Monthly Archives: October 2014

Weathered table and More

The past week or so has been spent painting and painting and painting the outside of that secretary. I’m halfway convinced that thing is made out of real living flesh, because as soon as you paint a coat of paint (mind you, this is good quality paint-and-primer-in-one paint that “should” cover in 1-2 coats) the red color of the wood starts bleeding through the paint and you’re back at square one. Nik thinks we’ve put on 4-5 coats of paint OVER the coat of primer, and we’re still seeing a red tinge. One more coat it is… Anyway, again here is what is looked like before and after primer:

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And with a coat (or several) of paint:

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We’re also painting the front desk cover and the cubby compartments white but I don’t have a picture of those. Oh, and I also skipped telling you that we learned about something new called underlayment. This is 5/16″ thin plywood that is what usually makes up the bottom of a drawer, and in the case of this secretary, the back panel. The very bottom drawer and the back of this piece were disintegrating and warped, so we popped out the old wood and got two pieces of underlayment cut to size at Home Depot. The whole 4’x8′ sheet was only $12. The drawer piece slid right into place, and the back piece will be nailed on simple as that. This was an unexpectedly easy fix for this old piece of furniture! So, we’re getting close, just another coat or two of paint and then touching up the stained part (after all that painting its impossible that none of it got outside the lines!). We’ll be using water-based poly to seal up the entire piece then we’ll attach the cubbies and the front panel. I think we’re going to try to clean up the old hardware and put those handles back on because they’re pretty unique but we’ll see how that goes. On another note, we’ve made some headway with a new project that Nik (literally) dug out of the large furniture dumpster in our neighborhood. He found a large circular pine table and 4 legs to go with it (no leaf unfortunately).

Here’s the before pictures:

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And then he sanded it down (ignore the blue paint, we were testing out some exterior paint on it but we sanded that off too):

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And we used the classic grey from the middle drawer in the secretary to stain this. We were going to use dark walnut and then I had the idea to use the classic grey and I love how it turned out!

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Apparently our deck is an almost identical color so I’m sorry that it looks like it is camouflaged with the ground…Now we’re priming and painting the table skirt (under the round top) and the legs a cream color.

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The legs are plain and ugly, but hey, this table was free. Hopefully someone can overlook that and consider it a lovely weathered “country” table. And for one more thing to leave you with, I finally finished my pistachio shell art and I love how it came out! I never knew I could be so crafty (of course using the creativity and detailed guide of someone else).

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Progress on the Ombre Secretary

Its been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ll update you on the progress we’ve made on the antique secretary we bought at the Raleigh flea market:

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This piece was in rough shape, but Nik had the idea of doing an ombre pattern on the drawers with several different shades of stain. We stripped then sanded and sanded and sanded these drawers down and finally got them to have less of an awful red tinge. We also stripped and sanded the writing surface (inside the cabinet, and also the interior side of the flip down part) and the very top of the cabinet.

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The three stains we selected are Minwax weathered oak, classic gray, and jacobean.

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And we stained the writing surface and top of the secretary, as well as the bottom drawer in the jacobean, then progressed to the lightest color on the top drawer. Here’s a few views of how the drawers came out, and again the image on the right is the order they’ll be in on the piece:

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I really like how the middle drawer came out, but we’re thinking the lightest one should have a little more gray in it to blend better. We’re going to see how the rest of the cabinet comes out with the paint, and then decide if it needs to be re-tinted with stain. The body looks like this:

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Right now, the plan is to prime and paint the rest of the cabinet (including the compartments that insert into the top of the secretary) and we’ve got a clearance can of paint that is a cream color. Our goal is to get this painted by the end of this weekend so we can wrap this piece up.