DIY DONE!

Alright…one project done and before I’m onto the next…a few pointers.  I have enjoyed researching and reading about different approaches to repainting and up-scaling furniture.  I enjoyed this writer’s objective approach to some of the suggested chalk paint techniques.  While I used the paint, I didn’t distress the pieces I worked on this week, simply because sometimes less is better.

This was day two and I have to say, this day was the physical day.  Rubbing wax into surfaces is hard work, but it was a very satisfying day because of the results.  I have lots of latex paint left in this colour to complete my headboard and baseboard as art furniture, featuring a study of Marc Chagall’s work, Big Sun.

Big_Sun_Marc_ChagallWhen I call my work art furniture, this would be an example.

W. Kandinsky dresser for my percussionist-son.

W. Kandinsky dresser for my percussionist-son.

I have a vintage vanity that I picked up through Freecycle; that will dawn Vincent Van Gogh’s sunflowers.  I’ve begun to prime this piece and done some clamping of the drawers.

P1170278

sunflowers2About today…

The two coats of chalk paint were completely dry.  I put the drawers into the dressers so that I could see each object in its entirety.  This makes it easier to discern how busy the piece is becoming.  Honestly, distressed furniture can feel too cliche, if not treated with a great deal of attention while making decisions.  After today, I would call the process ‘contouring’ the furniture.  I used clear paste wax for the tops (no stain) so that the tops would welcome natural light onto their surfaces.  I applied a clear paste wax coat to all surfaces to begin with.  Then, where I wanted to accentuate a detail or say that the contour was ‘going in’, I used my clear paste wax mixed with a little stain. (It really didn’t take much.)  In the case of my dressers, I chose a cherry wood stain for its warmth, thinking it would complement the copper sort of wall paint.

P1170272 P1170270P1170293I tore up a t shirt and used one rag for clear wax only and the other for wiping into my stained wax.  I quickly removed excess stain, considering the marks and the depth of the colour as I went.  At edges where two surfaces met, I left stain…as I moved out into the center of the surface, I left the pure chalk paint colour.

P1170295

Small home made night stand that I picked up at WIN for 3.00.

The rubbing action left me fully prepared for a run at Netflix and a glass of wine.  Quite a workout!  I will leave the wax to set overnight and fill the drawers in the morning.

P1170306

 

 

DIY Saturday

Just briefly checking in with my readers regarding my DIY project.  I took a couple of days off from this project, but was back at it today.  My father was wondering with all of the close ups just what I am creating, so I slid the drawers in to the dresser to give him and idea.  Nearing the finish line with the stripping and sanding.  I will be purchasing a tube of wood filler and a can of primer tomorrow after Mass.

To begin with...l

To begin with…l

Headboard for a double bed.

Headboard for a double bed.

Yesterday

Yesterday

 

Four drawer dresser.

Four drawer dresser.

Baseboard

Baseboard

P1030305

Vanity with large circular mirror.

Vanity with large circular mirror.

DIY Sunday With Jann Arden

After Mass today, I stopped at a store to replenish my DIY supplies.

Max and I headed out for some off-leash fun and then after a quick lunch, I started up some tunes (Jann Arden) and continued on with the bedroom furniture prep.

Today’s readings at Mass really spoke to me for a whole number of reasons.  The following song causes me to think again about the Gospel reading, Luke 13: 22-30.

I began my session of stripping furniture today with some new tools…beautiful rubber gloves and a new paint stripping tool!  I also picked up, upon someone’s recommendation, some Heirloom paint stripping gel.  The work went remarkably well. Now, to put my feet up.

Heirloom Paint Remover, Fancy Paint Stripper and New Black Gloves

Heirloom Paint Remover, Fancy Paint Stripper and New Black Gloves

Head Board Coming Along

Head Board Coming Along

Yesterday

Yesterday

Today

Today

Things are happening here.

Things are happening here.

Unlike the Heirloom promotional video, this is what my first application and stripping looks like!  Not so easy as presented.

Unlike the Heirloom promotional video, this is what my first application and stripping looks like! Not so easy as presented.

The mess would drive some people bonkers.

The mess would drive some people bonkers.

I’m starting to think about what artist I’m going to be exploring on these next three pieces of furniture for my bedroom.  At the moment, I’m thinking about Chagall’s Madonna or his Abraham and Three Angels.  I want to use a colour scheme that includes Pthalo Blue and a rich deep earthy orange.  I might go a whole other direction, but just for this time, this is what I’m thinking.

P1120382 P1120383

Storm Gathering: Now Arrived

BOOM! Boom of thunder as I type.

It felt cozy in the studio while listening to Dave Matthew’s Band on the stereo.  It’s always wonderful to be in that space when it’s grey outside.  It just feels so warm and bright.  I noticed before I began my sanding that the birds were in a bit of a frenzy at the feeder.  I wanted to belt out a warning to them.  The neighbour across the way has an ‘outdoor cat’.  I woke this morning to watch as the cat pitched a bird up in the air over and over again, batting it viciously and then tossing it again, over and over until it lay lifeless…the cat walked away…its owner, in bathrobe, sipped from a Tim Horton’s cup and smoked a cigarette while watching.  Seems like torture to me.  She was probably saying to herself, “This is what it’s like in nature.”

I kept from talking to her about it.  I try not to razz the neighbours.  I also had to change my mindset.  I remembered Mom and Dad singing this one in the station wagon.  We all laughed about the ‘wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside ‘er’ part…guess it’s the lighter side of the predator story.

Back to the birds…they seemed to be getting a good feed before the storm!

P1120352 P1120353I heard a chickadee in the tree, but of course the little thing had to wait for the sparrows to fly off in unison at the bark of my dog and then it had its chance.

P1120356All this activity happening at the front of the house, I went out to the studio to get some stripping and sanding done.

Grey clouds were gathering, but the studio looked welcoming and the music was set to playing.

P1120359 P1120361Good physical work, music and a glass of fizzy ice water…a perfect combination for time well-spent!

Yesterday

Yesterday

Today

Today

Yesterday

Yesterday

Today

Today

Yesterday

Yesterday

Today

Today

Today

Today

I came inside to find my ‘indoor cat’ jumping off the red couch to greet me.  Life is good.

 

Stripping, Sanding and Re-creating Furniture

I looked back into my archives and discovered that I started on this ugly green vanity in September of 2011.  Clearly, I lost interest.  Initially I think I just didn’t enjoy being around that particular forest green. (I’m actually sitting here laughing as I type.)The drawers have been repaired, stripped and primed for two years now.  The image above would be the ‘before’ photograph.

This one would be the ‘after’.  I now have sitting before me, a blank canvas, to be primed up tomorrow during my work session with the other pieces that I am preparing at the same time.

P1120334
P1120341
A few questions have come up for me in the meantime…and things to think about before you start painting the heck out of that old dresser you may have.  First, why paint the back?  And, in multiple layers?  Just wash the back of the furniture down and leave all markings visible.  This is what I’ve had to contend with on the green vanity.
Three layers removed from back of vanity.  Advice: Don't paint the backs!

Three layers removed from back of vanity. Advice: Don’t paint the backs!

The new/old dresser looks like this.

New old dresser.

New old dresser.

Multiple layers of paint?  I know.  I know.  It’s hard work to strip paint and then give your window sills a sanding, but the pay off in the end is fantastic.  I like to strip down to the wood each time.  Presently, the piece I am working on has multiple layers of paint.  I’m onto the third step of stripping the paint because the layer underneath is so tough.

What you’re aiming for is a nice consistent surface for your art.  Fill all holes and repair all damages to the pieces at this stage.  This way, you’ll have something solid that will serve you for years.
After second session of stripping.

After second session of stripping.

Third time's a charm.

Third time’s a charm.

The paint stripper I use...do you have something that works like magic?  Let me know!

The paint stripper I use…do you have something that works like magic? Let me know!

Paint over varnish...never a good idea.

Paint over varnish…never a good idea.  Ideas for removing paint in detailed areas?

This detail on the left is missing on the right.  Suggestions for how I can create a duplicate for the other side?

This detail on the left is missing on the right. Suggestions for how I can create a duplicate for the other side?

As I continue with my DIY project, I’ll keep my readers informed.  I enjoy the physical effort involved in re-creating furnishings that are a reflection of my personal tastes.  It’s good to be back at it!

New Stuff Out of Old

Ready for Stripping

I picked this ‘baby’ up on Freecycle Calgary and took off the hardware today, as well as made a few small repairs.  Tomorrow will begin the first layer of paint stripping.  I love doing these projects as a way of combining my interests in painting and in creating interesting spaces.  I’ve had a great day of nesting!  Here are a few of the previous projects.

Kandinsky on Red