Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Getting Past Extreme Filth and Grime

When this dresser appeared on Craigslist, I knew it had potential, but I wasn't sure what my vision would be for it.  

It was missing hardware and someone had started to paint one side of it and decided it was a project too big for her to undertake.  

After contemplating my vision for it, I started the prep process.  All of the hardware comes off, and it gets a good sanding.  Ug!  There was so much grease and grime on this piece that my normal process of sanding and then wiping down with soapy water wasn't making a dent in getting it cleaned up.  My back up plan for really nasty pieces is steel wool (00) and denatured alcohol.  It takes a lot of elbow grease, but it worked.  Next step was to fill in all of the dings, gashes, etc,  New holes needed to be drilled in 4 of the drawers, which meant filling in the old holes, sanding, filling, etc.  And then lastly, the inside of the drawers were equally they got the usual RPK Relove attention that I obsess about when it comes to the interior of drawers.

You want to see her in all of her glory?

I went with a 50:50 mix of General Finishes Snow White and Antique White.  I first started with two coats of their new Stain Blocker (which I absolutely love, by the way).  It sands nicely and covers beautifully.  The sides and drawers only needed 4 coats of the custom mix.  That may sound like a lot, but I sand in between each coat which does remove some of the paint.  I like for my finishes to be silky smooth and have found sanding is the key to that process.  The top, on the other hand almost did me in, with 8 coats of paint....Slow and steady wins the race, Right?  I must say, though, it is so smooth.  

I used 4 coats of Satin Poly (by General Finishes, of course) to top coat the entire piece.  Again, lots of sanding in between each coat.

Crisp, clean lines around the drawers....and glistening interiors....all ready for someone's pretties!

I love the brass ring pulls for this style of furniture.  They are from Van Dykes Restorers.  I used the same style a few years ago and loved them.

The dresser is vintage Henredon.  I loved the bamboo styled fluting on the four corners of the dresser.  Bamboo and Campaign styled furniture is very popular in our area.  I thought the Henredon designer had a tasteful interpretation of the vintage bamboo look for this piece.

Nine drawers of fabulous storage!

And now she awaits a new home..ready for another 50 years!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Examples of some other Completed Projects....Pictures Only!

I thought I'd just add some other completed projects to my descriptions of techniques or colors....just lots of pictures!  Enjoy

Just a few pieces that I've done over the years....

Thanks for stopping by..


Monday, August 15, 2016

Making Sure Your Pieces are Safe to Bring into Your Home (or Someone Else's Home)

Over the weekend, there was a bit of chatter here locally about a disgruntled DIYer who purchased some "project pieces" only to find out later they were infested with bugs.  It got me thinking about my process and how I have been fortunate enough to not have that happen to me....Was I just lucky or is there something in my process that helps to avoid such a disaster?

I thought sharing the steps I take before and during one of my reloves might help one or more of you avoid this kind of mess.

First off, I've brought pieces home from yard sales, thrift stores and Craigslist.  If the piece strikes my fancy, I first consider the price.  If it seems reasonable, then the drawers start coming out!  Yep!  Drawers are a big tell for me!  Are they dovetailed, are the guides wood on wood, etc?  Every drawer is removed to make sure everything is in good working order.  If at that stage there is any infestation, you would know it!  

Once I give it the A Okay, it gets loaded into our SUV and at that point I get a good look at the underneath of the piece.  If those nasty pests aren't in the drawers, you may see them hiding underneath the case piece.  I've had an occasional spider along with webs visible, but that's to be expected, especially if it's been stored in someone's garage.

Once it gets home, we take a picture of it in the driveway.  At that point, I usually give it one more go over.  At this step I'm starting to review it for possible options to relove it.  How damaged is the top...can it be stripped and restained, for example.

And now for the process....The piece has been in my garage (which I must admit is not hermetically sealed!) for quite some time and now it's showtime!  She gets 'moved on deck' as my hubby and I affectionately refer to it's starting block.  The vision for the relove is set and usually involves stripping the top.

Down to the bare, pristine wood!  If the wood is in good shape, the piece then gets flipped over and reinspected and prepped.

Sorry for the messy shot of my shop, but this is the real why try prettying it up?  :)  The two pieces in the previous picture were going to the same home with a custom layered process, so they needed to be done at the same time so the technique would be identical.  

Each piece is inspected again, and thoroughly cleaned.  Yes, even the underneath gets a good wiping down.  Again, if there were anything ominous lurking on these pieces, I would know for sure by now. 

In the above picture, do you happen to notice the blue painter's tape meticulously placed around the the top of this vanity?  I'd be so embarrassed to have a finished piece loaded into someone's SUV to see sloppy paint lines underneath the lip of the piece.  Clean lines....attention to detail.  If you have a steady hand and can paint without painter's tape, then go for it.  But I start rocking out to music, get lost in my thoughts and my paint brush can get a flyin'!  :)  The painter's tape keeps those lines clean and allows me to rock and roll!

Next are the drawers.  If you've been following along with me for awhile, you know I have a serious obsession with clean drawers.

They are hard to see in this picture, but each drawer has been removed, along with the hardware.  They are scrubbed, sometimes stripped (if there is too much nail polish or whatever else we discover!) and refinished.  I personally don't paint drawers or line them.  But each piece leaves here with pristine clean drawers.

The sides are taped off just as the top is, so there are always clean lines from the drawer fronts to the sides.  These new owners want to know you have taken time and care for their forever piece.  

 At this stage, the painting process begins with the sanding, painting, sanding, painting.  When it's time for the top coats and finishing touches, we bring the piece into my home.  The cold winters here and hot, humid summers are not a good environment for applying top coats.  At this stage, I am 100% confident I am bringing in a clean, safe piece.

That's the tall chest you saw upside down in my garage....And here's the matching dresser....

I read a post from a very well respected blogger about a year ago.  She does gorgeous work and when she was loading a vintage, depression era buffet into someone's truck, she discovered it was infested with termites.  Her process never included turning the piece upside down, so she never noticed those nasty creatures.  Don't let that happen to you...Please make sure each piece gets several thorough inspections along the way so you have confidence in knowing your masterpiece is safe to go to it's new, and hopefully, forever home!

Thanks for stopping by!