Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hitting a Snag

It's been awhile since I've written a post.  One of my dear customers had a bit of an "oops" and it's taken the wind out of my sails.  I came into possession a lovely Dixie dresser and chest....and thought she would love it.

After she saw the pictures of the 'unloved' pieces, she fell in love with them.  Her vision was a black base, darker than the traditional walnut stain I generally use, and pewter hardware.  Done!

During the 'relove' process, I kept her up to date on the progress:  Tops stripped and looking good, hardware done, drawers and base prepped, painted and top coats applied.  Top getting the final stain and top coats....Let's make a plan for the hand off.  She was so excited!  On this beautiful sunny, spring day, she had hubby, daughter and daughter's boyfriend with her to help load these two gorgeous pieces.  This was her time away from her home...just an hour or so.  Why is that a big deal, you might ask?  Well, you see, she has a special needs child, so most of her waking hours are spent loving him, trying to anticipate his needs and next move.  Decorating her home is her one 'vice' and it gives her so much pleasure.

She walked into the house and saw them:

Another happy adoption.  Let's load 'em up and get 'em home.

An hour later I receive the following text:

Robin, I am heart broken, one of the drawers fell out of the truck on the highway.  Honestly I just now stopped crying.  Do you know of any way that we can get another matching drawer.  It was the top left drawer of the dresser.  :(

My heart stopped.  This dresser is from the late 1950s...not like we can call the company and order another drawer.  So my quest to help her resolve this has begun.  But my stride has slowed, thus no new posts.

We've found someone who can make the drawer...but there is a lovely rope detail in the bottom lip of the drawer that we are having trouble duplicating.  No mill rooms in this area can or are willing to make it....

This was the only close up I had showing the rope detail...not very clear but you get the idea:

And then, one of the dearest, kindest ladies in this business posted a picture of the exact dresser on her blog:

Do you guys know Danielle at Finding Silver Pennies?  If not, I suggest you check out her blog.  She is so creative and shares so much of her process with all of us.  Thank you, Danielle!

Anyway, we exchanged emails and she said she would reach out to some fellow DIYers to see if they had any ideas on how to recreate this molding.  That got me thinking...I should also be reaching out.

So here I am.  Do you have any ideas on how to make a form and duplicate this trim?  I've read lots of tutorials, but all of the appliques made were flat.  Because this drawer has a radius, the mold can not lay flat, which would also make it hard to pour any liquid substance into a mold that has an arc to it.  I'M STUMPED.  I know DoItYourselfChic makes flexible appliques which would be perfect, but their rope applique it too big for this project.  Any thoughts???

Thank you for listening....I hope somehow this gets resolved and my lovely client can get her new bedroom put together.


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  1. Thanks for the shout out, Robin! Just emailed you some information. Hope it can help! x

  2. I think you should try Bondo Putty. You can buy it at Home Depot and it actually is used for cars. Anyhow, it can be molded easily and others are using it for replicating missing bits from vintage furniture. I tried it and fixed a foot that was missing a chunk. It smells, so wear a mask while mixing. I would press it against the existing trim work to make a mold and then stick it along the drawer. My only thought of how to do it. Impossible to do it by hand or have it made. You also can't buy it anywhere so molding it and painting it is my idea on how to go. She must have been so upset. I feel for her.

  3. If there are no other alternatives, then I would carefully try to pry out all the moldings and replace it with other similar rope molding that you might purchase in stock and then retouch it. It's probably not what you want to hear. That's really too bad.

    Mary @ Orphans With Makeup

  4. Gorgeous dresser. My dad used to work in the plaster business and they had to take molds of pieces already in place. I'll see if he has any suggestions.

  5. I have something pinned where the woman is recreating wooden appliques. She's doing roses, so roping must be a breeze.
    She makes the mold with some kind of putty or clay. Here's the link:
    I, too, have lost a drawer on the highway. From the 1890s. I learned when transporting furniture, drawers face looking forward. I'm so sorry about this, because you did a lovely job.

    1. Hi Christine! So good to hear from you! I, too, had pinned Lisa's (from CreateInspire) tutorial on a missing piece. If there wasn't a radius to the piece, her method would work...but when making the mold, it would have an arc to it, at which point I become stumped on how to dry out the mold. Seems once it was removed from the furniture piece, it would flatten out. That wouldn't be so bad if I could find a mixture of something to pour into the mold that would harden but be flexible, like the appliques from Do It Yourself Chic. That's what I need is the recipe to make the piece flexible. Thank you so much for stopping by....I see you are a "no reply blogger" so not sure how to correspond with your dirrectly! But I always love your input! Robin

    2. Robin, I have tried to fix the do not reply thing, but what is on my screens is not what shows up in the blog instructions nor the BlogSpot or gMail instructions. Annoy the heck outta me.

      What is that clay people make jewelry out of. Filo? Because you bake it to make it hard.
      I'm starting to think that replacing the trim might be your best bet, but OMG. What a PIA. and all your work....