November 28, 2010

Kate's Hall Table & A Lesson for Me

A couple of months back, I met Kate, who was the purchaser of this stool that I upcycled...
into this...
She happily took her new stool home, all the way to the other end of my street...turned out we are same-street neighbours :)

Anyway, she rang a couple of weeks back and said she had bought a table in a fierce bidding war an online auction, and the table wasn't quite what she was expecting (haven't we all had oopsies like that!).  The table that looked so elegant in the auction photos looked too 'nana-ish' for Kate, once she had it in her home.

Here is the table so you can see for yourself...
A nice looking table, but I thought it was pretty Nana-ish too.
It is also alot smaller and shorter than it might appear in photos.

So, I gave it the usual clean down with sugar soap and hot water, then coated it with Smooth Surface Sealer (my favourite waterborne adhesion primer).  I left it a couple of days to cure, then tested it to see if it was ready to top coat.  The sealer scratched right off!  Argh!  I left it another day, thinking this was odd, as we are in late spring, so the days were warm but not hot, and not at all humid, which can affect paint curing.  Next day, same problem, and I knew my stick-to-anything sealer wasn't going to stick, so I sanded it all off, down to bare wood.  It was then that I began to suspect that the wood had been contaminated with Nana's old faithful furniture polish.  So once I had sanded it right down to bare wood, I applied a white spirit 'grease and oil remover' all over it, before recoating it with Smooth Surface Sealer.  Left it overnight after a very warm day and then tested it the following day....and still the sealer scratched right off.

Here was when I felt like crying but instead I took a deep breath and sanded the sealer off.
Down to bare wood.
I hate sanding.

Then I went to my favourite paint shop where I explained my dilemma.  The lady confirmed that indeed, the table had been contaminated with oil and there is no way I could have known that, but luckily, she had what I needed which was Zinsser BIN, a shellac-based primer and sealer that cleans up in meths.  She explained that because the timber had oil in it, and so did the sealer, they would kind of work together and the sealer would stick...hallelujah!

She was right, it did stick, and thankfully even though this is an 'oil-based' product, you can still use a water-based paint over it.

So here is Kate's table, all finished...

I didn't take any photos of the in-between parts because the table looked terrible and I really didn't need a reminder.  Plus I didn't want Kate to see her table like that!

Now it is all finished...with a paint surface that isn't going to scratch off....phew!
I think that it turned out beautifully, 
and that I have succeeded in escorting Nana out of the building.
Best of all, Kate is thrilled with it - she said it had turned out better than she ever imagined it could, and the smile and relief on her face proved it...I had turned her auction disaster into something she was pleased to have in her home :)

This table I only distressed lightly - it is a delicate wee table so delicate distressing seemed to fit, plus I couldn't get any of the previous dark finish peeping through (which I often like to do) because I had to sand it all off.
(Yes that is a shadow of my hands taking the photo. LOL)
I am a better painter than I am a photographer, I promise!

Thanks, Kate, for giving me the opportunity to rescue your table, which gave me the chance to learn all about oil contamination and shellac-based primer!

Sharing this at
Furniture Feature Fridays
xx Karen

November 20, 2010

French Country Style Dining Suite

So, I started out with these chairs.
Special, aren't they!
Well, with the help of some beautiful oilcloth and my clever upholsterer, I turned them into these...

Just after, and before I had the chance to complete a table to put with the chairs, a client saw the chairs, and thought that they would look great with her pedestal dining table, once it had had a French country style paintjob.  She wanted 6 chairs and luckily I had some more, so off they went to the upholsterer, and she dropped her table to me and I got started...
The table got a good sanding then a wash.  Then I applied a sealer coat and left it to properly cure for a week or so (great timing actually, the table was curing while I was swanning around Rarotonga!)

All too soon the holiday was over and I was back into it. I gave the table 4 coats of Resene Thorndon Cream, then lightly distressed it.  I only did it lightly because the original table had quite a orange colour and I didn't think that would look very good peeping through.  Instead, I used a wood stain glaze to give it the french country look and feel we were after.
 I finished it off with two coats of water based poly for added durability, important since a table is a such a frequently used piece of furniture!

Doesn't it look gorgeous with the taupe dotty chairs?
The table is extendable, the inner leaf folds inside the table and converts it into a round table.
Even though the chairs have quite a retro vibe going on, I think they look fantastic with this table....
cute and quirky :)

xx Karen

Millie's Trays

Recently Millie contacted me and said she had two Rimu serving trays that, whilst useful, no longer fitted in with her decor or taste.  
Here they are:
She asked that I paint one of them in a French Cream distressed style, and the other, which has a tongue and groove base, 
be painted in the same colours and style as my  Duck Egg Distressed Hutch
in particular, this part...
So away I went, waved some magic with my paintbrush, sandpaper and wax, and here they are!

(Oops!  How did those toes get in there!? LOL)
 There you have it...a nice simple update to some useful but plain trays, that are bound to get much more use now they look pretty!

xx Karen

November 18, 2010

Pretty Bedside Tables

Hello there!  Sorry it has been a while since I last posted any reveals, I have been busy working away on a few projects, such as these Mahogany bedside cabinets.
(online auction photo from sales listing)
I liked the shapes on them, and just knew I could make them pretty.
I washed them down, removed the handles (with a hammer...they were glued on, I hate those sort!) then filled the holes, because strangely enough, they weren't evenly spaced on the drawers.  
Weird that it never bothered the previous owner/s!

After a coat of sealer, they got 4 coats of Dulux Cape Colville in a semi gloss water based enamel...then I hit them with the sandpaper and sanding sponge.
And here they are all done...
(Excuse the leaves and ugly carpet.  This is my workshop (previously known as a garage) and I like to work with the doors open.  No sooner do I vacuum in there, all the leaves start blowing back in again!)

And old friend of mine sent these knobs to me all the way from India...very sweet of her and they look perfect on these.  Plus I hid a wee surprise in the drawers just to tie it all together...
This gorgeous shade of pink, Resene Cosmos, which I found at my local paint store, in the mistints section.  It is not actually a mistint in the colour sense, the paint shop man just said it had probably been tinted in the wrong formula (but luckily for me, it was just the formula I use - Semi Gloss Water Based Enamel).  Can't wait to use it on some more projects
...oh wait I did already...just haven't posted about it yet  ;)

Showing these off at
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite 
 Feature Fridays
xx Karen