Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stripping can be a good thing!

Stripping can be a bad thing.   Like the time on vacation when we got caught in a downpour while horse back riding, and when we reached our car deciding to change out of wet clothes, and not bothering to look behind me before pulling down sodden pants.  That other group of drenched riders got to see the full moon during the daytime.  Not a good thing!  But it made for memories!

But this stripping is a good thing indeed.

I bought this lamp at Goodwill for around $5.00.  I hesitated because it was so layered in paint it was hard to tell the design of it.  The paint was in bad shape also, peeling, cracking, and dingy.  But it was a nice heavy piece so I decided to give it a try.  Before I could get to working on it I used it as a weight when I was adding a silver cloth lining to the drawer in my buffet.

This is the only before photo I have, and it has a lot of glare on it, but you can maybe see how the design is so clogged with paint layers that you can't tell what they are.

Then came the stripping.

and scraping, and stripping and finally a good scrubbing with a brass bristle brush.  A new cord, plug and socket, along with a lampshade I already had, and I have a new lamp to fit on the bedside table I made.

So would you buy something that you couldn't even really see all the details in?  I'm glad I gave this one a try!

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Good Night

I have wanted for a while to change out the nightstand on my side of the bed.  It was one of those make do things that you think you'll just have for a few months and it ends up there for years.  One of those pressed wood round tables with the table skirt.  I did like the skirt I had made, linen with a green velvet square topper, but it was way past time to change.

Before Pinterest came along, it was tearing pages out of magazines or copy photos and save in a folder on your desktop.  When I finally made the time to replace the nightstand I looked at all the photos I had saved, and this is the one that caught my eye.

The only problem was I didn't mark or make note of where I found it and haven't come across it since to give them credit.  I decided it would be the perfect piece of furniture to try to make.  So the next time I went to woodworking class with my kids I asked Mr. Bruce about it and he said it would be easy.
I saw on Graphics Fairy today how to do an image search, and when I did, I found a link back for the photo to Ballard Designs, though they no longer carry the nightstand.

I started out with a $25.00 piece of cabinet grade plywood from Home Depot.

I came armed with measurements of the height of my bed, and the size I wanted the night stand to be and I sketched out what I wanted my nightstand to look like.

Then the cutting began:
I started off with 2 rectangles cut to the depth and height of the nightstand.  Then we used screwed the 2 panels together and cut both curves at the same time to ensure they were identical.

Next we cut a groove in the sides for the shelves to slide into.  And we decided that it was too deep, so we started to cut some off.  But it was the wrong end.  So we had a cut down into the sides of the  nightstand.  Filled in with popsicle sticks and wood glue, then filled in with wood putty, and you can't even tell where the mistake had been.

We used a template to cut the curves for the top and shelves and also a trim piece to go under the shelves.  Now sand, sand and sand some more, it took a while to get the curved edge smoothed out.

Top and shelves in, trimmed to fit around the side supports and trim pieces added to the curved area to make it appear thicker.  Sand and sand and sand.

Added legs by cutting 2 pieces of plywood one more square, one rectangular to attach under the side pieces, then tapered (that was a fun one to figure out).  Then lots of little miter cuts to trim out the top of the leg.  I actually liked the miter cuts.
Strips were added to make the shelves look like they were the full pieces, not the sides.  Then trim pieces were added to the curved areas to finish off the sides along with trim to the top and back edge of the sides. Now LOTS of wood filler to cover over the "ply" in the plywood and all the other mistakes I made.  SAND, Sand, Sand again!
2 coats of primer, and I decided to paint it a dark brown almost black to remind me of tree bark to go with the green color we have in our bedroom.  I found Rustoleum's Painters Touch in Satin Dark Walnut.  It went on very well and I loved the color.  Once it was painted it was a little harder to see all the accent pieces on the sides so I decided to distress just a little.  Sand some more, and use a Qtip to apply some stain I had, to tone down the white primer coat that came out with the distressing.  At first I thought I'd just have to paint back over it, but it showed up the detail so much better, I just decided to not worry about the white, and now I love how it turned out.

After adding to it's place by my side of the bed I decided it needed the back on it to help cover the cords, but I don't know yet if I'll paint the back the same color or add some fabric to it, or something unexpected.  

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