Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Little Stool

This little stool is one of those things I hesitated to bring home, but actually turned out to be a really fun  project.  It had been spray painted an icky copper color and the top was maple.  I painted the base with AS Old White.  I had intended to  upholster the top, but nothing I tried seemed quite right.  A trip to the potting shed turned up this old shipping crate lid from Hughes Brothers (I like those shipping numbers on the underside).  Ben trimmed it to fit and put it all together.  I added a little stenciling on the top side with some neat old brass stencils.

The "Before":

Friday, March 22, 2013

Knapp Joint Dresser

I finished this piece last summer right before Baby's arrival.  It sat in the dining room for a few months waiting to go to Liberty House.  I finally decided I liked it too much to let it go, so it was recently moved into the living room.

Before I go on . . .  a little furniture history.  I was able to identify the age of this piece because of the interesting joints used on the drawers.  From what I've read on line (and it must be true, right?), these are Knapp Joints (or Half Moons).  They were invented by Charles Knapp  and used on furniture made between 1880 - 1900.  Before then, dovetail joints were hand-cut (very labor intensive).  Later, machines were developed that allowed mechanized dovetail joints and the Knapp Joint machine was a thing of the past.  

Its new home in the living room.  By the way, this lamp took on a whole new life when I painted the lamp shade one night--very easy (and spontaneous of me)--black acrylic craft paint, about 3 minutes.
I love paint.

Here's what I did to the dresser:

After a good cleaning, I stripped the old finish off the top, used a little stain to even things out, and then rubbed in tung oil.  The rest got one light coat of Annie Sloan Old White.  The great original hardware went back on and it was done!

Can you see the half moon joints?  Can you see the green leaves behind the garage?  (sigh)

The "Before":

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Old Desk turned File Cabinet

Sweet babe is 7 1/2 months old now and we are all enjoying her thoroughly!  She is very well loved!

I have started working on furniture again--still learning with each piece, but more confident with paint and tools--and more selective about what I want to put time into.  I'm also more comfortable sticking with the looks that I love rather than what I think will sell (i.e., more muted neutral colors, turquoise less often).  So the break has been good.

I've debated about starting to post again . . . the days seem so full and each post seemed to take longer than it should, but it is a good record for me of what I've done.  So I'll give it a go . . .

Here's my latest piece . . .

I bought this at Liberty House last Saturday.  It is one side of an old desk.  I'm kicking myself for not taking a "Before" photo--it had been wrapped on three sides in vinyl and when I pulled out the many tacks holding the vinyl, I discovered old batting glued to the wood.  There was a little groaning and buyer's remorse at this point, but my trusty 60 grit sandpaper eventually took it off.  I like the looks of raw wood, so I kept sanding to take the old finish partly off as well.  The sides got a light coat of Annie Sloan Old White.  The top is plywood, but looks great now with a coat of Annie Sloan Graphite and then waxed/buffed.  I plan to keep this to hold art/painting/sewing supplies, so decided to clean up the insides of the drawers with some Annie Sloan Versailles (can you tell what brand of paint I love?).

So that's that!  Now to clean out my studio enough to fit this in!

By the way, I just took a loaf of coconut bread out of the oven (lunch?).  The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen.  I am loving her new cookbook . . . another distraction from furniture painting!