThis is a finish that my 5 year-old & I love to use… he’s my on call wood oxidizing technician, hehe! I have made multiple pieces by oxidizing pallet wood, favorite of which being my interior sliding barn door (post coming soon). You can even make your own wood oxidizing solution simply by letting torn up 0000 steel wool disintegrate in white vinegar for a few days. Then you just paint it on your bare wood and watch it transform almost immediately to become darker and more weathered looking. You can also add some strong black tea to your wood beforehand to give it a grayer look (adding some rusty nails to your oxidizing mixture will give your wood a ruddier tinge). Experimenting with this finish is a blast and something that the kiddos can help with! Check out the interior sliding barn door that I used this finish on!

Antique Buffet Turned Media Cabinet

20130321-223545.jpgAhhh, I’m so thrilled to be done with this project! Yes, I am in love with the final result, but, WOW, what a lot of work this refinish was! I had been scouring Craig’s List for months trying to find the perfect sideboard to turn into an entertainment center & then there it was… a thirty dollar, heavier than heck, paint-speckled, mammoth piece of furniture crafted by the Mount Airy Mantel and Table Co. Inc…. I snagged it up in a heartbeat & I was excited about the future splinters it would give me. I had originally planned on painting & distressing the base an antique white and refinishing the top in an ebony stain, but like most projects, once I start working on them, they have something else in mind! The wood underneath the icky orange stain and black paint speckle was so gorgeous that I just had to put myself through the misery of sanding the ENTIRE exterior of the piece down to bare wood! It took over two weeks of stripping and sanding, but the results were worth it. I conditioned the wood and stained it ebony, then red mahogany, to give it a depth and hint of burgundy. While the stain dried, I primed and painted the interior a fresh, spring green, finishing up with a polycrylic topcoat since there would be warm electronics inside. Once the stain was dry, I sprayed on a coat of satin polyurethane so that when I used the rub-on poly, the stain wouldn’t come off. The finish looks like bare wood, but gives the piece a warm sheen & protection from my toddlers.

buffetdoors

buffetprogressTurning the buffet into a unit for storing entertainment equipment was the easy part. I took out the staples and pried the backing off & cut two rectangular holes smaller than the width of our DVR and blu ray player where the cords could be fed through. In order for the remotes to work I left the panels out of the middle two doors (still hunting for the perfect aged glass to have cut for the center insets), and painted the inset panels of the outer doors to make the beautiful carvings pop & accentuate the piece’s symmetry. Voila, it is now a media cabinet! If I would’ve started a swear jar at the beginning of this project, I’d have enough quarters to buy my next furniture refinishing project, lol! In the end, all the splinters were worth the result… having a piece of furniture in your home that you poured your heart and soul into that will someday be passed down through generations is the epitome of joy!

finalbuffet

Now I’m off to find the perfect glass insets for the center doors! Happy DIY’ing weekend to y’all!!

FavePost PartyBadge photo blogbadge.jpg

Thrift Store Table Transformation

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite hobbies is to scour thrift stores for forgotten furniture pieces. Occasionally I’m lucky enough to find a gem in the rough to transform & this happened to be one of those times…

beautybeast

The top was a chipping, dinged up mess and the speckled paint & stain finish was atrocious! That’s probably why I was able to snag it for only $9! I was ecstatic to say the least, well, until I thought of all the work ahead… something I dread and, at the same time, thoroughly enjoy doing… if that makes any sense!

20130207-135811.jpg

I happily lugged the table home & got to work sanding, staining, and lacquering the top & priming, painting, distressing, and waxing the bottom! With every step I finished it gave me the motivation to continue. Watching furniture come back to life is so rewarding to me… the beautiful end result makes all the splinters, cuts, and cursing worth it!

roundsidetablew

Please comment on your current projects! I look forward to sharing more detailed, step-by-step refinishing posts with you in the future! Happy DIY’ing to y’all! *running off to find my next thrift store beauty*

Linkin’ back to…
Furniture Feature Fridays

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Hey y’all!

Hello blogging world!!! Nice to meet y’all! I’ll be writing about my life as a furniture whisperer, my adorable little guys, and fun do-it-yourself projects! Most of my posts will be short and sweet, much like myself! Hope you enjoy reading them!

Photo of a future furniture refinishing project… say that one 3 times fast! ;-)

gears

Follow my blog with Bloglovin