Sunday, November 16, 2014

Furniture Reveal: Blue-Grey Dresser with Flower Knobs

*Some products in this post were provided to me. For more information, see my disclosures here.

I was able to finish another piece in the last few days as I've been avoiding writing a 10 page paper. It's amazing how much I accomplish when I am avoiding something else :)

I picked up this dresser along with this driftwood dresser I painted. Somehow, both of these fit in the car so I was able to get both! This one was the worse of the two condition-wise. There was a lot of chipped veneer on the front apron and up both of the sides. 

Well the cold weather finally set in in Seattle area, and it does not look to be going anywhere anytime soon, so the chance of me sitting and working out in the freezing garage to remove the veneer was zero. I decided to just paint over it and while it would still be noticeable, it would be as bad as it looked before. 

I gave the dresser a light sanding with 150 grit sandpaper, wiped it down with a cleaner, then a damp cloth and began painting. I chose to use the color Hurricane by Country Chic Paint because I love the blue-grey tones it has. After using it on this dresser earlier this year I've been excited to use it again. After the first coat I realized that paint was not just going to make the veneer situation any better, so I used some spackle to somewhat patch the areas. It's in no way perfect and still obvious there's unevenness in those areas, but it's way better than it was. It makes I sanded it smooth. I then finished with a second coat of paint on the whole piece. Once the paint was dry the edges were distressed and everything was sanded down with a high grit sanding sponge. To seal it I opted to use wax and gave the piece a coat of General Finishes Satin Finishing Wax. I'll also point out that in order to highlight the little detail on the second drawer, I was careful to keep paint out of the carved detail and then apply a wash to the center area. For hardware I chose these delicate looking flower knobs, I love the softness they add to this piece.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Reverse Dipped Mid Century Dresser with Angled Sides

I'm pretty excited about how this piece turned out. It's actually the matching high boy to the Mid Century Credenza with the white top I did a few weeks back. I originally only purchased the long credenza from the craigslist seller because the price for this taller dresser was more than double the other piece, but after weeks of it not selling, I got it for the price I had offered him.

This dresser was in worse condition, but that ended up being alright since I had a plan to do a reversed dipped look with it. The finish on the top was really worn and some chunks of veneer were missing and had to be filled in with wood filler. Here's my plan I had drawn out.

To start, I wet sanded the 2 lower drawers and the bottom half of the dresser with 320 grit sandpaper. Once it was dry I went over it really lightly with 400 grit sandpaper over a sanding pad, then wiped it clean. You can read how I stain over a previous finish here, I've got pictures and steps to help you visualize it. This time I used General Finishes Antique Walnut Gel Stain. Because a large portion of the dresser was going to be white, I didn't want a duper dark stain, just a nice walnut color to refresh the wood. I let it dry for about 36 hours before sealing the parts I stained with GF's high performance topcoat in satin.

Now that the staining and seal was done, I began measuring and taping out the portion of the dresser that would be painted. I purposely made the line where paint would start be off centered on the drawer to give it an asymmetrical look. Once everything was taped and measured I use poly to make sure no paint would bleed under the tape. You can read how to get perfectly clean lines here.  I used my grey tinted Zinsser Cover Stain primer which I applied with a foam brush and let dry overnight. I then sanded and began painting. Before using white paint I added a coat of GF's Seagull Grey so it was easier for the white paint to cover. For paint I used General Finishes Snow White milk paint (it's actually an acrylic paint, not a milk paint). I used 6 thin coats to get the coverage I wanted. White paint always take so many coats! I did water it down slightly to get a smoother finish and help the paint level a bit so that also caused me to need more coats of paint. Once the paint dried, I sealed it with General Finishes high performance topcoat in Gloss for a lacquered finish look. I then removed the tape, added the original hardware back on, and it was done!

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Furniture Reveal: Black Milk Paint Buffet

Ahh, this buffet. I'll tell you the story about how this buffet came home with me. My mom found it online through freecycle. She showed it to me, I thought it looked too bulky and busy and just didn't want to add another piece to my inventory or take the time to go pick it up. Well she emailed about it, and after not checking her email for 3 days, saw that the owner said it was still available and ours. So after setting up a time I went and picked it up. 

The before photo makes the buffet appear to be in far better condition that it actually was. The thick finish and varnish on it was crack which wasn't bad on it's own, but it started coming off on the top of the piece and looked pretty bad. I had my mom put on a layer of stripped while she was working on her own project. The stripper helped a little, but we ran out and so I spent an hour sanding down the whole top of the buffet. The rest of the piece had some marks here and there and the cracked finish, but I left that and really like the fact that it adds a lot of character to the piece especially when painted over with milk paint. If I had been using an acrylic or latex paint on this, the finish would have looked not so great.

Originally I planned to use a light or medium color, but after this black dresser sold, I had to do another piece just like it. The combination of the soft black finish that milk paint gives with the contrasting bone knobs is a new favorite of mine. I also love that black milk paint over a dark wood finish only take 2 coats for full coverage. The color I used on this buffet isn't actually a pure black. I wasn't sure I would have enough black, so I mixed OFMP's Pitch Black milk paint and Driftwood milk paint, and added in a small amount of Sweet Pickin's Pumpkin milk paint... but I'm just referring to it as black :)

I didn't do much sanding (other than the top), just lightly went over the flat areas. I did make sure to fully wipe the piece down and get all the gunk off of it. To make sure the milk paint adhered, I added the bonding agent to the first coat. A tip for anyone painting with black milk paint, make sure you only add the bonding agent to the first coat and mix up just enough, otherwise the bonding agent seems to add a blue/foggy tinge to the paint sometimes - I figured that out on the last dresser when I had mixed up enough paint the first time for both coats. After the 2 coats were on the buffet, I sealed the whole piece with General Finishes high performance topcoat in flat, and added an extra coat on the top where the piece will most likely receive the most wear. After the topcoat dried, I lightly sanded with 320 grit sandpaper. Another tip, seal the buffet with dark wax. I did this after the poly, so it doesn't affect the color too much (you could skip the poly and only use wax), but the dark wax deepens the color and makes it look more black, which is helpful if you get any foggy areas. 

I was a bit weary that the black would be too dark and heavy on the piece, but I am so happy with how it turned out! I actually think the paint helped to make the buffet not look as busy. Here's a look at the before and after.

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Before & After: Persimmon Mid Century Modern Dresser

I picked up this dresser at goodwill and loved the shape and lines of the piece. The faded stained finish definitely needed some help, but it was sturdy and well built. After bringing it home and asking what I should do with the piece on my facebook page, I decided it was going to be painted, and in a bold color. Side note: I did sand down one of the center drawers with the diamonds in an attempt to see how they would stain up, but because of the different directions the veneer was laid, sanding it ruined some of the veneer so it did not take the stain well. I even tried a regular stain and a gel stain. 

So after priming the dresser with my grey tinted Zinsser Cover Stain primer and sanding it smooth, I started painting the dresser with General Finishes paint in the color Persimmon. Even though I did use a tinted primer, this piece took 5 coats of paint. It was a lot, but I knew I had to expect it since I've painted this piece with orange milk paint before and it took quite a few coats. The problem with this dresser, I ran out of paint after the fourth coat, but my friend Christina or Phoenix Restoration came to the rescue with an extra pint. [Go follow her blog, facebook page, and instagram]

I made sure to sand in between each coat of paint to minimize any brush strokes. I also mixed a small amount of water into my paint container for the last coat of orange. It helped to leave a super smooth finish and let the paint self level as it dried. After letting the paint cure, I sealed it with General Finishes high performance topcoat in satin. The top got 2 coats, and the rest of the piece got one. Now this dresser looks super retro and vibrant with its new paint color and shiny finish.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Magenta table with silver dipped legs

This project was one of my "I want to try something different" pieces. I attempt projects like this every so often, and honestly, they don't usually turn out too well. For some reason I get bored with a a plain, one color painted piece and just want to try something else design or color-wise. Here's a before with two other awesome mid century nightstands I have yet to get around to making over.

After church one Sunday I did my weekly stop at Goodwill to glance over the furniture and a few other sections. This piece was sitting there and relatively inexpensive, so I was willing to buy it in order to try something different on it. I didn't realize it until I got it home, but it had been painted orange and then stained over with a gel type stain. The paint job was not done well and while the table is sturdy, it has some dings and scratches. 

I sanded the top with my electric sander, then lightly scuff sanded the rest of the piece. I was a bit worried about what the stain would do so I did give it a coat with some spray Shellac to prevent bleed through. Once the Shellac coat dried I lightly sanded again and wiped the piece down with TSP substitute to prepare it for paint. 

For the color I used General Finishes Evening Plum. I've had this color for a while and just haven't used it yet, but it's a really pretty magenta color. I used 3 coats on the while piece. Once those 3 coats had dried for a while I measure and taped off the bottom portion of the legs and mixed up a silver color using some Martha Stewart metallic paints I had. Putting the metallic paint over the magenta color would mean lots of coats in order to get the right coverage, so I first used a coat of a medium grey color that was a similar tone to the metallic silver paint I mixed. After the one coat of grey, I used 3 thin coat of silver paint and applied it with a foam brush. I applied one good coat of General Finishes HP topcoat in Flat to only the top of the piece (the part that will likely get the most wear) and then applied clear wax everywhere else.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Antique Buffet Painted with CCP in 'Elegance'

I picked this buffet up on the way home from school last week and was somehow able to fit it in my little car. I immediately knew I wanted to paint it with Country Chic Paint in the color Elegance. It's this gorgeous light blue with the tiniest green-grey undertones. Just a really soft, pretty color. 

I filled any holes and dings, sanded the piece first, cleaned it, and wiped it down before painting. I applied one coat of the paint and noticed some slight discoloration. The previous finish had been worn, plus I sanded, so it was bleeding through. It wasn't too bad, but I wanted to address the problem and seal out the discoloration from coming through any more layers of the paint. I used a foam brush and applied Zinsser Shellac to the piece. Some areas looked bad (and bleed through looks worse when you start to seal it) so I did a second coat to spot treat those areas and be sure nothing would keep bleeding through. If I had sealed the piece before I began painting I would have only needed 2 coats, but I ended up applying 3 coats of the paint. Once the piece had dried for 24 hours I sealed it with clear wax. I then added some blue and off white hardware to finish off the look.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to Stain with Gel Stain Over an Existing Finish

I shared the makeover of a Mid Century Modern Credenza last week where I used General Finishes Gel Stain over the existing finish on the piece and wanted to share how I did that.

I think one misconception is that you have to strip and sand a piece down to bare wood before you can re-stain it. Sometimes that is necessary, but if you have a piece without much of a topcoat (sealer, poly, etc) and the finish is in good shape, you can go over it with a gel stain. Here's what I did to darken the color and freshen up the finish on a mid century dresser. (steps and details below the picture).

I first began by wiping the whole piece down with a cleaner to remove any dirt and grime build up from over the years. 

Next, I wet sanded everything using 320 grit sandpaper. I combined this step with cleaning the piece, but water is just fine for wet sanding (a spray bottle is the best). I just wet the area , as well as the sandpaper, and lightly sanded. This helped to remove any of the topcoat that was left on the surface. Be sure to use a sanding block/sponge or use sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block so you applying even pressure. You don't want to sand off any of the previous finish, otherwise you will be left with a blotchy look once you stain. After wet sanding, wipe off any of the water or cleaner and let the area dry. 

After the drawers and frame of the dresser had been wet sanded, I went back over the whole piece with 400 grit sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block. This was just regular sanding (not wet sanding) that prepared the wood for stain. I then used dry and damp paper towels to remove any and all particles from the surface.

I waited 30 minutes to make sure any of the moisture in the piece was dry before I began staining. As I mentioned before I used General Finishes Gel Stain in "Java". Do be sure to wear gloves because the stain will get all over your hands. I used a foam brush to apply a thick layer of the stain, then used staining pads to wipe it off. It took about 4 passes of wiping off the stain with a clean area on the staining pad to get all of the excess stain removed. Look carefully to be sure there are not streaks or marks left. Right away the wood color was so much better!

Once the whole piece was stained, I let it cure for 48 hours (18-24 hours would have been fine). The can recommends 6-8 hours, but in my experience that is not always enough time and applying a topcoat too early before the stain has cured can take off the color in certain places and ruin the finish. So be patient, and wait it out. 

Once the stain is dry, apply the topcoat of your choice. Water based topcoats and polys are great options, easy to apply, and clean up with soap and water, but an oil based poly would also work. I used General Finishes high performance topcoat in the Satin finish. Really, that's all there is to it!

If you want to check out the finished piece, click here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Before & After: Mid Century Modern Credenza with a Glossy White Top

I was really excited to find his mid century credenza on craigslist. I haven't worked on one in a while and as soon as I saw it I was already thinking of what I wanted to do with it... patin it all white and leave the legs wood.

After picking up the piece and seeing it in person there was no way I was going to paint over the drawers. They weren't perfect, but I wanted to keep the varying directions of the walnut veneer on the drawers. I began by wiping the piece down to get any grease and dirt off of it, then I began sanding. Trying to strip and sand the drawers would have taken forever and I was too scared to ruin the drawers and that varying veneer.

I first wet sanded the whole piece with 220 grit sandpaper. I wet the drawers and the sandpaper and lightly sanded, making sure not to remove the old original stain (other wise I would have an uneven finish once stained). There didn't seem to be any poly or other topcoat finish left (it probably dried out and wore off), but wet sanding helped to get any layers of that finish that I couldn't see and dust/dirt build up from over the years.

Next, once everything had dried, I went back over everything really lightly with 400 grit sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block. Both times when I sanded the drawers I made sure not to sand the center strip of veneer in the opposite direction. If I had done that, there would be obvious scratch marks. A good wipe down with dry and damp paper towels got everything clean. I did let the piece sit for about 30 minutes before beginning staining to let any moisture from wiping it down dry out. The fun part was seeing how the Java Gel stain really gave the wood a rich color. If you want to see how to apply Gel Stain over an existing finish, click here.

Since this is an oil based product the dry time is longer. I let it dry for 48 hours (24 would be fine), but the weather turned to cooler temperatures and I wanted it to really be set and cured. I sealed all of the wood areas with General Finishes high performance topcoat in satin. At this point everything looked pretty good, but the top didn't take stain as well as the rest of the piece, and the corners had been dinged so some veneer was missing. I decided to fill the corners and paint the top white for contrast. After sanding and filling I rolled on 2 thin coats of my favorite primer, Zinsser cover stain. This primer is really great at sticking to lots of different surfaces and blocking out tannin bleed through. I sanded with 320 grit sandpaper once it dried, wiped it down, and applied 2 thin coats of General Finishes Snow White Milk Paint (it's not actually milk paint, it's an acrylic paint). I used a foam roller, but held the end of it so it didn't roll, but glided on. I didn't want that roller texture. The next day I sanded again with 400 grit sandpaper and then applied 2 more coats of the white paint with a brush. Once that was dry I sealed it with GF's high performance topcoat in gloss. The last thing to do was attach the original hardware. Here's the sleek and modern after.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Before & After: Soldier Blue Talking Machine Cabinet

I don't really know what to call this piece. I keep calling it a tiny buffet, but really it's an old talking machine that has everything taken out of it, so it's just a cabinet now. The 4 small doors all open on the front and the middle portion of the top opens, so it could be a great bar. I bought it from someone who had planned to open up an antique booth, but hadn't, so they were clearing out the old pieces they had. The bad part was it had been oiled up like crazy. I think at one point it had been shellaced (you could see the drips on one side) so the oil that was put on it did not soak it, it was just sitting on the surface.

That proved to be challenging for me. Once I got it home I wiped off the excess oil, then began sanding to rough up the surface and prepare it for paint. I then wiped the whole piece down with TSP. After the first coat of paint there were some weird spots coming through, so I sprayed on a coat of Shellac (that stuff is a lifesaver, you should always have it on hand!). After the shellac I sanded the piece and painted on another coat of blue paint. For anyone wondering, I used Old Fashioned Milk Paint and I mixed Soldier Blue with a small amount of Federal Blue. I liked the variation and wood showing through the paint, so I stopped at 2 coats, sealed it with General Finishes HP topcoat in flat, sanded with 320 grit sandpaper and then applied 1 coat of clear wax.

I ordered some fun clear glass and silver hardware online for the doors (in the photo above), but once they arrived and I tried them out, they just didn't look right. The hardware was too modern for the antique style of the piece, so I used some knobs from Hobby Lobby that I've had for a long time.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Furniture Reveal: Pitch Black Milk Paint Dresser

I was able to pick up this dresser and finish it all in one day. It's a new record for me and it was definitely a nice change from the days and weeks other pieces take. The top was not in good condition when I purchased the dresser and had to be sanded down to raw wood. I also sanded off the flowers that were painted on the front of the second drawer. I didn't take any good before photos because I pulled the piece out of my car and started working right away, so this is all you get, an iphone photo.

After I removed the decorative molding on the top I sanded it down to raw wood with my orbital sander. I used 80 grit and worked my way up to a 220 to make sure the top was smooth. I also lightly hand sanded the rest of the piece with 150 grit. Once it was sanded I used TSP substitute to remove any dust particles and prepare the piece for paint. 

I chose to go dark with the color. That could be related to the fact that I'm ready for some darker fall colors, but I knew I wanted to use bone knobs and black was the perfect contrast for them. I used Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Pitch Black. Because the wood finish was already dark I only needed 2 coats of paint (I did use 3 on the top since I sanded it down to light, bare wood). I added the bonding agent to prevent chipping and get a clean look then once the paint was dry I used a foam brush to apply one coat of General Finishes high performance topcoat in flat. In my experience, this specific black milk paint color gets a foggy, white-ish blue-ish finish when poly is applied, so I did a thin coat, sanded it with 320 grit sandpaper once dry and then added a coat of Maison Blanche Dark Brown Wax. The dark wax deepened the black paint and covered up those foggy areas. Now it has a durable finish from the poly, but also a rich, black color thanks to the dark wax.

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