Thursday, October 9, 2014

Back Again and Five pieces of Furniture in Three Days

It has been a long time and it's time now for me to get this blog up and running again.  I'm trying again to post on Thursdays but may try other days in addition depending on how my Thursday posts go.

This does include some instructions and hints, good products to use and things I've learned along the way.  I don't get paid for anything from any of the companies I'm mentioning, it's just what I use and what I've found works well.

So...Five pieces of Furniture in Three Days...yes, that really happened!  It was actually six pieces of furniture worked on, five finished.  My mom and I met each other for our second annual trip to Bartlesville, Oklahoma (my home town) so we could attend the 100 Mile Garage Sale!  Awesome, right?

She and her husband have a store where they sale antiques and refurbished furniture so we were mostly looking for things for her. 

My mom needed some dressers - they were hard to come by (at least in our price range) but we finally found one as the second day was winding down.  We also purchased a fantastic school desk, and a TV cart (which we got for only $.75)!

In addition, I'd been hanging onto a chest-of-drawers that I found in someone's garbage pile that I told my mom she could have- it had beautiful lines but the veneer was chipped on the top (almost completely in some places).  And then my grandmother gave me a dresser that she had had since she was a little girl (85+ years ago - she's 89); I wanted to paint it black to store items for my new business.

My pictures on this post are aren't very good.  The lighting was poor and my camera's batteries were completely dead, so it was my phone that had to try to be acceptable.  AND we were in such a hurry that we only got pictures of four of the pieces.   

Here's what we did:

Uh...ignore the kittens in the picture.  The desk is a beauty!  Vintage! Truly old-school awesomeness!  But whoever owned it before did a really shoddy job painting it!  First of all, they used a paint brush and put the strokes on too thickly.  There's a great thing called spray paint for metal legs like these.  We painted it lime green (or chartreuse, which is a really fun name for a color). 

For the top (which was also painted with the thickly coated paintbrush), we planned to paint with chalkboard paint because who doesn't love chalkboards and the endless art projects that can commence thereon?  But because of the horrible paint job (ok, I'll stop harping on it), I decided to strip it.  This turned out to be easier than I expected.  I just slathered some Citrustrip on it, left it while we were working on the dressers (a couple of hours), and came back and scraped it off. 
Then a good sanding took the sticky residue off and it was ready for chalkboard paint.  Only it looked so beautiful with it's plain wood (which reminded me of the floors in the 1914 old brick middle school I attended) that we decided to keep it simple and beautiful.

 This is how I found the dresser on the side of the road.  Partially painted, the bottom piece falling off, and the top veneer completely chipping or missing.

 To remove the veneer, I started out by just scraping it.  But that was nearly impossible in some places.  I tried out my heat gun - and it worked but I kept burning the edges of the I tried out my iron.  It worked perfectly!  The veneer came off like stickers on wax paper.  (Though, then I had to clean it because when I tried to iron our whites, it left marks on the clothes.  :-(  So in the future, I'll be looking out for a crummy old iron to use on this sort of project.). 

Here's something that I so often forget!!  On these old dressers it is best NOT to paint the inside portion because the drawers will just get stuck and then you'll have to sand what you've painted just to get them to move smoothly.  I hope this is the last time I forget that - it adds a lot of time to a project to sand down what you've only just painted!

My pictures on this post are aren't very good.  The lighting was poor and my camera's batteries were completely dead, so it was my phone that had to try to be acceptable.  Because the top was already distressed with tiny holes and nicks from the natural wood (which the veneer would have covered up) we added an antique glaze to this.  I hoped to get better pictures when my mom got back to the store, but they put these out on the floor before she even went home and they were sold before she get me a good pic - so - they really did look better in person!  

This one we got at a garage sale for $8. That's in our price range!  This was an easy fix.  We just put some KleanStrip brand sander deglosser on all the surfaces.  The veneer top got a sanding and then the sander deglosser.  We then rolled on some black paint with a brush and a cabinet and door roller.   To finish the top, I advise putting Polycrylic or something like that to protect it, especially if you're like me and live in a humid place - this will keep papers and other items from sticking to it.  It also protects it a little better from metal objects like keys, etc.  You can probably save your money and only do the top and not the entire dresser - Polycrylic is kind of pricy so I use it where I think it's most needed.
 My mom working hard on deglossing the dresser (while I take a break and snap some pictures).

I had a whole bunch of drawer pulls, but my Mom remembered a specific kind she had at home (9 hours away) that she wanted to use.  This is the only finished picture I have, but the black really cleaned it up making it sleek and ready for sale at my mom's shop.  

Some of the work in progress.


Start to finish tall dresser:
 Start to finish long dresser.

While in Bartlesville, I also worked on a dresser that my brother found next to the dumpster outside of his apartment complex.  It didn't have any drawers at all, as seen in the first picture on the left, so it made it easy to decide to turn it into a TV console for him!   Here's a sneak peak (but since I don't know when I'll be going to B'ville next, I'm not sure when I'll have the follow up).

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