Monday, February 23, 2009

Work on it Wednesday

Well after a couple of weeks of trying to tackle things on Tuesdays I realize that for my current schedule Wednesdays actually work out better for me than Tuesdays. I generally have a pretty uncomplicated schedule on Wednesdays, but do a ton of running around on Tuesdays while trying to squeeze in a tackle. The schedule wasn't lending itself to me feeling like I was accomplishing what I wanted to each week.
So now, it will be Work on it Wednesdays, or as I like to call it, everything old is new again. Let's face it with the economy and the greening of America you really need to think about your consumption in all things. I have a house full of furniture...actually two housefuls, but I digress. Some of it is actually pretty nice, but has seen some better days, but with a little imagination, ingenuity and elbow grease, well...I can give those old dogs some new life. I'm starting with two pieces Mister had when I married him, They belonged to his Grandmother, who lived to be 95 years old. They are two traditional pieces made of solid woods and veneers...none of that composite crap for Grandma. Over the years, Mister has not babied them at all, they were moved from apartment to apartment. One of the dovetailed drawers came apart, the finish was chipped, peeled and scratched. But never fear, the drawer has been repaired, the gouges and chips have been filled and sanded and now they are ready for a whole new life. Today I will work on one piece It's a highboy dresser that I have in the dining room. The drawers are generous and I currently store many things in them such as kitchen and dining linens, school supplies for the kids and rarely used holiday dishes.
Now here's what I had to do and what you'll need to do if you ever want to rehab your own furniture. Remove the hardware and prime the piece. I'm doing this with an oil based primer. It's better to use an oil based primer than a latex one. It not only gives you a good surface to paint on, but it keeps the old finish or paint from bleeding through your piece. It's quite versatile since you can use it on top of oil based paint, stains and latex paint, as well as you could paint your piece afterwards with either oil based or latex paint too. If you are diying it, it's really important to take the time to prime your piece to get a flawless looking finished piece. I recommend two coats of primer. It doesn't have to be perfect, but remember you're giving yourself a foundation to work with.

This is before priming, but I've already applied wood putty, sanded and removed some of the hardware.

So far, so good. I've removed the rest of the hardware and applied two coats of an oil based primer, now it's ready for paint. I should mention one more thing about the primer. I could have opted to have my primer tinted to gray, to lessen the number of paints of coat I would need to get good coverage. Just like when you paint walls, when using a dark color and untinted primer, you may need more than one or two coats to get really good coverage.

Tomorrow. I'll apply at least two coats of a black semi gloss paint to the piece. Letting it dry between coats. Two things about the paint choice, I went with semi gloss because it gives a harder finish then satin or flat and since these are pieces I use daily I want the finish to last. I may apply a protective coat of polyurethane to help to protect the pieces even further. It's also really important to let the piece dry fully before sitting anything on top of it, if you don't want divets in your furniture. I'll let it dry at least 72 hours before placing anything on it. I've painted several pieces of furniture over the years and it's always a really fun way to give an old piece a new life. So, stay tuned for the finished piece.


Heather! said...

That is going to look amazing! I wish I had thought of the polyurethane when I did my one dresser years ago. After a certain point, it just seems to chip easier.