11.9 2010

Before and After :: 1920’s Antique Buffet

 I know I say this a lot, but this is my favorite piece yet.
I found this antique buffet/sideboard on CL, and called to ask the usual questions,
including if it had always been in a smoke-free environment.
She said “no, it hasn’t…”
Because of that, I offered $25 less, and she accepted. I drove out to take a smell look.
If the smoke smell was bad, I knew what kind of primer I could have used to cover it up.
But, when I got there, there was no smoke smell in this little lady.
 It needed some repairs and wood filling, which wasn’t too bad, and although I could restore the top, the base was trashed.
Yes, I know, I know, you don’t paint over antiques.
That is, unless it was not well taken care of and is beyond repair, which was the case with this.
 Here she is after stripping the top, re-staining it, and painting the base BM Bone. This has become my favorite white for furniture, as it is not glaring, yet doesn’t have any yellow in it.
It is a soft, mellow white.
I looooove her.
I kept the original hardware, and painted it black.
I staged her  with a 70 year old mixing bowl
(which I found at at a garage sale) filled with limes.
I am lucky to have a neighbor who always brings me lots of fresh limes.
I love the top, which has a beautiful, hand-rubbed finish.
Have a great day!


9.26 2010

Final Finishing 101

Do you have a favorite topcoat?
I use different ones depending on what I’m working on.
In my last post, I shared how I made-over this table:
I love Tung Oil for stained pieces like this. It lends itself to a gorgeous, hand-rubbed finish, yet it is so easy to use. With several coats (24 hours in between each one), it soaks in and fills the wood pores, so it is best used on porous woods. If you want the very best Tung Oil on the market, you’ll want to check out Waterlox. I’m pretty sure you have to order it because I’ve never seen it in stores. That is what I would use if I ever install butcher block.
 Tung oil is a natural oil that is thinned with solvents so that it will soak into the wood pores. Once the solvents evaporate, it is non-toxic. You can see that there are dull spots, which means it needs another coat to really soak in. After applying, wait 5-10 minutes, and wipe off excess with a lint-free cloth. Watch for brush hairs and get rid of those before they dry into the finish. I used cheap chip brushes because they dry as hard as a rock and I don’t want to clean them after each coat. You can use a good brush, too, just be sure to clean it with mineral spirits right away.
 After 4 or 5 applications, it will appear wet, and feel a little tacky. Not to worry.
Wait 24 hours after the last coat, and knock down the shine with some very fine steel wool and a little elbow grease. You want to be able to run your hand across it, without feeling any tackiness.
 Next, bring back some of the shine and smooth away the steel wool scratches
using car polish (not wax) and soft cloths. I used Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound.
Now, go admire your nice, buff arms.
While it takes some time because of the drying time, it is quite simple to do!